#SYVibes

There’s a feeling you get in the Santa Ynez Valley – a vibe. Gather inspiration for your next trip from our blog, and then share how you experience the SYV by tagging your photos on social with #SYVibes.

Santa Ynez Valley Businesses Open for Christmas and New Year’s Holidays

To help with your holiday cheer, we’ve created a guide to make the most of your Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day experience in the Santa Ynez Valley. Here you will find a list of what restaurants, wineries and activities will be open, and which restaurants offer special holiday menus. For the best experience, we highly recommend calling the restaurants and tasting rooms ahead of time to ensure they still have seating availability.


Christmas Eve   

ATTRACTIONS
Santa Ynez

Vino Vaqueros Horseback Riding
Santa Ynez, CA 93460
(805) 944-0493
Start Times: 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm-by reservation only-no walk ins please.

Solvang

Elverhøj Museum of History & Art
1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang  |  (805) 686-1211
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Moke Experience
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (866) 523–MOKE
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The Ultimate Escape Rooms
485 Alisal Rd., STE 120, Solvang  |  (805) 857-0777
11a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Nearby

Santa Barbara Sailing Center
302 W. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara  |  (805) 962-2826
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

COFFEE HOUSE
Solvang

The Good Seed
1607 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 693-2132
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Santa Ynez 

Queen Cup Coffee
1095 Meadowvale Road, Santa Ynez
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. ish

RESTAURANTS
Ballard

Bob’s Well Bread 
2449 Baseline Ave., Ballard  |  (805) 691-9549
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Los Alamos

Bob’s Well Bread 
550 Bell Street, Los Alamos  |  (805) 344-3000
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Norman at the SkyView Los Alamos Restaurant
9150 US-101, Los Alamos
Reserve online through OpenTable or call (805) 344-0080
3-course Prix Fixe Menu, $75 Dinner service begins at 4 p.m.
7a.m.  – 9 p.m.

Pico Los Alamos
458 Bell Street, Los Alamos  |  (805) 344-1122
3 – 9 p.m. regular service

Los Olivos

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe
2879 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  805-390-0442
11:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m.

Santa Ynez

The Baker’s Table
 3563 Numancia St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 688-4856
7:30 a.m.– Noon

Trattoria Grappolo
 3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez,  |  (805) 688-6899
4 p.m. to closing

Solvang

Big Bopper
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6018
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Copenhagen Sausage Garden
1660 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 697-7354
11 am – 9:00 pm

First & Oak
409 1st St, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1703
(sold out)

Mad & Vin
1576 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-3121
Bar: noon – 11 p.m. (first come, first served); Dinner 5 – 9 p.m. (sold out)

Osteria Grappolo
1546 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-8281
4:30 – 9 p.m.

Sear Steakhouse
478 4th Place, Solvang  | (805) 245-9564 (w)
5 – 10 p.m.

Solvang Brewing Company
1547 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-2337
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Solvang Restaurant
1672 Copenhagen Dr #2759, Solvang  |  (805) 688-4645
8am-3pm

The Red Viking
1684 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6610
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

RETAIL
Solvang

Broken Clock Vinegar Works
1210 Mission Dr Ste 103, Solvang  |  (805) 679-1723
12 – 4 p.m.

Renaissance Antiques
496 1st St, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1976
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WINE/BEER

Buellton

Alma Rosa Winery
1623 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (707) 227-8503
11 a.m. to 7:30 pm

Los Olivos

Coquelicot Tasting Room
2884 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  (805) 688-1500
11 a.m. – 5 p.m

Petros Winery
3360 Foxen Canyon Rd, Los Olivos  |  (805) 680-5417
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saarloos & Sons
2971 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  (805) 688-1200
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Santa Ynez

CrossHatch Winery
1090 Edison St #104, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 691-9192
12-6pm

Gainey Vineyard
3950 CA-HWY 246, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 259-8559
Last tasting at 12:15 p.m. …close at 1:30 p.m.

Maverick Saloon
3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 686-4785
Bar 11-1:30am
Regular menu 11-9pm
Late night menu 9pm -12am

Solvang

Cali Love Wine
1651 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1678
2 p.m. – 10p.m.

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Tasting Room
1645 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 686-9336
10 a.m., last tasting by 2 p.m.

The Good Life
1672 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-7111
12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Toccata Wines
1650 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang  |  (805) 686-9336
10 a.m., last tasting by 2 p.m.

Nearby

Ampelos Cellars
312 N 9th St, Lompoc  |  (805) 736-9957
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Christmas Day

[back to top]

ATTRACTION

Solvang

Elverhøj Museum of History & Art
1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang,  |  (805) 686-1211
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Moke Experience
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang   |  (866) 523–MOKE
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.https://www.visitsyv.com/wp-admin/profile.php

COFFEE HOUSE

Solvang

The Good Seed
1607 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463  |  (805) 693-2132
7 a.m. – noon

RESTAURANT

Solvang

Big Bopper
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6018
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Copenhagen Sausage Garden
1660 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 697-7354
11 am – 9 pm

First & Oak
409 1st St, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1703
sold out

Mad & Vin
1576 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-3121
Brunch: 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Dinner 5 – 9 p.m. (sold out)
Bar: noon – 11 p.m. (first come, first served)

WINE/BEER

Solvang

Cali Love Wine
1651 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1678
12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Santa Ynez

Maverick Saloon
3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 686-4785
Bar 11am -12am

 


New Year’s Eve

[back to top]

ATTRACTION
Santa Ynez

Vino Vaqueros Horseback Riding
Santa Ynez, CA 93460  |  (805) 944-0493
Start Times: 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm-by reservation only-no walk ins please.

Solvang

Elverhøj Museum of History & Art
1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang  |  (805) 686-1211
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Moke Experience
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (866) 523–MOKE
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The Ultimate Escape Rooms
485 Alisal Rd., STE 120, Solvang  |  (805) 857-0777
11a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

COFFEE HOUSE
Solvang

Cafe Dolce
475 1st St , Solvang  |  (805) 693-1222
10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Good Seed
1607 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 693-2132
7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

RESTAURANT
Ballard

Bob’s Well Bread 
2449 Baseline Ave., Ballard  |  (805) 691-9549
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Buellton

Hitching Post 2
406 E Hwy 246, Buellton  |  (805) 688-0676
11:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Los Alamos

Bob’s Well Bread 
550 Bell Street, Los Alamos  |  (805) 344-3000
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pico Los Alamos
458 Bell Street, Los Alamos  |  (805) 344-1122
3 – 9 p.m.

Norman at the Skywiew Los Alamos Restaurant
9150 US-101, Los Alamos
Reserve online through OpenTable or call (805) 344-0080
3-course Prix Fixe Menu, $85 Dinner service begins at 4 p.m.
4  – 9 p.m.

The Maker’s Son
346 Bell St, Los Alamos  |  (310) 595-5617
4:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Los Olivos

Bar Le Côte
 2375 Alamo Pintado Ave, Los Olivos  |  (661) 805-3993
4 – 8 p.m.

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe
2879 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  (805)390-0442
11:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m.

Santa Ynez

The Baker’s Table
 3563 Numancia St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 688-4856
7:30 a.m.– Noon

Trattoria Grappolo
 3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 688-6899
4 p.m. to closing

Solvang

Big Bopper
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6018
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Birkholm’s Bakery
460 Alisal Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 688-8188
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Brekkies
1655 Mission Drive, Solvang  |  (805) 691-9749
7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Cecco Ristorante
475 1st Street Solvang  |  (805) 688-8880
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Copenhagen Sausage Garden
1660 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 697-7354
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Danish Mill Bakery
1682 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-5805
8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Don Nachos Cafe
446 Alisal Rd suite # 5, Solvang  |  (805) 693-2349
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Dominos Pizza
1655 Mission Drive, Solvang  |  (805) 686-1177
10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

First & Oak
409 1st St, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1703
seating available at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Fitzpatricks Tavern
490 1st St Suite A, Solvang CA 93463 | (805) 688-5500
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Leonardo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
632 Alamo Pintado Rd, Solvang   |  (805) 686-0846
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Mad & Vin
1576 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-3121
Bar: noon – 11 p.m. (first come, first served); Dinner 5 – 9 p.m. (sold out)

New Frontier Natural Foods & Deli
1984 Old Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 693-1746
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Olsen’s Danish Villlage Bakery
1529 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6314
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Osteria Grappolo
1546 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-8281
4:30 – 9 p.m.

Panino
475 1st St, Solvang  |  (805) 688-0608
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Ramen Kotori
1618 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 691-9672
2 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

River Grill
150 Alisal Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 688-7784
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sear Steakhouse
478 4th Place, Solvang  |  (805) 245-9564
5 – 10 p.m.

Solvang Brewing Company
1547 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-2337
11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Solvang Flavors
436 Alisal Rd  |  (805) 688-3080
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Solvang Restaurant
1672 Copenhagen Dr #2759, Solvang  |  (805) 688-4645
8am-3pm

Succulent Cafe
1557 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 691-9444
9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Taco Roco
606 Alamo Pintado Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 686-1901
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Red Viking
1684 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6610
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Solvang Bakery
438 Alisal Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 688-4939
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Viking Garden
446 Alisal Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1250
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

RETAIL
Solvang

Broken Clock Vinegar Works
1210 Mission Dr Ste 103, Solvang  |  (805) 679-1723
12 – 4 p.m.

Cailloux Cheese Shop
1623 Mission Dr Suites K&L, Solvang  |  (805) 350-8328
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Old Danish Fudge Kitchen
 441 Alisal Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 688-9932
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Renaissance Antiques
496 1st St, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1976
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WINE/BEER
Buellton

Alma Rosa Winery
1623 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (707) 227-8503
11 a.m. to 7:30 pm

Los Olivos

Coquelicot Tasting Room
2884 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  (805) 688-1500
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Petros Winery
3360 Foxen Canyon Rd, Los Olivos  |  (805) 680-5417
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saarloos & Sons
2971 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  (805) 688-1200
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Santa Ynez

Gainey Vineyard
3950 CA-HWY 246  |  (805) 259-8559
Last tasting at 1:30 p.m.…close at 2:30 p.m.

Maverick Saloon
3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 686-4785
Bar 11am -1:30am
Regular menu 11-9pm
Late night menu 9pm -12am

Solvang

Dana V. Wines
 1588 Mission Dr suite b, Solvang  |  (805) 350-1124
12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Tasting Room
1645 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 686-9336
10 a.m., last tasting by 4:30 p.m..

The Good Life
1672 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-7111
12 p.m. – 5 p.m. (ticketed event – 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.)

Toccata Wines
1650 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang  |  (805) 686-9336
10 a.m., last tasting by 4:30 p.m.

Nearby

Ampelos Cellars
312 N 9th St, Lompoc  |  (805) 736-9957
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


New Year’s Day

[back to top]

ATTRACTION
Solvang

Elverhøj Museum of History & Art
1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang,  |  (805) 686-1211
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Moke Experience
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (866) 523–MOKE
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

The Ultimate Escape Rooms
485 Alisal Rd., STE 120, Solvang  |  (805) 857-0777
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

COFFEE HOUSE
Solvang

Cafe Dolce
475 1st St , Solvang  |  (805) 693-1222
10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Good Seed
1607 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463  |  (805) 693-2132
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

RESTAURANT
Ballard

Bob’s Well Bread 
2449 Baseline Ave., Ballard  |  (805) 691-9549
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Los Alamos

Bob’s Well Bread 
550 Bell Street, Los Alamos  |  (805) 344-3000
7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pico Los Alamos
458 Bell Street, Los Alamos  |  (805) 344-1122
3 – 9 p.m.

The Maker’s Son
346 Bell St, Los Alamos  |  (310) 595-5617
4:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Los Olivos

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe
2879 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  (805) 390-0442
11:30 a.m. -7:30 p.m.

Santa Ynez

Trattoria Grappolo
 3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 688-6899
4 p.m. to closing

Solvang

Big Bopper
1510 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6018
10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Brekkies
1655 Mission Drive, Solvang  |  (805) 691-9749
7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Copenhagen Sausage Garden
1660 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 697-7354
11 am – 9 pm

Dominos Pizza
1655 Mission Drive, Solvang  |  (805) 686-1177
10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

First & Oak
409 1st St, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1703
booked already

Fitzpatricks Tavern
490 1st St Suite A, Solvang CA 93463 | (805) 688-5500
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Leonardo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
632 Alamo Pintado Rd, Solvang   |  (805) 686-0846
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Mad & Vin
1576 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-3121
Bar: noon – 11 p.m. Dinner 5 – 9 p.m.

Olsen’s Danish Villlage Bakery
1529 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6314
7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Osteria Grappolo
1546 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-8281
11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Ramen Kotori
1618 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 691-9672
1:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Solvang Brewing Company
1547 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-2337
11 a.m. – midnight.

Solvang Flavors
436 Alisal Rd  |  (805) 688-3080
11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Subway
1641 Mission Dr Suite 102, Solvang  | (805) 688-7650
8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Succulent Cafe
1557 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 691-9444
9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The Red Viking
1684 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-6610
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Viking Garden
446 Alisal Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 688-1250
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

WINE/BEER
Los Olivos

Coquelicot Tasting Room
2884 Grand Ave, Los Olivos  |  (805) 688-1500
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Petros Winery
3360 Foxen Canyon Rd, Los Olivos  |  (805) 680-5417
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Santa Ynez

Maverick Saloon
3687 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez  |  (805) 686-4785
Bar 11am-1:30am
Regular Menu 11-9pm
Kitchen closes at 9pm

Solvang

Dana V. Wines
 1588 Mission Dr suite b, Solvang  |  (805) 350-1124
12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Tasting Room
1645 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 686-9336
10 a.m., last tasting by 4:30 p.m..

The Good Life
1672 Mission Dr, Solvang  |  (805) 688-7111
3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Toccata Wines
1650 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang  |  (805) 686-9336
10 a.m., last tasting by 4:30 p.m..

RETAIL
Solvang

Broken Clock Vinegar Works
1210 Mission Dr Ste 103, Solvang  |  (805) 679-1723
12 – 4 p.m.

Cailloux Cheese Shop
1623 Mission Dr Suites K&L, Solvang  |  (805) 350-8328
Noon – 6 p.m.

Old Danish Fudge Kitchen
 441 Alisal Rd, Solvang  |  (805) 688-9932
Noon – 6 p.m.

Santa Ynez Valley Events


Thanksgiving in the Santa Ynez Valley, 2021

 

Thanksgiving in the Santa Ynez Valley is a joyous time. With the changing of seasons, the Valley’s colors transition once more as the leaves begin to fall. The weather is mild, the vineyard views are breathtaking, and the food and wine is plentiful.

We have several restaurants in the Santa Ynez Valley that have put together both take-out and dine-in options to serve a variety of needs.

See below for a current list of Thanksgiving offerings in the Santa Ynez Valley. Reservations required at most, please call restaurants directly to confirm offerings are still available.

 

Thanksgiving Dinner

Chumash Casino Resort (Takeout)
View Menu Here
Enjoy an oven roasted turkey dinner accompanied with flavorful sides like candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, buttery pull-apart rolls, and pumpkin pie! Reserve your meal in person at Grains & Grounds now through Friday, November 19.

First & Oak (Dine-In)
(805) 688-1703
Set Seatings at 4:00 PM, 4:30 PM, 6:30 PM, & 7:00 PM
View Menu Here
Reservations required

Industrial Eats (Takeout)
(805) 688-8807
View Menu Here
Call for pricing

Maverick Saloon (Dine-In)
(805) 686-4785
11am – 9pm for food service
Serving Regular Menu – View Here

Norman at the Skyview Los Alamos (Dine-In)
(805) 344-0104
Reservations available 4 PM – 9 PM
Featuring a 3 course prix fixe menu for $65
Make Reservations Here or call (805) 344-0080

Pea Soup Andersen’s
(805) 688-5581
9AM – 9PM
Featuring a special turkey or ham meal 11AM – 6PM

Petros Winery
(805) 680-5417
Reservations only, available 2PM – 9 PM
Prix Fixe Menu, call or reserve online

Red Viking Restaurant 
(805) 688-6610
9:00am – 4:00pm

Silk Road’s Kitchen (Dine-In)
11am – 3:30pm
Serving Regular Menu & – View Here

The Maker’s Son (Dine-In)
(805) 344-1926
Give yourself a break this year and let The Maker’s Son do the heavy lifting for you! Join them for the ultimate T-Day buffet, The Maker’s Style. $68 Adults, $42 Children 10 and under.
View Menu Here
Make Reservations Here

Viking Garden (Dine-In)
805-688-1250
11am – close
View Menu Here

Breakfast / Treats 

Bob’s Well Bread Bakery 
(805) 691-9549
8:00am – 11:00am
Order Bob’s Breads & Pies for Thanksgiving by Nov. 21
Open 8am – 11 am at both Ballard and Los Alamos locations for pre-order pickup plus coffee, pastry & bread service. Kitchen service (Café menu) will not be available at either location on the holiday.
View Pre Order Menu Here

Good Seed Coffee Boutique
(805) 693-2132
7:00am – 1:00pm

Olsen’s Bakery
(805) 688-6314
7:00am – 1:00pm
Enjoy a variety of pastries and coffee service.

Wineries / Tasting Rooms 

The Good Life
(805) 688-7111
11am – 4pm
We have the perfect local beer and wine pairings for your holiday table. Enjoy a special holiday tasting and/or a glass on our patio or you can step inside the shop where we can assist you with all of your bottle needs to go.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Top Ten Things to Do in the Santa Ynez Valley – 2021 Edition

 

Two hours north of Los Angeles, and a scenic four-hour drive south of San Francisco, the Santa Ynez Valley is home to six distinct communities in California’s Central Coast region. With more than 100 wineries, incredible food, special events and an authentic, relaxed vibe, it’s no wonder so many friends, families and couples converge here to sip, savor, and soak up all the valley has to offer. With so much to do, planning the perfect itinerary can be overwhelming. We’ve taken out the guess work to provide you with a Top 10 list of things you must do to treat yourself to an unforgettable experience in the Santa Ynez Valley.

  1. Wine Country

The Santa Ynez Valley is famous for its wineries. With a unique, transverse mountain range that funnels cool air from the Pacific Ocean, our micro-climates and terrains result in one of the most diverse grape growing regions in the world. Take a day to explore the wineries and see the vineyards firsthand.

Interested in seeing the Santa Ynez Valley with the knowledge, care and comfort of a guided tour? Sign up with a local tour company for a professionally guided tour in a limo, jeep, van, private sedan or even a bike.

  1. See Solvang, California’s Little Denmark

No trip to the Santa Ynez Valley is complete without a visit to Solvang. This quaint little village is famous for its Danish bakeries and architecture and filled with photo-ops. Perfect the art of the selfie in front of the little red clog or one of the town’s many windmills. If culinary travel is your thing, in addition to its five famed bakeries, Solvang has become known for its top-notch restaurants and food purveyors. Try a guided foodie tour with Eat This Shoot That for a curated experience that gives you a satisfying smorgasbord of Solvang eats.

  1. Culinary Cravings

There are so many great places to dine in the Santa Ynez Valley it can be hard to choose! Italian food aficionados will be pleased to find a handful of eateries serving up Italian favorites (try S.Y. Kitchen, Leonardo’s, Trattoria Grappolo to name a few). Lovers of traditional American cuisine are well catered for with top-notch sandwiches and classic American steaks (don’t miss Hitching Post II for some Santa Maria style BBQ). If you’re looking for something with an eclectic vibe, the town of Los Alamos boasts innovative flavors (see PICO, Bell’s, and Plenty on Bell), while the towns of Ballard and Los Olivos continue to offer romantic, candle-lit fine dining options (don’t miss The Gathering Table and Los Olivos Wine Merchant Café).

  1. Immerse Yourself in Local Culture

Drop in and visit one of the Valley’s museums. Discover local history and lore at the Elverhøj Museum of History and Art and The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, or pop into Wildling Museum to appreciate works of art that draw inspiration from nature. If you’re looking for something a little more niche, find vintage and rare motorcycles at the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, be dazzled by fairy tales at the Hans Christian Anderson Museum, or feast your eyes on one of the west coast’s largest petroliana collections at the Mendenhall Museum.

  1. Take in a Local Event

From food-driven to family friendly, the Santa Ynez Valley hosts a number of small events to bring everyone together. Regular, more intimate events include painting in the vineyard at various wineries, kid crafts at local museums, and live music in the evenings on heated patios. Visit from September through December for some special events that celebrate each town’s unique history. Special events that return this fall will include the Buellton Wine & Chili Festival (September 12, 2021), Los Olivos Day in the Country (October 16, 2021), and Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley (November 4-7, 2021).

  1. Craft Beer

If you can drag yourself away from the wineries, why not sample some of the superb local craft beers? From sours to stouts, three major breweries in the area offer award winning brews sure to please a wide spectrum of beer connoisseurs. Check out Barrelworks at Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Buellton Taproom, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company in both Buellton and Los Olivos, and Solvang Brewing Company.

  1. Home Away from Home

Seeking something different from your hotel stay? Santa Ynez Valley hotels offer a more intimate and distinctly local experience. Hotels here could be better described as inns, some of which have a unique Danish feel, some provide rich luxury, while some even provide a safari glamping experience. With over 30 unique lodging properties, the Valley has a price and style fit for everyone.

  1. Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Need some fresh air? There’s no better way to clear your mind and relax than getting out and enjoying some of the local countryside. Figueroa Mountain is a great place to unwind and enjoy a picnic in the glorious California sunshine. Or if you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll through the adjacent Sedgwick Reserve by appointment, where volunteer staff guides you through the local terrain. If a family picnic is what you have in mind, head over to Nojoqui Falls Park down Alisal Road.

The rural country roads that connect the wineries and communities of the Santa Ynez Valley are also ideal for a two-wheel adventure. Whether you’re interested in doing an easy 5 miles with the family, 50 miles through rolling vineyards, or a multi-day tour of wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley and its less-trafficked roads make for a cyclist’s nirvana. Everything you need can be found at Dr. J’s Bicycle Shop, Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours, or Wheel Fun Rentals

  1. Find Artisan Treasures

With specialty shops located in almost every town, you’re bound to discover a hidden treasure. Shops in the Santa Ynez Valley stock a range of local artisanal products like jewelry, glassware, handcrafted shoes, leather goods, porcelain, clothing and a range of traditional and contemporary crafts. Some favorite local retailers include J. Woeste, Los Olivos General Store and Wildflower Women’s Boutique in Los Olivos, Forage Florals in Santa Ynez, and First Street Leather in Solvang.

  1. Giddy Up

The Santa Ynez Valley offers hundreds of miles of trails to explore, from scenic vineyard-to-vineyard strolls, to more challenging trails rewarded with fields of wildflowers or incredible sea-to-valley vistas. What better way to explore the region’s hillsides than via horseback? Local trail rides can be enjoyed via Vino Vaqueros, KAP Land & Cattle, and Alisal Guest Ranch for a uniquely enriching and rewarding experience. 

Now that you know what delights await you in the Santa Ynez Valley, you’ll probably need more than a weekend to take it all in! With our doors always open, you can return time and time again. The Valley will always be that special place to you and yours for years to come. Browse our Santa Ynez Valley hotels to begin planning your trip today.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Enjoy a Visit to the Santa Ynez Valley Memorial Day Weekend – 2021

Return to Travel 

As California reopens, the Santa Ynez Valley is prepared to welcome visitors back to wine country this Memorial Day Weekend with the opportunity to once again experience the gem of California’s Central Coast. The Valley’s hotels, inns, restaurants, wineries, and outdoor activities are back to doing what they do best—providing a much-needed getaway that is welcoming, safe and spacious—just two hours from Los Angeles and a scenic four-hour drive from the Bay Area. 

The region’s relatively slow pace of life and charming communities, abundant open spaces and uncrowded rural roads, and the stunning setting painted with lush vineyards and California Oaks as far as the eye can see, are made only more attractive by the times in which we currently find ourselves.

Enjoy the Classics  

The Santa Ynez Valley’s inns and hotels — including The Landsby, The Santa Ynez Inn, and Skyview Los Alamos, as well as the family-friendly Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort, Flying Flags, Hamlet Inn, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, Sideways Inn, and The Alamo Motel — are again unforgettable stays for a wide range of budgets.

The Santa Ynez Valley’s many incredible restaurants — including Bell’s Los Alamos, Bob’s Well Bread, The Gathering Table, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe, Pico, Plenty on Bell, S.Y. Kitchen, Full of Life Flatbread, Leonardo’s, Brothers at the Red Barn, Hitching Post II, and Trattoria Grappolo — are back to serving up their imaginative culinary creations to diners onsite. 

And whether tasting along the scenic Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, in quaint downtown Los Olivos, the Santa Ynez Wine Trail, Sta. Rita Hills Wine Trail,  or the Solvang Wine Walk, the Santa Ynez Valley has a world of wine waiting to be rediscovered.

Of course, never have we been more excited to enjoy open spaces. A horseback ride through the vineyards with Vino Vaqueros, a cycling tour along the region’s country roads, and hundreds of miles of hiking trails to explore may just be what we need to feel free again. 

Try Something New This Weekend 

With leisure travel at a virtual standstill for much of the past year, it’s understandable that many entrepreneurs postponed plans for new or expanded business operations. But the Santa Ynez Valley continues to buck that trend, with no fewer than 20 visitor-related businesses opening their doors since the pandemic began. Here are the best new lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, and activities that are ready to welcome you to the Santa Ynez Valley this weekend.

Hotel Ynez — Located at the crossroads of Solvang & Santa Ynez and situated on two private acres, Hotel Ynez boasts 18 spacious guest rooms, extensive gardens, a pool, bonfire pits, and a rustic outdoor pavilion for nights under the stars.

The Winston — From the same Highway West Vacations team behind three other Santa Ynez Valley properties including The Vinland, Flying Flags, and Sideways Inn, The Winston has been renovated from head to toe and boasts 14 individually decorated rooms beneath the property’s iconic clock tower in the heart of Solvang. 

Vinland Hotel & Lounge — Located in the heart of Solvang where Copenhagen’s charm meets California’s climate, the completely remodeled Vinland Hotel & Lounge boasts 82 rooms overlooking Hans Christian Andersen Park.

Zaca Creek Inn — Originally built by the founding Buell family of Buellton, Zaca Creek has recently been re-imagined and the Zaca Creek Inn boasts six unique suites each with its own distinctive charms and delights.

The Tavern at Zaca Creek — A seasonally-inspired California chophouse, The Tavern at Zaca Creek showcases the best of what Santa Ynez Valley has to offer by supporting local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen. The allure of the original Tavern bar is captured by a spirits & cocktail program that highlights old and new alike.

peasants FEAST — As one of the first businesses to open in the Santa Ynez Valley during the pandemic (April 2020), peasants FEAST features seasonal comfort foods from longtime restaurateurs and husband and wife Michael & Sarah Cherney. Centrally-located in downtown Solvang.

Nella Kitchen & Bar — From Chef Luca Crestenelli and the hospitality team behind S.Y. Kitchen, Nella Kitchen & Bar features Italian-inspired dishes and quality foods simply prepared using only the finest locally-sourced ingredients. Located in Los Olivos, alongside the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn.

Bob’s Well Bread — The new Ballard location of this popular Los Alamos mainstay features the same signature special daily breads, homemade pastries, all-day breakfast & lunch, and bread & bakery take-away case that have made the pilgrimage to Bob’s a daily routine for many.

The Vaquero Bar at Coast Range — A Central Coast steakhouse and seafood restaurant with full bar, Coast Range & Vaquero Bar in Solvang is a collaboration between winemaker, sommelier, and James Beard Award winner Rajat Parr, and celebrated chefs Anthony Carron, Lincoln Carson, and Steven Fretz. While the steakhouse will open soon, The Vaquero Bar is ready to welcome you with incredible cocktails and bar bites in the heart of downtown Solvang.  

Sear Steakhouse — An elevated and genuine farm-to-table Solvang steakhouse, Sear is the longtime vision of Demetrios and Karen Loizides who previously operated K’Syrah Catering & Events from the completely reimagined space. Sear is a partnership between the Loizides and mixologist Alberto Battaglini.

Clean Slate Wine BarFeaturing limited production wines, craft beers, and small plates focusing on family farms, independent winemakers, and local producers. Highlights include 50 Wines by the Glass, 10 beers on draft, and small plates influenced by Spanish-style tapas, local farmers, and Chef Melissa’s Louisiana Roots.

Arrowsmith’s Wine Bar — A friendly European bar in the heart of Solvang, Arrowsmith’s is a “home away from home” run by two Europeans, specializing in small-batch local wines as well as a delicious worldwide selection of fantastic wine and European beer.

McClain Cellars — The McClain Cellars Winery, Barrel, and Tasting Lounge in Buellton is a tribute to the four pillars that keep the family focused, driven, and alive: family, friends, faith, and freedom. At McClain Cellars, they believe that every day is a gift to be enjoyed with those you love the most.

Stolpman Fresh Garage — Located in the garage and patio space adjacent to their Los Olivos tasting room, the Stolpman Fresh Garage features wines made from grapes that are natively fermented, un-crushed, and whole, served chilled in an open air setting.

Storm Wines — Rooted in the hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, Storm Wines emphasizes old world influences and new world techniques. The Mediterranean climate, diverse soils, and exciting new opportunities in this budding Central Coast wine region have combined to drive Ernst Storm’s passion for producing his wine and sharing it with visitors to the winery’s Los Olivos tasting room.

Grimm’s Bluff — Best known for their 246-acre ranch and vineyard in the Happy Canyon AVA, the new Grimm’s Bluff tasting room in Los Olivos showcases the handcrafted wines and Italian varietal olive oil produced from its certified biodynamic and organic vineyard.

Queen Cup Coffee — Skyler & Alyce Barrick’s love for great coffee and the motivation to share their life experiences with others in the community inspired them to create Queen Cup Coffee. Located next to The Lucky Hen Larder in Santa Ynez, Queen Cup Coffee opened in Jan. 2021.

Moke Experience — Solvang — A whole new way to see and experience Solvang and the surrounding areas, Moke Experience Solvang features a lineup of stylish, colorful, and sought-after electric vehicles that are a zero-emission alternative for visitors wanting to explore the valley in style. 

Tin City Cider — A collaboration between two winemakers looking to fill their time following harvest and crush, Tin City Cider opened its second taproom location in late September 2020 in downtown Los Olivos. Together, they produce a full line-up of carefully crafted ciders made with the best California apples.

Enjoy Bagels + Sweets — The latest offering from Kevin & Amber Vander Vliet, who have operated Enjoy Cupcakes since 2009 and were motivated by a need to diversify during COVID-19. Features 8 unique bagel flavors, 8 cream cheese schmears, and 10 bagel sandwiches in addition to a full sweets line at their bakery facility in Buellton.

Book Your Visit Now

For more information, or to research attractions, book lodging and activities, and create a custom travel itinerary, visit visitsyv.com. For further details on traveling safely in the Santa Ynez Valley, visit www.visitsyv.com/traveling-safely-in-the-santa-ynez-valley/

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Mother’s Day in the Santa Ynez Valley – 2021

Moms deserves the best – and what better way to treat them than a visit to the Santa Ynez Valley? With so much to do in the SYV, we’ve come up with a fun, varied list of ideas on how to spend the weekend celebrating Mother’s Day.

Activities 

Moke Experience Solvang: While sightseeing on foot is always a good time in Solvang – there’s a new way to see the town on four wheels! The eMoke is an all-electric vehicle that boasts zero emissions and a range of eye-catching color and customization options. With its open-air body styling, the eMoke offers great sightseeing and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after transport experiences available in Solvang.

Elverhoj Museum: Now open Friday – Monday, 11am – 5pm, Elverhoj is providing visitors the rare opportunity to see the works of Rembrandt, up close and personal.  A heralded collection of 21 etchings by Dutch Master Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) is on display now through June 2021.

Wildling Museum: Get inspired as a family at Wildling Museum, where two new exhibitions are on display, plus you can enjoy an immersive installation in their Tower Gallery, titled “Holli Harmon: The Nature of Clouds”. The museum has public walk-in hours Saturday and Sundays, 11am-  4pm.

Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden: Take Mom for a stroll through nature to enjoy the whimsical colors of California wildflowers on display at the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden. Located in Buellton, California at the west end of River View Park, this nationally registered public garden is free of charge and open to the public.

Gifts

Forage Florals: Mother’s Day {Breakfast in Bed} Gift Trays are ready to grab and go! Just add your own breakfast and coffee…your mom will feel extra loved for sure! In addition to beautiful floral arrangements, Forage Florals has gift options galore for Mom. Explore their shop today.

Santa Barbara Adventure Company: Did you know that Santa Barbara Adventure Company runs wine tours?⁣ It’s true! In fact, they have a Mother’s Day Special going on right now.⁣
⁣Use promo code to save $20 per person when you book a Cupcake & Wine Tour by 5/9/2021. (Restrictions apply, see website for details)

Need more gift ideas? Check out additional retail options at our Where to Shop page.

Brunch

Plenty on Bell: There’s still time to surprise Mom with a delicious meal at Plenty on Bell! From 8:30am – 11:30 am on Sunday, May 9, 2021, enjoy the Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon special for $15. From 11:30am – 3pm, enjoy a brunch special of Crustless Quiche & Seasonal Green Salad, Olive Oil Cake & Strawberries for $22. Unlimited mimosas available with tangerine, orange and guava, $20. For reservations, call 805-344-3020.

Wineries

Brick Barn Wine Estate: This Mother’s Day, bring that special mom in your life down to Brick Barn for a treat, compliments of Brick Barn! While supplies last, moms who do a tasting with them will also enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, plus a goody bag of soap from Montecito Soap Co. and caramels from Jessica Foster Confections! And if all that wasn’t enough, from 2pm-5pm they will also be hosting local musician, Graybill! Graybill is an acoustic Indi-Folk singer/songwriter with a smooth voice that’s often compared to artists like Jack Johnson, G. Love, Michael Franti, and Sam Beam of Iron and Wine. Come, sit under their oak tree, enjoy some bubbles, and celebrate mom! Reservations are recommended but not required, head to their website to book your tasting today.

Fess Parker Winery: Celebrate Mother’s Day at Fess Parker Winery! They will be offering a special, Mother’s Day flight all weekend long. Please make a reservation online at fessparker.com.

Grimm’s Bluff: Because mothers deserve more than one day, Grimm’s Bluff will be having having a case sale on their 2017 Estate Sauvignon Blanc – 50% off! May 1-16.

Pence Vineyards: This weekend they’re offering all moms a complimentary glass of Rosé and a floral bouquet to thank them for all they do! They are officially booked up on Sunday, but still have reservations available on Saturday! To make a reservation, visit them online, email mia@pencevineyards.com, or call them at 805.735.7000 from 10am-5pm.

Looking to bring the kids with you to wine country this weekend? Many tasting rooms are family friendly – here’s a list of some family favorite locales:

Stay

Click here to find rates and availability at over 30 Santa Ynez Valley boutique hotels and inns.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Experience the Great Outdoors in the Santa Ynez Valley

 

We’re all looking for a way to get out, without joining a crowd. The Santa Ynez Valley has never been an ordinary wine country destination, and its abundance of outdoor recreation and amenities are a key reason why. 

Set along California’s Central Coast, with the San Rafael Mountains to the north and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south, rests a natural playground for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, outdoor adventurists, and more. And on a given weekday, those landscapes become all the more tranquil.

Entering the valley and catching the first glimpse of Cachuma Lake sparkling under the summer sun or of the region’s rolling hills, dotted with California live oaks and painted with acres of lush vineyards, offers a much-needed breath of fresh air. A quick excursion to the 80-foot waterfall at Nojoqui Falls Park or the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from Gaviota Peak or Figueroa Mountain provides a breathtaking shot of energy.

Increasingly, the popularity of the valley’s natural outdoor assets has bolstered the region’s reputation as a world-class wine and culinary destination. Visitors want to explore the outdoors, appreciate a destination from a new or different perspective,  or experience something that they might not be able to at home, and the Santa Ynez Valley provides many opportunities to do just that.

Here are just a few of some of the best ways to get outdoors in the Santa Ynez Valley:

Cachuma Lake: A stroll along the shores of Cachuma Lake on the Tequepis Trail, is often greeted with native bald eagles, ospreys, and hawks soaring above. The lake is also popular for fishing, boating, and ample hiking and mountain bike paths.

A playground for hikers: The Santa Ynez Valley offers hundreds of miles of trails to explore, from scenic vineyard-to-vineyard strolls, to more challenging hikes rewarded with fields of wildflowers or incredible sea-to-valley vistas. There are so many to choose from, but the easy hike to Nojoqui Falls is always popular for families. And more challenging hikes to Gaviota Peak or to the top of Grass Mountain offer incredible scenic payoffs.

Vineyards by horseback: Exploring the vineyards is a quintessential Santa Ynez Valley experience. But with a vineyard horseback ride a connection between human and animal is made, creating a deeper and enriching moment. Estelle Ranch and Vineyards Ride & Wine tour from Vino Vaqueros or a KAP Land & Cattle tour of the vineyards of Fess Parker offers an enriching and rewarding experience.

Santa Ynez Valley by two wheels: The rural country roads that connect the wineries and communities of the Santa Ynez Valley are also ideal for a two-wheel adventure. Whether you’re interested in doing an easy 5 miles with the family, 50 miles through rolling vineyards, or a multi-day tour of wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley and its less-trafficked roads make for a cyclist’s nirvana. Everything you need can be found at Dr. J’s Bicycle Shop, Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours, or Wheel Fun Rentals.

An electric experience: There’s a new way to see Solvang USA in all its Danish glory, and that’s from the comfort of an open air vehicle. The eMoke is an all-electric vehicle that boasts zero emissions, chic styling, and a range of eye-catching colors. Trust us, it’s an Instagrammable ride. With its open-air body styling, the eMoke offers great sightseeing capabilities and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after transport experiences available in Solvang.

Ohm away from home: Vineyard Yoga SYV connects yoga enthusiasts with the natural world through its yoga classes that take place in the serenity and solitude of local vineyards, followed by wine tasting.

The outdoor wine tasting experience: With more than 100 wineries, many with expansive grounds, outside seating, and room to roam, wine-tasting is an outdoor activity in the Santa Ynez Valley, too.

The Santa Ynez Valley’s healthy, outdoor lifestyle seems particularly fitting at a time when getting outside and into open space has never felt more important for our physical and mental wellbeing. There’s something calming, refreshing, and reinvigorating about seeing the Pacific Ocean from the top of Gaviota Peak, hiking a trail that passes by an endless field of California wildflowers, or just walking through a rolling vineyard, and this is the perfect place to do all of the above and more.

Start planning your outdoor adventure at visitsyv.com, where you can research events and attractions, book lodging and activities, and create a custom travel itinerary.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


The Place to be Midweek

friends having lunch outside under umbrella

Why midweek is the primetime to visit the Santa Ynez Valley

Vacation plans have been upended everywhere, leaving many asking themselves just where they can go to get away, yet avoid the crowds. The Santa Ynez Valley has always offered an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. That is particularly true during weekdays.

And in the era of flexible work schedules and social distancing, a midweek visit to the Santa Ynez Valley has never been more appealing or more attainable.

Late summer and fall are typically the most coveted of seasons in the Santa Ynez Valley — filled with the energy that comes from the sunshine of summer and the fall harvest that breathes life into the Santa Ynez Valley’s world-class wines. That energy is present this year, too, making weekdays the newly coveted, quiet time to visit.

We’re used to seeing the bakeries, restaurants, and tasting rooms in Solvang teeming with travelers nearly every day this time of year. But right now, the weekday quiet offers a welcome calm, fostering an environment perfect for those in search of a peaceful, healthy escape. And what’s more – many  Santa Ynez Valley inns, hotels and tour companies have created special midweek promotions to take advantage of by traveling Sunday through Thursday.

Only 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, two hours north of Los Angeles, and a scenic four-hour drive south of San Francisco, the Santa Ynez Valley is easy to get to but can feel a world away on any day. But during a midweek stay, savvy travelers discover a touch more access to the region. By visiting Sunday – Thursday, you’ll get more freedom to explore the Santa Ynez Valley’s farm-to-table culinary scene and its world-class wineries.

Last-minute planners are given a reprieve to make a spur-of-the-moment decision, with plenty of midweek availability and affordability at the Santa Ynez Valley’s eclectic mix of lodgings, such as the modern luxury found at The Landsby, hip boutique hotels such as the Skyview Los Alamos, and intimate B&Bs like the Ballard Inn.

Yet the character of SYV’s six distinct communities — which range from classic California wine country to Northern Europe to the Old West — is still easily experienced. Instead of crowds, visitors find that in midweek, winemakers have more time to deeply discuss their varietals and vintages. Prime outdoor seating at the region’s best restaurants, many of which face capacity limits, is easier to find, too.

During the midweek, the Santa Ynez Valley’s hundreds of miles of trails — from scenic vineyard-to-vineyard strolls, to more challenging hikes rewarded with fields of wildflowers or incredible sea-to-valley vistas — are less traveled and offer just a bit more solitude. Experiences such as a horseback ride through the vineyards of SYV or a bike ride down the country roads offer the peace we are all seeking.

Never has there been a better opportunity to get away from everything, especially the crowds.

Start planning your midweek stay at visitsyv.com, where you can research events and attractions, book lodging and activities, and create a custom travel itinerary.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


WFH: Wine Country Edition

woman working remote outside

Work is no vacation…But it can be.

World events have us all rethinking how, when, and why we travel. For many of us, gone is the conventional business trip. For others, a long vacation to an exotic location might seem unobtainable.

But with remote work now a fact of life for many of us, a new opportunity has come — the “work-cation.” Increasing in popularity in recent months, a work-cation involves going somewhere anywhere other than home to work in a different environment or setting — be it for a week or two or a few months — allowing for a deeper exploration of a region than any vacation would make possible.

Nestled on the Central Coast — the Santa Ynez Valley offers the infrastructure and proximity to Los Angeles and San Francisco, to put such a notion into practice.

If the past few months have taught us anything it is that for many of us, the ability to accomplish work successfully and remotely is not mutually exclusive. It’s one of the reasons why for many companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Square, Slack, Shopify, and Zillow, a permanent remote work option for employees is becoming increasingly popular.

Brett White, the CEO of global commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, predicts that the permanent remote workforce could double to nearly 10%. That represents a titanic shift in the way many of us engage our jobs, making proximity to work an afterthought if it is a thought at all.

The Visit Santa Ynez Valley staff has mostly been working from home since March 2020, and we have surprised ourselves by just how well it has worked. And the idea of work-cation is something that the Santa Ynez Valley is embracing, with many of our hotels, inns and tour companies offering midweek specials to help break up the work-week, wine country style.

Our famously welcoming community is perfect for visitors-turned-short-term-residents who long for a much-needed break from the monotony and routine in which they are currently stuck.

Imagine waking up in a Santa Ynez Valley boutique hotel, spending your morning working poolside, leaving your afternoons free to wine taste at any one of more than 100 wineries that are just minutes from your front door. Or maybe the work can wait, leaving the morning for a hike up Gaviota Peak and the sea-to-valley scenic payoff at the summit or a long morning ride around a quiet country road.

Wind down the workday with an incredible meal prepared by the wine country eateries that have made the Santa Ynez Valley so beloved by travelers.

Sounds pretty great.

During a work-cation, you have plenty of time to immerse yourself in the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities, learning the unique charms of each, from the Danish-American-enclave of Solvang to the foodie culture of Los Alamos.

Let’s be honest, the last year has seemed like a scene from the movie Groundhog Day. So perhaps most importantly, work-cations represent an opportunity to change up the routine and boost your morale. They can boost productivity by removing the day-to-day chores that come with being home. And they can improve wellness by offering a well-earned opportunity to relax and take a deep breath.

Whatever your reason, the Santa Ynez Valley offers a rare chance to live and work in wine country — if only for a few weeks or months.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Natural Wine and Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country: A Getaway Wine Buying Guide

Wine world catch phrases and industry jargon abound these days, making wine tasting and wine buying choices slightly daunting for the likes of us neophyte oenophiles (see, there it is again!). What constitutes a “natural wine”? How do I know if this wine is organic? What on earth is biodynamically made wine? Here, a primer for wine tasting in Santa Ynez Valley wine country; a simple sampling and shopping guide for dinner parties, date nights, and your organic-everything friends or family.

The Santa Ynez Valley boasts such a wide array of wine varietals, winemaking methods and wine tasting experiences, you would be hard-pressed (pun intended) to cover all of its vineyard-blanketed ground in one day. Good news, is that the Santa Ynez Valley’s vino variety is rivaled only by its bountiful inventory of lodging accommodations – hotels, motels and inns, B&Bs, resorts – at nearly all wine country vacation budget levels. A healthy roster of food and wine festivals and events, year ‘round, also provides ample opportunity for getaways to this burgeoning California wine destination.

Welcome wine to the table with a clean conscience, and “clean” wines.

Let’s talk “natural wine”: there is no clear definition of natural wine, nor are there any legal confines which determine whether a wine can, for sure, be deemed “natural”. What do exist, are a number of organizations around the world which set guidelines for particular wine growing regions; associations which only allow wines made a certain way, to carry a natural wine designation. Loosely utilizing some of the rules set forth by these organizations, we can somewhat-safely say that natural wines at their very base level, must start with grapes which have been organically and/or biodynamically farmed.

The Santa Ynez Valley has a growing (again, with the puns) number of organically-farmed vineyards, some of which sell their grapes to numerous labels, often aside from the vineyard’s own estate labels. One such vineyard and wine label, is Coquelicot Estate Vineyard, a certified organic (CCOF) planting located in the Los Olivos District, a micro-AVA within the Santa Ynez Valley AVA. Wines which originate from Coquelicot’s vineyard range in varietal from Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling to Grüner Veltliner, to Pinot Noir, Malbec, Syrah and Sangiovese, as seen in Coquelicot’s own Sangiovese Rosé.

Another organically-farmed Santa Barbara wine country vineyard, is Spear Vineyards & Winery, in the famed Sta. Rita Hills – an AVA most known for its award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Spear produces its own estate label, but also sells grapes to other Santa Barbara County winemakers and brands like Kings Carey Wines, which bottles a low-intervention Grenache from organically-grown Spear Vineyards grapes.

But as a consumer, how do you know if a wine comes from an organically-farmed vineyard? Well, it can be a selling point, and labels which recognize this will often advertise the fact on their bottles. Look for the terms “made with organic grapes” or “made with organically-grown grapes”, on wine bottle labels.

Biodynamically speaking…

In the same vein as organic vineyards, are biodynamic vineyards. According to the Biodynamic Association, “Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition.” Simply and broadly said, biodynamic vineyards are farmed with sustainability in mind, as well as a happy ecosystem, eco-friendly practices and cheerful grapes – and people. Santa Barbara County examples of wines produced from biodynamic farming practices, are Ampelos Cellars (also organic) in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and a number of bottlings produced with grapes from biodynamic and sustainable Duvarita Vineyard, a Santa Barbara County AVA vineyard turning out popular wines like Story of Soil’s Duvarita Pinot Noir or Syrah, and Storm Wines Pinot Noirs.

Organizations which monitor what could be considered natural wine, often differ on the hot-topic of sulfites. Sulfites are used as a preservative in most wines, and the use of sulfites in rather small quantities will usually, still qualify a wine as “natural” in a number of purist wine circles. Santa Ynez Valley wine country examples of low-sulfite wines are Solminer Wine Co., which also places the utmost importance on organic farming practices, and Lumen Wines, which pulls grapes from sustainably-farmed vineyards. The afore-mentioned Kings Carey Wines, also produces a low-in-sulfites, dry Sémillon, affectionately referred to as “an alternate white wine”.

 

Time for an intervention: low-intervention.

One facet of what could be considered “natural” winemaking, is intervention level – either in the vineyard, or in the winery. Low- or minimal-intervention wines are left somewhat untouched by the winemaker, allowing all of the naturally-occurring processes of fermentation, to do their thing. One of the newer, minimal intervention wine labels coming out of Santa Barbara County, is Metrick Wines – but low-intervention wines are abundant in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Let’s get technical. Switching gears just slightly, another wine-geek term and trend is “carbonic”. Carbonic maceration, to be more exact, is a fermentation process for red wine, differentiated by the way in which fermentation is initiated. In carbonic maceration processes, no yeast is added to kick off fermentation; the process essentially starts within the grape itself, when those grapes have been sealed in a large vessel which also contains carbon dioxide. You might see the mention of “carbonic” on Santa Ynez Valley wine country labels like Lo-Fi Wines, which practices whole cluster carbonic fermentation on some of their minimalist wines (how’s that, for a mouthful?), or Stolpman Vineyards’ carbonically fermented, 100% Sangiovese, “Love You Bunches”. Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, a sustainable, working farm and vineyard, got into the carbonic game with its 2017 “Carbonique”, a 100% Cabernet Franc fermented via carbonic maceration.

With all of this newfound wine knowledge in-hand, it’s time to go wine tasting! The wine labels mentioned above, plus scores more, may be tasted and purchased at their respective wineries and/or tasting rooms, or in Santa Ynez Valley restaurants, wine bars and wine shops, scattered throughout the Valley’s six towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. Looking for a way to sample multiple natural wines from different labels? Visit Bodega Los Alamos, one of the region’s wine, beer and cider purveyors which not only tends toward local wines, but also natural-leaning ones.

 

Make that “thing to do” – natural wine – one of your “things to do”: book now, to start your Santa Ynez Valley wine education activities.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.


Valentine’s Day in the Santa Ynez Valley

Looking for a memorable Valentine’s Day in the Santa Ynez Valley? While you’ll no doubt find a wonderfully romantic and impeccable experience anywhere you turn in the SYV, these particular locales have something special in store for your Valentine’s Day weekend. See below for special events and offers in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Tasting Room Offers:

Alma Rosa Winery – Valentine’s Day Candlelight Wine Tasting
180-C Industrial Way, Buellton, CA 93427
(805) 688-9090
Join Alma Rosa Winery from 5-7pm for a pre-dinner wine tasting by candle light. Their entire tasting room will be lit by candles for a beautiful evening for one or two. Please call 805-688-9090 ex 103 to make reservations. Reservations Encouraged, Walk-ins Welcome.

Dana V Wines – Chocolate and Wine Pairing
1588 Mission Dr suite b, Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-3488
All February long, tasting room guests can enjoy a wine + chocolate pairing, with 4 wines paired with 4 chocolates from local favorite Ingeborg’s Danish Chocolates. $20 (wine club $15).

Restaurant Menus & Offers:

First & Oak at Mirabelle Inn
First & Oak’s delightful Valentine’s Day dinner offers 4 courses which can be served with or without a sommelier wine pairing for each course. 2 seating options are available (6pm and 8:30pm). Peruse the menu here.

Mad & Vin at The Landsby
1576 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463
(805) 688-3121
Enjoy the sweetly designed aesthetics of Mad & Vin at the Landsby while savoring these Valentine’s Day specials.

Norman at Skyview Los Alamos
9150 US-101, Los Alamos, CA 93440
(805) 344-0080
Norman’s 3 course Valentine’s Day menu offers a bevy of choices, all for $55. Find the menu here.  

Plenty on Bell
508 Bell St, Los Alamos, CA 93440
(805) 344-3020
Plenty on Bell’s special $65 Valentine’s Day dinner includes a glass of Domaine Rondeau Champagne to be paired with three courses. Find the menu here.

What about the kids?

Looking for romance sans the kids for one night? Get your dancing shoes out and the kids ready, because it’s Parents Night Out (aka Kids Only Night) at Gypsy Studios ‘Art Spot’. Their quarterly Kids Only Night provides art projects, pizza dinner and a kids movie, while you get a chance to do… well what ever you please! Free for members, visit website for single-visit pricing.

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.