Dreaming of retirement in the American Riviera? With an ideal Mediterranean climate and endless recreational activities between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it’s easy to see the appeal of the many great Central Coast California retirement communities. Santa Barbara boasts unique perks for seniors including nonprofits like the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, two highly rated hospitals, and a historic downtown with a thriving arts scene to enjoy.
If you’re ready to explore the best Santa Barbara retirement communities and over 55 communities, we’re here to help. There are over 30 Santa Barbara 55+ communities and retirement villages; here’s a look at the seven best communities to explore. Once you’ve made your decision, our full-service senior movers are ready to assist by handling all the planning and hard work!
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What Is a 55+ Community?
As you explore Santa Barbara senior living options, you’ll quickly notice a range of terms that may be confusing. Retirement communities in Santa Barbara are designed for active adults over 55 who want access to community amenities and maintenance-free living. Some of these communities are continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) which offer a continuum of care: you can age in place and get access to assisted or skilled nursing care if your health needs change.
Over 55 communities in Santa Barbara CA are a unique type of retirement community with sometimes misleading terminology. This phrase is often used interchangeably with “retirement” or “active adult” community, but many are age-restricted and only allow adults who are at least 55 years old to buy a home or move in. They can be condos, rental apartments or garden homes, or single-family homes in an age-restricted community. In Santa Barbara, retirement homes often have an age restriction of 62 and older.
Benefits of Living in a Santa Barbara Retirement Community
Not sure if Santa Barbara 55+ communities are the right choice for you? It may help to consider the perks of a retirement community – they definitely aren’t the “old folks’ homes” of the past!
- Low-maintenance or maintenance-free lifestyle
- Usually located near health care, attractions, restaurants, outdoor recreation, and shopping
- May include prepared meals, housekeeping, and linen service so you can focus more on living your best life
- There are usually a wide range of amenities including on-site fitness centers, beauty salons, swimming pools, community gardens, walking paths, libraries, game rooms, and even golf courses
- Some have on-site health clinics and physicians to make life easier
- There is usually a strong sense of community and you’ll find it easier to meet people and enjoy an active social life with people your own age
- Most have planned activities, fitness and social programs, special interest clubs, recreational and educational programs, planned outings, and more to stay busy and engaged
Vista del Monte Santa Barbara – Highly Rated Continuing Care Retirement Community
Vista del Monte is one of the most exciting retirement communities in Santa Barbara with independent living, assisted living, and memory care so you can age in place without a worry for the future. Enjoy a packed social calendar, world-class amenities, and stunning views with chef-prepared meals, comfortable living accommodations, and a focus on individuals.
This large Santa Barbara retirement community was founded for retired educators and its roots show with many opportunities to get involved and foster intellectual stimulation. Take part in continuing education, learn an instrument, take a creative writing course, or join book or music club – the possibilities are endless.
Your monthly fee includes restaurant-style and executive chef dining, housekeeping, utilities, in-unit laundry, reserved parking, maintenance, aquatics and fitness programs, cultural, educational, and recreational programs, and more!
- Address: 3775 Modoc Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
- Phone: (805) 687-0793
- Amenities: Prepared meals, scheduled transportation, pet-friendly, social activities, recreational and educational programs, Fitness and Aquatic Center with programs, library, resident art studio, in-house choir
- Housing: Studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units
- Pricing: Studios starting at $3,580, one-bedroom units starting at $3,760, and two-bedroom units starting at $5,780 per month plus a three-figure entrance fee
Maravilla Santa Barbara – Activity-Packed Retirement Community in Santa Barbara
Maravilla is an exciting Santa Barbara senior living campus along San Jose Creek where there’s always something to see and do. Daily life is packed with fun opportunities and activities like bowling, painting classes, and Tai Chi with the ability to craft your own activities schedule and live the life you’ve been dreaming of. You can check out the events calendar to see planned outings, community events, and programs like Jingle & Mingle, the choral holiday show, and birdwatching outings.
Maravilla is a CARF-accredited facility that offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, and rehabilitation so you can enjoy life to its fullest and age in place. Note that the minimum entry age is 62 at Maravilla.
- Address: 5486 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93111
- Phone: (805) 790-9793
- Amenities: Social, educational, and recreational programs; pet-friendly; in-unit washer and dryer; housekeeping; on-site restaurant; Dine Your Way meal program; fitness center; heated pool and spa; several movie theaters; gift and sundries shop; library; billiards room; beauty salon/barber; massage room; landscaped gardens and walking paths
- Housing: One- and two-bedroom casitas, cottages, and senior residences, and spacious 1-3 bedroom independent living residences
- Pricing: Assisted living starting at $6,300 per month plus a $5,000 entry fee
Valle Verde – All Inclusive Santa Barbara Retirement Living with Continuum of Care Options
Valle Verde is the best 55+ community in Santa Barbara if you value space, privacy, and natural beauty. Over 350 residents in this retirement community enjoy life in spacious, private garden homes on wooded grounds. Take a daily stroll along the creek and landscaped grounds or take the grandkids across the street to Hidden Valley Park.
The beautiful grounds and views are one of the biggest draws of Valle Verde, but you’ll also enjoy a range of amenities, activities, and programs. Grab a bite at the restaurant-style dining room or the poolside grill. Take a swim or stop by the spa and salon for a bit of pampering. Stay active at the fitness center, participate in fitness classes, and grab essentials at the on-site convenience store. The community even offers an on-site theater, woodworking shop, art studio, and suites for visiting guests!
The entrance fee gives you priority access to higher levels of care if you ever need them with assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing provided at below-market rates.
- Address: 900 Calle De Los Amigos, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
- Phone: (805) 883-4000
- Amenities: Landscaped, wooded grounds; community patio and garden; pet-friendly; restaurant-style dining and poolside grill; tennis courts; pool; spa and salon; barber/beauty salon; library; theater; fitness center; woodshop; art studio; convenience store; guest suites
- Housing: One- and two-bedroom garden homes
- Pricing: One-bedroom homes start at $3,375 per month (+ $139,000 entrance fee); two-bedroom homes start at $5,587 per month (+ $282,000 entrance fee)
Villa Santa Barbara – Award-Winning Active Retirement Community
Villa Santa Rosa, a Sonida Senior Living community, has been named the Best of Senior Living for 2022 thanks to amazing reviews from previous and current residents and family members. One of the most fun Santa Barbara 55+ communities, Villa Santa Rosa offers retirement living at its finest with independent living and assisted living options.
Enjoy great amenities like the game room, library, theater , and rooftop terrace with an on-site beauty salon and three daily meals at the Villa Bistro Dining Room. The community offers fun activities and regular social events from Mimosa Mondays to Friday Fun Days.
- Address: 227 E Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
- Phone: (806) 808-1369
- Amenities: Prepared meals, social and recreational events and activities, covered parking, laundry facilities, housekeeping, landscaped courtyard, rooftop terrace, game room, library, theater, beauty salon, fitness room, emergency response system
- Housing: Studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments
- Pricing: Studio apartments starting at $3,300 per month
Garden Court – Affordable Downtown Santa Barbara Retirement Community
Garden Court is one of the best subsidized retirement homes in Santa Barbara. Built in 2000, the development offers 97 private studio apartments through the California Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) with affordable senior housing for low-income adults aged 62 and older.
Residents at Garden Court enjoy independent living with their own private apartment but all the amenities and perks of community living. Enjoy maintenance-free, affordable living with plenty of resident activities like book club, yoga, art classes, and performances. You’ll be in the heart of downtown near restaurants, shopping, entertainment like the Arlington Theatre and Granada Theatre just two blocks away, parks, and museums like the nearby Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
You can learn more and apply for an apartment at Garden Court through the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.
- Address: 1116 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
- Phone: (805) 884-0095
- Amenities: Prepared meals, housekeeping, transportation, planned outings, fitness classes, recreational and social programs, centrally located in downtown, on-site beauty salon, laundry facilities on every floor
- Housing: Subsidized studio apartments
- Pricing: Seniors 62 and older must meet income guidelines for subsidized senior housing with all utilities included
Casa Dorinda – One of the Highest Rated Luxury Santa Barbara Retirement Communities
Casa Dorinda is one of the most exclusive retirement communities in Santa Barbara County. It’s a LifeCare Retirement Community and CCRC with independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing in a single facility so you don’t need to worry about the future. You’ll find this gorgeous community between the ocean amid the oak groves on a former 1918 grand estate.
Residents enjoy luxury amenities at Casa Dorinda with a Life Enrichment program designed to improve your quality of life in all areas. Enjoy fine dining with inspired by the seasons and the local gardens, maintain peak health with the on-site Medical Center.
Your apartment home is unique to you and updated to your style with a private balcony or garden patio.
Casa Dorinda has a wait list of 3-5 years but approved applicants on the waitlist are invited to the annual Summer Soiree, Holiday Wine Maker’s Dinner, and on-campus events. Applicants must be at least 62 years of age and meet financial and medical eligibility. Unlike most retirement communities in Santa Rosa, the community offers full-time and part-time residency.
Learn more about the best retirement community in Santa Rosa by checking out the Casa Dorinda brochure!
- Address: 300 Hot Springs Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
- Phone: (805) 969-8011
- Amenities: Grand and engaging social activities and events, continuum of care services, fitness center, pool, 24-hour security, linens and housekeeping service, weekly champagne brunch, fine dining, walk-in healthcare clinic and on-site doctors
- Housing: One and two bedroom apartments
- Pricing: Monthly fees of $4,563 to $10,656 with entrance fees ranging from $250,000 to $1.28 million. Monthly fees do not increase based on your health needs.
Rancho Santa Barbara – Gated 55+ Mobile Home Community in Santa Barbara with New Construction
Rancho Santa Barbara is one of the most unique over 55 communities in Santa Barbara CA. Enjoy the best of both worlds: your own home, privacy, and wide open space plus the amenities, services, and security that make a retirement community so great.
This age-restricted mobile home park offers new construction with 2-bed, 2-bath manufactured homes priced in the high $600s. Your monthly space rent covers a range of amenities including a clubhouse with a pool and spa, a golf course, dog parks, a fitness center, and over 50 private acres of natural beauty.
Keep busy, take up hobbies, and enjoy an active social life with tons of resident groups, clubs, and social events. Check out the event calendar to see what awaits!
- Address: 333 Old Mill Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
- Phone: (805) 967-6632
- Amenities: 50 private acres, clubhouse, golf course, fitness center, dog parks, pool and spa, pickleball courts, social clubs and events
- Housing: New manufactured homes for sale
- Pricing: Homes in the $600s plus space rent of $500 to $800 with garbage, sewer, recycling, and amenities included
Map of Retirement Communities in Santa Barbara
Ready to enjoy Santa Barbara retirement at its finest? Martian Movers is ready to help you get settled into your new home with a full-service team who can handle all the sorting, packing, loading, and furniture arrangement. Give our Santa Barbara movers a call today for a free, personalized estimate!