Monday, September 25, 2023

Where To Stay In Santa Ynez Valley

Carpe Travels Top Picks

Santa Ynez California Travel Guide | Must Do Travels

BallardThe Ballard Inn

Recently renovated, The Ballard Inn is one of the most sought-after small luxury inns in the Santa Ynez Valley. Voted one of Americas Top Ten Most Romantic Inns, it offers comfortably elegant accommodations, attentive staff, and award-winning cuisine at The Gathering Table. See our full review.


Fess Parker Wine Country Inn

Located in the heart of Los Olivos, the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn is a stunning accommodation that is great for those who prefer a little extra luxury. After undergoing a pretty big remodel, the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn now has cozy rooms that maintain a coastal California charm with wonderful amenities.

The best part about booking a room here is the fact that all of the amazing Los Olivos tasting rooms are within walking distance. There is nothing quite as relaxing as being able to spend your days strolling and shopping around town without having to worry about driving to and from each tasting room. The Fess Parker Wine Country Inn is also home to Nella, which is one of the most beloved restaurants in Santa Ynez Valley.

Close to: Los Olivos tasting rooms, vineyardsBudget: $$$

Where To Eat In Santa Ynez

While SY Kitchen is definitely a must-visit restaurant in Santa Ynez, here are some of our other favorite places to eat in the Santa Ynez Valley town:

Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn offers New American cuisine and a rustic ambience in keeping with the towns vibes. They have a good-sized list of Central Coast wines to pair with your food. Both lunch and dinner are offered.

Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn

Trattoria Grappolo offers Italian favorites, from wood-fired pizza and pasta to lots of seafood main courses. They are located on Sagunto Street in downtown Santa Ynez, and only open for dinner.

Dos Carlitos Restaurant and Tequila Bar offers quality Mexican fare. Its located on Sagunto Street in downtown Santa Ynez. Their grilled vegetable tostada and grilled Anaheim chiles are both excellent. They are open for both lunch and dinner, and do not accept reservations.

Dos Carlitos

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More Great Things To Do In Santa Ynez Valley

Los Olivos: This cute little town is one of our favorites, with art galleries, boutiques and a couple of great places to eat strung along a two-block-long main street. You’ll also find almost a dozen tasting rooms here, making it easy to sample without driving around.

Solvang: Solvang’s Danish heritage is apparent everywhere, and while it’s touristed up to the max, we still like the interesting shops which make its downtown a great place for a stroll. You can also sample traditional Danish foods at any of several restaurants and bakeries. Explore Danish cuisine using the guide. If you’re a particular fan of storyteller Hans Christian Anderson , you’ll find a museum dedicated to him upstairs in The Book Loft Building at 1680 Mission Drive.

Cute Critters: With lots of great ranch land, it seems like someone is raising almost anything around here. You can visit Flying V Llama Ranch , check out the miniature horses at Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch at 1555 Alamo Pintado Rd. or stop by Ostrich Land to get a better look at the big birds which you can also see from the highway.

Local Produce: Seasonal farm stands offer fresh produce in season, and some provide opportunities to “pick your own.” You’ll find most of them as you drive around, but one that merits a stop, especially when their lavender crop is in bloom is Clairmont Farms near Los Olivos, where you can buy their organically-grown essential oils and lavender-scented personal care products.

Vacation Rentals In Santa Ynez Ca

Where to Stay in the Santa Ynez Valley: Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort ...

This beautiful VRBO cottage is set amidst lavender, vineyards, and olive trees, and sleeps up to four guests. Located about 3 miles from downtown Santa Ynez, the property offers easy access to many area wineries and is the perfect place to relax. Watch the sunset from the patio and enjoy the fireplace on cool evenings! Book a stay here!

This lovely cottage has two bedrooms and one bathroom and is about 3 miles from the town center. The grounds are beautiful and the cottage spacious, with relaxing views and a front patio for enjoying a glass of wine in the evenings. A fenced in yard is great if you are planning to visit with your dog. Book a stay here!

Pretty storefront on Sagunto Street!

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Escaping Into The True Wild West

We’ve all seen the old movies and pictures of the “Wild West,” but how many of us have actually experienced it? Can you imagine a life where you wake up early to the sounds of the birds flying around the crisp, cool morning air? A morning when you can practically smell the beads of dew that sit on the grass… And as you smell the fresh dew, you start to hear the sounds of the animals on the ranch waking up and moving around. You go outside to see the sun peaking out on the green, rolling valleys and you know it’s going to be another beautiful day. Well that, my friends, is exactly the life you get to experience when you come to Alisal for a visit.

I was almost on sensory overload with all the natural beauty that surrounded me at the resort! From the moment you pull up to the property, which is about an hour away from downtown Santa Barbara, you’re greeted by lush, open fields that are filled with magnificent horses and cattle that are grazing the property. On one side of the road, you see the large, wood barn and stables where the animals roam freely in their spaces. On the other side, you see all of the charming guest cabins and accommodations surrounded by beautiful trees in bloom with colorful flowers dancing around them. It instantly felt like we had left the world we knew behind us and entered a bygone era of the authentic Wild West.

Hi, I’m Ana Rebeca! Welcome to The City Sidewalks. Here youll find tips on Travel, Lifestyle, and Wellness.

Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn

Overall Ratings

4 based on 465 reviews

The Royal Copenhagen Inn is located in the heart of Solvang, surrounded by its finest shops, restaurants and bakeries. The Royal Copenhagen will have you believing you have traveled to Denmark. The Inn is built in the traditional style of a village, or neighborhood, with the outside of the buildings being exact duplicates of the buildings found on a street in Copenhagen. Escape into the old world grace and charm of the Royal Copenhagen Inn, located downtown in the Danish village of Solvang. We are small enough to provide personal service and our professional staff will make you feel like royalty.Our rooms are all decorated in the Danish tradition and are more spacious than your typical hotel room. The rooms come with a large walk-in shower and each is different in its architecture. All rooms have cable TV, AC, coffee makers and refrigerators.

A Royal Experience!!

Reviewed By Shreveport1947

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Where To Stay In The Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country

Categories California, Central Coast, Featured, Santa Ynez Valley

With 50 hotels and lodging options in the Santa Ynez Valley, finding a place to stay in wine country can be easy to uncork. All six towns in the Valley are about 10-20 minutes away from one another so staying in one town doesnt limit where you do your wine tastings, restaurants and other activities.

Stroll Downtown Santa Ynez

Santa Ynez Valley Visit

Possibly the most enjoyable thing to do in Santa Ynez is just to stroll the tiny downtown. Many of the buildings along the main street feature 1880s-style facades, making them a joy to view and photograph.

Old West facade in Santa Ynez

Weve walked up and down Sagunto Street many times, taking in the pretty facades and storefronts. There are also cafes, where you can snag an outside table, perfect for people watching while you enjoy a drink.

Browse the many stores and art galleries, and enjoy the ambience, whether you choose a quiet time in the morning, when youll be able to take photos in relative solitude, or you walk during the day or evening, when the picturesque streets are lively with visitors.

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Try Your Luck At The Chumash Casino

If you are feeling lucky, visit the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez! Other than gaming, the resort offers high-rise accommodations, a pool and spa, several eateries, and shopping.

You can also enjoy a variety of entertainment at the casino, featuring both local and national musicians and performers.

Things To Do Near Santa Ynez

The towns of picturesque Santa Ynez Valley are clustered close together, so no matter which town you pick as your base, you will find it super easy to explore the others as well, as long as you have the time.

Experience a little bit of Europe in California by visiting Solvang, which styles itself as the Danish Capital of America. Here you can sample aebleskivers, fluffy Danish fried dough balls. Enjoy the Danish-style architecture, shop for souvenirs, do wine tasting, and tour the Old Mission Santa Ynes and small museums in town.

Pretty street in Solvang

In nearby Buellton, sample craft spirits and visit the Hitching Post 2 Restaurant, one of the locales for the movie Sideways. At Ostrichland, you can feed ostriches and emus. Andersens Pea Soup is a Buellton tradition as well.

Los Olivos is known for its numerous wineries and restaurants. Downtown Los Olivos features lots of unique shops and galleries. Los Alamos also has a fun downtown, with Old West facades. Ballard is tiny, but has many heritage homes and a miniature horse ranch. Bobs Well Bread, with locations in both Los Alamos and Ballard, is a must visit!

Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos

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From Horseback Riding And Hiking To Wine Touring And Tasting

Fertile soil, temperate weather, and the unique geography that allows ocean breezes and foggy mornings to enhance grape growing provide the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara County to produce premium Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and other varieties. Wine tastings and tours are available at most wineries, and reservations are suggested.

Cachuma Lake, a reservoir on the Santa Ynez River, offers camping, guided cruises, fishing, hiking, and nature walks. Horseback riding among the hills, mountain trails, and vineyards can be followed by an optional wine tasting. Explore on two wheels with a bike rental or join a bicycle tour for a day or even longer. Wherever your visit to the Santa Ynez Valley takes you, the beauty of the rolling hills, vineyards, and tree-shaded roads will have you planning your return.

What Wine Is Santa Ynez Known For

Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ynez has a diverse climate, going from cold and foggy in the east and warm and dry in the West. Cooler eastern areas provide the right conditions for growing grape varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah.

These are among the most popular wines in Santa Ynez, but youll also find Bordeaux blends, Zinfandels, and other Rhône blends, especially in the west.

The varying climate and temperature is ideal for producing well-balanced wines with high acidity, which are commonly found in Santa Ynez.

The dynamic climate also results in different soil types across the valley. The foothills are made up of silty, clay-like soil, which is the opposite of the sandy and well-drained soils found on the valley floor.

With its rural roads and oak filled golden hills, Santa Ynez features some of the most breathtaking views. It has a total area of 5.1 square miles, which 99.86% is land .

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Foxen Vineyard And Winery

  • Website:

Featuring two fantastic tasting rooms for you to visit, the Foxen Vineyard and Winery are worth checking out if youre in the Santa Ynez area. They have a reputation for their amazing white wines, but they also make some marvelous reds too.

Both locations are worth visiting, but the historic shack is a particularly great space to check out.

Its open from 11am to 4pm and costs between $20 and $28 per person.

In the Pinot Noir Tasting session, youll try six of Foxen Vineyards high-quality single-vineyard Pinot Noirs from the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Rita Hills AVAs. An experienced associate will talk you through each wine, teaching you about their winemaking process and vineyards.

The Classic tasting session includes six wines from their Foxen 7200 and FOXEN brands, and youll learn more about each wines history and production.

Both tasting sessions last 1 hour and 15 minutes. The staff at Foxen Winery are fantastic and extremely knowledgeable about wine, ensuring each customer has a pleasant and informative stay. This alone makes Foxen Winery one of the best vineyards in Santa Ynez.

Visit The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society Museum

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society Museum and Parks-Janeway Carriage House is located right in the heart of downtown Santa Ynez, making it easy to pop in for a visit. The museum showcases the communities of Californias Central Coast, with exhibitions and events.

Santa Ynez Historical Museum

In the Parks-Janeway Carriage House, you can view the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in the western USA, plus beautiful saddles, riding gear, and period clothing.

The museum also holds varied multi-month exhibitions that feature local artwork or exhibits that shed light on the history and culture of the valley.

The museum is located at 3596 Sagunto Street, and at the time of writing, is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. There is an admission fee. For current information on hours and admission, visit the museums website.

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Getting The Lay Of The Land

Driving from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez Valley is easy, even by the citys notorious traffic standards. Once you pull off the iconic 101, its a scenic 45-minute drive along the mountain-hugging Highway 154.

Nomenclature here can be confusing. Santa Ynez is both the valley and a town within it, and the entire winemaking region is referred to as Santa Barbara Wine Country, even though Santa Barbara is more of a gateway to the area than an actual part of it. Just as Napa is the catchall name for a series of small towns Calistoga, Yountville, St. Helena so too is Santa Ynez, which also contains agriculturally chic Los Olivos, quirky Buellton, Old West-style Los Alamos, and the traditional Danish village of Solvang.

And its not just filled with grape growers, either. Youll also find lavender fields, horse ranches and an abundance of crops that typically get bought up by L.A. chefs and patrons of the Santa Monica farmers market.

Flying Flags Rv Resort & Campground

Discover the Santa Ynez Valley with Shelby Sim
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1352 reviews

Travel the Highway West to Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground where you can unwind in unique accommodations such as vintage trailer and airstream rentals, cabins and cottages, luxury tents or your own RV or camping tent. Enjoy California’s breathtaking central coast with a variety of on-site amenities including a swimming pool, resort playground and complimentary Wi-Fi. Flying Flags also allows guests to easily access many of the area’s most popular attractions and destinations. Wine tasting at a local winery, the charming town of Solvang and the serene surroundings of Lake Cachuma and Los Padres National Forest are just a few of the points of interest situated just moments away from our resort. If you are looking for a memorable vacation experience in California’s wine country, look no further than Flying Flags!

Great Location

Reviewed By bigmikejones

If you have 40 footer or longer, book premium pull thru sites. Roads are kind of narrow and closeness of sites may be an issue. Lots of work going on and I can see the improvements with tree trimming and constant attention to the grounds.

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Best Time To Go To The Santa Ynez Valley

We’ve seen the Santa Ynez Valley in several seasons, and it always looks great. Like any part of California, it’s more likely to be rainy in winter. Visit during the growing season to check out the fresh produce stands. During the Solvang Century Bike Ride in March, roads are busy and so are the local hotels.

Best Wineries In Santa Ynez

Santa Ynez winery map:

  • Website:

Located only 35 minutes north of Santa Barbara in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley is Sunstone Vineyards and Winery. This peaceful retreat offers a multitude of delicious wines, including red, white, rose, and sparkling.

The wine tasting room is open 7 days a week from 11am to 5pm. Each person is provided with a tasting flight of six wines, but they also offer wine by the glass and bottle.

From the acidic and bright Vognie to the berry-liscious Pinot Noir Reserve, each of Sunstones wines are delectable. Their expansive menu means that no matter your wine preference, theres bound to be something for you to try.

Aside from wine, Sunstone Winery is also known for their charming 55-acre estate. The villa overlooks the Santa Ynez Mountains, so you can enjoy a glass of their various wines while taking in scenic views.

You can take a tour of the estate on Saturdays if youre interested in seeing more of the local grounds. The villa is also available to host weddings and private events.

They have a variety of tranquil areas to sit in for ultimate relaxation, including a French-inspired courtyard filled with rosemary and lavender, stone barrel-aging caves, and picnic tables surrounded by oak and olive trees.

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