Santa Ynez Valley

One of many excellent towns within the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley.

Welcome to Santa Ynez Valley

 
Centered in Santa Barbara’s wine country this area includes the charming Danish town of Solvang, scenic Buellton, Santa Ynez, and Los Olivos.
 
Santa Ynez is just one of many excellent towns within the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, also known as part of California's wine country with great opportunities for wine tastings at the local wineries. Vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, and this quaint area is also home to the Dutch town Solvang which is a big hit around the holidays with events like Julesfest. Santa Ynez Valley also encompasses the small and scenic city of Buellton and Los Olivos, a small town in the center of Santa Barbara wine country known for growing succulent wine grapes.
 

What to Love


  • Wine country
  • Stunning scenic views and vineyards
  • Solvang’s Danish heritage
  • Julesfest at the holidays
  • Excellent shopping and dining
  • Rich historical legacy

People & Lifestyle

 
The Santa Ynez Valley consists of several communities, including Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Buellton, and Solvang. Home to wine country and tourism, this idyllic, rural area has a unique identity as each community offers something different and distinct. Buellton has an Old West flair and style, while Los Olivos is where many of the area's wine grapes are grown. Then there is Solvang, the Danish town bursting with charm. From families to retirees, the valley is a welcome respite from the bustle of the larger cities.
 

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

 
Buellton is home to a range of great dining and entertainment options. Try the famous split-pea soup at Pea Soup Anderson's or stay a night at the Sideways Inn––the exact spot where Sideways was filmed. In town, sip on craft beers at breweries like Firestone Walker and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company.

Hitching Post II and AJ Spurs are notable for their Western-style interiors. Both spots serve oak-grilled meats and unique dishes you won't find anywhere else. But you can also try classic New American food at the modern counter-serve Industrial Eats.

Solvang is home to the wood-clad venue Mad & Vin and the quaint, old-timey gift shop Mortensen's Bakery. For Danish treats and European cookies, visit Olsen's Danish Village Bakery. The Danish tradition continues at Solvang Bakery, Solvang Brewing Company, Paula's Pancakes, Solvang Restaurant, Danish Mill Bakery, Bit O’Denmark, and the Copenhagen Sausage Garden.

CHOMP Burgers is a family-owned joint perfect for a casual meal of burgers and shakes. The same company owns the kid-friendly Brekkies, a breakfast staple for American and Mexican fare.

You’ll find The Lucky Hen Larder, an artisanal culinary goods store, and deli if you head to Santa Ynez. Grab lunch or dinner from the local Italian eatery Trattoria Grappolo for homemade ravioli or wood-fired pizza. Other popular restaurants include the S.Y. Kitchen and Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn.

There is no better local spot for extravagance than the AAA Four Diamond-rated Chumash Casino with more than 320 rooms and 58 suites. This resort gives guests exquisite and unparalleled views of the Santa Ynez Valley. 
 
In Los Olivos, the Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe pairs Cal-Med cuisine with local wines in a casually elegant space.
 

Things to Do

 
Solvang celebrates its Danish culture every year with a three-day festival of heritage and culture called Solvang Danish Days. Come winter, the city hosts a month-long Danish-style holiday celebration known as Julefest, which includes the popular Santa's Village. Solvang is also home to the PCPA Theatre, a professional conservatory theatre that also offers training.

If you want a truly unique tourist experience, be sure to visit OstrichLand USA. Like the name suggests, this park allows guests to feed the roaming ostriches and emus.

Buellton is home to the annual Brewfest celebration, the iconic Sideways Lounge where the 2004 movie was filmed, and the Mendenhall Museum featuring a private collection of vintage gas, racing, and roadway artifacts.

Since Santa Ynez Valley is in the heart of California's wine country, there are always wine tasting events and tours to take. The annual Solvang Stomp is a great way to get in on the fun, and many local wineries participate.
 

Schools

 
Notable schools in the Santa Ynez Valley include:

  • Santa Ynez High (public, 9-12)
  • Santa Ynez Elementary (public, 1-8)
  • Family Partnership Charter School (charter, K-12)
  • Solvang Elementary (public, 6-8)
  • Jonota Middle (public, 6-8)
  • Oak Valley Elementary (public, K-5)
 

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