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Things to do in Santa Ynez



Gypsy Studio

Gypsy Studios is a full-service art studio on wheels! Travelers at heart, our Painting Sessions are hosted at fabulous local wineries, event centers, living rooms and backyards. These events are a great way to spice up your next special occasion. A painting party is a perfect way to celebrate birthdays, fundraisers, bridal showers, date nights, ladies night out, team-building events and more. As far as we're concerned we're combining some of the best things in the world: Art, Nature, Food and Wine! You'll even walk away with a masterpiece of your own to commemorate the occasion. So, grab your friends and join us at your favorite winery for a creative twist on your next get-together or plan your own private event! Click here for events and locations!

Sideways in Solvang

Approximately four blocks by four blocks in size, Solvang is truly pedestrian-friendly with wide sidewalks and benches for restful viewing of the colorful village scene. There are more than a dozen wine tasting rooms in town, all within steps of each other. The Academy Award-winning movie "Sideways" was filmed here and highlights the region's wines. Download your Sideways map here or visit the Solvang Visitor Center for a free map with complete listings of local tasting rooms. Visit our Solvang page for more information about attractions and wineries.

With more than a dozen wine tasting rooms in town, all within steps of each other, Solvang is a wine lovers paradise. Visit our Santa Ynez Valley Wineries & Breweries page for more information about Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley wineries, wine tasting rooms, wine tours and transportation.

Ballard

Charming rural Ballard, located between Santa Ynez and Los Olivos on Baseline Road, is home to a little red schoolhouse holding classes since 1883, as well as churches, studios and an award-winning inn, restaurant and wine-tasting room.

Buellton

Thousands of travelers have come to know Buellton as "The Home of the Original Split Pea Soup" thanks to the worldwide fame of Andersen's Pea Soup Restaurant. However, there is much more to Buellton than just this simple dish. More recently Buellton gained fame through the Academy Award winning film "Sideways", that featured many scenes from the popular wine region of the Santa Ynez Valley and the outstanding food at the Hitching Post Restaurant.

Los Alamos

Los Alamos (Spanish for "the cottonwoods") is located at the northern entry to the Santa Ynez Valley at the junction of US Highway 101 and State Highway 135, surrounded by vineyards and ranches; the town has an old-time rustic sensibility. The seven-block-long main thoroughfare has 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. Each September, Los Alamos Old Days honors the town's 1876 founding with a weekend-long celebration.

Los Olivos

This charming historic town of 1,000 residents is located in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Recognized for its expansive views in the center of Santa Barbara's 50 wineries and horse ranches, it is a rewarding and relaxing village to visit.

Santa Ynez

The township of Santa Ynez, situated just a mile from the intersection of State Highways 154 and 246, celebrates its western heritage with Old Santa Ynez Day each June including a street fair, a parade and country-western entertainment. Santa Ynez's turn-of-the-20th-century architectural facades still boast plenty of conveniences for modern trail riders including a historic saloon, a variety of restaurants from gourmet to Italian to steakhouse, and a charming bed & breakfast.

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Danish Days - Solvang - Held Annually

Third weekend in September

Experience Authentic Foods, Music, Folk Dancing & Three Parades plus Living History Exhibits. Authentic restaurants and bakeries feature tasty Danish cuisine, including æbleskiver (Danish pastry ball) and medisterpølse (Danish sausage). A Danish-style Beer Garden serving Carlsberg and local brews plus selected Danish open-faced sandwiches will be offered. Over a dozen wine tasting rooms offer award-winning vintages from the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley. More than 150 retail shops provide items such as Royal Copenhagen china as well as goods from around the world. Come be a Dane for the weekend!

Hidden Gems Winemakers' Event - Santa Ynez - Held Annually

Hidden Gems features a wine tasting and judging of home wine makers' wines and those of small "boutique" professional winemakers. These hard to find wine gems either that cannot be found elsewhere or are in limited distribution.

Wine Collectors Month

Santa Ynez Valley Wine Collectors Month will feature wine events for the serious buyer and for the new wine drinker that wants to expand his/her wine collection and knowledge. Events include tastings, dinners, tours, classes and packages. There is something for everyone.

Los Olivos Vintners' Festival Weekend - Held annually in April.

The annual Santa Barbara County Vintners' Festival Weekend attracts wine lovers from near and far for an opportunity to meet vintners, taste celebrated local wines, and enjoy great food and music over a long spring weekend.

Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival - Held annually in June.

The Jazz & Olive Festival brings together new and notable performers on the jazz scene. Numerous local wineries offer wine tastings and amateur chefs compete in the "Olive in the Kitchen" cook-off. Olive vendors offer olive oil and olive related products. Cooking demonstrations using olive based recipes are held by local professional chefs.

Los Olivos Day in the Country

Experience the small town charm and neighborly atmosphere of Los Olivos Days. Good friends, great food and local fun show off the best of Los Olivos.

Solvang Third Wednesdays

Solvang Third Wednesday is a day to Shop Solvang, Save Money and Have Fun! Held on the third Wednesday of every month, over 60 stores, restaurants, wine tasting rooms and professional offices offer special discounts and sales all day.

Discover Solvang's unique stores and boutiques. Delight in a divine culinary experience and take advantage of the Third Wednesday specials offered by participating restaurants, bakeries and sweet shops.

Solvang Farmers Market

Fresh produce, flowers and foods. Every Wednesday, rain or shine. Hours 2:30-6:30pm. Downtown Solvang, on First Street, between Mission Drive (Highway 246) and Copenhagen Drive.

Summer Pass Wine Tasting Event - Santa Ynez Wine Country - Annually May 1 - August 30.

The Summer Pass is the only ticket you'll need this summer to enjoy fabulous wine tasting at the premier boutique wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley. The Summer Pass gives you one tasting at each of 13 Association wineries.

The Winter Pass Wine Event - October through January

Come enjoy the fruits of harvest with a visit to member wineries located in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Join other wine enthusiasts on the wine trail for wine tasting adventures and savor some of California's most outstanding wines! Enjoy this opportunity to become more familiar with our boutique member wineries and to enjoy their premium wines. As you take a self-guided tour of the wineries you will have the opportunity to sample specially selected wines paired with tasty appetizers.

A Wine Fantasy in February - Held Annually - February

The February Passport Event is a popular weekend filled with natural beauty and, of course, extraordinary wines. Enjoy this opportunity to become more familiar with some of your favorite Valley wineries and discover new treasures. Passport guests will take a self-guided tour to each winery where they will have the opportunity to taste premium Santa Ynez Valley wines in our members' intimate wine tasting rooms, and enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres throughout the day. It's the perfect getaway to kick off Valentine's Day in Wine Country.

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The Santa Ynez Valley is home to numerous boutique and national label wineries and wine tasting rooms. Visit our Santa Ynez Valley Wineries and Breweries page for locations, tasting room hours, and wine tours & transportation.

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Gallery Los Olivos

2920 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos, CA 93441 | 805- 688 -7517
Open Daily 10am - 5pm | 10am - 4pm December and January

Gallery Los Olivos showcases the art of more than 40 regional artists and is the largest gallery in downtown Los Olivos. Art lovers will find a variety of media including watercolors, oils, acrylics, pastels, collage, graphite drawing, black and white as well as color photography, woodturning, clay, jewelry, and sculpture.

Sansone Studio Gallery

2948 Nojoqui Ave #8, Los Olivos, CA 93441-0812 | 805-693-9769

At Sansone Studio, Joel and Pamela Sansone use the ancient medium of vitreous enamel on copper to create art. Vitreous enamel is applied to the copper surface and kiln fired, making the fine powdered glass become molten and fuse to the copper.

Wildling Art Museum

2928 San Marcos Avenue, Los Olivos, CA
Open Wednesday - Sunday 11am - 5pm

The Wildling Art Museum celebrates our nation's wild places as seen through the eyes of its finest painters, printmakers, photographers, and sculptors.

Young's Custom Frames & Gallery

2920 Grand Ave # A, Los Olivos, CA 93441 | (805) 688-9745

Founded in 1987, Young's is a local institution for fine art and exquisite custom frames. Browse the fantastic compilation of artists and enjoy the craftsmanship of the fine frames that have made Young's a beloved member of the Santa Ynez Valley art community for decades.

Elverhøj Museum of History & Art

1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang, CA 93464 | 805-686-1211
1 - 4 pm Wednesday and Thursday | Noon - 4 pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday | Closed Monday and Tuesday

Located in Solvang, California, the Elverhøj Museum is the former residence of one of Solvang's most artistic families, which is now a community museum devoted to the history of Solvang, the Danish-American pioneer spirit, the colorful heritage of Denmark, and the arts.

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La Purisima

This is where Santa Barbara County's Southern California spirit meets the Santa Ynez Valley wine country's elegant demeanor. Enjoy a superior 18-hole Championship designed by world-renowned architect Robert Muir Graves and the beautiful year-round Santa Barbara golf conditions on this Central Coast gem. All this makes a round of golf at La Purisima an unforgettable Santa Barbara golf experience for weekend enthusiasts, casual and avid golfers alike.

River Course at Alisal

Contrasting in style and setting from the Ranch Course, the River Course maintains an atmosphere of quiet escape by immersing the player in a serene riverside setting framed by the uninterrupted panorama of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The River Course offers a full range of golf-related services including a variety of practice facilities, professional instruction, tournament package plans, and a fully stocked pro shop.

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PCPA - Solvang Theaterfest - Outdoor Live Theater

Celebrating its 49th season in 2013, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA) Theaterfest is the only professional resident theater company on the Central California coast. Between June and September, nights in Solvang sparkle under the stars with PCPA's world-class theatrical productions in the 700-seat open-air Solvang Festival Theater.

Chumash Casino

Just 10 minutes West of Buellton, Chumash Casino is a Native American owned gaming casino offering all forms of gaming including poker, bingo, black jack, and slots.

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Jack Mendenhall's Museum of Gasoline Pumps and Petroliana

The Mendenhall Museum is a private collection located in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. The museum has one of the west coast's largest petroliana collections including gasoline pumps, globes, and porcelain gas, oil, & road signs.

Glider Rides

For over fifty years glider pilots from all over the world have thrilled to the spectacular views available only from high above the pristine Santa Ynez Valley. Now is your chance to join them in experiencing that same magic in one of our fully certified two seat gliders.

Cachuma Lake

Set amidst acres of wilderness and flanked by the picturesque Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains, lies glimmering Cachuma Lake, featuring practically everything you need for a relaxing daily excursion.

Figueroa Mountain

Visitors are treated to a panoramic view of the San Rafael Wilderness and the Santa Ynez Valley and spectacular wildflower displays.

Gaviota State Park Beach

Gaviota State Park takes its name from the Spanish word for seagull, given to the area by soldiers of the Portola Expedition who supposedly killed a seagull while camping here in 1769. Marked by a tall Southern Pacific railroad trestle that crosses Gaviota Creek high above the day-use parking lot, the park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing and camping, despite high winds that often blow through the area. A pier on the west end of the beach is used by anglers, and scuba divers and surfers use a boat hoist on the pier to access the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. Visitors can explore the rugged upland portions of the park from a trailhead in the parking area. Ambitious hikers can climb to Gaviota Peak that offers a spectacular view of the coast and the Channel Islands.

Janeway Carriage House Museum

3596 Sagunto Street, Santa Ynez, CA

Through its collection, exhibits and educational programs, the Museum honors the Valley's past for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Nojoqui Falls

Walking the short trail to gaze at the falls makes what is already a stimulating setting even more memorable. Able to accommodate large groups, Nojoqui has become a favorite site for company and family outings. Its location is convenient, yet far enough from civilization to be refreshing.

Painted Caves

The walls of this small cave carved from towering sandstone boulders contain some of the finest remaining rock art created by Chumash Native Americans. A steep path leads to the cave entrance, which is protected by heavy iron grillwork. Anthropologists estimate that the paintings date to the 1600's and earlier. The meaning of these enigmatic images has been lost.

Santa Ynez Valley Mission

1760 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA

Situated near the center of Santa Barbara County, Old Mission Santa Ines commands a superb view of the Santa Ynez Valley.

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