Welcome to Santa Ynez Valley
Ideally situated two hours north of Los Angeles and approximately 45 minutes outside of Santa Barbara, the Santa Ynez Valley appears like a gift from heaven. Composed of six unique and distinguished enclaves, the valley draws a discerning set of residents and travelers, all of whom relish its perfect marriage of rugged outdoor splendors and high-end amenities. Splendid wineries are as easy to come by as equestrian trails, and mom-and-pop shops and bakeries are as prevalent as luxe boutiques and upscale restaurants. Meanwhile, ample serenity and the ultimate in privacy and seclusion amplify its idyllic ambiance.
The Santa Ynez Valley boasts an array of superb real estate options, from large ranch and winery properties up to $50 million to contemporary, single-family denizens cloaked by oak trees and lush greenery. An artistic spirit and a profound love of nature round out its allure, explaining why Santa Ynez Valley is one of the leading destinations and places to live in all of California.
What to Love
- Characterized by its peace and quiet
- Spellbinding views of the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountains
- Verdant pastures and picturesque vineyards
- A bevy of small towns abounding with personality
- Excellent outdoor activities
One of the beauties of the Santa Ynez Valley is that it welcomes a wide range of residents, from farmers to artists, from wine merchants to celebrities, and from families with children to retirees to contented singles. The tremendous beauty found throughout the region encourages its residents to spend the lion’s share of their free time outside, whether it’s to practice their swing at a championship golf course or climb to the peak of a remote and robustly beautiful trail.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
Visitors flock to the Santa Ynez Valley for the tranquility it offers. Residents specifically choose this Californian hotspot to escape the hustle and bustle of the Golden State’s immense cities. Nonetheless, the Santa Ynez Valley has a resort vibe and sublime eateries to match it.
Brother’s Restaurant at the Red Barn epitomizes country chic and a menu that is downright memorable. Start with house-cured smoked salmon with dill cream and capers, share a prime filet crowned with Stilton cheese and port wine, and indulge in a slice of dark chocolate truffle cake crowned with fresh raspberries for an unforgettable experience.
Sear Steakhouse in the storybook village of Solvang tantalizes patrons to its doors with its perfectly-cooked filets and strips, while The Willows in the notable Chumash Casino delivers impeccable fare in a sleek, enticing setting. Solvang’s Mad & Vin is the place to celebrate the farm-to-table movement with dishes ranging from citrus-cured fresh fish with local avocados and Havarti, bacon, and aioli sliders. Linger over a cocktail or two. Their dusk berry concoction with mezcal and dark chocolate bitters is irresistible.
For a taste of the valley’s storied past, residents and visitors make their way to the delightfully quaint Mortenson’s Danish Bakery for Scandinavian treats like apple strudel and kransekage, a traditional Norwegian wreath cake. While the Santa Ynez Valley is internationally known for its exceptional wineries, the region also has a booming craft brewery scene, which you can experience at the Firestone Walker Brewing Company.
Things to Do
The Santa Ynez Valley has a leisurely vibe that’s epitomized in its divine wine country, from the always-lovely Sunstone Winery to McClain Cellars. Charming, historic towns are also legion in this area. The wondrous Scandinavian architecture, windmills, and trolleys in Solvang — or “The Danish Capital of America ''— is a sight to behold, while the Chumash Casino Resort offers its guests hours upon hours of enjoyment.
To soak up the scenic beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley, residents often spend weekends at Lake Cachuma, a spot revered for its staggering views of the mountain and pristine waters. The sunny region’s rustic charm is also perpetuated at the gorgeous Alisal Ranch, a 10,000-acre haven featuring golf, tennis, a spa, and horseback riding.
The Santa Ynez Valley is home to several top-performing private and public schools, including: