Cristal's Blog


December 29, 2022

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Civilizations worldwide have celebrated the start of each new year for at least four millennia. So whether you like going out to ring in the new year with a memorable dining experience, an all-night dance party, an outdoor wellness activity, or at home with friends and family, Santa Barbara residents have a plethora of options for you when it comes to ushering in 2023. New Year’s Eve gives us all a clean slate—a time to start over, leaving some things in the past while embracing a new beginning. There are memorable dining experiences, events, and celebrations that take place along the American Rivera on NYE and all month long.

NYE, Santa Barbara Style

Eventbrite lists the many ways to usher in 2023 in Santa Barbara. Here are some of my favorites:

The Santa Barbara Symphony paying in front of a backdrop with
Image Courtesy of the Santa Barbara Symphony

New Year’s Eve with the Santa Barbara Symphony
One of the area’s most popular celebrations is New Year’s Eve with the Santa Barbara Symphony at the Granada Theater. “Few events evoke as many emotional, nostalgic, and visceral responses as New Year’s Eve with The Symphony. Fan favorite Bob Bernhardt returns to guest conduct a rousing program of glitz, glamor, and symphonic joy. This program sells out quickly; reserve your seats early!”

Gatsby's House NYE 2023 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Head to the Hilton Santa Barbara for the area's most upscale New Year's Eve event, Gatsby’s House 2023. At this premier countdown experience, revelers can drink champagne or sip premier drinks while dancing the night away in celebration of the coming year. Besides drinks and dancing, there will also be delicious hors d'oeuvres, D.J.s, complimentary party favors and a casino night speakeasy. Because, after all, it is the roaring 20s!

New Year’s Eve and Day Dining
Santa Barbara has a wide variety of restaurants for those seeking a quieter NYE or those looking to enjoy a meal on New Year’s Day. From incredible multi-course prix fixe dinners to simple New Year’s Eve and Day menus featuring fresh, local, and healthy ingredients, locals can start the new year off right in Santa Barbara and let someone else do the dishes!

Alternative Ways to Celebrate NYE
There are also some fun, healthy ways to celebrate. A romantic way to ring in the new year is a trip by Celebration Cruises departing from Stearn's Wharf. You may want to spend New Year’s Day kayaking with Santa Barbara Adventure Company at Channel Islands National Park, where you’ll find beauty at every turn. If you’re looking to relax and venture inland, how about a New Year’s Day wine tour with Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours? All you have to do is sit back and relax while you visit several vineyards and tasting rooms.

Celebrations Throughout January

Front of Santa Barbara's Lobero Theatre
Image Courtesy of Justin Rizzo-Weaver for Creative Commons

The Lobero Theatre
January performances at California's oldest continuously operating theatre don’t fall short in the new year either. In January, locals can take in shows like John Tesh Live in Santa Barbara, Amplified Los Lobos at Lobero Theatre, and An Evening with Los Lobos (Acoustic).

The Granada Theatre
This Santa Barbara landmark boasts a spectacular lineup of musical talent in January, from musicals to live performances. The entertainment begins with R.E.S.P.E.C.T. on January 3 and 4, 2023. First, music lovers will enjoy hearing a moving tribute band celebrating the queen of soul herself, Aretha Franklin. Then on January 17 and 18, Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5: The Musical will have audiences laughing in their seats as they watch the smash hit movie musical come to life.

More Fun Ideas
Make 2023 the year you really get to know your town. On New Year’s Day or anytime in 2023, take a stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens or Montecito’s Lotusland, "recognized as one of the most breathtaking public gardens in the world." Santa Barbara is also home to a wide array of yoga studios for those who want to get their om on in the new year. There are also hiking and biking trails and water sports galore. The sky’s the limit when you live on the American Riviera!

However you want to spend NYE 2023, Santa Barbara has you covered. And if you're planning to move to or within any of the Santa Barbara area communities in 2023, please call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation regarding selling and buying. I will happily add your home to my list of outstanding properties on my comprehensive website and help you find your new home sweet home too. Have a safe and Happy New Year!

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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