The Santa Ynez Valley is home to world-class wines and sprawling ranches.
The picturesque Santa Ynez Valley encompasses six distinct communities: Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Solvang. Each offers unique characteristics united by a love of wine and small town charm.
The Santa Ynez Valley is known for its gorgeous vineyards, rolling hills, and small town feel. Tucked in between the Santa Ynez Mountains and San Rafael Mountain, the Valley invites its residents into a luxurious rural lifestyle. Residents enjoy slowing down with a glass of wine from a local winery, riding horses through endless bridle trails, or taking a drive up Figeroua Mountain for wildflowers and spectacular views.
When it comes to dining, the Santa Ynez Valley is full of local favorites that will impress even the harshest critics. Stop by Bobs Well Bread for artisan breads, sandwiches, and pastries. Their old world baking style will not disappoint.
For an excellent lunch experience, head over to Industrial Eats, a local favorite with a modern menu featuring wood-fired pizza.
For fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere, don't miss Bell's, a family-run, French-inspired bistro from Food & Wine “Best New Chef” and Per Se alums Daisy and Greg Ryan. This Los Alamos gem has earned the area's first Michelin Star. SY Kitchen, located in Downtown Santa Ynez, has garnered praise for its exquisite seasonal and local menu. The Gathering Table at the Ballard Inn offers a dining experience that would rival any big city in a cozy and rustic environment. Sear Steakhouse in nearby Solvang serves up delicious steaks and farm to table cuisine from the owner's nearby farm.
Santa Ynez might be off the beaten path, but there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. For the most pleasant wine tasting experience, book your tastings in advance at tasting rooms such as, Sunstone, Carhartt, or Demetria.
Stroll through the streets of Solvang for a unique experience, "a little slice of Denmark in Southern California". Make sure to stop into a local bakery for a delicious pastry.
If you are looking to get outdoors and experience the vast trails the Valley has to offer, look into Vino Vaqueros for an excellent wine-infused trail riding experience.
The Santa Ynez Valley is home to several excellent schools. Top educational institutions here include:
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