Cristal's Blog


July 27, 2022

Back to Articles

The Lazy Days of the Season Never Felt So Good

Summer takes on a sophisticated vibe when considering things to do in Montecito, where stunning natural beauty is complemented by spectacular residential architecture, chic shops and distinctive dining. It's no wonder well-known celebrities and major powerbrokers who could live anywhere in the world call this tucked-away seaside haven home.

Go shopping at the Montecito Country Mart, indulge in delicious food at any of the restaurants on Coast Village Road, hike Hot Springs Canyon, or simply relax and take in the beauty that surrounds this slice of paradise. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy the lazy days of summer, Montecito style:

  • Relax and Revitalize at Rosewood Miramar Beach's Sense Spa
    Enjoy a luxurious seasonal treatment at Sense Spa inside the world-class Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel. Relax with the Osea Sea Glow Facial, a sculpting and detoxifying treatment inspired by the spa’s unique seaside location. Or, if your summer skin feels dry, dull, or dehydrated, allow the Summer Skin Recovery Facial to work its magic and restore a youthful glow. For soft, smooth, and moisturized skin, try The Ocean Energizing Body Scrub. Finally, relax during the Indulgent Mineral Sea Salt Manicure & Pedicure, and you’ll leave feeling perfectly polished for those warm summer nights.
A birds eye view of Montecito on a beautifel summer day framed by mountains and blue sky

Photo 135930746 / Montecito © Klodien |

  • Go Bird Watching at Andree Clark Bird Refuge
    If you enjoy bird watching, get your binoculars ready and head to this peaceful 42-acre park with its 29-acre lake. Here you'll find an estuary that provides a safe haven for more than 200 migratory and local bird species. Walk, run, or bike the park’s multi-modal path, learn about the area with the interpretive self-guided tours, or work out with the outdoor fitness equipment and adjacent stretch station. There are also walking paths with bird viewing platforms and a bike path around the lake to enjoy.

  • Visit the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art
    Located inside Westmont College in Montecito, the permanent collection of this hidden treasure is home to more than 1,800 pieces, including paintings, etchings, lithographs, and more. According to their website, “The arts nurture imagination, encourage intellectual respect, spark curiosity, and foster a mental flexibility that challenges not only Westmont students, but our whole community, to think and see in new ways.” The museum also invites locals to check out the special programs offered throughout the year. In addition, docent tours are available with a reservation.

  • Explore the Gardens of Lotusland
    Recognized as one of the best gardens in the world, Ganna Walska Lotusland is not only home to over 3,400 different types of plants but is also rich in local history that began in 1882. As the website puts it, this is the place "where wonder, beauty, and Mother Nature's Imagination grows wild." However, reservations are recommended due to high demand, especially during the summer.
A beautiufl sunset at Montcito's Butterfly Beach

Photo 30209216 / Montecito © Katherine Elaine Erickson |

  • Walk Your Dog Along Butterfly Beach
    Dog-friendly Butterfly Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Montecito. Located along Channel Drive, this pristine stretch of shoreline’s unique east-west orientation makes for some genuinely spectacular sunrises AND sunsets. You can also swim, surf, or sunbathe here, launch your kayak or stand-up paddleboard from the shore or ride the Cabrillo Bike Path from nearby Butterfly Park to Stearns Wharf.

  • Join the Private Miramar Club
    Located inside the tony Miramar Beach Hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Miramar Club is an exclusive, private social club where members can unplug from daily life. Members enjoy all the hotel's amenities, including a wellness spa, a state-of-the-art gym, two outdoor pools, and exceptional cuisine at the property's restaurants, including the club’s own private restaurant and bar. In addition, a personal concierge is offered to members and butler service on the beach.

  • Take In a Spectacular Sunset at Miramar Beach
    Sunsets should be at the top of your list when you’re thinking about things to do in Montecito. Since most visitors to the area don’t know about this south-facing cove, Miramar Beach is the perfect spot to catch a spectacular sunset. Stroll the sand at low tide, passing luxury beach homes and the Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel while the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.

  • Travel Back in Time at Casa del Herrero
    Have you ever wondered what Montecito was like in the 1920s and ‘30s? A visit to Casa del Herrero (House of the Blacksmith) offers a glimpse into this community’s rich history. The structure on the 11-acre property, built in 1925, is known as one of the finest examples of Spanish revival architecture in the United States. The grandeur of the Casa, designed by George Washington Smith, is enhanced by Moorish-inspired gardens. Make a reservation to tour this National Historic Landmark.
A birds eye view of a beautiful Montecito estate for sale

Magnificent Montecito Estate

  • Go Estate Hunting
    The summer is a great time to move to, or within, Montecito. The selling season peaks in the summer, so there are many properties to consider. Please visit my comprehensive website to see what’s available in Montecito. I’ll be happy to arrange a private tour for you.

If purchasing a home is on your roster of things to do in Montecito this summer, get in touch with me by calling (805) 886-9378 or emailing I am also happy to offer a complimentary consultation to anyone considering selling in the area.

Other Resources:

Back to Articles

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