Cristal's Blog


July 13, 2022

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Endless Summer Fun Can Be Found in Santa Barbara!

Ahhh, summer fun in Santa Barbara. Summer means kayaking along our beautiful coast, taking an early morning hike in the Santa Ynez Mountains or an afternoon bike ride along the beach. There’s a reason tourists put things to do in Santa Barbara at the top of their bucket list. Of course, those of us who are fortunate enough to live here can take advantage of the fun all year long thanks to our year-round Mediterranean weather, but there's still something special about the long summer days in Santa Barbara. Check out my list of endless summer fun on the American Riviera:

2 boats with people on them having Santa Barbara summer fun on the water

Image courtesy of The Santa Barbara Sailing Club

  1. Fun on the Water with The Santa Barbara Sailing Club
    From Sunset cruises and luxury yacht charters to stand up paddleboard and kayak rentals, the Golden State’s premier destination for fun on the water has you covered. Learn to sail, explore the Channel Islands, go whale watching or send your kids to a summer camp they’ll never forget. Plus, from now until October, the club has a very special offering. Step aboard a 50-foot cruising catamaran on a Friday evening for the “Music on the Water” Sunset Cruise and soak up our majestic coastline accompanied by live music.
Band playing to entertain people at Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Photo: Fritz Olenberger, courtesy of Old Spanish Days

  1. Old Spanish Days Fiesta
    Since 1924, one of the highlights of summer here is the Old Spanish Days Fiesta. This beloved Santa Barbara tradition takes place this year from August 3-7, featuring music, dancing, and a parade. That's five days of fun, including Carnival rides, a Mexican market with Spanish and Mexican/American delights to eat and buy, and live entertainment all day through the early evening.

  2. After Hours at The Santa Barbara Zoo
    Enjoy the Zoo after hours on Wednesday nights through the end of July. Chill with more than 500 animals while listening to live music by Paradise Kings. Hop aboard the Zoo's train and explore the area at night. Although some animals go to bed in the early afternoon, many are up late, like Giraffes, including the eleven born at the Zoo. Enjoy a chicken or tri-tip picnic dinner with delicious S’mores for dessert. Kids of all ages are invited to play lawn games and get their faces painted. It’s a roaring good time!
Birds Eye View of Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara

Image courtesy of Stearns Wharf

  1. Explore Stearns Wharf
    Stearns Wharf is celebrating its 150th year in style and everyone's invited to join in the fun, especially during the summer months. With some of the most breathtaking ocean views in town (think magical sunset), it's easy to get lost in the beauty surrounding the Wharf. Recreation and education abound there. Ride the Water Taxi and learn about local marine life at the Sea Center. Visit the Stearns Wharf Bait & Tackle shop, then go fishing right off the Wharf. Discover specialty shops like Mother Stearns Candy Shop, the Great Pacific Ice Cream Company, Nature's Own Gift Shop, and more. There are also some excellent restaurants there such as Char West, Longboards Grill Fresh, The Harbor Restaurant, Moby Dicks Restaurant, and the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company.
A beautiful butterfly on a green leaf

Image courtesy of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

  1. Butterflies Alive at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
    Thousands of butterflies have returned to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Sprague Butterfly Pavilion. Don’t miss your chance to see these beautiful creatures up close inside the lush garden enclosure. Learn about local and exotic tropical species as they flutter freely around you. Keep your camera ready and snap a perfect selfie with these mythical creatures.

  2. Buy or sell your home
    So many factors make summer an ideal time to put your home on the market. First, by listing in the summer you avoid the real estate rush that begins in the springtime. Besides, everything looks better in natural light and the longer days offer more time to show off your property in Santa Barbara style.

If you’re considering listing your property or purchasing a home this summer in Montecito, Hope Ranch, or any of Santa Barbara's upscale communities, call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at I’ll make buying and selling real estate in Santa Barbara this summer fun for both the seller and the buyer.

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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