Cristal's Blog


October 26, 2023

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Santa Barbara events in November 2023 feature a cornucopia of reasons to be grateful about living in this amazing coastal enclave. Those of us who live here are blessed with a year-round temperate climate and breathtaking natural beauty, making it possible to relish the great outdoors even as the rest of the nation bundles up for fall and winter. This November, our beloved city offers a plethora of enticing events and activities designed to cater to a wide spectrum of interests. It's a season that beckons us to stay engaged and embrace an attitude of gratitude.

Two women with their hands up at the finish line of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon

Santa Barbara Half Marathon

November 5, 2023
Presented by Hoka and the Santa Barbara Independent, and sponsored by yours truly. Prepare to embark on a memorable journey through Santa Barbara's picturesque streets, during the city's only waterfront half marathon. This year offers an expanded weekend of fun for the whole family. On race day, choose from multiple course options, including a scenic 13.1-mile route and a 5K (3.1 miles) option, all set against the stunning backdrop of Cabrillo Blvd's iconic palm tree-lined streets. Kids are invited to join the excitement with a fun run along Cabrillo Blvd and State Street.

Cristal Clarke logo next to a map of Santa Barbara

The festivities are far from over once you've crossed the finish line. Join your fellow marathon runners at the Finish Line Festival, where you can savor the moment with family and friends. Enjoy refreshing drinks and live music at the Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co beer garden in the vibrant Funk Zone, and explore offerings from local purveyors. And this year, the fun has been expanded to fill the entire weekend. Don’t miss the Palm Park Festival for a "Golden Hour" warm-up along the coast with live music on November 3. Then on November 4, join the “Family Day” festival, featuring bubbles, face painting, games, and more. And on November 5, the free children's run will take place. All in all, the Santa Barbara Half Marathon is the perfect opporrunity for the whole family to enjoy a cardio-filled fun. Watch this video for more information.

Jean Michelle Cousteau on the beach holding a seashell
Image courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

78 Years of Diving & Discovery Gala and Weekend Festivities

November 10th - November 12th, 2023
The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, is honored to host a Gala Celebrating Jean-Michel Cousteau's 78 Years of Diving and Discovery. Join in commemorating the lifetime achievements of Jean-Michel Cousteau with his exclusive premiere of a multimedia presentation, featuring historically significant and never-before-seen film footage. It's a night of celebration, where you can dance, savor culinary excellence, and immerse yourself in an extraordinary and transformative gala experience.

A cherished partner of The Ritz-Carlton brand, Cousteau is a polymath - an explorer, diplomat, environmentalist, educator, author, and film producer. For more than six decades, he has dedicated his life to inspiring people of all ages and nationalities to act as responsible stewards of the ocean and our planet's water ecosystems, which are intimately linked to the survival of all life. His illustrious journey of diving and exploration began alongside his father, Jacques Cousteau, aboard the legendary vessels Calypso and Alcyone.

In 1999, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society, a beacon of ocean advocacy known as the "Voice for the Ocean." This organization reaches millions of individuals worldwide through its inspirational films, outdoor educational programs, books, and multimedia presentations.

A proud chapter of this partnership is his Ambassadors of the Environment (AOTE), a family-oriented program that has played an integral role in The Ritz-Carlton's rich cultural history. Offered at select Ritz-Carlton and Reserve properties, including The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, AOTE is designed to engage adults, families, and children in discovering the wonders of our natural world on both land and sea. It fosters a deeper understanding of local habitats and their profound connection to the broader global ecosystem.

The benefits of this gala will support the commendable efforts of Jean-Michel’s Ocean Futures Society, a marine conservation organization headquartered in Santa Barbara. Their mission is to explore the world's oceans, inspire and educate people across the globe to act responsibly for their protection, document the critical link between humanity and nature, and celebrate the ocean's pivotal role in sustaining all life on our planet. Join in this noble cause, and be part of a night that promises to be both remarkable and meaningful.

People enjoying a High Tea Service
Image Courtesy of El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara

Botanical Afternoon Tea Experience

Recurring Weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday now through December 28, 2023
Escape to the serene El Encanto, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara for an afternoon tea experience infused with botanical enchantment, expertly curated in collaboration with the Ojai-based ceremonial tea brand, Magic Hour. Anticipate a bespoke selection of handcrafted teas, aromatic herbs, and adaptogens thoughtfully tailored to your unique sun sign. Savor the essence of the season as you indulge in a culinary journey showcasing meticulously chosen ingredients by the hotel’s chef. Your taste buds will dance with delight as you encounter delectable creations, including velvety smoked salmon mousse adorned with zesty lemon-infused crème fraîche, freshly baked rosemary scones accompanied by luscious strawberry basil jam, and the exquisite indulgence of lavender macarons.

Not that you’ve savored this curated list of Santa Barbara events in November 2023, check out the outstanding property listings I have to share with you on my comprehensive website. And if you need to help selling your existing property, I’m happy to assist there too. Please call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation regarding both selling and buying. Meantime, enjoy the many ways to celebrate the season in our beautiful community.

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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