Cristal's Blog


September 28, 2023

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Trick or treat! October welcomes the season for savoring all things pumpkin spice, adorning your home with intricately carved pumpkins, embarking on delightful trick-or-treat outings with the little ones, and indulging in ghoulishly good times in Santa Barbara. During this period, the city basks in a gentle, sunlit warmth, accompanied by the subtle caress of a coastal breeze tinged with the promise of adventure. Beyond the spooky delights, Santa Barbara in October 2023 offers an enchanting fusion of natural beauty and festive merriment. Continue reading to discover some of my favorite activities for this delightful month.

A field of pumpkins in the Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch in Santa Barbara

The Best Local Pumpkin Patches

Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch
September 30th to October 31st
Lane Farms has all the essentials to usher you into the Halloween spirit, featuring hayrides, farm animals, tractors and farm equipment, educational displays, a challenging corn maze, and, of course, a wide selection of pumpkins to choose from. It's also the perfect backdrop for capturing those Instagram-worthy, festive fall photos. From September 30th to October 31st, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable afternoon of autumn activities suitable for the entire family. And the icing on the pumpkin spice cake? There's no cost for admission.

Big Wave Dave's Pumpkin Patch
September 29th to October 31st
Located at La Cumbre Plaza, this local gem is the ideal destination for selecting the perfect pumpkin or charming gourd. Beyond the bountiful pumpkin offerings, the patch offers a plethora of family-friendly activities, plus ample photo opportunities, and a wide variety of harvest-themed decorations, including squash, ornamental gourds, corn stalks, and hay bales, to bring the spirit of the season to your home. The best part? Admission is free.

The Best Local Events

A brightly and creatively painted piano on a brick sidewalk in downtown State Street

Pianos on State
October 3 – 22, 2023
Downtown Santa Barbara
Pianos on State is more than just an annual event; it's a celebration of the intersection of art and music, a testament to the power of spontaneity and the joy it brings to people's lives. This unique initiative transforms State Street into an impromptu concert hall, where anyone can become a performer or an audience member. The idea behind Pianos on State is simple yet profound: to reintroduce music and art into people's daily routines. As individuals go about their business, do their shopping, or simply stroll down the street, they encounter pianos placed in unexpected places.

The Pianos on State Gallery Show
September 28th to October 15th, 2023
Community Arts Workshop Gallery Space
In 2023, Pianos on State is taking its celebration of art to new heights. For the first time, artists who have contributed to the initiative by painting at least two pianos in the past to participate in a gallery show. The Pianos on State Gallery Show will be held at the Community Arts Workshop Gallery Space from September 28th to October 15th, 2023. This exhibition is a testament to the enduring impact of this annual event and the artistic journey it has inspired in countless individuals.

A close up hands holding a perfectly ripe avocado cut in half
Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay

Santa Barbara Avocado Festival
October 7th – 8th, 2023
Downtown Carpinteria
Prepare to embark on a three-day journey filled with Peace, Love, and Guacamole at the California Avocado Festival, a celebration like no other. Located in downtown Carpinteria, this festival is one of the largest FREE music festivals in all of California. One of the standout features is music, with over 60 bands slated to perform on three stages. Each stage offers a distinct vibe and musical experience, ensuring that there's something for everyone. But the California Avocado Festival isn't just about the music; it's a feast for all your senses. With 50 arts & crafts and commercial vendors, you can explore a world of creativity and craftsmanship. And of course, what's a festival without delicious food? You're in for a treat with 15 mouthwatering food vendors serving up avocado-infused dishes and other delectable treats. From avocado toast to guacamole burgers, your taste buds are in for a wild ride.

A crowd at the annual Santa Barbara Vintner's Festival with wine being poured into someone's glass
Photo credit Jeremy Ball of Bottle Branding

Santa Barbara Vintner’s Festival
October 14, 2023
Vega Vineyard and Farm in the Santa Ynez Valley
Celebrating its 39th year, the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival proudly stands as the Authentic Santa Barbara Wine Festival. Indulge in the flavors of wines crafted by 50+ wineries while savoring the diverse regional cuisine presented by numerous restaurants, accomplished chefs, and food artisans. Engage with winemakers and vineyard proprietors and gain insights into why Santa Barbara County was crowned the Wine Region of the Year for 2021 by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Don't miss the Bubble Lounge, where you can savor the finest sparkling wines the region has to offer, all while enjoying live music and immersive culinary and viticulture demonstrations.

A child in a lion Halloween costume with pumpkins behind him
Image courtesy of The Santa Barbara Zoo

Boo at the Zoo
October 20 – 22 and 27 – 29 from 5 to 8pm
The Santa Barbara Zoo
The Santa Barbara Zoo undergoes a spooky transformation for three enchanting evenings of safe, traffic-free trick-or-treating, delivering monstrous thrills and chills to all who attend. This captivating event features a Trick-or-Treat Trail, whimsical Boo Choo Choo train rides, spine-tingling Creepy Crawly encounters, captivating Spooky Storytelling sessions, and engaging Goblin Games, among other delights. Boo at the Zoo stands as the region's most beloved family Halloween festival, drawing families from across the tri-county area to partake in the festive fun.

People getting food at a harbor festival

Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival
October 21, 10am-5pm
Harbor Way at the Santa Barbara Harbor
Indulge in the abundance of seafood originating from the Santa Barbara Channel at the annual Harbor & Seafood Festival. Locals and visitors are in for an interactive day meeting the fishermen who catch and harvest our delicious, high-quality, fresh-off-the-boat seafood sourced sustainably from local waters. This event is your chance to dig into some of Santa Barbara’s specialties, from freshly caught lobster and sea urchin to fish tacos, oysters, mussels, barbecued albacore, fresh crab, clam chowder, seafood paella, and more. Yum!

Don't be scared to move to or within any of the Santa Barbara area communities this month. Along with the exciting Santa Barbara events in October 2023, I have several outstanding property listings on my comprehensive website. And if you need to help selling your existing property, I’m happy to assist. Please call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation regarding selling and buying. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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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