Cristal's Blog


June 27, 2024

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July in Santa Barbara is a time of endless sunshine, lively special events, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, savoring local wines, enjoying outdoor concerts, or immersing yourself in Fiesta!, the city’s most coveted rich cultural event, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the coming month. Santa Barbara’s unique blend of natural beauty, artistic flair, and community spirit ensures that every moment in July is one to cherish.

A row of palm trees in a park in Santa Barbara, with Mediterranean-style building and its tower in the background, along with mountains in the distance.
Alex Proimos photo. Creative Commons license

Fun in the Sun Edition

4th of July

Santa Barbara events in July 2024 begin with a BOOM thanks to several Fourth of July celebrations that set the stage for an unforgettable summer. From hometown parades to beachfront barbecues and picnics, there's no shortage of ways to celebrate Independence Day in Santa Barbara. The highlight of the evening is the breathtaking fireworks display over the ocean, illuminating the night sky in a brilliant array of colors and patterns. Each year, this joyous occasion creates a sense of community and shared pride that perfectly sets the tone for a month of fun in the sun.

The Califonia Wine Festival in full swing with tented booths, people and wine next to the beach in Santa Barbara.

Celebrate Wine Culture

July 2024 is a prime month for wine aficionados in Santa Barbara, with numerous wine festivals highlighting the region’s exceptional vineyards. The California Wine Festival, July 19-20, is a standout event featuring beachfront wine tastings, gourmet food, and live entertainment. This festival is a unique opportunity to enjoy a variety of wines against the backdrop of stunning coastal views.

For a more relaxed wine-tasting experience, the Urban Wine Trail is a must-do. This self-guided tour through downtown Santa Barbara and the Funk Zone features numerous tasting rooms, each showcasing the distinctive flavors of the local wine country. Whether you’re an experienced wine lover or a curious beginner, the Urban Wine Trail offers a delightful journey through Santa Barbara’s delicious wine scene.

Enjoy Outdoor Concerts at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Santa Barbara’s summer evenings come alive with outdoor concerts, providing the perfect ambiance for an enjoyable night out. The Santa Barbara Bowl, our renowned open-air venue, hosts a diverse concert lineup in 2024 featuring local artists and internationally acclaimed musicians. Here, you can relish live performances under the sparkling night sky by some of your favorite artists like Cage the Elephant on July 3, Bert Kreischer on July 20, and Ziggy Marley on July 21. With the Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop, attending a concert here is an unforgettable experience.

Movie Nights at the Courthouse

Friday evenings in July and August mean free movie nights at the picturesque Sunken Gardens of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. This annual event is perfect for families, couples, and film enthusiasts looking to enjoy classic and contemporary films in a beautiful outdoor setting. Pack some snacks, grab a blanket, and settle in for an enchanting evening of cinema under the night sky. The movie nights feature a diverse selection of films, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The small Palmer Observatory bathed in a red glow at night lighting up the sky for star gazing.
Image courtesy of Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Stargazing at the Natural History Museum

For those who marvel at the night sky, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History hosts stargazing events that are both educational and awe-inspiring. Weather permitting, the museum's Palmer Observatory opens to the public on the second Saturday of every month, offering a chance to look through powerful telescopes and learn about the cosmos from knowledgeable astronomers. This family-friendly event is a wonderful way to connect with the universe and appreciate the beauty of the stars.

French Wave Film Festival at Riviera Theatre

Embark on a 7-day cinematic trip to France without boarding a plane. From July 12-18, enjoy 11 new French films on the big screen at the French Wave Film Festival, hosted by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and held at the Riviera Theatre. This event showcases the latest films from France’s most notable filmmakers, offering an unparalleled cinematic journey. Don’t miss the chance to catch these must-see films and celebrate the art of French filmmaking this July.

The double dolphin boat sets its red, white and blue sail in the Santa Barbara harbor.

Music on the Water with Ross Harper

On July 19, 2024, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., join the Santa Barbara Sailing Center for an enchanting evening of Music on the Water with popular local musician Ross Harper. Enjoy his captivating performance while taking in the sunset and the majestic views of the Santa Barbara coastline. This event features a variety of music that promises fun for friends and family alike. And from now until October, you can enjoy a variety of local musicians on board the 50 ft cruising catamaran that sets sail every Friday evening.

Fiesta Santa Barbara 2024 "100 Years of Fiesta" poster with a large rendering of a female Flamenco dancer, and indigenous people dancing amidst Santa Barbara buildings.

Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Any list of Santa Barbara events in July 2024 would be incomplete without highlighting Old Spanish Days Fiesta, one of our most cherished traditions. This multi-day festival, starting on July 31 and continuing to August 4, celebrates the city’s Spanish and Mexican heritage with parades, markets, and performances. Highlights include the El Desfile Histórico (Historical Parade) with beautiful costumes and historical reenactments, and the Fiesta Pequeña, a lively opening ceremony with traditional music and dance at the Santa Barbara Mission.

As you immerse yourself in the exciting events throughout Santa Barbara this July, consider that summer is also an excellent time to explore moving to or within any of the upscale Santa Barbara area communities. The pleasant weather, flexible schedules, and a surge of new properties on the market make this season perfect for finding your dream home or vacation getaway. If you're thinking about buying or selling, I'm here to help you navigate the process and achieve your real estate goals. Give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free 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