A Travel Guide to the Perfect Getaway in our Backyard: Santa Ynez Valley
Santa Barbara is placed directly on the Pacific Ocean with the dramatic Santa Ynez mountains as the backdrop. Even though Santa Barbara is a tranquil beach town that we all gladly call home, we all still need a break from one of the top destination vacation spots (Santa Barbara drama queen in the flesh). For us fortunate Santa Barbarians, we have the perfect getaway in our backyard.
Santa Ynez is located in one of most prestigious American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in wine country. Los Olivos, Solvang, and Buellton are located within the Santa Ynez Valley. This breathtaking Valley is not only known for its views and astonishing ranches, but it is also home to over 120 wineries.
The perfect ‘home away from home’…Welcome to Santa Ynez Valley!
Where To Eat?
Industrial Eats: Holy food! Industrial Eats is located in Buellton off of Industrial Way. If you love food as much as I do, this is the place for you. I like to call it ‘my foodie heaven’. This place is always packed, but no need to worry, they have plenty of large, family style tables along with outdoor seating. Their menu is unique, not only because of how it looks but also how it is listed by ingredients rather than what the dish would traditionally be called. They have wine or beer to quench your thirst after diving into their prosciutto, taleggio, parmesan, arugula pizza (to die for). But, if you aren’t a fan of their wine selection, next door is Alma Rosa, where you can bring your favorite bottle over with no corkage fee…the perks of being in wine country! My favorite lunch spot in Santa Barbara county, guaranteed.
Where To Stay?
The Landsby: The Landsby is located in the heart of downtown Solvang. This boutique style hotel is newly renovated with 41 rooms and warm new decor. The rooms are absolutely breathtaking with marble and copper bathroom finishes and bright open rooms with blonde woods paired with brass elegant accents. Mad & Vin, the restaurant located near the lobby, serves fresh seasonal California Coast ingredients year round, and is the perfect cozy place to wind down your evening. They also have a bar right outside of the restaurant with delicious hand crafted cocktails, local beer, and local wines. The location is ideal for walking around downtown and exploring the Danish shops, bakeries, restaurants, museums, and art galleries. Staying at The Landsby is guaranteed to be a dreamy experience.
AirBnb: Even though Santa Ynez Valley is fully equipped with unique and wonderful hotels, nothing is better than being able to stay in the middle of Ballard Canyon near a vineyard. There are over 180 Airbnb’s in the Santa Ynez Valley ranging from $50 a night to $700 a night. Airbnb is a great way to learn more about the Santa Ynez Valley by having a wonderful host who knows their way around.
Where to Taste?
Carhartt: Oh Carhartt, it has my heart. This tiny tasting room is full of character, and delicious wine. Carhartt is a third generation, family owned winery and vineyard in Rancho Santa Ynez. This tiny tasting room is nestled under tall trees, offering shade while you can sit back in the wine barrel-style furniture, sipping on a glass of 2012 Petit Verdot. For the white wine and rosé lovers, I apologize but this is a ‘red only’ tasting room. But, let me tell you…you will be a full time red wine lover by the end of your tasting! A little secret, Carhartt is the only tasting room that stays open until 6:00pm!
Saarloos & Sons: Do you like wine? Do you like cupcakes? Then this is the place for you! Come on in to Saarloos & Sons and enjoy your wine tasting paired with a cupcake tasting. This is the perfect place to come with a big group and enjoy the cozy patio. But, if you plan on coming with a group 5 or more you will need to make a reservation. Saarloos & Sons always host awesome events, which they post on their website when it’s around that time for a celebration. Saarloos & Sons is a third generation winemaking family that continues to grow. This family has the right idea, giving people wine and cupcakes at the same time…GENIUS!
Figueroa Mountain Brewery: Ah, our favorite brewery in Santa Barbara…welcome to where it all began! A majority of the beers are named after things or places in the Santa Ynez Valley. The first Figueroa tap room to open is in Buellton and the second is in Los Olivos. Los Olivos just moved their location to a huge tap room with plenty of outdoor space and seating. The new location is always full, but always a blast. If you work up an appetite from all the fun, you can order food from Sides Hardware and Shoes and they will deliver your meal right over to you! Smell the poppies and go on in for a cold beer with the ‘locals’.