Cristal's Blog

Holiday Shopping in Santa Barbara and Surrounding Communities

November 12, 2021

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Holiday packages wrapped wiht gifts from holiday marketplaces inside

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

‘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. No matter your tastes, our talented local artists, crafters, and bakers appreciate the support. Plus, when you shop local, especially during the holidays, you do far more than come home with unique gifts. Buying local actually stimulates the economy in our community and helps benefit local schools and charities. It even helps the environment.

READ: 20 Things to Love About Santa Barbara

5 Reasons to Shop Local This Holiday Season

1. Community Vitality

The first reason to shop local is simple: doing so helps our community. How? Buying from locals obviously helps their businesses grow. In turn, a growing business improves our community. And strong businesses create strong leaders in the community who make good decisions.

2. Local is Local

Local stores as well as the local holiday marketplaces that are held this time of year in and around Santa Barbara are those in close proximity to you. And they have amazing treasures in them that you can’t get anywhere else. Handmade crafts, baked goods and other homegrown goodies are just a few options you can find at local stores in town.

3. Different Creative Gifts

I enjoy gift-giving, but I dislike giving the same gifts each year. I have to switch things up. And that’s the beauty of shopping local. There’s always something new to discover; some kind of new inspiration from the business owner. It’s all right there and ready on display for the holiday season. That means when you shop local, you find the most impressive and unique gifts to consider for everyone on your list.

READ: Tips on Buying a Home During the Holidays

4. Building Relationships

By making purchases from our friends’ or neighbors’ businesses, we strengthen the base of our whole community. When we buy from independent, locally-owned businesses, farmers markets or holiday marketplaces rather than national chains, a significantly greater portion of our money is then cycled back through our local economy. Plus, local businesses donate more per sales dollar to local nonprofits, events, and teams compared to national chains.

5. Helps the Environment

By shopping locally, you are purchasing goods produced in your local community. You are also helping to protect local lands and wildlife, supporting our local workforce, and helping the environment, simply by reducing the pollution associated with transportation.

The Return of Local Holiday Marketplaces

You can find unique gifts in local family-owned stores around Santa Barbara, plus, we also have the convenience of shopping with a number of local vendors at any of our popular holiday marketplaces. To make it easy for you to find the best ones, here’s a list of my favorites:

State Street Promenade Market, Every Thursday, 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Admission is free
Give the gift of signature Santa Barbara products and goods this year by shopping at the State Street Promenade Market. Take advantage of the promenade, located in the 1000 block of State Street between Carrillo Street and Figueroa. The area is closed to traffic and transformed into a local marketplace each Thursday for shoppers to meet and support the local makers of Downtown Santa Barbara. Enjoy the festive, temporary art, and light installations while you sample delicious food and decadent drinks from downtown purveyors. 

2021 holiday shipping at Yes Store Postcard

The Yes Store, Now to December 24, 2021
Cost: Admission is free
Holiday shopping in Santa Barbara wouldn’t be the same without the city’s original artists’ pop-up gift gallery, The Yes Store. And the good news is it returns to downtown Santa Barbara for its 54th year. Featuring the works of local artisans, from the worlds of woodworking, ceramics, and fine jewelry, to glasswork, fabric, leather, and more, this is your chance to pick up that one-of-a-kind treasure. YES! 

Picture of people shopping at annual  folk & tribal arts marketplace

36th Annual Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace, December 3-5, 2021, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free
Don't miss shopping at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. You have three days to shop in this diverse marketplace where 20 vendors will showcase goods from dozens of countries around the world. The Folk & Tribal Arts Marketplace is an annual shopping extravaganza, the perfect place to purchase special items for those hard to gift people on your list. Think beautiful jewelry, colorful textiles, intricate baskets, unique pottery, art, worldly decor, and more at the largest Folk Art show in Southern California. 

Poster of Haley Corridor Makers Market & Bar Hop

Haley Corridor Makers Market & Bar Hop, December 11, 2021, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free to attend. Drinks and goods sold separately
Celebrate the holidays at the Haley Corridor Makers Marketplace. Set in one of Santa Barbara’s most exciting emerging pocket neighborhoods, everyone's invited to enjoy an afternoon of shopping and sipping. In partnership with I Heart Indie Markets, don't miss the unique opportunity to browse 30 makers and enjoy libations from Carr Winery, Potek Winery, and Third Window Brewing. Handmade goods for sale include jewelry, knit products, home decor, art prints, soap, candles, and more. 

There’s no arguing that holiday shopping in Santa Barbara, at any of our local marketplaces listed above, will get you into the holiday spirit. If you are looking to celebrate the season next year by making a move in Santa Barbara or any if the surrounding communities, give me a call at (805) 886-9378, or email me at I will happily add your listing to my portfolio of amazing estates for sale and find you a new home at the same time. Let’s all support local this holiday season!

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Client Reviews

“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