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Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, Montecito

Santa Barbara, California, United States


It's lovely to visit Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church while in Upper Montecito Village. It is a unique Southwestern style church building, a combination of the architecture of the pueblo Indians and the early Spanish colonial style. Walk past the abundant cactus garden and wavey white wall into the little courtyard, as you hear the sounds of children playing at the school next door. In the courtyard you find a statue of Mary surrounded by pink and orange hibiscus, and a peaceful statue of Jesus. Through a beautiful blue-green gate you find more gardens and more lovely architectural details, including a thick round window. Enter the church and to the right there is a sweet little prayer room. This is such a nice find! Most churches in America are closed during the day so you can't go anywhere to pray like you can in Europe! But this one is open and you can kneel and pray under the painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The church is lovely inside, and you can sit in there, at peace.
After, explore Upper Montecito Village a little. Walk on lush grass under large trees at Manning Park, or sit under European-style trees outside Pierre Lafond Market by the blue fountain enjoying a cup of tea. Drive down to Miramar Beach, a curved cozy beach with mountain views.

Photo Gallery

View of the church from the school parking lot.

Cactus garden in the front.

Shady walkway.

Amazing chunky doorway.

High adobe walls.

The front courtyard.

Statue of Mary, holding a red hibiscus.

Pointy decorative tower.

Statue of Jesus, with white hibiscus behind.

Sea-green door.

The side garden.

Statue of Mary and infant.

Banana trees near a side door.

Where you can kneel in devotion to Mary.

Golden ceiling and chandelier.

The interior of the church is lovely.

From the side garden you see a lovely scalloped doorway.


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Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church is located at 1300 East Valley Road, Montecito CA 93108. Exit Highway 101 at San Ysidro Rd and head toward the mountains. Turn left on East Valley Road, a major road. After you pass Picacho Lane on the right, look out for the school. Pull into the school parking lot and you will see the church. If you reach Hot Springs Rd, you have gone a little too far.
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