Surrounded by ranches, farms and vineyards at the northern “entry” to the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos (population 1,890) is located at the junction of US Highway 101 and State Route 135 (the main thoroughfare known as Bell Street) It’s only seven blocks long yet reflects as much Old West heritage as any small town on California’s Central Coast. Founded in 1876, two ranchers each donated part of their land to create the town site. Named Los Alamos (Spanish for “the cottonwoods” that still grace the area) it looks and feels vintage yet with a burgeoning food, wine, arts & antiques scene. One-of-a-kind lodging includes the historic 1880 Union Hotel, a Victorian-style bed & breakfast with six incredible theme suites, an inn with a view and a classic motor court. Buildings old and new house art galleries, antique shops, food and wine tasting rooms and a surprising variety of restaurants for every type of diner from locavore to carnivore. The Los Alamos Third Saturday Stroll every month offers themed special events. During the last weekend of September, Los Alamos Old Days honors the town’s western heritage with a celebration including arts & crafts fair, BBQ, car show, dance and parade – an excellent time to wrangle a visit with free fun for the whole family.