Make A Toast To Our Wine Country Hotel
Santa Barbara wine country is best known for its remarkable Pinot Noirs, but wine connoisseurs know this is one of the best regions in the world for many varieties of wine. With breathtaking scenery of rolling golden hills spotted with the great California oak trees, the Santa Barbara County wine country certainly has a way of satisfying all of the senses.
From Casual To Fine Dining
Industrial Eats in Buellton serves up wood-fired pizzas, fresh creative salads, sandwiches, and seafood in a casual atmosphere.
S.Y. Kitchen offers modern Italian dishes, cocktails, and wine in an intimate farmhouse-style setting in the town of Santa Ynez.
The Hitching Post II specializes in traditional wood-fired Santa Maria Barbecue served with their award-winning wines, made famous in the 2004 movie Sideways.
The Gathering Table at The Ballard Inn features seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients in a blend of Asian and French cuisine served in an intimate atmosphere.
First & Oak in Solvang at the Mirabelle Inn serves wine country cuisine in a style reminiscent of France, with a seasonal menu that includes fresh local seafood and produce.
The Tavern at Zaca Creek, set on a historic property in Buellton, features an onsite Fullblood Wagyu butchery, craft cocktail program, wine cellar, and extensive spirits and liqueurs selection.
V Lounge in Solvang at Vinland Hotel offers sandwiches, salads, and shareable plates in addition to late night bites, desserts, craft beers, wines, and cocktails.
Au Bon Climat Tasting Room
When it comes to Santa Barbara winemakers, Au Bon Climat founder Jim Clendenen is a legend. He and the ABC team produce immaculately balanced, Burgundian-style wines ranging from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir to an exquisite blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Aligote. At ABCs tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara, you can sample Clendenens new releases and select library bottles.
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Good Town To Stay In Wine Country
My husband and I will be heading to the Santa Barbara wine country the first week of Feb in 2015. We can’t believe the number of hotels that have been booked up so are now looking at vacation rentals in either Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos and Ballard. We will do about 3 full days of wine tasting and plan to hire a driver. We would like to stay somewhere that is close to restaurants so that when we catch a cab it won’t be an arm and a leg. Wondering of anyone can recommend a town that would potentially be a fit? Thanks!!
Accessible Transportation In Santa Barbara
The frequently touristed State Street, Stearns Wharf and paths along the shoreline are accessible to those with varying mobility needs. Each city parking lot also has accessible spaces. Amtrak and MTD are fully accessible. Should a route not fall within other public transportation options, Easy Lift provides those with accessibility needs rides in Santa Barbara for $3.50 each way.
The best of Californias amazing hikesA practical guide to trekking Californias John Muir TrailNorth Americas best national park day hikes
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In Addition To World Class Wines Santa Barbara Is Home To Some World
Ritz Carlton Bacara — A 78 acre resort that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It brags private beaches, lush gardens, and an impressive spa and fitness center. The restaurants have outstanding cuisine and house over 12,000 wines. What we love most is their attentive and helpful concierge, front desk, and valet staff they are always so good to us and their guests.
El Encanto — Historically, a special Santa Barbara Riviera retreat. But the full remodel a few years ago really knocked it out of the park. Gorgeous rooms, thoughtful staff, great spa and dining, and the VIEWS! A modern classic in a setting that feels worlds away, but actually is close to the mission and downtown.
San Ysidro Ranch — Simply put, one of the great hotels of the world. And it has been for 125 years. 41 individually decorated cottages in the gorgeous foothills above Montecito. Beautiful gardens, word class cuisine and wines, the most experienced and well trained staff. The historic 1825 Adobe makes for an incredibly charming private dining experience. A getaway for famous entertainers since Hollywood’s golden age.
Ballard Inn & Gathering Table
The Ballard Inn is a great choice if you want to focus your wine tasting in the area around Los Olivos and Solvang. The inn is just minutes from the tasting rooms of Los Olivos. You can easily explore the excellent wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley and the southern end of the Foxen wine trail.
The inn blends country charm and hospitality with high-end dining options. Rooms run between $300 and $400 per night. There are a number of packages you can purchase when booking a room. A package that features a cycling tour of the wineries is highly rated.
We like the proximity to the wineries and the fact you can head back to the inn for a great dinner at the end of your wine tasting adventure. The rooms are comfortable and will add a bit of romance to your trip.
You can book a room at the inn by .
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From Camping To Glamping To Luxe Digs
Flying Flags RV Resort & Campgrounds – Hook up your RV or stay in one of their restored vintage Airstreams. Opt for an air-conditioned safari tent or rustic outdoor tent, or choose a fully equipped cottage or cabin. Take advantage of swimming pools, Campfire Cafe, or nearby Sideways Lounge for cocktails.
Sideways Inn – Casual, pet-friendly, with renovated guest rooms, pool, spa, and access to the additional pools, bocce courts, and amenities of nextdoor neighbor, Flying Flags RV Resort, the Sideways Inn is comfortable and convenient.
Vinland Hotel & Lounge – Stylish, sophisticated, and completely refurbished after a two-year renovation project, the Vinland offers a pool, Malin + Goetz bath products, complimentary parking, and contactless check in. Innovative cocktails, local brews and wines, along with tasty dishes, make the V Lounge the place to relax and unwind in Solvang.
The Winston – Fourteen exquisitely decorated guestrooms, each one different, include suites and the splendid Clocktower Suite, a reminder of the hotel’s location in the center of Solvang. Comfy seating areas and a well-stocked honor bar create a welcoming atmosphere. Continental breakfast is delivered to your door each morning at the time you choose, and check-in is “invisible,” with an access code for the building and room emailed to guests.
Bike To Santa Barbara Mission
Okay, you can easily get to the Santa Barbara Mission by numerous modes of transport. But, if youd like to rent a bike and pack as much Santa Barbara magic as possible into one low-stress trip, make it from Stearns Wharf to the Mission. Wheel Fun Rentals remains the go-to for tourists and has three shops downtown, including one at 24 E. Mason Street just two blocks from Stearns Wharf. For electric bikes, e-bikery has an expansive inventory. Before splurging on a rental, make sure to check with your hotel as many now have complimentary bikes available for guests.
In 2021, the city of Santa Barbara launched the pilot phase of a public bike share system. Sprinkled along State Street and throughout town, youll find BCycle bike docks that offer e-bikes for $7 an hour and monthly/annual plans.
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Explore Vintage Santa Barbara
Ever since the release of the movie Sideways, people have been bending over backwards to get to Santa Barbara wine country. And as our guest, it’s so simple: Walk out the door and let the wine tasting begin. Santa Barbaras Urban Wine Trail includes several stops immediately surrounding Kimpton Canary Hotel, as well as in the nearby Funk Zone and Midtown areas, that showcase the more than 60 varietals grown here.
In addition, Santa Barbara’s vineyards are just a 45-minute drive away, encompassing postcard-perfect winding country roads and gently rolling hills dotted with coastal oaks. Dont have a designated driver? Experience wine country with a customized, private wine tour provided by Coastal Concierge .
Kimpton Canary Hotel is undoubtedly a favorite among Santa Barbary winery hotels. According to Travel + Leisure, there may be no better place to relax after a day of wine-drinking than in a poolside cabana under the palm trees at Kimpton Canary. And dont forget you can also make amazing local and global wine discoveries right inside our hotel, at Finch & Fork.
Our Favorite Santa Barbara Wine Country Hotels By Category And Region
Why is it so hard to pick the best Santa Barbara wine country hotels?
We are often asked, “Where should I stay when I’m wine tasting in Santa Barbara?” The size of Santa Barbara wine country makes this very difficult to answer.
The first step is to narrow your search based on the wineries you want to visit. Our answers will differ if you are focusing on wine tasting in Los Alamos and the Santa Maria Area versus focusing on the Funk Zone tasting rooms. Or maybe you want to spend most of your time in Los Olivos and Solvang?
The next step is to decide on a budget. Are you planning to spend a lot of time at your hotel? Do you want spa services, a pool, and onsite dining or is your goal to find a nice comfortable bed to crash on after a full day in the vineyards?
As you can see, picking the best Santa Barbara wine country hotels or motels depends on you and your goals. We want to give you a few of our favorites from a few different categories. Do you want a luxury hotel close to the Funk Zone? A mid-priced hotel in Santa Ynez or a fun and funky motel in Los Alamos? That’s something you need to decide.
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Solo Wknd: Stay In Santa B Or Wine Country
I’ll be in LA in early February, so I’ll stay for a long weekend to explore Santa Barbara for the first time. I plan to drive straight from LAX on Friday morning to wine country .
Should I stay in SB or one of the small town in wine country?
I’m leaning towards countryside for a change of pace, but it sounds like the towns close pretty early. Ideally, I could have dinner around 8, so i”m not back in the room too early.
I”m considring Solvang because I’d like to be walking distance to shops, tasting rooms dinner etc. Although, I can stay in another town and take a cab.
My plan was to go on a wine tour via van on sat. then drive to SB and spend a day there before driving back to LAX for my red eye flight on Sunday night.
Any recommendations one way or the other?
I would probably try to stay in Santa Barbara versus Salvang. Solvang is a great place to visit and has cute shops, but if you are solo there might be more places of interest in Santa Barbara. There is a great museum, the beach, lots of great coffee shops and bookstores, etc.
The hotels might be more expensive when you look online, but several hotels offer a “corporate rate” to solo travelers and February tends to be a slow month for hotels, tours, etc.
Have a great visit. -Suz
Edited: 12 years ago
If some B and B or small establishment in one of the small towns strikes your fancy, you probably won’t be disappointed.
While it’s my first trip, I suspect I’ll return. Too much to see in the area.
Where To Stay In Santa Barbara Wine Country
Is there much to choose between Santa Ynez, Solvang and Los Olivos. Or should I think of staying in Santa Barbara itself?
Thanks for your input.
If your interest is in the wineries, then stay in one of the places you mentioned. Santa Barbara is a beautiful place in its own right, with the beach, the old mission and the court house worth visiting.
It depends on what amenities you are looking for…
If you are looking to stay in the wine country then you have a couple nice choices in hotels in and around the Los Olivos area . Beullton is a nice choice if traveling on a budget.
If you are looking for more luxurious accommodations at higher end properties you will have to stay in Santa Barbara . I highly recommend staying in Santa Barbara as well because of the vast array of activities, dining and even some great tasting rooms in the city.
I would stay at the Fess Parker Inn & Spa in Los Olivos. This area is very quaint and the Los Olivos Cafe is very good for a meal. If you want to stay somewhere with views of the ocean, go for Santa Barbara. The Harbor View Inn is very nice, right across the street from Stearns Wharf. Enjoy your travels! 🙂
I’m also looking for a recommendation for a base for wine country tasting. It’s a girls weekend, so need a hotel in the $100 to $200 range, and hopefully with 2 queen beds to a room.
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Day 1 Wine & Architecture
Your first order of business will be checking into one of Santa Barbaras premier luxury resortstake your pick from oceanfront, hillside or downtown settings and request an early check-in so you can maximize your afternoon upon arrival.
Once youve gotten settled in, have your car service take you to the heart of downtown Santa Barbara for a refined urban wine touring experience in the historic adobes of El Paseo. Wineries located in Santa Barbaras Presidio Neighborhood feature eight elegant tasting rooms that pour vintages crafted by esteemed family-owned-and-operated wineries such as Au Bon Climat, Grassini Family Vineyards, Jamie Slone Wines and .
Walk off the wine with a visit to two picturesque architectural landmarks near El Paseo: El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park and the grand Santa Barbara County Courthousedont miss the epic view from the top of the clock tower. Then, take a stroll along State Street and browse the boutiques of Arlington Plaza and Paseo Nuevo.
Take a break to refresh at your hotel before you head to the cozy and intimate Bouchon in downtown Santa Barbara. When ordering a glass of wine, know that youll be in excellend hands. Their exclusively Santa Barbara County wine list has earned Wine Spectators Award of Excellence for 10 years running.
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For The Bigger Family Get Togethers Girlfriend Getaways Bachelorette Parties Etc It Can Be Great Fun To Rent Out Your Own House Or Villa There Are Some Stunners In And Around Santa Barbara You Can Hunt Around Airbnb And Vrbo And Find Some Gems Or Find All Kinds Of Outstanding Properties Listed Together At Our Recommendation
Paradise Retreats — A lot of great luxury properties listed together, ranging from Santa Barbara’s most beautiful neighborhoods to outstanding wine country getaways. Their concierge services can really help to plan the ideal Santa Barbara vacation.
Sogno Del Fiore— A wine country retreat. In fact, it’s right on our course. Owners, Jerry and Liz are always welcoming to us when we ride by, so you can rely on them to treat you as friends when you stay at their lovely property. On site are vineyards, bocce/horseshoes, firepit, and wine cellar. A real treat.
How To Get Around Santa Barbara: From The Waterfront To Wine Country
Lonely Planet Writer
With wine country, a bustling urban epicenter and beachside scenery for days, your method for getting around Santa Barbara should very much match the vibe of your itinerary. In The American Riviera, getting around town and its often mountain-clad outskirts can be as fun as the destination itself.
The options here span the quintessentially Californian option of a bike , an intricate bus system, a major train line and, yes, youll need a trusted shuttle after hitting all those wineries. Beyond the car, here are the transportation options to help you weave your way through Santa Barbara.
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Day 2 Wine & Wellness
Start your day with room service breakfast in bed and get your blood pumping with an invigorating walk on Butterfly Beach in Montecito. That will prep you for the Vineyard Harvest treatment at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbaras Spa. Each signature spa experience includes a therapeutic soak and full body massage. The Vineyard Harvest is a bit more elaborate with wine-related ingredients infused throughout and the addition of a body wrap treatment, plus cheese and a glass of local wine to finish.
Coastal Concierge will pick you up in your blissed out state to catch your helicopter to wine country. The private flight in an R44 Raven 1 helicopter will soar above the Pacific and pass over the Santa Ynez Mountains before landing among hillside vineyards. Your helicopter wine tour will include private tastings at two exclusive wineries and a gourmet lunch.
When you return to Santa Barbara Airport, Coastal Concierge will drop you off for dinner at Angel Oak at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara. The dark, sultry restaurant serves artful cuisine prepared by acclaimed French Chef Vincent Lesage.