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The Whale House

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The Whale House - Unique Architectural Masterpiece in Mission Canyon

Built in 1978, this artful expression of one man's vision blends design, nature's beauty, and a clever sense of humor!  Inspired by the fanciful creations of renowned Architect Antonio Gaudi, Michael Carmichael (Architect and original owner/builder) let his imagination run wild.  The result, one of the most awe-inspiring, mind-boggling homes in America!  The story begins, "...and then, the whale swallowed the entire ship!" The rest is pure hand-made artisan and architectural genius! 

The layered shingled exterior of the home indeed resembles a whale. Four stories high, each varying level reveals amazing craftsmanship, coupled with luxury appointments the discriminating traveler expects. Undulating walls of Venetian plaster, river rock, massive wood columns and beams, and a whopping 270 Belgian leaded and stained glass windows, are the structural art by which the home is defined. 

The inner courtyard is the heartbeat of this majestic creature, where a 75-foot glistening lap pool magically flows into the tail of the whale - the detached Guest House.  Around this inner sanctuary are lush plantings, luminescent lighting, shady oaks, and an enclosed outdoor shower. 

On the 2nd Floor, and overlooking the pool below, the well-equipped Kitchen, Living Room and Dining Room, all connect in a 360-degree circle. Access all four floors from the winding entry courtyard stairwell that is open to the sky above. 

On the 3rd Floor, the Master Suite with king-size bed features a jetted spa tub in the room, a sitting area, and balcony that overlooks the pool. From here, a door leads right into the red tile shower in the Master Bathroom, crazy cool! For a working professional, perch at the high-top table, and bring a laptop to create a tree house working environment high above seasonal Mission Creek below.

On the 4th Floor, a light-filled Suite offers a queen-size bed, and a twin day bed. Another lovely Bathroom, with tall windows and a claw foot tub, feels like bathing while cradled in the branches of the surrounding oaks and sycamores.  

When it comes to spending time outdoors, the choices - like the number of shingles on The Whale House - are endless. Without a doubt the interior courtyard is the heart of the home, but also the well lit front patio is a tranquil spot to enjoy the natural surroundings and peaceful setting. Prepare a barbecue feast and dine al fresco or simply relax and unwind under a large market umbrella offering shaded seating. 

Mission Canyon is a magical wooded neighborhood, yet only minutes from beloved attractions like the Santa Barbara Mission and Rose Garden, with the energy of downtown nearby. It is an easy 5-minute walk to the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens just up the street, or join locals on nearby trails that wind into the foothills, ending in spectacular coastal views that are not to be missed. 

Be a part of a historical voyage that many artists, celebrities, writers, and musicians have all enjoyed over the years, in a beloved home that few can resist. As one can imagine, a stay at The Whale House will be a once in a lifetime experience!  Climb aboard!


  • No smoking
  • Not suitable for pets
  • No parties or events
  • Check-in time is 3:00pm or later
  • Check-out time is 10:00am or earlier
  • Quiet Hours are 9:00pm - 9:00am. Please be respectful of our neighbors.
  • Guest agrees to electronically sign a Reservation Agreement (emailed to Guest within 24 hours of booking).
  • Manager/Homeowner reserves the right to deny reservation.
  • Minimum Age of Person Making Reservation: 40 years or older

*Until confirmed, rates are subject to change.