The Duchess of Sussex is known to be very health conscious, enjoying more plant-based meals ‒ although she is not entirely vegan ‒ as well as working out, yoga and meditation. She has also managed to get Harry on board with her lifestyle, who even cut out alcohol and caffeine during her pregnancy. Santa Barbara is apparently a very “health conscious” city with bike paths, as well as mountains and hiking.
There are also ranches and a polo club, where Harry could play one of his favourite sports.
What’s more, it is in the wine country and features countless wineries ‒ and Meghan is known to love wine.
Her now-defunct blog The Tig is even named after the Tignanello wine, the drinking of which she described as her “aha moment”, when she started to understand wine.
Near Santa Barbara is the Santa Ynez Valley, home to over 120 wineries and several small towns including Buellton, Solvang and Los Olivos.
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Meghan may have been drawn in by the health conscious nature of Santa Barbara
Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres are now neighbours of Harry and Meghan
What’s more, numerous rich and famous people live in Santa Barbara including Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, but apparently the locals respect their privacy and tend to rebuff the press.
Given how Harry and Meghan seem to value their privacy, this may have been a key factor for them.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
After the news of the royal couple’s new Santa Barbara home came out, Ms Gripper asked listeners who live in the city to write in and let them know what it is like.
Spring vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley
One person sent in a very detailed description of the Sussexes’ California base, including numerous details that likely endeared the couple to the place.
They said: “As far as Montecito goes, that city borders Santa Barbara and it’s very wealthy.
“Everyone knows that but respects the privacy of the locals.
“My experience is people in Santa Barbara are generally good-natured and well-off.
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Meghan and Harry on a video call from their Santa Barbara home
“It’s very expensive to live there, but it’s a fun town and very health conscious ‒ bike paths and gorgeous beaches, mountains and hiking.
“Santa Barbara Film Festival is very big and new. Santa Barbara has a zoo, a museum, countless wineries, a great science centre and of course there’s the Santa Barbara Mission.”
They added that the neighbourhoods, depending on where you live, are generally “very nice” and everyone knows one another, with many families having lived there for generations.
Big events like the Fiesta every August and the Summer Solstice parades, which are in the same spirit as Mardi Gras, mean that there is a lot going on.
They continued: “I’m not surprised Harry and Meghan moved to Montecito. It’s gorgeous and as close as you’ll get away from the crazy of the cement Los Angeles area.
“People will be very closed off with speaking to anyone with the press.
“The locals do not like the press bothering the residents and will let them know they’re not wanted in order to protect their privacy. It’s just the way it works there.”
There are seemingly many reasons why Harry and Meghan would want to live in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara has beautiful beaches
Their house, which they bought from a Russian tycoon, boasts nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, a library, cinema, spa, tennis court, swimming pool, games room, gym, tea house and a two-bed guesthouse.
Their mortgage payments on the house are expected to be aout £35,000 ($46,000) per month.
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