Cristal's Blog


February 24, 2023

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As the late comedian Robin Williams said, "Spring is nature's way of saying, Let's party!" And there will be a lot of parties going on in Santa Barbara in March, especially when spring officially begins on March 20, 2023. Between exciting outdoor adventures, flavorful culinary escapades, and inspiring cultural attractions, all the ingredients for springtime fun can be found here along the American Rivera.

Things to do in Santa Barbara this March

Hands of a massage therapist rubbing a woman's back
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara 805 Promotion
From now until March 31, residents of the 805-area code receive rare discounts on experiences at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara. The resort’s spa is offering an exclusive midweek 805 offer designed to leave locals feeling fully relaxed and refreshed following their custom 50-minute facial or Bacara signature massage for only $161 per person. The resort’s Angel Oak restaurant, with its impeccable views and exceptional ambiance, offers an exclusive 805 prix fixe menu for two at $80.50. The 805 prix-fixe San Setto menu features fresh sushi sourced from local fish at $80.50 for two. The Bacara Tasting Room's 805 deal includes two Santa Barbara County Premium flights and one Five Cheese Charcuterie arrangement, all for $80.50 for two people. Thanks, Bacara!

Close up of the hands of six people toasting with wine glasses filled with Pinot Noir
Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

World of Pinot Noir
Also, at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara, the much-anticipated annual World of Pinot Noir event. The planet’s foremost Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers, and leading wine scholars will gather March 2-4 for a weekend-long seaside celebration of this delicious and storied wine. Attendees are in for a savory celebration highlighting this stellar varietal through seminars, lunches, dinners, and the grand finale tasting event. Cheers!

A beautiful red, pink and yellow orchid bloom against a black backdrop
Photo by John Wiesenfeld on Unsplash

Santa Barbara International Orchid Show
The Earl Warren Showgrounds will be blooming with orchids March 10-12 during one of the country’s largest and oldest celebrations of the most highly coveted ornamental plants. This three-day event brings together more than 50 orchid exhibitors and vendors from around the world. Marvel at the Showgrounds Exhibition Pavilion displays, browse the Art Show, delight in the orchid variety and floral arrangements, learn from the potting demonstrations, and, before you leave, head to the Vendor Hall to buy a delicate, exotic, and graceful orchid to take home.

A group of people outside among stately trees as a Santa Barbara artist and architect shares her sketching secrets
SVlock sketch workshop @ El Encanto

El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel Experiences
You still have two opportunities to join with local artist and architect Sandra Vlock as she leads an inspiring sketching workshop experience. The last two dates to learn about the magic of capturing a moment and translating it to the page are March 17th and April 21st. This El Encanto experience includes a Moleskine sketchbook and 5-piece graphite pencil set, a glass of wine (non-alcoholic beverages available, too) with light canapés, and complimentary valet parking.

A whale' tail coming out of the water as the massive creature dives
Photo by Richard Sagredo on Unsplash

Whale Watching
From spring to early fall, you can count on regular sightings of the largest mammals on earth -- the humpback whale, along with the colossal blue whale -- in the Santa Barbara channel. Here are some of the best ways to get out on the water for a memorable whale-watching adventure in Santa Barbara:

The Condor Express
Let the Condor Express take you to a prime whale feeding location in a relatively shallow channel encompassed by the Channel Islands National Park. Santa Barbara’s original whale-watching company, The Condo Express, features one of California's largest and fastest whaleboats. You can also book a dinner cruise, a party cruise, or charter your own private whale-watching tour.

The Sunset Kidd
Enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the water aboard this 41-foot yacht as it sails alongside whales and other marine mammals such as dolphins, sea lions, and seals this spring. The quiet sailing vessel allows passengers to witness these gentle giants in their natural habitat without an engine that could scare the whales away.

Captain Jack’s
All aboard a 50’ sailing catamaran for an unforgettable whale-watching trip off the Santa Barbara coast. Enjoy beer, wine, and snacks on this tour while catching a glimpse of the Pacific's most imposing creatures. In the spring, while humpback and grey whales are migrating, the catamaran sails three times a day, spending two-and-a-half hours on the water on each trip. Captain Jack’s also offers a Sunset Cruise, a Coastal Cruise, a Waterfront Cruise, and many other tours.

Celebration Cruises
Head to Stearns Wharf to board the 70′ multi-level yacht, the Azure Seas, and enjoy 360-degree breathtaking views of Santa Barbara’s Mediterranean-like coastline framed by the Santa Ynez mountains as you head out to commune with whales. There’s nothing like catching these incredible creatures as they breach, fluke, spy hop, flipper wave, and tail wave on these memorable excursions.

March is also the beginning of the most popular season to sell your home. If you're planning to move to or within any of the Santa Barbara area communities this spring, I would be honored to add your home to the outstanding property listings on my comprehensive website. All you have to do is call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation regarding both selling and buying. Meantime, enjoy the spring, Santa Barbara style!

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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