CRISTAL’S PICKS: SANTA BARBARA EVENTS IN OCTOBER, 2023
The Spooky Season is Here!!!
ARCHITECTOURS 2023: PRESENTED BY THE AMERICAN INSITUTE OF ARCHITECTS SANTA BARBARA
Explore Some of the Architectural Treasures That Define Santa Barbara
THE LAND TRUST FOR SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
THE OUTSTANDING SANTA BARBARA CULINARY SCENE
A Gastronomic Journey Exploring Some of the City's Best-loved Restaurants
A TRIBUTE TO SBMA DIRECTOR AND CEO LARRY J. FEINBERG
Celebrating a Santa Barbara Cultural Leader
THE 2023 SANTA BARBARA HALF MARATHON, 5K RUN, AND KIDS FUN RUN
Run, Explore, and Celebrate on the Iconic Streets of Santa Barbara This November
CELEBRATING THE LEGACY OF DAVID CROSBY IN SANTA BARBARA
A Tribute Concert at the Lobero Theater
THOMAS KELLER: FROM MICHELIN STARS TO MONTECITO
The Renowned Chef Brings His Star-making Culinary Magic to the Coral Casino
THINGS TO DO IN SANTA BARBARA: CRISTAL’S PICKS FOR AUGUST 2023
Celebrate the Not-So Lazy Days of Summer
EXPLORING THE ENCHANTING SANTA BARBARA ARTS DISTRICT
There is something for every taste along this delightful section of State Street
CRISTAL’S PICKS FOR THE BEST BREAKFAST IN SANTA BARBARA
Because Breakfast is the Foundation of a Successful Day
THE PROJECT FOR RESILIENT COMMUNITIES
Preparing Santa Barbara County For The Next Debris Flow
UNVEILING THE BARBAKOW FAMILY CENTER FOR FILM STUDIES
Empowering Creativity and Learning in Santa Barbara
SPOTLIGHT ON SANTA BARBARA CHANNELKEEPER
Protecting the Ecological Integrity of the Santa Barbara Channel and Its Surrounding Watersheds
UNITED WAY OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF SERVICE
Honoring a Century of Local Empowerment
4 STUNNING WATERFALLS IN SANTA BARBARA
Where to Find These Unexpected Hidden Treasures
SBFSC: FREE FIRE PREPAREDNESS WORKSHOPS AND HOME ASSESSMENTS
The Fire Safe Council of Santa Barbara County is Offering Homeowners Vital No-cost Information
THE WONDERS OF SELF CARE, SANTA BARBARA STYLE
The Best Ways to Indulge in Wellness
LOOK! IT’S SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE
Antelope, Birds, Seals, and More
SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK: CREATING A PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE
Plus, 12 Ways Santa Barbara Homeowners Can Help
WINE TASTING ROOMS IN BUELLTON?
The Santa Ynez Valley Hamlet Transitions From Pea Soup to a Posh Pastime
SANTA BARBARA MUSEUM OF ART’S RIDLEY-TREE EDUCATION CENTER
Integrating Art into People’s Lives Thanks to Two Visionary Women
SPOTLIGHT ON THE MONTECITO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Fostering the Spirit of Montecito for More Than 50 Years
GIVING TUESDAY: NOT JUST A ONE DAY EVENT
Support Local and Give Back to Our Community
HOLIDAY GIVING: GIFT-WORTHY NON-PROFITS IN SANTA BARBARA
These Non-profits, and Many More Deserve Your Support
SANTA BARBARA HAUNTINGS
Local Spooky Attractions and Ghost Tours
SANTA BARBARA’S ARLINGTON THEATER
The Tragic History of the Architectural Wonder
THINGS TO DO IN MONTECITO: A STYLISH SUMMER PRIMER
Summer takes on a sophisticated vibe when considering things to do in Montecito, where stunning natural beauty is complemented by spectacular residential architecture, chic shops and distinctive dining. It's no wonder well-known celebrities and major powerbrokers who could live anywhere in the world call this tucked-away seaside haven home.
WHALE WATCHING IN SANTA BARBARA
Hop aboard a whale-watching vessel and experience an up-close and personal connection with the largest mammals on earth. The Santa Barbara Channel is one of the best places in the world for spotting whales due to our nutrient-rich water. And we’re not only talking about whales here. Spotting dolphins is a daily occurrence, along with porpoises and other amazing creatures.
A GUIDE TO SANTA BARBARA SUMMER CAMPS
Attending one of the Santa Barbara summer camps can be life-changing for children, especially when it comes to making new friends, learning new things, and exploring the great outdoors. Here in our communities, there are more than 150 summer camps to choose from where kids can unplug while learning about teamwork and independence.
THINGS TO DO IN SANTA BARBARA THIS SUMMER
Ahhh, summer fun in Santa Barbara. Summer means kayaking along our beautiful coast, taking an early morning hike in the Santa Ynez Mountains or an afternoon bike ride along the beach
SANTA BARBARA ARCHITECTURE WALKING TOURS
Without a doubt, Santa Barbara’s architecture is one of the city’s most defining features. There’s a deliberate consistency to the aesthetic here that’s been cultivated by city leaders since the early 1920’s. The commitment to upholding these standards over the generations has resulted in a signature style; one that reflects the Santa Barbara lifestyle
SPOTLIGHT ON: CALIFORNIA POPPY MEADOWS IN AND NEAR SANTA BARBARA
California’s nickname, the Golden State, is due in part to our state flower, the California poppy. Every spring, fields of golden poppies bloom all over the state, including right here in Santa Barbara County.
SPOTLIGHT ON: SANTA BARBARA MUSEUMS
Santa Barbara is home to a distinctive collection of museums and cultural attractions that have become an essential facet of the jewel that is the American Rivera.
Ojai and Santa Barbara Events: Celebrate Love Locally During February
Love is in the air all month long when it comes to Ojai and Santa Barbara events this February. The month that includes a day dedicated to the celebration of love also ushers in brighter days and gorgeous sunsets, setting the stage for romance.
Local Spotlight: Historic Ocean View Ranch
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.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Reinvents Itself
The 36th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is doing things much differently this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
How to Create a Virtual Learning Space in Your Santa Barbara Home
The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has created a roller coaster ride for school-age children living in Santa Barbara. So rocky that the Santa Barbara Unified School District has published a plan for the return of in-person instruction.
California Volunteers: A Vital New Program for Our Time
In a previous blog post, I shared important information regarding Santa Barbara and Montecito's non-profit organizations in need of financial help to continue their life-saving work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke in the News
In a recent blog, I shared Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke’s expert opinion in my post Santa Barbara Housing Market in the Shadow of COVID-19 and the media is responding.
Shop and Dine Along the NEW Santa Barbara State Street Promenade
Santa Barbara’s State Street has been transformed into a welcoming Pedestrian Promenade in the wake of COVID-19. For now, the famous street is closed to vehicles from Haley to Sola streets and local businesses and restaurants are spilling out onto the sidewalks, welcoming shoppers, diners, and those who just want to walk the renowned street.
5 Iconic Santa Barbara Estates
Santa Barbara has long been synonymous with gracious living: its hillsides and beaches home to some of the grandest estates in the country.
Santa Barbara Day Trips: Convenient, Safe and Sanity Savers
The summer of 2020 might not be the best time to live out your Jack Kerouac road trip fantasy, but locals suffering from cabin fever due to COVID-19 can take a day trip to get away from it all right in their own backyard.
Harry and Meghan: Montecito’s Newest High-profile Residents
Journalists from all over the world are reaching out to me about Montecito’s newest celebrity family, popularly known as Harry and Meghan: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
The Art of Backyard Stargazing in Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara and Montecito are renowned for having perfect Mediterranean weather and miles of pristine beaches. But what many don’t realize, or at least notice, is that at night the sky is filled with stars and planets; perfect for backyard stargazing.
20 Things to Love About Santa Barbara
It seems like a bit of a disservice to list only 20 things to love about Santa Barbara. Enumerating all the great things residents enjoy here, however, would take up a great deal more space than this blog post allows.
The State Street Promenade: Santa Barbara Al Fresco
For the first time in more than two months, thanks to the reopening of the State Street Promenade, cooped-up Santa Barbarians can now grab a bite to eat at one of the area's celebrated restaurants — and stay awhile to savor it.
Local Spotlight: The Santa Barbara Airport
As the 13th largest airport in California, Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) typically serves more than a million passengers every year. Known as the gateway to the American Rivera, SBA currently offers nonstop flights to Dallas-Ft.
Local Spotlight: Montecito’s Lotusland: One of the World’s 10 Best Gardens
Everyone knows about Santa Barbara’s beautiful beaches, impressive architecture, and perfect Mediterranean weather, but do you know about Montecito’s Lotusland?
The Santa Barbara Bowl: A Shrine to the Performing Arts
The Santa Barbara Bowl, a 4,562-seat amphitheater, is historic in setting and at the forefront of the music industry. The beautiful outdoor concert venue with views of the Channel Islands and Downtown Santa Barbara hosts some of the biggest names in concert touring.
A Star is Born Among Montecito Restaurants
Attention Montecito foodies: the flourishing culinary scene here just got better with the first Michelin Star Montecito restaurant. In fact, Sushi | Bar Montecito is one of three eateries on the Central Coast to make the list this year: another first.
Holiday Shopping in Santa Barbara and Surrounding Communities
‘Tis the season to be shopping. And those of us fortunate to be doing our holiday shopping in Santa Barbara always enjoy a plethora of local entrepreneurs ready to sell their homegrown and handmade, one-of-a kind gift items.
Giving Back: Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke in the News
Montecito Realtor Cristal Clarke has made the news again. It’s not surprising that over the years Cristal has been featured in many articles on the topic of real estate -- locally, regionally, and nationally.
It’s a Baby Boom at the Santa Barbara Zoo
It's been a busy couple of years for births at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Earlier this year, an Amur leopard was born, and last year the zoo welcomed an African lion cub and a Masai giraffe.
The Santa Barbara School District
Many of my customers ask me about the Santa Barbara School District, the main public school district that serves Santa Barbara and Goleta. I am happy to answer that the Santa Barbara’s public school district is highly rated; with 15,453 students in grades K-12 and a student-teacher ratio of 24 to 1.
Santa Barbara Farmers’ Markets Farm Stands And Gourmet Shops
The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market offers some of the freshest produce on the West Coast. You can also find an incredible selection of local goods at these markets.
No Kid Hungry: The Manifest Altruism of Actor Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges brings more to the Santa Barbara community than his superstar status. A longtime resident of Montecito, the Academy Award winner is also the national spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry program and an advocate for the free lunch program in Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara: Oasis of Arts and Culture
You may not consider the arts and culture when you think about Santa Barbara, but the area's location, climate, and topography are definitely good for the creative soul.
Running Trails in Santa Barbara: 8 of the Most Popular
Why not make 2020 your year to explore the wonderful running trails in Santa Barbara? After all, this vibrant community is home to a large and active endurance community.
Montecito Community Leadership Forms The Partnership for Resilient Communities
As our neighbors in Ventura and Los Angeles begin to recover from the Woolsey Fire, Montecito co
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- Practical Advice (39)
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- Selling (69)
“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”
“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.”
“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!”
“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”
“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.”
“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
“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”
- 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.”
- Rob & Judi Kelch