Heal the Spirit & Sooth the Soul in Summerland A Classic California Beach Town between Montecito and Carpinteria H enry Lafayette (H.L.) Williams bought the 1,050-acre Rancho Ortega in 1883 and named it Summerland for the balmy weather. He decided to parcel off plots of land to found a Spiritualist community to nourish body and soul along the sunny shores and hillsides near the beach. The town later attracted a colony of artists. Summerland today retains many charms and much of its artsy, spiritual character. The tiny town of about 1,500 residents emerged relatively unscathed during last winter’s Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flows, which ravaged neighboring communities. Pull off Highway 101 at exit 91 for a dose of R&R and to support community efforts to recover from the recent natural disasters. Parking is plentiful along Lillie Avenue, the quaint village’s main street, lined with eclectic shops, galleries, boutiques, cafés, wine tasting rooms and services. Scout for antiques, find clothing and the perfect beach attire, pick up specialty items for home and garden, and discover spiritual treasures from around the globe. Pamper yourself with a spa treatment or a session at an athletic club, or grab a bite to eat at a pet- friendly café or coffee house. If you have kids and/or pets, Summerland’s Lookout Park is a great place to let them romp a bit during a road trip. Relax on the sand at the glorious beach, where you can walk for miles when the tide is low. Picnic in a peaceful park, or hike in a pristine nature preserve.