Cristal's Blog


April 27, 2022

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April Showers Bring May Flowers Edition

Named after the Greek goddess Maia, the month of May brings warmer temps and the fresh beginnings of summer. The saying,” April showers bring May flowers,” is especially true here, where wildflowers and lush greenery delicately drape themselves across this expansive mountain enclave. The summer crowds haven't arrived yet, so the area isn’t filled with tourists enjoying our little slice of heaven. All month long, locals have a myriad of events to enjoy and the whole area just to themselves. Here are my top picks for Santa Barbara events in May 2022:

Polo player in Santa Barbara hitting the ball with the crowd behind him

Image courtesy of the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club

May Day, May 1, 2022
The May Day celebration of Spring is usually associated with flowers, dancing, and Maypoles. But here in Santa Barbara, the day kicks off Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club’s 2022 Sunday Polo Season. This is your chance to don your finest sun hats, dresses, and seersucker coats to watch the thrilling equestrian sport from the grandstands. May through October, the pristine grass and stunning mountain views make an unforgettable backdrop to gaze at while sipping champagne and cheering on the players. Level up your polo experience and book a private field-side cabana, where you will get a front-row seat to the action.

Corazon Cocina is a great spot in Santa Barbara for Mexican fare

Image Courtesy of Corazon Cocina

Cinco de Mayo Festival, May 5, 2022
With the solid Mexican culture found throughout our city and state, a Cinco De Mayo celebration in Santa Barbara is as authentic as any you can find anywhere. Head to De La Guerra Plaza to commemorate the Mexican defeat of the French in 1862 and celebrate the country’s heritage. Or head to any of our fantastic Mexican Restaurants to celebrate, like the award-winning Corazon Cocina located in the Santa Barbara Public Market. The community has recognized chef Ramon and his team as one of the best and by national outlets like the Cooking Channel and The Food Network.

Poster for Roar and Pour event in May at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Courtesy of the Santa Barbara Zoo

Roar & Pour, Santa Barbara Zoo, May 7, 2022

One of the Santa Barbara Zoo’s signature wine tasting events is back this year by popular demand. Taste dozens of local varietals and view the animal residents lounging in their expansive outdoor habitats. Explore the zoo after regular hours and catch the sun setting over the Pacific from the grassy-hilled venue space -- a glass of Pinot Noir in hand. 

The Ritz Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara is the perfect place oit celebrate Mother's Day

Photo Courtesy of The Ritz Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara

Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022
Mother's Day lands on the second Sunday in May every year. Recognize the mother in your life with flowers from Alpha Floral, a local florist that will hand-deliver a special flower arrangement on your behalf. Or perhaps you’d like to create something unique from Santa Barbara Gift Baskets. From snacks and gourmet treats to local libations, there’s nothing better than savoring Santa Barbara’s cuisine scene samples.

Santa Barbara events in May always include many local establishments serving up special menus for brunch and dinner on Mother’s Day, including The Ritz Carlton Bacara. Guests can surprise Mom with a decadent, oceanside brunch in the Ballroom Terrace. Mom is guaranteed to love the menu of irresistible dishes and signature sips. You will too.

Or celebrate later on Mother’s Day by taking in the breathtaking coastal bluffs with a decadent prix fixe dinner at Bacara’s Angel Oak restaurant. Curated by master chefs, this four-course menu is accompanied by live music. The evening will be topped off with a special surprise for Mom.

Red Oak Grilled Wagyu Tri-Tip as an example of what you can eat during Santa Barbara Restaurant Week

Red Oak Grilled Wagyu Tri-Tip courtesy of Paloma Cafe

Santa Barbara Restaurant Week and Taste of Santa Barbara, May 16-22, 2022
The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts presents its first annual, weeklong, county-wide celebration of all things food and drink. Featuring insightful panel discussions, creative pop-ups, film screenings, farm tours, tasting events, and more, this is your chance to celebrate the bounty of Santa Barbara’s local farms, ranches, vineyards, and fisheries.

Be sure to follow the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience on social media to avoid missing out on exciting announcements and event details: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

White fluffy dog running in the sand at Hendry's Beach

Image courtesy of BringFido/Gigi Cortez

Memorial Day Weekend, 2022
This is an excellent time of year to take full advantage of our great outdoors. How about a scenic hike among the wildflowers, a spin along our coastal bike path, or a game of beach volleyball? Perhaps you’d rather get out on the water and surf, paddleboard, kayak, whale watch, or take your dog to Hendry’s Beach to play in the waves. Your dog will thank you for it!

There are also some fun Santa Barbara May events happening in and around the American Rivera, like the 45th annual Art in the Park. taking place in Ojai’s Libbey Park. Art in the Park is an annual tradition started in 1977 by local artists to give them a place to sell their work. Presented by the Ojai Art Center, the oldest non-profit art center in California, the festival attracts artists from near and far and offers something for everyone. You’ll find 90 fine art booths, youth activities and giveaways, live music by Dive Bar Messiahs, and food trucks.

Another great way to celebrate Santa Barbara events in May is by making a move to or within any of the Santa Barbara area communities. Please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation regarding selling and buying. Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate Star Wars Day on Wednesday, May 4. May the 4th be with you! -- get it?

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Client Reviews

“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