Fall is here. And I’m pretty excited about the change in season. Even if it is 85 degrees outside and the sun is so bright I need a hat (#notarealproblem). Despite the hat-inducing temps, there’s still a discernible shift in the air. Can you feel it, too? And I’m really excited to officially welcome in autumn this weekend on a family trip to Santa Ynez.
Anytime we drive from LA to San Francisco, we always try to stop in Santa Ynez. It’s so breathtaking, that it’s the perfect spot for lunch and inspiration. But as much as we’ve wanted to, we’ve never actually spent the weekend. So I was thrilled when Fred Baby’s fam decided on a family trip in Los Olivos. In fact, before we bought Casa Palm Springs, we considered Santa Ynez as an alternative.
Just two hours from LA, it’s a dreamy escape filled with rolling vineyards but much more low-key than, say, Napa. I’m excited to bike around, taste good wine, eat good food and hang out at the house we rented, which looks insane (like they’re going to have to physically remove me insane). And of course spend good quality time with the fam — including our newest niece! And to watch Sideways again (it’s all but requited, right?).
But I’d love to know: Do you have any tips or recommendations for Santa Ynez/Solvang/Los Olivos? Any favorite spots to eat, drink and be merry? Are the lavender fields blooming yet? I’d love to know…
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Hi Kelly. Found your site through Oh Joy! I went to college and worked in Santa Barbara and would go up to Solvang once or twice a year. Me and my family love to pick up a couple of tubs of the Danish butter cookies from Birkholm’s Bakery. I think our record was 20 tubs one year, right before the holidays. They make great presents! The owner actually threw in an extra tub just to be sure that we would have some cookies for ourselves. 🙂
Next to the bakery is the Santa Ynez Mission. I enjoy walking on the Mission grounds to check out the garden and architecture. Then there are the cute, Danish-themed shops and restaurants sprinkled throughout the area. I do love me some good Danish pancakes!
Around Solvang: I highly recommend Gainey Vineyard for wine tasting. Sunstone Winery is nice also. Check out AJ Spurs Saloon & Dining Hall for more of the Old West, meats and potatoes kind of meal. The food, especially the house soup, is good and it’s quite entertaining to be in that setting. Plus, they serve a mean root beer float that you can take to-go!
I love the tree-lined roads in Solvang and Santa Ynez and the beautiful scenery of the area. Makes for a nice drive. Enjoy your weekend getaway!
Those photos are stunning! I wish I could help, but I’ve never been – might have to, now that I’ve seen this post! 😉
We love Santa Ynez and try to get there as often as possible! It’s funny because it’s a toss up as possible retirement places, with Palm Springs! So, favorite spots:
– Foxen Winery – the shack, not the new place; it has such ambiance.
– Trattoria Grappolo in old Santa Ynez is hands down the best Italian and Chef Leonardo is gorgeous.
– Gainey Vineyard is always good stop, as is Bridlewood (gorgeous grounds).
– Los Olivos – just walk around, it’s such a cute town and stop by Longoria for amazing Pinot Noir (see if they are pouring their dessert Syrah and have some with a bit of chocolate, aaaahhhmazing!)
I could go on and on but I have get ready for work, gah!! Enjoy!