Cristal's Blog


July 1, 2024

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Nestled alongside the breathtaking foothills of the "American Riviera," Eucalyptus Hill is a true gem within Santa Barbara and Montecito. This picturesque neighborhood boasts an exceptional geographic position as one of the rare locations in the world where coastal mountains face southward. This unique orientation contributes significantly to the area's charm and reputation as a "heaven on earth."

Homes along Eucalyptus Hill in Montecito, with lush vegetation, a turquoise swimming pool, and mountains in the background.

Local Historical Significance

Eucalyptus Hill is rich in history and offers a profound connection to the past. This storied neighborhood is closely tied to Frederick Forest Peabody, a notable Santa Barbara philanthropist and the original owner of Solana, one of the major estates on the hill.

Peabody was a prominent figure in the early 20th century, known for his significant contributions to the Santa Barbara community. As a successful businessman, he was a partner at Cluett, Peabody & Co., famous for its Arrow shirts. His wealth and influence extended beyond business into philanthropy, where he made lasting impacts on education, culture, and the natural landscape of Santa Barbara.

Vintage colorized photo showing part of the facade of a early 1900s mansion with a verdant lawn, lush landscaping, and mountains in the background.
Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons

Peabody's estate on Eucalyptus Hill, "Solana," was not just a residence but a landmark of architectural and horticultural significance. Designed with a vision for beauty and sustainability, the estate featured extensive gardens and thoughtfully planted landscapes, including the eucalyptus trees that would give the hill its name. His passion for the environment and community led to the creation of these green spaces, which remain a hallmark of the area.

Other notable residents included George Owen Knapp, who in 1911 acquired a seventy-acre property called Arcady; Cornelius Billings, a man of such immense wealth that he was dubbed a "millionaire's millionaire"; and William Hutchinson Cowles, who in 1913 bought forty-four acres on the west side of Eucalyptus Hill from James Barker. Billings, Barker and Cowles have roads named in their honor.

Superb Sun Exposure

One of the standout features of the neighborhood is the superb sun exposure of its face. Thanks to its southern orientation, the neighborhood enjoys abundant sunshine throughout the year, even during winter. This consistent sunlight enhances the area's beauty and creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for those who call the exclusive enclave home.

A view of the ocean, sky, and coastline looking over a verdant hillside.

Great Mountain and Ocean Views

Eucalyptus Hill offers some of the most spectacular views in Santa Barbara. With the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, residents are treated to breathtaking vistas that change with the seasons. Whether it's a sunrise over the mountains or a sunset over the Pacific Ocean, the views from Eucalyptus Hill are truly unsurpassed.


The sense of community here is solid and welcoming. Neighbors here look out for each other and participate in community projects and events. This close-knit atmosphere makes it ideal for families and individuals seeking a supportive and friendly environment.

Beautiful and Peaceful

Eucalyptus Hill is renowned for its natural beauty and peaceful ambiance. The area is adorned with lush greenery, well-maintained gardens, and scenic walking trails. If you'relooking for a home wher eyou and your family can retreat from the city's hustle and bustle and savor the peace of nature, this place is for you.

People & Lifestyle

This is a laid-back, family-friendly area. Residents enjoy many outdoor activities and are involved in meaningful community projects. The neighborhood is known for its proximity to diverse restaurants, stores, and attractions. Locals appreciate the variety of dining options, from cozy cafes to fine dining establishments, unique shops, and entertainment venues.

The community is also dog-friendly and welcoming to everyone on four legs and two. Whether you prefer a relaxing hike with your furry friend or a fun night out with family and friends, Eucalyptus Hill has you covered. Plus, the residents are both friendly and hospitable, making it easy for newcomers to feel at home.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Proximity to both Santa Barbara and Montecito means residents can access a wealth of dining, entertainment, and shopping options. In Santa Barbara, you can explore the historic downtown area with its vibrant arts scene, eclectic boutiques, and gourmet restaurants, whereas Montecito offers a more upscale experience with luxury shops, world-class dining as well as charming casual eateries and neighborhood wine bars.

Things to Do in Eucalyptus Hill

Peabody's widow remarried a gentleman named Hale, and they later gave the thirteen-acre property now known as Hale Park to the City of Santa Barbara. This beautiful park, located in the northern part of the neighborhood, offers numerous hiking trails, walking paths, and natural beauty for all ages and mobility levels. Hale Park is also an off-leash dog park, making it a favorite spot for dog owners. The park's history as a former archery range adds to its unique charm, providing a sense of continuity between the past and present.

But it’s not just the park. In fact, the whole community embraces the great outdoors. Residents enjoy a variety of activities, from hiking and biking to birdwatching and picnicking. The nearby beaches provide swimming, surfing, and sunbathing opportunities, while the surrounding hills are ideal for more adventurous pursuits like rock climbing and even paragliding.

Santa Barbara High School with its red tile roof
Photo: Fettlemap. CC BY-SA 3.0,

Schools in Eucalyptus Hill

The district is served by some of the best schools in Santa Barbara, making it an ideal place for families with children. The local schools are known for their high academic standards and supportive learning environments. Among the top schools in the area are:

  • Cleveland Elementary School: A highly-rated elementary school known for its dedicated staff with special emphasis on community involvement.
  • Peabody Charter School: Built in 1927 as Peabody Elementary, this K-6 school is situated on Santa Barbara's north side on a large piece of land donated by Frederick Forest Peabody.
  • The Cold Spring School District: Located in Montecito, this transitional Kindergarten through 6th-grade school traces its origins back to 1889. It was established on a small plot of land, part of Lot 162 of the Old Pueblo Land of Santa Barbara, set aside specifically for educational purposes on the south side of Sycamore Canyon Road.
  • Santa Barbara Junior High School: Offers a comprehensive curriculum with a special focus on academic excellence and personal development.
  • Santa Barbara Senior High School: A well-regarded high school that prepares students for college and future careers through rigorous academics and a wide range of extracurricular activities. It's the oldest high school in Santa Barbara County, and the main building showcased above is a designated landmark.

With its rich history, stunning views, and community engagement, it's no wonder this neighborhood is considered one of the most desirable places to live. Whether you're looking for a peaceful retreat, a family-friendly environment, or a place to enjoy an active lifestyle, Eucalyptus Hill has something to offer everyone.

I am dedicated to assisting you in finding your dream home in the beautiful Eucalyptus Hill area. Or, if you are considering listing your current property in this prestigious hamlet, I am here to provide expert guidance every step of the way. Either way, begin by exploring my comprehensive website, then call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a complimentary consultation.

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“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.”

- M.F.

“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!”

- P.B.

“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.”

- T.C.

“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!”

- D.R.

“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. ”

- M.A.

“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.”

- D.K.

“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