A Santa Ynez Getaway
Your winter (sans snow) 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 now — where winter daytime highs are in the 60s and 70s and plenty of sunshine beckons in the valley communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang.
“You have 32 unique lodging choices here, and with dozens of special events like the Wine Around, winter is a wonderful time of the year to stay and play in the Santa Ynez Valley,” said Bill Phelps, board president of the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Assn. (www.SantaBarbaraWineCountryHotels.com).
Solvang Julefest Sparkles
Amid thousands of twinkling lights, discover Julefest winter festival activities in the village of Solvang. Experience unique holiday shopping at 150 shops and specialty boutiques offering open houses and sales. Free concerts and caroling abound in the Valley. Julefest concludes at the annual fire-safety Christmas tree-burning demo in the fields next to Old Mission Santa Ines on Jan. 7. That same evening, enjoy Solvang’s 100th anniversary kick-off party — Centennial Fest — the first event of an entire year of festivities. For details, visit www.SolvangUSA.com.
Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Week
Experience the bounty and flavors of the Santa Ynez Valley during Restaurant Week, from Sunday, Jan. 23, through Saturday, Jan. 29.
Valley dining establishments are offering special three-course tasting menus for the price of $20.11 (excluding tax, tip and beverages). Offering everything from gourmet wine country fare to international and American cuisine, Restaurant Week is a treat for your palate (and your wallet) at such eateries as Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar, Fresco Valley Café, Hadsten House, Hitching Post II, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café, the Willows at Chumash Casino Resort and Trattoria Grappolo. For more details, go to www.SantaYnezValleyVisit.com/restaurantweek.
Santa Ynez Valley Wine Around
Here’s a tempting mid-winter getaway and a tasty holiday gift idea: two days of exclusive wine and barrel tastings paired with gourmet hors d’oeuvres at the Bridlewood Estate Winery, Fess Parker Vineyard & Winery and Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery. The event also includes conversations with the vintners, live entertainment, dining at the Chumash Casino Resort and deluxe transportation between all the activities. The program is called the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Around, and it’s scheduled for Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) and 15.
“We’re excited to offer this first-time event for wine lovers who want a unique experience here in the Santa Ynez Valley that gives you an exclusive look into these wineries,” said John Kochis, president of the association. “Plus, when you can leave the car at your hotel and let someone else take care of the transportation, it allows you to truly enjoy the world-class wines and scenery.”
Santa Ynez Valley Wine Around tickets are $125 per person, and are available online at www.SantaYnezValleyVisit.com.
“You’ll want to reserve your hotel room right away for this popular, romantic time of the year here,” Kochis said. “There’s lodging for every taste and budget — just like the wining and dining you’ll experience!”
For up-to-date Santa Ynez Valley lodging specials in Santa Barbara wine country, visit www.SantaBarbaraWineCountryHotels.com.