Your Social Distanced Getaway

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, but more muted than in a typical year, especially during weekdays.

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 and discounts 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. Most find the mandated reduced capacities at tasting rooms and restaurants no bother at all — giving 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.

VisitSYVAbout 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.