town in Santa Barbara County, California, United States

Santa Ynez is a small community in the Santa Ynez Valley winery region of Santa Barbara County in Southern California. It's in a valley of small towns, rolling hills, majestic oaks and friendly people. There are beautiful horse ranches, unspoiled mountains, charming little towns, waterfalls, beaches, scenic drives, breathtaking countryside, fruit orchards, and authentic Spanish missions.

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  • 1 Chumash Casino Resort, 3400 E Hwy 246, toll-free: +1 800-248-6274. Has big name entertainment, good spa and a steak and seafood restaurant with an extensive wine list.    

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  • Gainey Vineyard, 3950 E. Hwy 246, +1 805 688-0558. 10AM-5PM daily. One of the premier tasting experiences among Santa Barbara wineries. They attract a large crowd, but it's worth dealing with both for their wine and delightful grounds that are a perfect place to end a day of Santa Barbara wine tasting. They also have a nice tasting room reserved for wine club members.
  • LinCourt Vineyards, 343 N Refugio Rd, +1 805 688-8381. 10AM-5PM daily. This is low-priced sister winery to Foley, but unfortunately not particularly good among Santa Barbara wineries. They do offer a pleasant picnic area.
  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, 125 Refugio Rd, toll-free: +1-800-313-9463. 10AM-4PM daily. Sunstone has a nice patio area with a fairly good view. Sunstone Winery overlooks the Santa Ynez River, and has one of the more pleasant settings among Santa Barbara wineries. They have good wine include Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and others. Their reserve tasting costs a few dollars more, but is worth it.

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  • Solvang — 4 miles west of Santa Ynez, nearly one million visitors travel to this small town each year to see its Danish architecture and experience its (mostly) authentic Danish culture. Visitors can enjoy Danish food, a replica of the Little Mermaid sculpture, windmills, and the horse-drawn Hønen for sightseeing. The Danish Days festival lasts through the weekend during September and has been held almost every year since 1936.
  • Santa Barbara — over the mountains 30 miles southwest of Santa Ynez, the "American Riviera" is a historic mission city that is an incredibly popular getaway destination. Its wide beaches, highly rated wineries, luxurious resorts, art galleries, and a large variety of excellent dining choices, enable the town of just 90,000 residents to enjoy the sort of cultural and social amenities which are usually found only in much larger cities.
  • Los Olivos — 5 miles northwest of Santa Ynez, this town has more than its share of wineries and tasting rooms, with around a dozen such businesses despite its tiny population of just over 1,000. The town also draws visitors wishing to pay their respects at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, which is 5 miles north of town but not open to visitors.
Routes through Santa Ynez
Jct N   SLos Olivos  W   E  Santa BarbaraEnds at   
LompocSolvang  W   E  END

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