Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang, Los Olivos & Beyond
Located a little over 30 minutes away from the city of Santa Barbara and still in Santa Barbara County, the Santa Ynez Valley is made up of six distinctive communities – Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. Praised as one of the nicest climates in California, the Santa Ynez Valley has nice breezes, which keep the valley mild throughout the year. Graced by a Mediterranean climate, warm to hot summers are very common with summer average of 85 degrees and highs into the 100’s. The average seasonal rainfall ranges from 9 to 17 inches, primarily in the winter months. The recent, estimated population of the Santa Ynez Valley is approximately 22,000. Solvang is the most populated town, with a general population of around 4,750 people.
A perfect climate for select varieties of wine grapes, Santa Ynez Valley is one of the prime wine growing areas in the world. Hundreds of wineries & wine tasting rooms are easily accessed throughout this region.
Ballardis a charming and rural area located between Santa Ynez and Los Olivos on Baseline Road. It is home to a classic red schoolhouse holding classes since 1883, as well as churches, studios and an award-winning inn, The Ballard Inn, with a restaurant and wine-tasting room.
Buellton is a thriving, full service city located at the western gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley. Surrounding the city are beautiful horse and cattle ranches, vineyards and wineries, and the gorgeous Santa Ynez Mountains. It is located just about 45 minutes North of Santa Barbara.
Los Alamos which is Spanish for “the cottonwoods”, is located at the northern entry to the Santa Ynez Valley. It is completely surrounded by vineyards and ranches and the town has an old-time rustic feel to it. In the center of town there is a large antique mall in the historic train depot, quaint shops, a cafe, an art gallery, several restaurants and wine tasting, a 1880s hotel, Victorian bed & breakfast and two motels. Every year in September, Los Alamos Old Days honors the town’s 1876 founding with a weekend long celebration.
Los Olivos is known for wine-tasting, love of the arts, unique shopping, casual and gourmet restaurants, antiques, and friendly residents. There are some of the most breathtaking wineries and vineyards here. It is also home to two college-prep, boarding schools, Dunn School and Midland School. It is located off Highway 154, the scenic mountain road which connects the Valley to Santa Barbara City.
Santa Ynez is home to the Santa Ynez Airport, Old Mission Santa Ines, Cottage Hospital, and also, causal and fine dining, shopping, art galleries, wineries, and vineyards. Santa Ynez High School is located here, as well as, beautiful horse ranches. The Chumash Casino is a popular tourist attraction with gambling and concerts. Santa Ynez has beautiful ranch style homes and homes that are amazing architectural masterpieces.
- Lake Cachuma recreational area, with lake fishing for trout bass and catfish.
- National and international Medal-winning wineries, offering tours and wine tasting.
- Major breed horse ranches.
- The Danish community of Solvang, one of the state’s leading tourist communities.
- Old Mission Santa Ines, the 19th in the chain of 21 California missions.
- Old West Community of Santa Ynez, with Western design town, the Historical Museum and Carriage House.
- Los Olivos, with it’s turn of the century Victorian style design & excellent art galleries.
- Alisal Guest Ranch, world famous 10,000+ acre retreat
- Public golf and tennis facilities.
- Los Padres National Forest with public recreational facilities.
- Art and Antique Galleries.
- Regional repertory theater at Theatrefest.
- Carriage Classic