Santa Ynez

Visit the place where it all started in the Santa Ynez Valley — the town of Santa Ynez, of course. Surrounded by rolling hills and orderly rows of grape vines, the area offers a mix of scenic beauty, history and culinary delights for visitors. Stroll the streets of downtown, enjoy the sight of its 1880s-era building facades, and explore charming art galleries and other finds. Discover the Valley’s deeply rooted Chumash history and connection to the county’s early Spanish settlers, get a taste of country-style feasting, and savor the wines of the Central Coast in dreamy vineyard settings. Santa Ynez makes a perfect day-trip destination from Santa Barbara.

Things to Do in Santa Ynez

Throw on your cowboy boots and saddle up for a breathtaking and memorable horseback ride through the vineyards and hills. Early in the morning, take in a bird’s eye view of the area from the basket of a hot air balloon. Or breathe in some fresh mountain air with a challenging hike to Manzana Schoolhouse and Dabney Cabin, one of the area’s turn-of-the-century homesteads.

Cultivate your inner wine-lover and let your creative spirit flow with a glass of wine in one hand and a paintbrush in the other as Art Spot on Wheels leads you and your friends through a two-hour painting session in the vineyard. Or, if you’re feeling lucky, head to the nearby Chumash Casino Resort, where you’ll find slot machines, table games and a packed calendar of live entertainment.

Where to Eat in Santa Ynez

End the day with a sumptuous, five-star dining experience at S.Y. Kitchen, which serves up fresh, modern Italian dishes that are sure to please any palate. Spend some time on the heated outdoor lounge area for a pre-dinner cocktail, head indoors for dinner, and pair your seasonal meal with — what else? — local wines grown in the surrounding hills. As you explore the town, you’ll find plenty of additional dining options as well, ranging from burgers and fries to refined Italian cuisine and more.

Popular in Santa Ynez

Sunstone Winery

Sunstone Vineyards, Winery and Villa is an organic vineyard retreat, located just 35-minutes north of Santa Barbara, in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Enjoy Sunstone wines in our Provençal French courtyards, stone barrel-aging caves or…

Global Gardens

Visit Global Gardens® in the heart of downtown Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara's only complete specialty food product line & food tasting room featuring organic, local, gold-medal-winning extra virgin olive oils. As the first company to plant…

Mouth-Watering Eateries in SYV
Where there’s good wine, there’s good food. As the heart of SB wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley abounds with restaurants that are well worth the drive over the hill.
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