Samarkand comes from the ancient Persian term meaning “the land of heart’s desire”. This name was originally applied in 1920 to a luxurious Persian-style hotel that was formerly an all boys’ school, which now remains as a prestigious, modern retirement community. This neighborhood is a small-sized area resting entirely on mild, rolling hills. The elevated location provides for gorgeous views of the Santa Ynez mountains and the Riviera. This neighborhood is identified as the homes between Las Positas, State Street, De La Vina, Oak Park and the 101 Freeway.
Within the neighborhood lies Cottage Hospital and Oak Park. Cottage Hospital provides healthcare for the Santa Barbara community and is the largest care teaching hospital and trauma center between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Oak Park offers numerous weekend events such as Ethnic festivals and dancing, as well as picnic facilities, a playground and BBQ area. Notable areas across the way include The Earl Warren Showgrounds and the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Course.
The first official US Postal Service airmail pilot, Earle Ovington made his home at 3030 Samarkand Drive in 1920 and opened Santa Barbara’s first airfield, Casa Loma Air Field with a runway used by two of America’s most famous pilots, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.
Samarkand maintains a blend of architectural styles including Spanish Colonial, French Normandy, California craftsman, Italian and American Colonial. Lots here tend to be larger than lots in San Roque and occupants can enjoy strolls on the sidewalks that line every street. If you’re looking for an afternoon lunch spot that offers authentic Mexican food head over to Los Agaves on De La Vina Street or if you’re a vegetarian, The Natural Café on Hitchcock Way offers excellent fresh food and dining on the patio.