Local

A Guide to Santa Ynez

Eat, Drink, & Be Local

The picturesque Santa Ynez Valley encompasses six communities clustered closely together. From the charming, tiny gem of rural Ballard, to the bustling gateway city of Buellton, and the vintage western town of Los Alamos, you get a taste of the beautiful wine country we call home. Meander into the arts-infused wine-infused city of Los Olivos, the turn-of-the-20th-century township of Santa Ynez, or the northern European atmosphere of the city of Solvang and you'll encounter California Coastal cuisine and wine like never before.

Just two hours up the coast from Los Angeles, it feels like a world away of endless possibilities and you can surely experience them all, with the help of a local of course!

Wine

We're proud to be surround by so many amazing wineries and winemakers. As our guest, you can experience the best the valley has to offer with our exclusive Tasting Passport featuring complimentary tastings at each stop. Check out the wineries on our Passport that remain open for outdoor tastings at this time:

Stolpman Vineyards | Carr Winery | Gainey Vineyard | Sunstone Vineyard | ย Zaca Mesa Vineyards | Lincourt Vineyards | Toccata | Lucas & Lewellen | Alma Rosa | Sanford Vineyard | Foley Estates Vineyard

*Please check the hours and reservation requirements of each winery prior to visiting.ย 

Dining

From casual spots to five-star experiences, there are plenty of restaurants in the valley that are open for outdoor dining and take-out.

Within walking distance, our favorites include: S.Y. Kitchen, serving up modern Italian, Don Carlitos, known for crafting rich Mexican flavors, and Panino and The Baker's Table for picking up a quick sandwich or salad for lunch.

A short drive away, in Buellton, you'll find Industrial Eats, a local favorite specializing in wood-fired pizzas among other creative dishes. There's also Hitching Post II, a must for steak. Bell's, located in Los Alamos, is our go-to for laid-back French food - or as they call it, Franch. Last, but not least, our sister property's signature restaurant, Mad & Vin, in Solvang, features farm-to-table California cuisine and has the best al fresco seating around.

*Due to limited seating, reservations are highly recommended, if not required.ย 

Hiking

Get outside and experience rolling hills, wild flowers that perfume the air, and breathtaking hiking trails that can give you a glimpse into our charming valley.

Grass Mountain is a great choice for those looking for a challenge with a 4.5 mile trail. For those who want to take it a little easier, our staff frequently hikes Refugio Ridge. You can take this slow and enjoy it with your family, or speed it up for a warm up before a day of wine tasting.

Lastly, experience the beauty of Nojoqui Falls, with a walk just a short distance on the trail to gaze at the falls.

Shopping

California history melds with modern-day wine tasting rooms, vineyards, art galleries, and upscale shops in our picture-perfect country town.

Los Olivos General Store and our neighbors at Santa Ynez General offer contemporary takes on classic small-town neighborhood stores, sourcing locally produced artisan items. Clairmont Farm grows lavender and sells the oil, known for its many healing qualities.

Enjoy an olive oil tasting at Olive Hill Farm or pick up a hand water-colored map at Honey Paper, our town's "hidden gem".

Outdoor Receation

Plan an afternoon exploring our area by foot, bike, horse, or balloon!

Pedego Los Olivos is bringing a fresh kind of fun to wine country with multiple destination, semi-guided electric bike tours; rentals are also available. Our friends at Vino Vaqueros have access to vineyards that you can reach via horseback.

For the adventurous, soar over the valley in a hot air balloon with Skys the Limit Ballooning, and those looking for a wine-filled excursion, book a custom, private tour guided by Solvang Wine Tours.

Family Friendly

Come face to face with some furry friends or learn more about the history that surrounds the valley while exploring with your family.

Stop by Ostrich Land U.S.A to feed ostriches and emus pans of pellets - or simply just say hello! You can also get up close and personal with adorable miniature horses at the Quicksilver Ranch.

Tour the Old Mission Santa Ines, which is proud to be the guardian of a rich collection of paintings, statuary, vestments, manuscripts, and artifacts.