Short-Term Rentals are Essential to Santa Barbara County Agri-Tourism

Dear Supporters,

On June 6, 2017, The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Short-Term Rental Ordinance at the County Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room, 105 East Anapamu Street, 4th Floor, Santa Barbara, California.

We are hopeful that the hearing on June 6 will determine the final outcome of this long-awaited decision concerning the use of short-term rentals in Santa Barbara County. As always, your support is extremely important to us.

Read the full article in the Santa Ynez Valley Star here.

Our Take on the Issue

At Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals, we specialize in Agritourism and it is our goal to provide guests with an authentic farm or ranch stay experience through a carefully curated selection of breathtaking agricultural properties in the Santa Ynez Valley. We believe that the most appropriate and desirable location for short-term rentals in Santa Barbara County is on agricultural land, all agricultural land, as opposed to residential zoned areas. 

A stay at one of our properties is not only a unique, rural experience for guests, but also a means to help sustain and keep agriculture alive in our community. These beautiful agricultural properties are integral in maintaining the rural character of the Santa Ynez Valley, that locals and visitors alike are so drawn to. They keep the bucolic rolling hills of the Valley uninhabited. They allow for 360-degree views of pure, wide-open space. They allow for a place where animals can survive and thrive as ever-increasing development continues to take over.

All of this doesn’t come free. Landowners of agricultural properties need alternative income sources to help offset their operating costs of these expensive, yet extraordinary, properties that we all love and feel a connection to. It isn’t until something is gone that people start to miss what once was.

Blueberry Farm at Circle L Ranch Farm Stay

Agricultural properties cannot survive without using the land, conscientiously, to generate income.

Not taking advantage, but allowing for operations that are a compatible use of agriculture. Just as organic farming, raising llamas, or selling homemade honey from a modest farmstead are all considered a healthy, productive, use of agricultural land, the same is true for short-term rentals on an agricultural properties – it’s all wholesome Agritourism.

The beauty of these stays is that they do not require any new development, there is no negative impact to the land or community, and they are environmentally responsible. Guests are simply sleeping in a structure that already exists on the land. Land where they can wake up to the sound of farm life, brush a horse, walk down a cow path, through a vineyard, star gaze with their kids, pick fresh vegetables, collect chicken eggs, and merely slow down and take it all in with family and close friends.

A few key points in the debate about short-term rentals in Santa Barbara County:

  • AGRICULTURE CANNOT BE COMPARED TO RESIDENTIAL: When managed with integrity, short-term rentals on all agricultural properties (AG I & AG II  5, 10, 20, 40, 100+ acres) do not negatively impact the community unlike some residential zoned short-term rentals. Plain and simple, agricultural parcels are much larger than residential parcels and have larger setbacks from neighbors, which help offer more privacy and tranquility for all.
  • REVENUE TO COUNTY: Santa Barbara County has a fiduciary responsibility to the community. The Transient Occupant Tax (TOT) generated from short-term rentals on agricultural properties helps contribute significantly towards the budget crisis.
  • AGRI-TOURISM: Short-term rentals on agricultural properties provide income to land owners, which in turn, helps keep agriculture alive in our community. These are not your typical, “crash pad” style rentals. Short-term rentals on all agricultural land are intended to offer a farm or ranch stay experience; connecting people with nature and agriculture operations, and do not negatively impact the community or neighboring properties.

Rancho Santuario Equine Ranch Vacation Rental

9 Most Romantic Things to Do in the Santa Ynez Valley

If you’re not yet planning to spend Valentine’s Day, a honeymoon, or simply a romantic weekend getaway in the Santa Ynez Valley this year, you should be! For starters, the most cozy, romantic, private vacation rental homes are right here in the Santa Ynez Valley.

But also, we put together this amazing list of the nine most romantic things to do in the Santa Ynez Valley with your significant other while you’re here!

The Santa Ynez Valley has amazing wineries, equine ranches, lavender farms, beatific landscapes, and so much more to offer couples who want to escape for a romantic weekend together.

Take a glider ride from the Santa Ynez Airport. 

Santa Barbara Soaring has several different glider tours to choose from, two of which glide over the Santa Ynez Valley. Take one of these phenomenal glider rides to take in the spectacular view above the gorgeous Valley. Not to mention, the Santa Ynez Airport is next door to Gainey Winery. The scenery is breathtaking, and you should share this experience with your spouse!

Have a romantic date night for two at Petros restaurant.

This fabulous little dining spot is set at a greenhouse in the center of Solvang. The Petros Restaurant eloquent menu is a blend of Greek cuisine with fresh Mediterranean ingredients. So plan to have a romantic date night dinner for two and make sure to ask to sit by the fireplace when you make your reservations!

Couple Enjoying Romantic Dinner Date with Wine

Enjoy a wine tasting series on bike.

Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours combines cycling beautiful scenery and the quaint towns in the Santa Ynez Valley with great wine and food to create the perfect Valley experience. The rides are custom-tailored to you and your level of comfort, and day tours can include a romantic gourmet picnic lunch within the wine tasting and cycling routes. This makes an especially great double date with your couple friends!

Middle Aged Couples Enjoying Cycling Wine Tour Double Date

Go horseback riding through the Valley.

Vino Vaqueros has daily horseback riding and wine tasting tours in the gorgeous Santa Ynez Valley. The scenery is breathtaking, and what more romantic way to travel from vineyard to vineyard than on horseback with your loved one? Every private horseback ride is led by a knowledgeable guide with access to gorgeous scenery, ranches and vineyards in the Valley. After the horseback ride, you and your spouse can relax and enjoy vineyard and pond views or a game of bocce ball while sampling local wines.

Couple Horseback Riding in the Santa Ynez Valley

Get a couples massage at Champagne Spa.

What could be more romantic than getting a relaxing, soothing couples massage together? Santa Ynez Wine Country Massage has been a Santa Ynez Valley favorite for years.The best thing about Santa Ynez Wine Country Massage is that they’ll even come to you! You could schedule the couples massage in the privacy of your vacation rental home. Schedule a couples massage with your loved one and enjoy some peaceful, relaxing, quiet time to unwind with one another.

Stroll downtown Los Olivos together.

Walking from door to door in downtown Los Olivos will take you to numerous boutique wineries and shops to sip on the best wine the Santa Ynez Valley has to offer.  Walking in quaint Los Olivos is the perfect food pairing for Los Olivos wine, shopping local to support small business with unique and memorable purchases, and so much more. Strolling together hand-in-hand through Los Olivos will be sure to build memories you’ll cherish.

Book a private chef at your vacation rental.

Want to cozy up over dinner and wine just the two of you? How about holing up in your cozy, romantic vacation rental property and dining in? Hire a private chef to cook you and your loved one a dinner to remember. Your private chef could even use locally sourced ingredients, bring local bottles of wine, and ensure a romantic evening with flavors you will love. Many of our vacation rentals have gorgeous patios for al fresco dining, too!

Have a romantic dinner at Grappolo Trattoria.

The only thing more romantic than dinner for two is a gourmet dinner for two that supports local farmers and wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley. Trattoria Grappolo in Santa Ynez does just that, serving the most delightful and unforgettable gourmet food. Ask to sit on the patio for more privacy, peace and quiet to bond with your loved one!

Take a hike and picnic at Nojoqui Falls.

The Nojoqui Falls Park has a short trail to gaze at the falls in a gorgeous outdoor setting. The park has plenty of places to enjoy a picnic for two after you’ve taken in all the beautiful scenery. We recommend bringing a light picnic with a blanket and a bottle of wine to enjoy after your short hike to the serene Nojoqui Falls!

Couple Enjoying Picnic & Wine in Nojoqui Falls Park

Book that romantic getaway!

If you’re hoping to get away on Valentine’s Day or simply for a romantic getaway any time of year, come to the Santa Ynez Valley. Book a private vacation rental home, and plan on one or more of these romantic date ideas! Contact our travel concierge for help finding the perfect vacation rental and planning the ideal romantic getaway for you and your spouse. We’re here to help!

Top 3 Things to Do in Solvang, CA on Vacation

By / 6th May, 2017 / FAQ's / No Comments

If you are planning a vacation to beautiful Solvang, California in the Santa Ynez Valley, you may need some ideas from a local to make the most of your trip. These are our top three recommendations for things to do in Solvang, CA as you’re planning your vacation itinerary.

1. Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang Area Wine Tastings

Perhaps you have heard of the movie Sideways, a film about a week-long road trip through California wine country – and that includes Solvang, California. There are many wine tours in the Santa Ynez area that you absolutely must look into, and we even have a map of the Sideways wineries.

One great place to visit in Solvang to go for wine tastings is Alamo Pintado Road, where many of the top wineries on the Santa Ynez Wine Trail can be found Also, if you are a wine connoisseur and want to enjoy some wine tastings in Solvang, consider visiting the quaint downtown Solvang area to enjoy all the small boutique wineries in the area.

There are more than 20 downtown tasting rooms in Solvang with wine products from more than 125 area vineyards. You may even find yourself meeting the winery owners and winemakers at their tasting rooms in Solvang! So whether you prefer to sip on a chardonnay or prefer a sauvignon blanc and enjoy a glass of wine on your Solvang vacation – you deserve it.

Sunset Over a Solvang Vineyard

2. Bike Riding on Solvang Trails

If you are a fan of nature and the outdoors, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation in Santa Ynez Valley and the Solvang area. In fact, taking a leisurely bike ride is one of the best ways to experience Solvang when you’re visiting.

There are many simple bicycle trail loops that begin in the city of Solvang that carry bikers through the back country and many beautiful sights of the valley. Solvang is also home to the Solvang Century Cycling Festival and the Solvang Prelude Ride events every year.

There is no shortage of bike-friendly parks and other outdoor activities to do in Solvang if you just love to enjoy nature, including Solvang Park, Sunny Fields Park and Hans Christian Andersen Park.

Woman Cycling Through Solvang Parks

3. Shopping, Dining, Music & Danish History in Downtown Solvang

Danish History

Founded in 1911 by Danish educators who were traveling west to escape the harsh winters of the Midwest, Solvang is packed with the history and food (especially the pastries and æbleskiver!) of Denmark. Be sure to enjoy the downtown Solvang area and look for Danish icons like the Little Mermaid Fountain near Mission Dr. and Alisal Rd., the five Danish windmills, and the giant red clog outside the Solvang Shoe Store. Also be sure to check out the Round Tower of Solvang, which is a replica of the Rudetaarn in Copenhagen at 1/3 the scale. There are also a number of must-see museums, including Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, The Wildling, Hans Christian Andersen, Vintage Motorcycle, Old Mission Santa Inés, and the Amber Museum & Hall of the Danes.

Boutique Shopping

There are tons of wonderful shops and boutiques in the Solvang area that are perfect for folks who need a little retail therapy on vacation. There are more than 150 one-of-a-kind shops and small businesses to visit in the Solvang area, so there is no shortage of interesting shopping to do.

Find a boutique for any of your interests – antiques, the arts, clothing, kids, wine, gourmet gifts – you name it. And after you shop till you drop, one of my favorite Solvang restaurants is Root 246 on Alisal Rd. Their dinner menu updates often and is based on what current, seasonal ingredients are available and fresh at the market. It is delicious food with an excellent wine selection, and it is a must-taste if you are in the Solvang area.

Live Music

Being in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, downtown Solvang is also a hot spot for live music events. From the Solvang Summer concert series on Wednesday evenings, to Soirée Thursdays at Refugio Ranch each week, to live music on the patio of Root 246 every Friday night, to the Sunday Concert Series at Zaca Mesa Winery, there is no shortage of sounds in the area for the music-lovers in your group. Enjoy live music, great food and perhaps a glass of wine surrounded by the Danish history of Solvang.

Downtown Solvang Small Business Shopping

That makes up our travel concierge list of the top three things to do on your Solvang vacation! Of course if you decide on Solvang, CA for your trip – consider one of our Solvang vacation rental homes. Make sure to visit these Solvang attractions for the most memorable Santa Ynez Valley vacation possible.

Celebrate Spring in the Santa Ynez Valley!

By / 20th April, 2017 / Uncategorized / Off

A time for endless sunny days, new vegetation and wildflowers painting the rolling hills. With the recent eruption of color in Santa Ynez, the Valley is as magnificent as ever. Local restaurants are hauling in the cartons of locally foraged mushrooms for their seasonal menus. The clumsy foals are taking their eager first steps on the pastures along the country roads and the bright orange poppies are in bloom.

 Two Donkeys in Santa Ynez Valley in Springtime

Springtime is one of the most exquisite times to plan a vacation to the Santa Ynez Valley. The weather is pleasantly warm and sunny, the landscapes and vistas are awe-inspiring and picturesque, and the food and brews are in their prime as our local farmers’ markets and seasonal events are springing into full bloom.

Mother and Daughter Collecting Eggs a Spring Farmers Market

We have so much to offer at Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals this season including three NEW vacation rental properties. We cannot wait to see you this Spring.

Book your stay now and embark on your journey of luxury, adventure and relaxation!

Upcoming Events in the Santa Ynez Valley

6 Ways Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals Contributes to the Santa Barbara County Community

By / 24th August, 2016 / Rental Properties, News and Reviews / Off

Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals is a valuable contributing member of our local community in many ways. Below are just six of the most important ways we impact our county and the towns within!

1. Job Creators

We provide jobs for a full-time staff, and 10 part-time housekeepers – your neighbors in the Santa Ynez Valley community.

2. Local Loyalists

We encourage our guests to choose local companies to make the most of their visits, including chefs, yoga studios, golf courses, restaurants, wineries, and retail shops.

3. Small Business Supporters

Through our business, we support local small businesses like pool service companies, plumbers, appliance repairmen, landscapers, gardening companies, designers, print shops, transportation companies, bike rental companies, babysitters, grocery stores, local farms, and more. We also support the 40 homeowners who depend on short-term rental (STR) income.

4. Community Philanthropists

We believe in giving back to our community. SYVR donates considerably to charitable organizations such as People Helping People, Angels Foster Care, Santa Barbara Youth Project, Environmental Defense Center, Solvang School, and the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation.

5. Environmental Advocates

We are an eco-friendly business and we promote environmentally friendly practices, including plant-based amenities and cleaning products. We are huge advocates of solar power, low flow water systems, and native/drought tolerant landscaping for all of our properties.

6. Revenue Creators for the County

Our business contributes significantly to the county’s “transient occupancy tax” (“TOT”), which collected more than $1.2 million in 2015 for our community.

Take Action

Help us stop the ban on vacation rental homes and achieve fair regulation in the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals is dedicated to being an honorable and valuable contributing member of the Santa Ynez Valley community. We thoroughly screen our guests and provide a comprehensive, professional, rental contract to protect all parties. Many of our guests are repeat renters with excellent rental etiquette, and we are proud to have them as customers.

short-term-rentals-support-santa-barbara-county

Read more about the proposed short-term vacation rental ban legislation in Santa Barbara County here:

 

Summer in Santa Ynez Vacation Checklist

Summer in the Valley provides a plethora of outdoor activities, including wine tasting, brewery tours, equestrian events, summer celebrations, farmers markets, and even cool restaurants to check out. You may have to visit the Valley more than once to really get a taste of what it has to offer!

Schedule Your Vacation to Santa Ynez

Not sure of what to do on your vacation? We’ve got some suggestions! Beer lovers can beat the heat and party at the Figueroa Mountain Brewery, and find the humor in life at the brewery’s comedy night.

Summer Arts in the Valley

Theatre and film enthusiasts alike can get lost in fairy tale land at a musical performance under the California stars at the Solvang Festival Theater or screen a movie at the Buellton Oak Park in Solvang. Fans of visual art can browse the finest local art available at the museum, and even purchase local Santa Ynez Valley art the second Saturday of every month. Dance a little and blow some bubbles with your little ones during kid-friendly Music on the Green in Solvang.

Food and Drink

With all of the picturesque vineyards in the area, you’d be amiss not to sample some of the finest local wines of the Valley. Pick out your favorite fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers market to plan a great picnic.

Majestic Oak Winery and Vineyard in Ojai, California – Santa Ynez

Indulge in a handcrafted cocktail at the S.Y. Kitchen, or engage in the best people watching with some great food. The Farmstead allows visitors to forage for fruit for a rewarding experience and have Chef Jake Francis prepare it. Think “gourmet hot dogs” is an oxymoron? Think again! The Doggy Door in Los Olivos is perfect for all ages and attitudes. Wake up and get your caffeine fix at our coffee shop in the Valley.

R&R in the Valley

Take a drive through pristine central coast hill country to a remote Santa Barbara County beach with the world’s best burger.

Spend the day in Los Alamos digging for funky finds, tasting wine, and eating at the hippest new restaurants. Book a massage therapist or get needled by an acupuncturist to deepen your vacation relaxation, many of whom will go right up to your door.

Fresh Local Flowers – Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals

 

The Great Outdoors

Rent a bicycle and get route tips from the pros, or live out your Old West fantasies at Vino Vaqueros — with wine, of course.  Hike a local favorite, Figueroa Mountain, or just turn the A/C on and take the “long way” from Los Olivos to Santa Ynez through the mountains. Get a bird’s eye view of the Valley in a hot air balloon ride. If you’re getting out (or staying in) and getting active, go for some paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking or indoor rock climbing. Pet owners can take their pups to the only Santa Barbara Country off-leash dog beach around to play with his/her peers.

The Valley is a haven of summertime fun, adventure, and relaxation. For suggestions or to book a home in the heart of it all, contact us today!

The Untapped Harvest

The weather forecast may be no indication, but the fact is that autumn has arrived in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Celebration of Harvest Festival marked the closing of the Central Coast’s most prominent harvest: that of wine grapes. While the wine industry may be slowing down, other local harvests are just amping up.

The Bounty of Local Valley Harvests

The bounty of the Central Coast presents itself in countless ways. Farm stands dot most major roadways in the Valley. Some, like Finley Farms on Refugio Rd., operate on the small town honor system where you weigh your own produce and deposit money in a rusted metal depository. Others, like Summerset Farms on Edison St. at Hwy 154, are full service, offering an opportunity to engage in the season with colorful pumpkins and U-Pick apple orchards. Some local farms don’t sell directly to the public but rather distribute to local grocery stores and restaurants.

ApplesDPC27110900

If you’re dining at one of our favorite local restaurants, you’re likely to be enjoying food grown from soil just a few miles down the road. Many visitors to the Santa Ynez Valley are members of local wine clubs and attend annual post-harvest winemaker dinners. These events are where visitors can truly begin to appreciate the intersection of both the wine and farming industries which are so deeply embedded in our community.

Intimate Private Fall Dinner Gatherings

One of our favorite ways to celebrate the autumn harvest is by hosting an intimate private dinner at home or in your vacation rental. In a community so full of farmers and winemakers it’s only natural that chefs congregate to assist in bringing the Central Coast’s bounty from field to plate. There are many talented chefs in the Santa Ynez Valley: two of whom bring unparalleled expertise, ingenuity and charm to every occasion.

Chef Jake O. Francis

When seeking a chef to craft an inspired menu utilizing local produce for a winemaker dinner, many winery owners enlist Jake O. Francis, both a heritage breed pig farmer and incredibly skilled chef. His depth of understanding the farming process from start to finish is apparent in his rustic yet refined approach, and showcasing locally grown and raised produce and meat. Chef Jake has left many of our guests eager to plan another dinner party with him again, just take a look at this menu he did for some of our past guests.
SYV_Supper_7.12.15

Chef Giorgio Curti

Hailing from Calabria, Italy, Chef Giorgio Curti brings global inspiration to his locally sourced menu items through both his Los Alamos restaurant Craft Kitchen and Amaranto Catering Co. This year he’s offering to cook and deliver Thanksgiving dinners anywhere in the Valley. That means no fussin’ and fightin’ with family in the kitchen! We love this idea and think many of our Thanksgiving guests will enjoy the utter convenience of dinner delivered to your door.

chef-giorgio-curti-thanksgiving-menu

5 Best Places to Cool Off in the Santa Ynez Valley

Temperatures during the beautiful summer months in Santa Ynez are inclined to creep steadily towards the triple digits. Many find this an opportunity to throw on a summer dress and take advantage of the dozens of fine wineries in the area; slowly sipping their way up the Foxen Wine Trail or down Grand Avenue in Los Olivos. Others, when the temperatures hit supreme, find the heat oppressive and rather uncomfortable. Here, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite “cool” summer hang outs, some of them only the locals know about.

Jalama Beach

After traveling 14 miles off of Hwy 1 down rural, winding Jalama Road you may be surprised to arrive at this incredible secluded place with outstanding views, miles of beach and prehistoric bluffs to enjoy. Once a Chumash settlement called “Halama” (this is still how you pronounce the name), the land was donated in 1943 to the County of Santa Barbara. Since then it has provided respite to those looking to enjoy California beaches without the chaotic crowds. Grab a burger and fries at the general store (my favorite burger on the Central Coast) then take a long walk south to the point and watch the surfers; bring a blanket or a jacket as it tends to get quite windy in the late afternoon.

Jalama-Beach-Coastline

Santa Ynez River

It’s best to consider the Santa Ynez River as a large creek in a vast, dry riverbed with pools gathering every mile or so. Red Rock, about a 1/3-mile hike at the end of Paradise Road, is one of the largest and most popular swimming holes along the Santa Ynez River. Further up the river bed are a few smaller, quieter swimming holes ideal for picnics and long afternoons dithering between lounging in the sun and dipping in the cool waters.

More accessible are the small swimming holes dotted along the western part of the river, running directly through the Santa Ynez Valley. After the first few rains, when the weather is still warm, these waters are cool, clean, and much closer to town. Some easy access points are near the bridges at Refugio Road and Alisal Road, and some good swimming holes are found when walking the river bed between the two bridges. Please be aware of your surroundings when in the wilderness, especially water sources, and never venture out alone. We live closely with wildlife here.

Red Rocks

Grassini Family Vineyards

The Grassini Family Vineyards are some of the most splendid grounds in the entire Santa Ynez Valley. A grand old oak provides shade for the picnic tables sitting on the banks of a small lake. The lake is actually a reservoir so it’s incredibly clean, and also filled with bass for catch & release. This special place truly feels like a lush oasis during the dry, golden months of summer. The caveat here: the grounds are private. However, you can rent the site for a fee, so if you’ve come to Santa Ynez with a large group to celebrate something special, I’d suggest checking out Grassini Family Vineyards. Plus, they make some real fine wines.

Grassini Family Vineyard

Figueroa Mountain Tap Room

Throughout the world, indulging in a frosty pint of beer is the preferred way to cool off; consider it no different here. Figueroa Mountain Brewery’s tap room tucked away on Alamo Pintado Avenue in Los Olivos offers a reprieve from the sweltering sun. Chill with the locals over a mug of Hoppy Poppy or Paradise Road Pilsner in this funky, vibrant, air conditioned tap room.

Fig Mnt Tap Room Los Olivos

Backyard Pools

The easiest and simplest way to cool off in Santa Ynez? Rent one of our many homes with a backyard pool and spa. There’s nothing quite like mixing your own margaritas with family and friends, then walking the 10 yards from kitchen to poolside.

Estelle-Ranch-Pool

 

 

Easter in the Santa Ynez Valley

By / 11th March, 2015 / Rental Properties, News and Reviews / Off

Donkey

Spring is a time of new beginnings, celebrating life and birth.

In recent weeks Santa Ynez Valley has brilliantly erupted with color. Wildflowers paint the rolling hills in shades of mustard, orange, and violet. Local restaurants are hauling in cartons of locally foraged mushrooms for their seasonal menus. In the pastures along the country roads clumsy foals are taking their eager first steps. Spring has arrived. Each year our magnificent planet reminds us of life’s cyclical nature, and we have an opportunity to celebrate with both the Spring Equinox and Easter fast approaching.

To our surprise, the property that is most befitting of Easter’s spirit is still available. Folded Hills Ranch, nestled among 600 rolling green acres between Nojoqui Falls Park and the Gaviota Pass, is the idyllic estate to hold your annual Easter gathering. The home is reminiscent of a gracious, old world plantation home that’s been classically restored with modern amenities. Thoughtfully styled, a distinct charm radiates throughout the home and the three surrounding private cottages. Folded Hills Ranch sleeps 18 people. You can rest assured you can bring the whole family, and likely more.

Folded Hills Ranch Swimming Pool

Here, you can turn Easter into an entertaining and educational experience for the little ones. We can make arrangements for Santino, the groundskeeper and livestock manager, to introduce each member of the Folded Hills Ranch farm animal family (goats, emus, llamas, pigs, mules, cows, etc.) to your family, including the newest arrival Judy, the baby Sicilian donkey. My goodness, is she cute! By the time Easter rolls around though, who knows how many other tiny, new creatures will be gracing the acres of Folded Hills Ranch? Santino will also assist you in gathering freshly laid eggs from heritage hens. These eggs are already colorful, but with a few dips of (natural) food coloring would be ready for one of the grandest Easter egg hunts we can imagine.

Just down the road, adjacent to the Folded Hills Ranch is the new Farm•Stead, a truly delightful representation of organic farming on the Central Coast. You’ll find the soil here is bursting with life. Take advantage of the food voucher you will receive upon arriving to Folded Hills Ranch. Grab a basket and head to the fields to harvest your own beets, chard, and the first strawberries of the season. The team here at Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals has spent many afternoons lunching at the Farm•Stead barn and have fallen in love with the animals, the vibrantly fresh produce, and the irrepressible smiles of the farmers, Abel and Eliberto. Check out all that the Farm•Stead has to offer at FarmsteadCA.com.

FarmStead Eggs

Play a post-Easter egg hunt game of croquet on the 16 pristine grass acres, and spend the afternoon fishing on the 2.5-acre lake. Later, enjoy a lunch of your freshly caught large-mouth bass or catfish on the expansive sun dock with a shaded entertaining area and full wet bar. If you’re keen to get some exercise during your holiday, hit the tennis court with your most competitive family member, jump on the paddle board in the lake, take a swim in the saltwater pool, or guide the family on a hike through one of the meandering forest trails. Unwind around the outdoor fire pit after dinner where you can share stories over a glass of wine before heading your separate ways to fall asleep to the sounds of a country night.

All that I’ve mentioned here is included in the price of your stay. Additionally, Chef Mark is available to host private brunches or dinners on the premises, and the team here at Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals will stop at nothing to ensure you’re fully enjoying your stay.

We can’t think of a more intimate and authentic Easter experience than the one offered at Folded Hills Ranch. Spring is all about new beginnings, so how about beginning a new family tradition by bringing your loved ones to this little paradise on the central coast?
Folded Hills Ranch Lake, Dock & Lounging

Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals in the Community

As you drive out of the gate at vacation rental Circle L Ranch, just across the street is an industrial tank with a rustic wooden sign casually slung around one of it’s posts. It reads, “Community.” It struck me as a sweet reminder that while most homes in the Valley are located on multiple acres, there is no less a sense of community here as in a tight suburban neighborhood.

I also considered that the placement of the “Community” sign, being directly across the street from a vacation rental often occupied by visitors, might be a gentle reminder from a neighbor to our guests that while they enjoy their home away from home, to keep in mind that they are kindly being welcomed into a ranching community, in hopes that quiet hours may be observed. (Only recently did I realize that the sign simply, and admittedly obviously, designated the tank as belonging to the community.) Nonetheless, this “Community” sign has allowed me to ruminate regularly on the concept and importance of community.

Community Sign

The business ethos at Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals has long been one that revolves around community and social responsibility. To begin with, the carbon footprint of a stay in a hotel is 50% greater than that of a stay in a vacation rental home.  Simply in offering an alternative to a stay in a hotel, we’ve created an opportunity to travel with less impact on the planet. Further, the decision to use eco-friendly products whenever possible, albeit a bit more expensive, has been paramount to Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals.

  • Our luxurious bathing amenities are made in the USA by William Roam, a company with a tenacious commitment to protecting the earth.
  • Our new coffee and tea trays have been hand crafted by a local carpenter using primarily reclaimed wood.
  • All hand soap, sponges, trash bags, laundry detergent and dish soap are sourced from recognized eco-friendly companies.

To echo this commitment to social responsibility in a broader, more universal scale, we’re happy to announce that we’re in the process of joining 1% For The Planet. Their mission is to “build, support and activate an alliance of businesses financially committed to creating a healthy planet” and have invested more than $100 million in positive environmental change. Beginning this year, 1% of our revenue will be donated to this colossally compassionate organization. Bonus: The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia and Jack Johnson is one of their biggest advocates! How cool is that?

one-percent-for-the-planet

As a small business working within a small and very special community such as the Santa Ynez Valley, we’ve begun to see possibilities of how our ethos and social contributions can extend beyond the limits of our own company. In an effort to increase our involvement in community-related issues and activities, we’ve decided to begin this New Year with a pledge to contribute quarterly to local philanthropies.

Our contribution for the first quarter of 2015 was a grant to People Helping People. People Helping People is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of community members by “addressing emergency and basic needs, furnishing comprehensive integrated family and individual support services, and acting as a catalyst for positive community change.” They provide health services, domestic violence prevention services, connect eligible families with Cal Fresh, and facilitate applying for MediCal through their several Family Resource Centers throughout the area. They are an extremely deserving organization and we are happy to contribute to their many causes.

people-helping-people

Also, we value the insight of both our homeowners and loyal guests, if you are involved with or supporters of any local, esteemed organizations, please share with us! It is our hope that the essence of a shared community permeates not only our own company, but our community, society, and humanity as a whole. Because, that’s what this whole living “business” is all about.

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