Your next getaway is just two hours up the coast from Los Angeles in the Santa Ynez Valley, the heart of Santa Barbara County's wine country. Make plans to visit the Santa Ynez Valley communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang now — when winter daytime highs are in the 60s and 70s and plenty of sunshine beckons you outdoors to go golfing, hiking and cycling.
Amid thousands of twinkling lights and holiday trees, during the month of December experience Solvang's Julefest (winter festival) activities throughout the village. All around the valley discover shopping in a kaleidoscope of hundreds of independent boutiques. Savor the bounty and flavors of the Santa Ynez Valley during the annual Restaurant Week Jan. 20 to 27. Dozens of dining establishments are offering special three-course tasting menus for the amazing price of $20.13. From gourmet to international and American fare, make plans to treat your palate (and your wallet).