This is one of the top 10 most “Christmassy” towns in America! Enjoy a variety of delightful lights and spirited events during its annual Julefest (Yule-Fest) every December. DECEMBER 1 – 3, 8 – 10, AND 15 – 17, 2017 Shop, Mingle & Jingle Solvang welcomes holiday shoppers with special events and entertainment.Wheel Fun Rentals
Welcome to Solvang's premiere Surrey cycle rental outlet. Explore whimsical downtown Solvang, ride through Santa Barbara County's wine country and Santa Ynez Valley passing beautiful parks, farms, vineyards, wineries, and more by bike!Top Reasons to Spend June in the Santa Ynez Valley
According to the song from Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Carousel, “June is bustin' out all over!” That is so true right here in Santa Ynez Valley that we don't know if one month can even hold all the fun we have in store! Our towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang have put together some great activities to get your summer off to a rollicking start. We've got reasons galore for you to schedule a June weekend getaway in Santa Ynez .
One of the things people like to do most on a visit to Santa Ynez Valley is enjoy samples of some of the local wines, but that can be difficult to accomplish in just one weekend. That's why the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country Association is offering The Summer Pass. Take your time and enjoy samples at various tasting rooms throughout the Santa Ynez Valley for just $45, through August 31, 2017.
And don't miss the Solvang Third Wednesday celebration on June 21. This is a day to walk, shop, wine and dine – all in the village of Solvang:
- Participating Solvang wine tasting rooms, wine bars and beer bars offer a special discounted tasting opportunity with the Solvang 3 rd Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk (3-7p.m.), where you can enjoy 2 tastings at 5 places of your choice, for just $20 per person.
- Participating Solvang merchants offer 3 rd Wednesday deals on merchandise and the Solvang Farmers Market offers freshly-harvested produce and gourmet goods.
- Select Solvang restaurants feature a special 3-course Solvang 3 rd Wednesday menu. The 3-course menus include ingredients sourced straight from the Market.
- Since it is the “longest day of the year,” we'll be celebrating “Midsommer Musik” with free, live music throughout the Village of Solvang, from 12 noon to 12 midnight.
But wait, there is more!
Dads, Grads, Olives and More June Activities in Santa Ynez Valley
There are plenty of fun events in Santa Ynez Valley all month long, but don't miss these special June activities in the Santa Ynez Valley:
- Three Cheers for Dad! Father's Day is Sunday, June 18, but instead of another tie this year why not spoil dad with a trip to Santa Ynez Valley? What does he like to do most? Whether he enjoys beer, wine, great food, golf, biking, hiking, gaming, or just spending time with his loving family, we can make it all happen right here.
- Congratulate the Graduate! If your amazing student is graduating from high school or college, bring him or her to Santa Ynez Valley for a celebration weekend. We can hook you up with some great family adventures like horseback riding, hot air ballooning, or even soaring.
- Father's Day “BBQ-Out-Back”: Follow the Father's Day BBQ signs to The Bear and Star's back garden for a casual and social barbecue picnic experience. Guests will enjoy a “down home” cooked meal prepared from our 30′ custom reverse-flow Texas smoker and view the tender meats and treats coming hot off the grill. Musical artist Colby Lee Huston will perform throughout the day in the back garden. No reservations are accepted for this event and seating is unreserved group seating at picnic-style tables. The Bear and Star will also be serving our complete fresh ranch menu on Father's Day for lunch and dinner in the restaurant.
- Community Day At Wildling Museum : Free admission day to the Wildling Museum. You can see current exhibits, shop the gift store, buy work by the feature local artist and get creative at the drop-in art activity. A fun family event. (All day on Wednesday June 21st, 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463, Free admission, Call (805) 686-8315).
- Let the Romance Begin! We can't tell you how many people fall in love in the Santa Ynez Valley. With our balmy days, romantic nights, and welcoming communities, it's hard not to. Whether you're new to a relationship, getting engaged, getting married, going on a honeymoon, or celebrating an anniversary, this is the place to be. We're here to help plan a joyous bachelorette party, an elegant wedding at one of the local vineyards or venues, or the most romantic honeymoon ever.
- Old Santa Ynez Day is a fun-raising day for local schools. Join us June 10 for this long-standing day of festivities in downtown Santa Ynez featuring a parade, booths, food and FUN. Organized by Santa Ynez Valley Elks Lodge #2640.
- Enjoy the Sport of Kings: The 6th Annual SYV Polo Classic returns to Piocho Ranch at Happy Canyon Vineyard in Santa Ynez on June 24. All guests are invited to dress for the occasion, with creative hats for the ladies encouraged. At the conclusion of the featured match, an awards ceremony is conducted at midfield for guests to gather, mingle with the players, and view the presentation of awards.
- The Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cooking Demo and Lunch – Saturday, June 10th, Noon – 2:00 The Gourmet Girls Go Camping Cookbook is a must-have for anyone who loves to camp in style and enjoys delicious food prepared in the great outdoors. And now the Gourmet Girls, as well as Buttonwood's own Gourmet Girl At Large (Seyburn Zorthian) will take you on a virtual campout under the beautiful Buttonwood trees. See the demo, taste the results and pair with estate grown wines. Ticket price includes lunch with wine and a copy of the cookbook, which the Gourmet Girls will be happy to sign.
- Movies in the Park – Friday, June 16, at Buellton Oak Park, 401 Sycamore Drive, Buellton. Friday, June 23, at Solvang Park, corner of Mission Drive & First Street, Solvang. Fun starts at 7:30pm. Movies start at dark. Fun for the whole family with fresh popcorn and hot chocolate. Bring a blanket or chairs. Call (805) 688-PLAY for showings.
- The Pacific Conservatory Theatre presents the enchanting “ Beauty and the Beast ” at the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater from June 15 through July 2, 2017. You'll be swept away in this “tale as old as time.” The Broadway musical tells the story of Belle, who feels trapped in a provincial town, and a prince who is trapped under the spell of an enchantress in the form of a Beast. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the spell will be broken and he will be returned to his former self. If not, he and his household will be doomed for all time. There is a Father's Day Special happening on Sunday, June 18. Take Dad to the theatre and enjoy 25% off the adult single ticket.. Order online and use coupon code BEAUTY18 (no limit).
Just when you've caught your breath from June, it's time to start thinking ahead. Make plans now to celebrate the 4 th of July with us, and don't forget the annual celebration of Danish Days from September 15-17.Upcoming May Events in Santa Ynez Valley
May Events in Santa Ynez Valley
There are so many reasons to spend the month of May in Santa Ynez Valley ! Our charming towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang are ready for some terrific summer fun. Whether you are looking for a solo adventure, something romantic, or living the family life, start making plans now for your weekend getaway in Santa Ynez .
We've highlighted the best events in May you'll want to cover on your next Santa Ynez visit, but here are just some of the ways you can celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer in this great part of California:
- Cinco de Mayo: This commemorative holiday is all about celebrating Mexican cultural heritage, and we've got you covered on music and food to celebrate. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo this Friday, Saturday & Sunday in the Valley. Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar has $5 El Charro Margaritas, $8 Cazadores Margarita with Coronita floater & $3 Cerveza specials.
- Mother's Day: Mom will just love spending time with her favorite family in the Santa Ynez Valley. Mom deserves to get away, and there's no dishes to be washed here in the SYV. A popular brunch spot for Mother's Day in the SYV is at the Marriott Hotel . You might also consider this painting event at Sunstone Winery .
- Memorial Day: This may be the “official” start of summer, but we'll already have the season well under way. Read below for upcoming Memorial Day Events in SYV.
- Festivals: We're big on celebrating just about everything in our area, but see below for more information on May's Buellton Brew Fest and June's Los Olivos Jazz & Olive Festival.
- Touring: Carve out some time for yourself and take a bike tour or a driving tour of our area. There is just so much to do, see and enjoy, you'll be glad you did.
- Getting Romantic: We've got lots of ideas for romantic summer afternoons to get the spark glowing. If Santa Ynez Valley has already worked its charms on you, then it's time to come back for a swinging bachelorette party or an elegant wedding celebration. Download our top 25 romantic trip planning tips to help you plan the perfect romantic getaway in the Santa Ynez Valley!
May is also the start of the Summer Wine Tour Season. Take advantage of The Summer Pass from the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country Association . Taste at fourteen winery tasting rooms for just $45, from May 1 – August 31, 2017.Buellton Brew Fest
Buellton Brew Fest – Must See May Event
Kick off the 2017 central coast beer festival season with one of the best festivals in Santa Barbara County. The sixth annual Buellton Brew Fest will feature over 50 breweries, wineries and spirits and live entertainment by DJ Hecktik, Out of the Blue, and The Caverns. This annual event takes place at River View Park in Buellton on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. General Admission ($45) begins at 12:30 p.m. Must be 21 and over; identification will be verified at the door. Rain or shine event. No refunds. No coolers. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the day!May, Mother's Day and Memorial Day Activities in Santa Ynez Valley
There are plenty of fun may events in Santa Ynez Valley all month long, to be sure, but don't miss these special May, Mother's Day and Memorial Day activities in the Santa Ynez Valley:
- 15 th Annual SYV Earth Day : Free event, Sunday, May 21 from noon until 5:00 p.m. at River View Park in Buellton, hosted by the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden. Activities include sustainable solutions, environmental non-profits, water-wise landscaping, Kids Green Zone, family activities and prizes, silent auction, beer and wine garden, food court, live entertainment and guest speakers.
- Riders in the Sky : Kick off the Solvang Festival Theater season on Friday, May 5 @ 7:30 p.m. when the Grammy Award- winning Riders in the Sky – America's favorite cowboys – come to Solvang for a special fundraising event. Fun for the entire family with great western music and wit. After the concert meet the artists. Come early and enjoy Solvang Bakery sweets and savories before the show.
- Rancheros Visitadores Ride for a Cure : Saturday, May 6 from 2-4 p.m. through downtown Solvang to Old Mission Santa Ines. Hundreds of “visiting ranchers” commemorate traditional rides on horseback and in wagons to a public blessing at Old Mission Santa Ines, followed by a private encampment.
- Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon : Saturday, May 13 from 7:00 am until 12:30 pm. Enjoy a scenic course, running from downtown Santa Ynez through Los Olivos into Solvang. Celebrate at the post-race Wine & Music Festival in Solvang Park. Run the half marathon or the two-person relay.
- Mother's Day Weekend Painting in the Vineyard : Saturday, May 13 from 11:00 am until 1:30 pm. Treat Mom to a Painting in the Vineyard experience at the gorgeous Brander Vineyard in Los Olivos. A trained artist walks participants through the entire painting process step-by-step. No previous painting experience is necessary. $65 per person includes a full tasting of Brander Vineyard wine and all the supplies necessary to create a landscape masterpiece.
- Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation Mother's Day Breakfast : Sunday, May 14 from 8:00 a.m. until noon at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School.
- Memorial Weekend Observances : On Saturday, May 27, crosses and VFW Medallions will be placed on veterans' graves at the Santa Ines Mission, Chalk Hill, Oak Hill, and Saint Mark's Cemeteries. The public is invited to view or assist in this observance. VFW Post 7139 Members will hand out Red Poppies at the front of Albertsons in Buellton from 1PM to 3PM on Saturday and Sunday, May 27-28. On Memorial Day, May 29, American Legion Post 160 will conduct short ceremonies at 10AM in Chalk Hill, 10:30AM in Santa Ines Mission, 11AM in Oak Hill, and 11:30 in Saint Mark's Cemeteries. VFW Post 7139 will conduct a hallowed VFW Memorial Day Ceremony at 12PM, at the Solvang Park Flag Pole. The ceremony will include The Santa Ynez Wind Ensemble; Rear Admiral Brian Brown, Vice Commander, Joint Forces Component Command for Space, from Vandenberg AFB; Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans; American Legion Post 160; Boy Scouts; and a fly over of vintage military aircraft. A barbecue hosted by the Solvang Vikings Club for veterans and their families will follow the ceremony.
- Memorial Weekend – Live Music at Zaca Mesa : Saturday, May 27 from noon until 3:00 pm at Zaca Mesa Winery in Los Olivos. Enjoy an afternoon full of complimentary live music from Sean Wiggins! Event is free for everyone, so bring your friends, pack a picnic, and buy a bottle of wine to enjoy for a great afternoon.
- Paint in the Vineyard for Memorial Day : Monday, May 29 from 10:30 am until 1:00 pm at Lincourt Vineyard in Solvang. This painting in the vineyard class provides a beautiful, stress-free environment that will both inspire your creative spirit and indulge the wine-lover in you. No previous painting experience necessary.
- Cooking with Pascale Beale : Saturday, May 13 from 1-3pm at Buttonwood Farm Winery in Solvang. Learn to make dishes from farm fresh fruits and vegetables, talk about wine pairings and taste Buttonwood estate-grown wines. Meet and chat with the cook and author of multiple cookbooks. Look for the special Mother's Day Weekend Package from ForFriends Inn in Santa Ynez.
If that's not enough, here is a sneak peek ahead into what's happening at the beginning of June – the Los Olivos Jazz & Olive Festival takes place on Saturday, June 3 from 1:00 until 4:00 pm at Lavinia Campbell Park in Los Olivos. This annual festival features wines poured by thirty area wineries, food tastings prepared by thirty chefs, olive products vendors, and great live jazz by some of the biggest names in jazz, for an all-inclusive $65. Tickets are available now.Easter Weekend in the SYV
Easter weekend is a special time to celebrate and gather with loved ones in the Santa Ynez Valley. We know there's plenty to do between family gatherings and church outings, so we've compiled a list of activities and events over Easter Weekend for you to peruse.
Friday, April 14 th
Live Music with Tony Ybarra ~ Flamenco, Latino Guitar Duo
Cost of Event: Free Admission, 21+
Standing Sun Wines
Standing Sun LIVE presents Greg Felden with Chi McClean and Lady Rogo
This is an all ages show! Wines will be available for purchase and food will be available for purchase from Tacos Amigos.
Cost: $12 Standing Room / $17 Reserved Seating
Saturday, April 15 th
Easter Egg Hunts
Buellton Rec Center's Easter Eggstravaganza
Hosted by the Buellton Rec Center, Easter Eggstravaganza begins at 10 am sharp! Over 10,000 eggs, prizes and games all taking place at River View Park, Buellton. The Easter bunny will be there too, so don't be late.
Hours: 10am – 1pm
Cost of Event: Free admission
The Great Bell Street Egg Hunt in Downtown Los Alamos
Hop on out to Los Alamos for a springtime egg hunt! They'll be hiding treasure-filled eggs along Bell Street, and it's up to you to find them. Collect super sweet prizes like free wine (for 21+), tasty eats and more.
Hours: 1pm – 5pm
Cost of Event: Free admission
Special Offerings & Entertainment
Loring Wine Company
Tax Relief Day
Join Loring Wine Company at their tasting room in Buellton and take a break from the hectic tax season. Half-off wine tastings and complimentary cheese pairings all day. They're also taking 15% off all bottle purchases!
Hours: 10am – 4:45pm
Cost of Event: 15% off all wines, half-price tastings, complimentary cheese pairings
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery
Live Music: Kate Steinway's Wayfaring Woman Tour
Kate Steinway is bringing her soulful voice and cheerful ukulele to California's Central Coast this summer on her “Wayfaring Woman” Tour. A world traveler and storyteller, Steinway will be sharing her effervescent and heartfelt songwriting
Hours: 12pm – 4pm
Cost of Event: Free admission, Sunstone wines available to purchase
The Good Life Cellar
Live Music at The Good Life
Enjoy live music with local Country Rock Star – Cash Cooper!
Hours: 8pm – 10:30pm
Cost of Event: Free admission, California craft beer and wine available for purchase
Sunday, April 16 th , Easter Day
Santa Ynez Valley Marriott
Easter Brunch Buffet
The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott's Easter Brunch Buffet will feature an array of breakfast items, hot and cold dishes and several desserts. There will be a Bottomless Mimosa bar, too! Reservations are required, please call 688-1000.
Hours: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Cost: $45.00 for Adults & Seniors, $30.00 for children 4-10 years, $20.00 for Bottomless Mimosa Bar
Bob's Well Bread Bakery
Brunch at Bob's Well Bread Bakery with Live Music
Bob's will be serving Hot Cross Buns for as long as they last from April 14th through Easter Sunday, April 16 th , and will be selling the bakery's signature Easter Panettone. As a special treat for Easter's festivities, soulful musician Kate Steinway, currently on the “Wayfaring Woman” tour, will entertain guests with her cheerful Ukulele from 10am to 1pm. Bob's Well Bread Café menu will be served throughout the day.
Hours: The bakery will be open 7am – 6pm, with live music from 10am – 1pm.
Cost: Easter admission and live music is free; Easter Panettone – $25; Hot Cross Buns – $18 / dozen
Order Details: All Panettone orders must be submitted by 6:00 pm Friday, April 14 th . Choose pick up day of Friday, Saturday or Sunday. After the 14th, first come, first served. Hot Cross Buns Served from April 14th – April 16th only. Order by calling 805-344-3000.
Easter Egg Hunts
Easter fun for the entire family, egg coloring, egg hunt for kids & adults, prizes, wine specials.
Hours of Event: 10am -5pm
Cost of Event: Free! Guests can bring a picnic — no outside wine or alcohol allowed
St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church
St. Mark's Easter Egg Hunt
Members of the public of all ages are invited to celebrate Easter at St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue at the corner of Alamo Pintado Avenue in downtown Los Olivos. The popular St. Mark's Easter Egg Hunt will be held at 9:15 am in the courtyard and gardens for toddlers and children through elementary school age (kids, please bring your own basket).
Hours of Event: 9:15 a.m. start time until all eggs are discovered
Cost of Event: Free to all children from toddlers to elementary school age. Happy Easter!
Vincent Vineyards & Winery
Easter Sunday Egg Hunt
Join Vincent Vineyards & Winery for a special Easter celebration! Bring friends and your own basket for the egg hunt, egg painting, and photos with the Easter Bunny.
Hours of Event: 1pm for ages 1 – 5; 1:30pm for ages 6 – 10; 2pm for egg painting and photos with the Easter bunny
Special Offerings & Entertainment
2 for 1 tastings on Easter Sunday
Buy one $5 tasting, get another one free! Taste Organic Cerignolas and enjoy $10 off large liter jar.
Hours: 10am – 5pm
Tasting Rooms Open
The following Santa Ynez Valley wineries and tasting rooms will also be open on Sunday, April 16 th . We recommend calling ahead to confirm hours.
- Alexander & Wayne, 11am – 6pm
- Alma Rosa, 11am – 6:30pm
- Arthur Earl, 11am – 6pm
- Barbieri-Kempe, 12pm – 5pm
- Beckmen, 11am – 5pm
- Blair Fox Cellars
- Buttonwood Farm Winery, 11am – 5pm
- Ca' Del Grevino, 12pm – 7pm
- Carivintas, 11am – 7pm
- Carr Warehouse, 11am – 6pm
- Casa Cassara Winery, 12 – 6pm
- Casa Dumetz
- Dascomb Cellars
- Dreamcote Wine Co, 11am – 5pm
- Foley Estate Vineyard & Winery, 10am – 5pm
- Firestone Vineyards, 10am – 5pm
- Kaena, 11am – 3pm
- Kalyra, 10am – 5pm
- Lincourt Vineyard, 10am – 5pm
- Lucky Dogg Winery, 11am – 5pm
- Rideau Vineyard, 11am – 4:30pm
- Sort This Out Cellars & High Roller Tiki Lounge, 10am – 7pm
- Vincent Vineyards & Winery, 12pm – 5pm
- Zinke Wine Co., 11am – 5pm
With so many constraints on and so much demand for our time these days, it's incredible to get away even for a few days—especially when that time away is in the middle of California's Central Coast. More specifically, the Santa Ynez Valley. With its gorgeous vineyards to explore, charming inns and B&Bs to stay at, and miles of open road to drive, the Santa Ynez Valley is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and forget about real life for a while. And with six distinct communities to discover, all within close proximity of each other, exploring the back roads and byways of the Santa Ynez Valley is simple and fun.
There are few folks who know the open road more than CarRentals.com, which is why we've partnered with them to present the top places in the Santa Ynez Valley to explore on your next trip. Here are CarRentals.com's recommended ways to tour the Santa Ynez Valley.
Heading north from Las Cruces on U.S. Route 101, you'll travel through picturesque countryside, with sprawling pastures at the foot of rolling hills that are covered in flowing green and yellow grasses. You'll pass by places with names like Pioneer Ranch, Nojoqui Creek Farms, and Moonshine Canyon. You'll know you have arrived in the Santa Ynez Valley when you reach Buellton, a place where days are spent discovering Mendenhall's Museum of Gasoline Pumps & Peroliana, exploring hot spots down Industrial Way, or touring the vineyards at Mosby Winery. Grab a bottle of their La Donna, a refreshing chardonnay that's perfect for enjoying on a warm summer day.
Also located off the famed U.S. Route 101 is Los Alamos, a town whose Spanish name translates to “the cottonwoods.” Enjoy lunch at one of the cafes like Bell Street Farm or Bob's Well Bread Bakery that line the downtown street.
The wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley—especially the ones around its namesake town—aren't all about lounging in Adirondack chairs on sprawling estates, checking off boxes for each wine you like. Sometimes the journey to get to them is half the fun. Especially when you begin in the town of Santa Ynez and drive along its unparalleled wine trail. As you make your way past vineyards with names like Crown Point and Vogelzang, you'll weave your way through horse ranches and produce farms that share real estate space with many of the wineries on this trail. If you only make a stop at one winery, it should be the Italian villa look-a-like, Sunstone Vineyards and Winery. Enjoy a glass of 2015 soleil blanc and a cheese platter while relaxing at this sprawling estate and gazing at the surrounding countryside.
A few miles down California State Route 246 will bring you to a quaint town called Solvang, a place that looks like a re-creation of a 17 th century Danish village, because that's exactly what the town's Danish settlers intended. Park the car and start off on foot along the Solvang Wine Walk, a self-guided tour through the many tasting rooms that occupy storefronts in the downtown district. Begin with a wine and chocolate tasting on the patio at Royal Oaks Winery Tasting Room while a local musician serenades you with soothing tunes. Continue your journey down backstreets like Copenhagen Drive and Park Way, stopping in such esteemed places like Dascomb Cellars and Toccata Tasting Room, before completing your tour with a treat from one of Solvang's authentic Danish bakeries.
When you head east on California State Route 246, you'll eventually run into Route 154, where you're going to want to hang a left and continue on until you reach the town of Ballard. Don't blink, or you might miss this charming little enclave in the middle of the Santa Ynez Valley, which happens to be a perfect place to escape the big city for a day or two. Make your way to Seein' Spots Farm and make new friends in the form of miniature mules and donkeys. Check out the historic Ballard Little Red Schoolhouse, which has been educating students since 1883. And when your appetite becomes too strong to ignore, head over to The Ballard Inn & The Gathering Table, where you can enjoy an excellent wine and food pairing.
Any visit to the Santa Ynez Valley is not complete without a scenic drive along the Foxen Canyon Road Wine Trail. Beginning in Los Olivos, you'll pass through miles upon miles of postcard-worthy landscapes characterized by vineyards, rolling pastures, grazing cattle, and oak-dotted hillsides as far as the eye can see. Since this is, after all, a wine trail, stop off at Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard, where a deeply colored bottle of 2013 Parker West pinot noir will provide a wonderful contrast to the valley's whites. Continue your bottle-collecting journey at the eponymous Foxen Winery and pick up a bottle of their Foxen 7200 2014 sauvignon blanc. When it's all said and done and the time to make your way back to your homestead has come, you'll have more than enough bottles of fine wine to entertain guests at future dinner parties, and just as many wonderful stories to share about the trip. Cheers.Why You Should Spend Your Spring Break in the Santa Ynez Valley
Spring is just around the corner and not only does that mean that an end to winter is finally in sight but it also means that it's nearly time for your Easter holiday! To help you make the most of your time off,
Visit the Santa Ynez Valley has the perfect spring break vacation ideas. Our charming towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang know how to up the springtime celebrations, and love welcoming visitors for a weekend getaway in the Santa Ynez Valley.
If your spring break occurs between Wednesday, March 15 and Sunday, March 19, you'll want to plan a Santa Ynez Valley visit for the 25th Annual Taste of Solvang , which features some delectable foodie festivities:
- Farmers Market Chef Walks: Solvang Farmers Market, Wednesday, March 15 @ 3:00 PM. Led by Solvang's prominent farm-to-table chefs. Start with a guided stroll through the Market to find produce that will result in a unique gourmet experience comprised of that day's haul.
- Blind Tasting Challenge: Wandering Dog Wine Bar in Solvang, Thursday, March 16 at 6:00 PM. Taste four red wines, while learning to use wine knowledge and sensory skills to arrive at a final conclusion for each.
- Sip + Savor : Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall, Friday, March 17 from 7-9 PM. 25 of the best Santa Ynez Valley chefs, bakers, caterers, winemakers, and brewers present a smorgasbord of savory and sweet bites, wine, beer and cocktails, with live music from the Sean Wiggins Band.
- Tasting Trail : Saturday, March 18 from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Shop your way through Solvang as dozens of businesses welcome Trail guests with bite-sized edible treats. The Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, and the Wildling Museum will all offer free admission for ticket holders.
- Solvang Wine & Beer Walk : Saturday, March 18 from 2-7 PM and Sunday, March 19 from 12-4 PM. Pair shopping with a refreshing sampling from over 15 wine tasting rooms, wine bars and beer bars.
- Buttonwood Farm Winemaker Dinner : Saturday, March 18 at 6:00 PM at Cecco Ristorante in Solvang. Join Chef David Cecchini and Buttonwood Farm Winery winemaker, Karen Steinwachs, for a locally-inspired, Italian-influenced gourmet dinner.
- Sunday Brunches : Sunday, March 19. Venture over to “The Backroom” at Valley Brewers for a whole new culinary experience as Starlight Kitchen's artisanal spread plays with wine country-inspired savory dishes by The Chef's Touch Catering and Valley Brewers expertly paired brews. Or let the culinary team at The Landsby treat your taste buds to their unique worldly flavors with a locally-sourced Sunday brunch in the Santa Ynez Valley-inspired dining room of the beautiful Mad & Vin.
Buellton Wine and Chili Festival
Check out the red-hot Buellton Wine and Chili Festival on Sunday, March 19 from noon until 4:30 p.m. at the beautiful Flying Flags RV Resort. Your ticket includes a souvenir glass, unlimited wine for those over 21, chili tastings, and live entertainment by The Caverns. You can even play bocce ball, horse shoes, table tennis, mega-sized beer pong and cornhole. Tickets are available for guests under 21 who just want to sample chili, and have a good time. Children under 12 are FREE, so bring the entire family to this certified International Chili Society Cook-off!
Spring Break Activities in the Santa Ynez Valley
Don't miss these other Easter and spring break activities in the Santa Ynez Valley:
28th Annual Easter Eggstravaganza and Easter Egg Hunt : Saturday, April 15 at 10:00 am. The Valley's largest egg hunt is in Buellton at River View Park. After the hunt, enjoy activities, games, Easter crafts, a picture with the Easter bunny and more! Free.
Easter Egg Hunt : At Andrew Murray Vineyards in Los Olivos on Saturday, April 15 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The winery will host several games and activities culminating in the Easter Egg Hunt. After all the eggs are found, enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace while the kids play outside. There is a cost involved for this family event.
Easter Egg Hunt Party : At Kalyra Winery in Santa Ynez on Sunday, April 16, from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Kids can scour the property for eggs to redeem for chocolate, while adults hunt for eggs in the tasting room to redeem for 2 for 1 tastings, discounts on wine, and other fun prizes.
35 th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend : April 20-23, 2017. Visit up to twelve tasting rooms from Thursday through Sunday with an all-inclusive Vintners Visa Wine Country Tasting Pass. Many wineries also host their own events, including open houses, winemaker dinners, library tastings, vineyard walks, and barrel tastings. Events for Saturday, April 22 include: Santa Barbara Wine Seminar from 9:30-11:00 a.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, Festival Grand Tasting from 1-4 p.m. at River View Park in Buellton, and the Big Bottle Bash, starting at 7:00 p.m., at K'Syrah, a new special event venue in downtown Solvang, featuring large format wines brought by guests and winery representatives paired with a delicious family style dinner.Movies Filmed In The Santa Ynez Valley
Visit the Santa Ynez Valley knows that our six towns of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang feature some of the most beautiful and iconic scenery in California. We believe that what draws so many visitors and tourists here for Santa Ynez vacations is our abundance of Santa Ynez Valley restaurants , the allure of Santa Ynez wine country , and the many things to do in Santa Ynez Valley . It appears that Hollywood has taken notice of our little piece of heaven, too. Our lush scenery and quaint towns have attracted some major filmmakers to our area.
Here are just a few of the many movies filmed in the Santa Ynez Valley:
- Sideways : This 2004 film starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church is about two men who have reached middle age with not much to show for it but disappointment. Just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle, they decide to take a week-long road trip through California's wine country. We can think of no better place for a trip of redemption and renewal than visiting some of the best wineries in Santa Ynez Valley . Filming locations included Hitching Post II and Sanford Winery in Buellton, Solvang Restaurant in Solvang, Kalyra Winery in Santa Ynez, as well as Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe and Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard in Los Olivos.
- Grindhouse : Death Proof : This incredibly visionary homage to the exploitation double features of the 1960s and 70s features two back-to-back cult films (Planet Terror and Death Proof) from directors Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez that include previews of coming attractions between them. Tarantino helmed the Death Proof part of the film, which told the story of a murderer who hunted down his victims in a souped-up car. The director, along with movie star Kurt Russell, spent weeks filming action scenes on the captivating roads of Figueroa Mountain. The oak forests of Buellton's Los Padres National Forest also played a supporting role filling in for the backwoods of Virginia.
- Of Mice and Men : This is director Gary Sinise's 1992 vision of John Steinbeck's classic story of two drifters trying to make money working the fields during the Depression so they can fulfill their dreams. The rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley played rapt witness to the friendship, dreams and downfalls of Lennie and George.
- Seabiscuit : Many of the scenes for this film, based on the true story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation, were filmed in and around the Santa Ynez Valley.
- Flying Lessons : This 2010 independent film starred Maggie Grace and Hal Holbrook as an unlikely pair struggling to remember their pasts. Shot in the Santa Ynez Valley, local director and producer Derek Magyar chose his home turf for the film because he believed it to be a picturesque canvas. Filming locations included downtown Santa Ynez streets and local spots like Maverick Saloon, Artiste Wine Tasting & Gallery and the Fossemalle Dance Studio.
- Two-Bits & Pepper (1995): This is a comedy about idiotic kidnappers, both played by Joe Piscopo, who capture two young girls and hold them for ransom. However, in “Home Alone” fashion, the two girls make fools of the two men.
- Generation Gap (2008 TV Movie): This tear-jerker features stars Edward Asner and Rue McClanahan. The story line is that young Dylan has been in another fight at his NYC high school. At her wit's end, Dylan's mom sends him to her father for the summer. Grandpa usually spends hours at the local VFW post, but he makes time to think of chores to keep Dylan busy.
Other films that have taken advantage of our beautiful area to set the tone for their story include “The Postman Always Rings Twice” – 1981 version with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange; “It's Complicated” with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin; “Homicidal” – a horror film from the ‘60s; “Star Trek Insurrection,” “Return to Mayberry” and “Michael Jackson: The Untold Story of Neverland."