At the junction of Highway 101 and State Route 135, you’ll find Los Alamos, California: a tiny town that punches well above its weight in terms of fun. Despite its small population of 1,890, this charming corner of the Santa Ynez Valley is home to a thriving arts and antiques scene, some great food and drink options, cozy accommodations, and several premier Santa Ynez Valley events. If you haven’t heard of it before, that’s because it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Santa Barbara County!
Here are 5 reasons why you should start planning your visit to this beautiful corner of Santa Ynez Valley:
- Soak up Some History
One of the most appealing qualities of Los Alamos is its rich history, which dates all the way back to 1876. Throughout the town, you’ll find beautiful, old buildings, antique shops, and historic sites. Los Alamos Old Days, a favorite among Santa Ynez Valley festivals, is also quickly approaching. A highlight of the town’s calendar of events for September 2016, this festival celebrates the history of the region with a parade, an antique car show, a silent auction, plenty of fun children’s activities, and delicious food on every corner.
- Explore the Arts and Antiques Scenes
As mentioned above, Los Alamos is home to a handful of fantastic antique shops. Any shopping trip through the town is a veritable treasure hunt—you never know what you might find! Los Alamos is also home to a thriving arts scene. Throughout the town, and the neighbouring towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang, you’ll find a handful of gorgeous galleries and enriching museums that are sure to dazzle, inspire, and educate. Pop in to The C Gallery while in town and explore a range of contemporary art, from established national artists to emerging, creative new talents.
- Dine Like Royalty
Despite its small size, the picturesque Los Alamos region boasts an array of delicious dining options typical of a much larger city. Whether you’re heading out for dinner with the family, or for a romantic date with your better half, you can be sure you won’t go hungry in Los Alamos. Savory spots include Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, Bell Street Farm, Full of Life Flatbread, and newcomers like Pico and Plenty on Bell.
- Wine Down
Some of the very best Santa Barbara wine events occur in sun-soaked Los Alamos. Our beautiful town is home to a handful of top-notch tasting rooms, such as Casa Dumetz Wines, Bedford Winery, and Frequency Wine Company. Stop by any of these Los Alamos tasting rooms to sample the toothsome fruits of the world-renowned Santa Barbara wine scene, year-round. Cheers!
- Rest Easy
As you can see, there’s plenty to do during the day in beautiful Los Alamos—so much so that you’re likely to be pretty beat by the time bedtime rolls around. Well, here’s the good news: the Los Alamos region is home to a cozy inns and motels, including a historic Victorian-style bed & breakfast with six themed suites, and a hip, modern motel that looks out over a classic motor court. Rest easy knowing you’ll be well rested for each new day in this gorgeous corner of California.
About The Author: Shelby Sim grew up just 30 minutes south of the Santa Ynez Valley on the coast in Goleta, CA. After living in many different states and traveling the world, he returned to the area and discovered the many quality wines being produced here. Shelby has worked in the area for the last 11 years as a wine tour host, while acting as director of business development with the Goleta chamber, and later as a sales manager for Bacara Resort and Spa. He recently moved his family to Buellton and is honored to be executive director of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley, the premier destination marketing organization (DMO) for the region.
About 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.