Montecito is home to the rich and famous, but not flashy. It's exclusive, but not haughty. And it's far enough from the sprawl of Los Angeles for comfort, while still close enough for convenience.
People who live in this coastal enclave tucked between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains call it a paradise, one that has long drawn old money and, in recent years, flush celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Rob Lowe.
Residents extolled Montecito's charms Friday, even as the Santa Barbara community surrendered a swath of its multimillion-dollar homes to a brutal wildfire. Lowe and his family fled the approaching flames Thursday night, although their home had escaped damage as of midday Friday.