California Weekend Getaways

Best California Weekend Getaways

Plan Your Escape to the Santa Ynez Valley

I recently walked into Tercero Wines in Los Olivos to try their latest Albariño release on my way to an Industry Night at Malibu Family Wines. Larry Schaffer greeted me warmly and poured a taste. There was a couple in the tasting room telling Larry about their spontaneous SYV trip. It piqued my interest so I listened in, and asked if they’d be willing to share their trip to California via a guest blog post. The following is the account in Emily C.’s own words. Consider this inspiration for your future California Weekend Getaway.

We live in Michigan and we originally planned a 10 day trip to California.  We bought a one way ticket into San Diego, a one way ticket home from San Francisco, and rented a convertible to drive the coast in between and visit several places along the way. 

I am an avid wine drinker, Scott is not but we definitely wanted to visit wine country while we were there.  We asked our family and friends for suggestions on places to stop and we received the usual suggestions in Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles… after some consideration, we had decided to try the Paso Robles wineries. 

From the day we arrived in San Diego on the 5th of June through June 10th, we had been non-stop up the coast until we reached Santa Monica.  After spending the day exploring the pier, Beverly Hills, LA and West Hollywood, we decided it would be nice to find somewhere off the beaten path to relax for the evening.  We planned on staying in Santa Barbara but found a great deal (less than $100/night!) at Hadsten House through the Hotels Tonight app.  It raved about the restaurant, the pool, the hot tub and the quaint town and seemed like a great place for us to take a load off. 

While driving there, we saw the signs for the Santa Ynez Valley wine country and I saw a few wineries, one specifically boasting Pinot Noir (MY FAV!), and we began to wonder what we had just fallen into.  Upon arriving at the hotel, we instantly fell in love.  It was a beautiful scenic location, the room was amazing and we were given a list of wineries in the area, which just happened to be geared more toward the Pinot Noirs that I love, and offered complimentary tastings or 2 for 1 tasting just for staying in the area.  After a dip in the spa and some recommendations from the other guests familiar with the area and our first impression of the restaurant there, we decided to stay another night and do our wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley versus our original plan. 

We could not have made a more perfect decision for us.  On June 11th, we played golf on the River Course at the Alisal and then went wine tasting.  I had some of the most amazing wines at a very affordable cost.  The people were incredible, the tasting rooms were enticing and original, and to top it all off, it was so close to our hotel!  Not only was the wine and scenery awesome, the food we had was incredible.  We visited Arthur Earl Winery, Alexander & Wayne Tasting Room, Tercero Wines, and Carhartt.  I cannot rave enough about how awesome this area is.   

This was, by far, one of the best adventures on our trip.  Since we have been home, I have been telling everyone that Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country is the place to go.  Scott and I will definitely be back to experience even more than we were able to before. 

Here’s to Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley!  Great memories and great wine!

– Emily C.Tenley Fohl Photography - Purchased 030114 095

Santa Ynez Valley EventsAbout 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 for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.