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Local Spotlight: Historic Ocean View Ranch

January 23, 2022

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The new owners of Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara County’s historic ocean view ranch, have big plans for the future that include restoration, education and research. The property, which was on the market for many years listed at $40 million, was finally picked up by the family of Roger Himovitz from the Schulte family who owned the property since 1977.

READ: Local Spotlight: Montecito’s Lotusland: One of the World’s 10 Best Gardens

Soon, the 214-acre property, which spreads along the Gaviota Coast on the ocean side of the freeway, will hold authentic Chumash Indian ceremonies in honor of its original inhabitants. The property will also be the site of the Institute for Sustainability, Education and Restoration, an outdoor classroom designed to teach sustainable agriculture, all operated by the Dos Pueblos Institute. The new owners also plan to restore certain of the property too. And weddings and special events held there will continue to dazzle attendees.

Dos Pueblos’s Rich History

The history of this magnificent ocean view ranch is rich, dating back long before written records were kept. For hundreds of years, two Chumash villages called Mikiw and Kuyamu were located on the bluffs on either side of the canyon. When this historical treasure was discovered, in 1542, Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo christened the area Dos Pueblos, which means “two villages,” in honor of the Chumash tribes.

READ: The Frank Lloyd Wright Montecito Connection

Dos Pueblos holds the honor of being the oldest name in the Goleta area. And the name has stuck in some form or another throughout the history of the region. In the later part of the 1700’s the property became a gift from King Carlos III of Spain to the local mission in an effort to support its work. It was also once the world’s largest orchid farm, as well as a ranch that bred racehorses.

The Present

Most recently, this historic ocean view ranch has been used as a working property that grows both avocados and an exotic fruit called Cherimoya. Many of the old buildings, about 10 in total, were built at the turn of the 19th century, and are still in existence today. The new owners plan to allow current renters to remain while plans are implemented for the property itself to become part of California’s network of Coastal Trails.

Today, there are three separate locations used for special events, including the Ocean Bluff area, a 100-year-old barn adjacent to an enchanting Sycamore grove, and the historic Casa Grande Estate lawns and gardens. Weddings are very popular on the grounds and The Casa Grande Estate can be rented for day use or overnight. Another 3-bedroom 2-bath beach cottage is also available for short-term rental.

READ: Santa Barbara: Oasis of Arts and Culture

The Future

As I stated above, plans are being made for the Dos Pueblos Institute to preserve the land and create partnerships with the community based on sustainability, education, and restoration efforts. The plans include the creation of an outdoor classroom to teach children about the land and local environment as well as sustainable agriculture. There will also be a place to perform authentic Chumash Indian ceremonies. Weddings and special events will continue to be held on the property and the Himovitz family reportedly has no plans to open Dos Pueblos to camping, commercial development, or as a site to build a private home. Any development would have to comply with the county’s recently passed Gaviota Coast Plan and could be appealed to the California Coastal Commission. 

The front of a magical estate in Ojai surrounded by stately trees with lights in the windows at dusk

Other Local Historic Properties

Dos Pueblos is not the only historical ranch site in the area. In fact, my current listing, Foothill Farms: A Historic Ojai Estate pictured above, has been designated a Historic Landmark. And for good reason. This storybook sanctuary, nestled peacefully on a charming road in delightful Ojai, exudes an ambiance of casual sophistication and historic elegance. That special ambiance is the result of the property’s original design elements combined with modern conveniences added during a substantial remodel, giving the property its undeniable character.

READ: Ojai California: A Magical Mecca of Wellness and Wonder

A giant boulder with the words Live Oaks Ranch and a tree painted on it.

And I have sold several other historical treasures in the area, including Live Oaks Ranch pictured above. This jewel, encompassing 21 enchanting acres and set in one of Carpinteria's most sought-after areas, is imbued with a century of rich California history. My original listing included the following description of the property: “…the ranch allows us to travel back to Old California; a time when life was simpler, possibilities were boundless, and privacy was a distinctive commodity.” 

Sunset over the ocean framed by a palm tree and other beautiful foliage

Another ocean view ranch beauty I recently sold was the Hummingbird Rock Ranch: An Ocean and Mountain View Retreat. The buyers were captivated by the beautiful ocean and mountain view retreat situated on a knoll above the charming California coastal hamlet of Summerland. The property offered them a wealth of possibilities to contemplate: from an equestrian estate, to a family compound. Or, perhaps, the new owners will build a spiritual retreat. 

Backyard of a beautiful estate with patio furniture and umbrella looking out to the ocean

Then there’s the Charming Ocean View Ranch-style Home. This wonderful home with ocean views was conveniently located near the esteemed Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Clubworld-class beaches, renowned hiking trails and more. Resting on approximately 5 acres, the home itself is an homage to the indoor/outdoor lifestyle we enjoy on the American Rivera, with its open-beam vaulted and tray ceilings and wealth of large windows, skylights, and glass doors. 

2022 is the time to start making your own history, much like the new owners of Dos Pueblos Ranch are doing. If you are planning to make a move in Santa Barbara or Ojai and are searching for the perfect mountain or ocean view ranch property, please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at With over $415 million in sales in 2021, closing 73 transactions — 43 for sellers, and 30 for buyers — I have the knowledge and contacts necessary to find you the property of your dreams!

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“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

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- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

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- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

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