Cristal's Blog


June 20, 2024

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As the summer sun graces the golden coast of Santa Barbara, anticipation builds for one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States: Independence Day. In 2024, celebrate the 4th of July Santa Barbara style through exceptional events designed to fill you with patriotism and community spirit. Here's my curated list of the best ways to make your 4th of July one for the memory book.

Colorful fireworks over the beach with the water reflecting the colors

Embrace the Coastal Beauty, Immerse Yourself in the 4th of July Festivities

1) The Santa Barbara Waterfront

When it comes to the 4th of July in Santa Barbara, there’s no better place than the waterfront to celebrate. The quintessential Santa Barbara Fourth of July Celebration, proudly brought to you by the Waterfront and Parks and Recreation Departments, includes a diverse array of activities and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Relish a day of free live music at the West Beach Bandstand, accompanied by dance performances on the beach, hosted by the PARC Foundation. While there, stroll along the Cabrillo Boulevard Sidewalk from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., where you’ll find festive food and vendor booths. This year's food lineup is sure to tantalize your taste buds, featuring beloved favorites such as Timbers Roadhouse, Tinkers Hot Dogs, Lidos Philly Cheese Steaks, G Brothers Kettle Corn, Elubia's Kitchen, and Chiltepin Mexican Grill.

As the sun begins to set, prepare for the main event—the spectacular fireworks display that lights up the night sky over the ocean. Find a cozy spot along the waterfront and marvel at the colorful explosions cascading overhead, accompanied by patriotic music filling the air, capturing the essence of American pride and unity. If you can’t make it in person, the fireworks show will be simulcast on local radio station KjEE (92.9 FM) and live-streamed on

A 4th of July street parade led by young girls on bikes, with parents and more children in the background.

2) Old Fashioned 4th of July in Montecito

Let freedom ring as the community comes together to honor our nation's independence in true Montecito style. Come join the excitement of the "Biggest Little Parade," followed by a grand picnic in the park, both hosted by the Montecito Association. The parade begins at 11:30 AM at Upper Manning Park, where a procession of walkers, riders, animals, and vehicles, all bedecked in vibrant red, white, and blue, will proudly display their festive Independence Day decorations.

The fun continues at Lower Manning Park for an afternoon filled with camaraderie and patriotic delight. Spread out your picnic blankets and enjoy an afternoon of good food and fun. Highlights include friendly competitions including pie-eating contests and other classic games. And let's not forget the delectable spread that awaits! From traditional favorites to gourmet delights, there's something to satisfy every palate.

The Montecito Association is dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enhancing the semi-rural, residential character of the upscale neighborhood in alignment with the Community Plan. The organization strives to foster a sense of unity and community spirit through events like the Old-Fashioned 4th of July celebration, which brings neighbors together in a shared celebration of our nation's independence.

Massive fireworks over a Santa Barbara's Stearns Wharf.

3) 4th of July Ocean Adventure Extravaganza at Santa Barbara Landing!

Looking for the ultimate Independence Day experience? Look no further than Santa Barbara Landing, your one-stop destination for an action-packed day of oceanic excitement! From the crack of dawn until the last burst of fireworks, there's something special waiting to make your 4th of July memorable.

    If the call of the sea beckons, hop aboard The Stardust or Coral Sea sportfishing boats for a full day of angling from 7 am to 5 pm. For adrenaline junkies, unleash your inner adventurer with heart-pounding jet boat rides and exhilarating wave runner adventures, guaranteed to get your pulse racing. And for those eager to explore beneath the surface, SCUBA rentals are available for an immersive underwater experience like no other. For a closer encounter with nature, join the Condor Express on a thrilling 4.5-hour whale-watching excursion from 10 am to 2:30 pm. Then, return for a magical firework cruise departing at 7 pm, where you can witness the dazzling display from the comfort of the open water.

    Would you prefer to stay near the shore? Rent kayaks, jet boats, and wave runners by the hour and explore the sparkling coastline at your own pace. For those who prefer to keep their toes in the sand, The Landing has you covered with a selection of shoreside fishing tackle, sunscreen, beach toys, drinks, snacks, and more.

    Less Crowds, More Nature . . . and Shopping!

    • Start your day by leisurely hiking in the nearby hills and soaking in the stunning coastal views.
    • Check out the community’s popular running trails or scenic bike paths catering to all levels of cyclists. The Cabrillo Bike Path, running along the waterfront, offers stunning ocean views and easy access to beaches, parks, and Stearns Wharf. For those seeking a more challenging ride, the Obern Trail connects Goleta and Santa Barbara, winding through picturesque neighborhoods and lush landscapes.
    • Since shopping is one of America’s most popular pastimes, explore the charming Santa Barbara downtown area, where you can visit local boutiques and art galleries and enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafés.

    Whatever you decide, as you make plans to celebrate Independence Day in Santa Barbara, remember to stay safe, respect local regulations, and embrace the spirit of unity and freedom that defines this special holiday. Also, consider giving back to our beautiful Santa Barbara beaches with the July 5th Beach Cleanup Volunteer Opportunity.

    No matter how you choose to celebrate the 4th of July 2024, officials ask that all Santa Barbarians be considerate of their neighbors, veterans who have PTSD, children who may be sleeping, and pets who may be frightened by loud noises. Meanwhile, if you're moving to or within Santa Barbara, call me at (805) 886-9378 or at Happy July 4th in Santa Barbara, everyone!

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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