Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ynez Valley

Several communities make up the Santa Ynez Valley including: Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Ballard. The Valley sits between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Rafael Mountains to the north. It’s picturesque with rolling hills and valleys, freckled with vineyards and horse ranches.

The 2004 smash hit Sideways was filmed here in Santa Ynez and is partly responsible for the booming tourist industry that thrives here. The economy of Santa Ynez is sustained not only by tourism, but by the agriculture, particularly viticulture. The Santa Ynez Valley is world renowned for its wineries and vineyards. The Santa Ynez Visitors Association lists over seventy wineries and tasting rooms on their website.

The equine industry is also booming in the Santa Ynez Valley due to the amount of ranches and horse accommodations that are offered here. The most notable facilities are Monty Roberts’ Flag Is Up Farms, River Edge Farm, and the highly acclaimed Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center.

Santa Ynez is home to the Chumash Casino, where the flavor of Santa Barbara’s native Chumash tribe comes alive. The resort and casino is highly acclaimed and worth a quick stop. Throw a couple pennies in the slots; you might win big.

You might recall the controversy over Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Well the Santa Ynez Valley is where it all went down, as the ranch is perched just a few miles north of Los Olivos. Since Michael’s death, several propositions have been made about what to do with the estate. Ideally, it would become something similar to Elvis’ Graceland, a place where fans could come and tour and remember one of the world’s top pop culture icons. Most recently, a proposition has been made to convert it into a state park. No progress has been taken as of yet.

Pet some Ostrich’s at Ostrichland, eat some split pea soup at Andersen’s, or head on up the 101 to San Luis Obispo’s Madonna Inn. The central coast has some epic tourist attractions to catch your eye and the Santa Ynez Valley has the snugness and warmth to convince you to move there.