Summer and fall in the Santa Ynez Valley offer perfect weather for outdoor activities and al fresco dining. Enjoy a first class meal or a casual BBQ on a greenery-draped patio, for example, and let the sunshine and gentle breezes of the Valley create a dining ambiance for your guests unlike any other. The Santa Ynez Valley has a year-round mild Mediterranean climate perfectly suited for relaxed, outdoor dinners. Diners enjoy the clean air and rustic beauty of wine country. Imagine the smell of smoked BBQ combined with the verdant countryside and the sounds of laughing guests. Combine a little imagination and a lot of gorgeous scenery to create a memorable backyard dining experience.

Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals has many private vacation rental homes that include outdoor kitchens, BBQs or wood-fired pizza ovens to make backyard BBQs even easier. Nothing compares to al fresco dining on a warm summer evening than on the grounds of a luxury home, sipping a bottle of small-batch local wine with family and friends.The backdrop of your backyard BBQ is beatific, with ancient oaks and olive trees dotting the countryside amid vineyards and rolling hills of wildflowers. Spend the day in town shopping for organic produce at one of the several local farmers markets, and enjoy some of the local wine trails and wineries, selecting some of the finest California wines for dinner. You could treat BBQ guests to a BBQ burger or vegetarian kabob made from ingredients grown just up the road.

Need a few ideas for the perfect backyard barbecue? Keep backyard BBQ decorations simple with local produce, flowers and Valley lavender displayed in wicker baskets or Mason jars tied with twine. Decorate simply draped tables with candles and centerpieces of tiny olive trees in individual pots. String lanterns or white Christmas lights for added ambience. Some guests might relax in a hammock with their Santa Ynez vintage wine while others gather around the grill, sharing stories of the day’s adventures. Several of our homes feature outdoor fireplaces or fire pits, perfect for taking the chill off a sometimes cool, idyllic Central California evening. At many of the vacation rentals, guests can marvel at the Milky Way after dark, untouched by lights from town.

Circle L Ranch - Outdoor Pool

Circle L Ranch – Outdoor Pool

Hosts and hostesses could take decorating cues from the style of the vacation rental home for an unrivalled summertime shindig. Not up for cooking? There are numerous local chefs who can cater artful and delicious cuisine made from the finest local ingredients and paired with the ideal wine, if you’d rather socialize and enjoy the company than cook. Some other ideas may include setting up grilled foods at self-serve stations beautifully labeled with the course and ingredients, or making the meal memorable with innovative glassware and a signature drink, complete with shaped ice cubes of juice or berries. Top off the feast with a sundae or shortcake creation station, perhaps from one of the artisan bakers or sweet shops in the Valley. Guests will leave with full stomachs and peaceful minds after an amazing evening, realizing there is nowhere else they would rather vacation than right here.

Stumped for backyard barbeque recipe ideas? We selected a few of our favorites from Delicious Magazine that we think would make perfect dishes for your event:

If hosting a beautiful and memorable barbecue or outdoor party is on your mind for your next vacation, these vacation rental homes feature fantastic outdoor dining options such as patios with outdoor dining furniture, grills or smokers, wood-burning pizza ovens and more:

Circle L Ranch - Outdoor PoolCIRCLE L RANCH – Traditional California Board and Batten home, remodeled to have amenities including pool, pool house, outdoor pizza oven, landscape and outdoor lighting and custom landscaping. Stay and enjoy the feel of the Old West. You may even spot a Palomino horse in one of the pastures. Reserve the Circle L Ranch


OAK VALLEY RANCH Newly built, spacious custom craftsman home boasts quality! Features four full bedrooms, over-sized with en suite bathrooms and floor to ceiling French doors opening onto private patios. Fifth bedroom also doubles as a theater room with floor to ceiling French doors and a private patio. Reserve the Oak Valley Ranch


Bar Z RanchBAR Z RANCH – Bar Z Ranch Truly one of a kind. This, newly built, farmhouse style home is located on the renowned Foxen Canyon wine trail, perched atop over 900 stunning acres. While the serenity and privacy of this ranch may have you rooted, downtown Los Olivos is a short ten minute drive for those who want to explore. Reserve the Bar Z Ranch


Estelle Ranch Vacation Rental in Santa YnezESTELLE RANCH – View of the Santa Ynez Valley unlike any other. Newly remodeled 6 bedroom 4 ½ bathroom home located on the desirable Roblar Avenue atop a hill that overlooks neighboring vineyards. Complete privacy, yet just a 10 minute drive to downtown Los Olivos or Santa Ynez. A perfect location for those who like to bike as well. Reserve the Estelle Ranch


Goodgame Ranch Vacation Rental in Santa YnezGOODGAME RANCH – Newly restored Dutch farmhouse, located on 5 gorgeous acres in Santa Ynez. Close to town, this home features lush park-like grounds with a pool, spa, and a beautiful rustic barn and corral. This comfortably charming home is excellent for entertaining, inside and out, with attention to detail and plenty of amenities. Reserve the Goodgame Ranch


Folded Hills Ranch Vacation Rental in Santa YnezFOLDED HILLS RANCH – 600-acre ultra private retreat located 10 minutes from the quaint Danish town of Solvang and provides serenity and unparalleled relaxation in nature. It is the perfect getaway for families and friends. Enjoy the many activities this property has to offer: a pristine lake and dock for sun bathing, lunching, fishing, kayaking and paddle boarding. Reserve the Folded Hills Ranch


JD RanchJD RANCH – Situated on five perfectly private acres, JD Ranch offers its guests a spacious 5,300 square feet to call home when visiting the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s just a few miles down the road from Gainey Winery, and you are a short bike ride away from wine tasting fun and only a few miles from downtown Santa Ynez. JD Ranch was built with views in mind. Reserve the JD Ranch


Rancho MaromaRANCHO MAROMA – Contemporary Mediterranean design, an architectural masterpiece built by noted vineyard architect, Robert Mehl. Situated on a hill top overlooking the entire Santa Ynez valley, the serene 270 degree views simply take your breath away. Relax in the beautiful courtyard next to the fireplace or sunbathe by the pool and hot tub. Reserve the Rancho Maroma