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East Cota Street

Santa Barbara, California, United States


East Cota Street has townhouses that you have to see for their architecture- you could combine this with a trip to the Saturday farmers market.
When I first saw the Cota Street Studios I was amazed by how incredibly cute and whimsical they are! Wow! All the wonderful curves and lines- your eyes could explore them for ages! Designed by architect Jeff Shelton, the Gaudi of Santa Barbara, and built in 2005, the Cota Street Studios are on the site of former historic worker homes. Incorporated into their design are curvy ironwork railings and lanterns, patterned ceramic benches, brightly colored arched wooden doors, colorful fountains, delightful plants...everything your imagination could want if it were to run wild! Stop and take it all in as you peek into the courtyard! For more architecture by Jeff Shelton, check out Moroccan-inspired El Andaluz, a five block walk from here.
While you're in the area, drive west past some industry on Cota street to Ortega Park. Walk around the cheerful murals and check out the expansive views of the riviera and the mountains. The riviera sits closer than ever at this spot- lovely. There is a sandy playground and a summer pool for kids 13 and under (open June 13-August 19, 2011, weekdays from 1:30-3pm, free) at Ortega Par. The surrounding area is industrial and some dubious types hang out at the park.
Continue east along Cota Street and behold Santa Barbara Junior High's regal building, built in 1932. Now, turn right on Milpas Street to get back to the freeway or to head over to East Beach, a wide sandy beach with a playground in the sand!
Come on a Saturday morning (8:30am-1pm) so you can attend the colorful, lively Farmers Market on the corner of Santa Barbara and Cota Streets. This is one of my favorite farmers markets because it feels cozy and friendly.
Just a few blocks from here at 528 Anacapa St, you can enjoy a cup of tea on the sunny patio of French Press, where lots of chic young people hang out.
For a lovely walk around historic Santa Barbara, walk a few blocks to El Presidio and Raffour House and to El Paseo and Casa de la Guerra.

Photo Gallery

The wonderful curves of Cota Street Studios.

A tall lettucy plant adds to the imaginative atmosphere.

Notice the ironwork lantern and window grills. Notice the red door, the ceramic bench, and the rose cactus.

The red door at Cota Street Studios.

Peeking into the courtyard...

Ceramic bell on the ironwork gate.

Colors and patterns are everywhere at Cota Street studios!

Patterns and murals are painted all over at Ortega Park!

Ortega Park.

Santa Barbara Junior High.

Balloons at the Saturday morning farmers market.

Shady walkway at the farmers market.

Organic dill at the farmers market.

Cactus at the Cota Street Studios.

Cactus, blue pot, and tilework.

Cactus reaching to the sky.

The Cota Street Studios are gorgeous.

Cactus and white wall.

East Cota Street sidewalk and an abundance of plants.

French Press, at 528 Anacapa St, has lots of young people and a great patio.

Tall California palms, as seen from French Press.


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The Cota Street Studios are located at 225 E. Cota Street, Santa Barbara CA 93101. Exit Highway 101 at Garden Street and turn towards the mountains. Turn left on Cota Street and they are immediately on your right. Turn around and drive in the other direction along Cota Street to see Ortega Park and Santa Barbara Junior High. Then, turn right on Milpas Street to head back to the freeway or East Beach!
Ortega Park Pool, 600 N. Salispuedes Street, for kids aged 13 and under, call for hours (805) 564-5418, admission is free! Open June 15-August 18, 2015, weekdays from 1-3pm.
French Press, 528 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara.
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