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Where to Shop and Eat in the Santa Ynez Valley

Located within driving distance from Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Santa Ynez Valley is one of California’s best weekend getaways—especially this time of year when the weather is beginning to cool down. Part of Santa Barbara County, the valley includes the towns of Solvang, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Buellton, and Ballard, and is known for its many vineyards and beautiful, otherwise untouched land. We shot our fall catalogue on Pata Bros. Ranch in the town of Santa Ynez, and given that it’s finally starting to feel like fall, I thought it would be the perfect time to share a few of my favorite places to eat, drink, and stay in the area. XXJKE 

Where to Eat: 

SY Kitchen — This cozy farmhouse restaurant serves fresh, modern Italian dishes and great wine. Various well-appointed indoor and outdoor spaces make dining there an adventure every time.

Sides Hardware & Shoes — Named after its historical storefront, this casual but stylish Los Olivos restaurant serves new American comfort food in a setting the whole family will enjoy. 

Lucky Hen Larder — Pick up picnic ingredients or groceries for a cozy meal at home (or your hotel) at this artisan and culinary goods store and deli.

Valle Fresh — Specializing in local, fresh California cuisine centered around tacos and tapas, this catering company and kitchen is a great spot for a casual lunch

Bell Street Farm — This bright, farm-to-table market and restaurant, with spacious outdoor patio, serves fresh deli sandwiches, charcuterie, salads, and local wine for lunch, 5 days a week.

Bob’s Well Bread Bakery — This rustic artisanal bakery is open for breakfast and lunch, until 3pm every day. Enjoy fresh baguette sandwiches with salad, pastries, and coffee. 

Industrial Eats — This hip, family-style restaurant and butcher serves wood-fired pizzas and other Italian-inspired fare, all sourced from the Central Coast.

Root 246 —For a nice dinner, try this elegant, farm-to-table restaurant within the Hotel Corque, which has a great selection of local wines, whiskey, and craft beers.


Where to Shop: 

Los Olivos General Store — Located in refurbished garage, this charming home and kitchen boutique also sells jewelry, artwork, and gourmet foods.

New Frontiers Natural Marketplace — This California-based organic grocery store chain has all of the healthy and organic goods you need for your trip.


What to Do: 

Assuming you’ve already lined up a wine-tasting or two during your trip to the Santa Ynez Valley, here are a few additional activities you might enjoy!

Vino Vaqueros — This beautiful property features horseback riding as well as farm-to-table dining and wine tasting. Choose from a variety of packages, and feel free to bring kids!

Clairmont Farms — Bring a picnic or simply stroll through the fields of this beautiful family-owned organic lavender farm, which also has a boutique where you can buy handmade products. 

Sunny Fields Park — This huge recreational park with a unique wooden playground is a great, easy stop during a family trip. Your children will love it.


Where to Stay: 

The Landsby — This European-style, 41-room hotel in Solvang features elegant rooms with new and mid-century furnishings. Make time to enjoy the hotel courtyard garden as well as the stylish restaurant and bar during your stay.

Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort — Set on a 10,000-acre cattle ranch, this rustic, Western-style resort is a fun, family-friendly spot. For something to do, choose from horseback riding, golf, tennis, swimming, and more.

Pata Bros. Ranch — The family-run farm sells raw unfiltered honey, dried butterbeans, and even handmade cards and artwork to visitors in town as well as those who find them online. 

Photos: Moira Tarmy