Cristal's Blog


April 6, 2022

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The World’s Safest Beach!

Sunset at Carpinteria State Beach

With terraced bluffs, dunes, and a mile of sand and surf for swimming, surfing, fishing, tide pooling, exploring or just relaxing, Carpinteria State Beach is truly a unique treasure. But this gem is not the only beach that sparkles in the town situated on a stunning coastline. There are seven beaches in the coastal community with a small-town vibe. They run the entire length of the city, with a seal and sea lion rookery, tide pools full of starfish, anemones, urchins and a beach side city park with visible tar pits.

  1. Carpinteria State Beach
    The mile long beach, known as the world’s safest because of its calm waves, is the centerpiece of this quintessential beach town. Follow the sand to explore the tide pools at low tide. Head to the lagoon at Carpinteria Creek for some birdwatching. You’ll find all the amenities you need to enjoy the beach here, with downtown Carpinteria nearby for restaurants and shops.

  2. Tar Pits Beach
    This unique beach is in an area where asphalt seeps out onto the sand. The oily substance comes a natural asphalt lake, one of just five in the world. The park has many trails to walk with stunning views of the Channel Islands.
Two lounges at the top of a bluff looking out over the ocean surrounded by trees
  1. Carpinteria City Beach
    This city beach, backed by Carpinteria beachfront homes, is wide and slopes out gradually making it a fun and safe spot to frolic in the waves. Follow the hiking trail there and you will find yourself right in the middle of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park which protects a critically important estuary program. Filled with extensive wetlands and habitats along with some uplands, the marsh lies adjacent to the sandy beach, subtidal rocky reef, and kelp beds, providing a natural habitat for migratory birds and endangered plants. There is also a teaching amphitheater along with a nature trail to explore one of the few remaining coastal wetlands in California and learn about the flora and fauna. Free docent tours are available on Saturday mornings.

  2. Loon Point Beach Access
    This out of the way spot is a true hidden gem. The high bluffs give it a remote feeling, even with Highway 101 and railroad tracks not far from the beach. Walk and beachcomb to find tide pools below Loon Point while you watch surfers hit the right break.

  3. Padaro Beach
    This beach is considered a local hangout spot. It’s more rustic, without the crowds you’ll find at other beaches in town. This is the perfect place to hang ten before hitting the neighboring surf spots. It’s also a great place to see marine wildlife.

  4. Rincon County Park Beach
    Next to a private gated community on the Santa Barbara County line you’ll find Rincon County Park Beach. You can walk to the Carpinteria Bluffs from here or just enjoy watching the many of Southern California’s most experienced surfers do their thing. That’s not surprising since it’s right next to Rincon Point State Beach, a surfing mecca.

  5. Sandyland Cove
    Known to residents as “Sandyland,” this guarded and gated residential enclave is accessed through a private road that crosses the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. Behind the waterfront homes in this private gated community, you’ll find the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park with its excellent trails that lead to observation stations and bird-watching spots.

Another not to miss spot on Carpinteria’s coast is the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve, the largest undeveloped coastal open space left between the City of Santa Barbara and the Ventura County line. The 52-acre parcel provides access to an overlook above a California Harbor Seal Rookery where anyone can see the babies from a safe distance, from December to May. With breathtaking panoramic views, The Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve along with the adjacent Viola Fields offer a variety of recreational opportunities, from hiking, bike riding, and bird watching to simply enjoying Mother Nature.

an inviting master bedroom with floor to ceiling windows looking out over the ocean


The City of Carpinteria’s small beach town image is exemplified in its architecture. Many homes are located right on the sand. There’s a deliberate consistency to the aesthetic cultivated by city leaders. The commitment to upholding certain standards over the generations has resulted in a signature style, infused with the spirit of Spain.

Even with those strict rules, the homes in Carp are as diverse as the people, with everything from Mediterranean estates and Spanish Colonial Revival beauties to hilltop retreats, Modernist and minimalist gems, and more. You’ll even find several charming and historic homes in the Bungalow District, ranging in style from ornate gingerbread to colorful beach shack.

Current Listings

Sun setting behind a beautiful estate in Carpinteria overlooking the beach

The saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” is an understatement when it comes to my current listing, A Masterpiece of 21st Century Modern Architecture pictured above and throughout this post. Perched on a knoll in the middle of approximately 42 prime acres, this extraordinary property offers breathtaking 360-degree ocean and mountain views. Renowned architect Andy Neumann channeled the peaceful beauty of the world-renowned Aman Resorts, where locally quarried stone walls meet with disappearing glass walls to create a seamless inside outside living space beyond the imagination. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Stark white estate surrounded by palm trees sitting right on the beach

Sand Point Beach Villa at Casa Blanca is one of only 8 distinctive Moorish-style residences in Carp’s prestigious, gated Casa Blanca enclave. This palatial home offers an ambiance of tranquility and relaxed sophistication, commanding a premier location. Plus, the villa is masterfully oriented for panoramic oceanfront views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, and Santa Ynez Mountains.

My Recent Sales

A huge bolder with the words Live Oaks Ranch painted on it

I have sold several other historical treasures in the area, including Live Oaks Ranch pictured above. This jewel, encompassing 21 enchanting acres, is imbued with a century of rich California history. My original listing included the following description of the property: “…the ranch allows us to travel back to Old California; a time when life was simpler, possibilities were boundless, and privacy was a distinctive commodity.”

Other recent sales include a Rincon CA Beach Colony Charmer, the Quintessential California Beach House on Padaro Lane, a Charming Ocean View Ranch-style Home, a World-Class Toro Canyon Estate, a stunning Cape Cod-Style Oceanfront Estate along with a Cape Cod-style Carpinteria Ocean View Estate, and another Cape Cod Estate on the California Coast, a Rare California Beachfront Property, a Santa Barbara Polo Field Condo, plus a Santa Barbara Polo Club Condo and a Carpinteria Beach Condo, and a lovely piece of Sand Point Oceanfront Land.

Carpinteria State Beach, Carpinteria City Beach, and adjacent stretches of sand and surf await. If you’re planning to make a move to Carpinteria or any of the upscale Santa Barbara communities, please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at With over $415 million in sales in 2021, closing 73 transactions — 43 for sellers, and 30 for buyers — allow me to present you with a complimentary 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