A Picturesque Haven in the Heart of Wine Country

Thinking about taking a vacation to California wine country? Santa Barbara County and the Santa Ynez Valley in particular is a choice vacation destination, but you probably would like to know the best time to visit Santa Ynez to begin planning your vacation.

Spring in the Santa Ynez Valley

May is especially beautiful in the Santa Ynez Valley because the hills are still green, the weather starts to warm up, and there are tons of exciting things happening in Santa Ynez. Every March is the Taste of Solvang food and wine festival in downtown Solvang. It is a blast to walk up and down Smorgaasbord and experience what more than 40 restaurants are serving up on their menus!

Poppies Santa Ynez Spring Summer 2018

Also plan to hike in the Figueroa Mountains. They are covered with wildflowers and you will have views of the valley as far as the eye can see. A springtime vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley can also be filled with inspiring horseback rides and long bike rides, as there are miles and miles of beautiful trails for both. And last but certainly not least, the springtime wine tastings at area wineries are incredible.

Summer in the Santa Ynez Valley

A summer vacation to the Santa Ynez Valley is an opportunity to experience a warm-weather haven in the heart of wine country. Even though summer is the Valley’s busiest season, it still provides a relaxing respite from the daily grind of traffic and always being on the go. The countless acres of picturesque vineyards are only minutes away from the most breathtaking beaches the Central Coast has to offer.

The Valley hosts many local events such as wine tastings, farmer’s markets and even polo tournaments. Or, one of the best parts of a Santa Ynez Valley getaway is that you don’t even have to leave the backyard to get some well-deserved rest and relaxation. You can lounge by the pool to your heart’s content and fire up the grill for some excellent al fresco dining using locally-sourced ingredients.

Farmers Market Santa Ynez Valley 2018 Spring Summer

Your kids’ education doesn’t have to stop when school lets out for the summer — they’ll come face-to-face with nature at its beautiful peak. Take advantage of the fantastic hiking, horseback riding and bicycling in the Valley to give them knowledge they won’t find in a classroom or textbook.

Summer Horses at Folded Hills Ranch Santa Ynez Valley

Autumn in the Santa Ynez Valley

October and November are also great times to visit Santa Ynez. Fall in Santa Ynez is unparalleled, if not only for the warmer oranges and yellows the entire area gets, but also because it’s harvest season! The Celebration of Harvest Festival happens in mid October and this year it is at Rancho Sisquoc Winery! If you came to Santa Ynez to see all that beautiful California wine country has to offer, fall is the time. (Well, anytime is time for wine in Santa Ynez, but autumn especially!)

Royal Oaks Ranch Santa Ynez Valley

The wineries are busy crushing grapes and the farmers are busy picking them. Watching the grapevines turn red and orange as fall goes on is something you’ll never forget. There are also several autumn festivals in the Santa Ynez Valley, including the Solvang Jazz Festival in September, as well as several of the Valley’s roots festivals, including Solvang’s Danish Days and Los Olivos Old Days.

Winter in the Santa Ynez Valley

If you are a bargain-hunting vacationer, winter may be the perfect time to plan a trip to Santa Ynez, as many vacation rental properties offer discounts later in the wintertime after the holidays have passed. Some may call winter the “off-season” in Santa Ynez, but in my opinion there’s no such thing.

The scenery is beatific as you enjoy crisp mornings on the porch of your Santa Ynez vacation rental home, and choose a vacation rental home that has a big fireplace so you can cozy up with a loved one in front of the hearth and enjoy a glass or two of local wine. And consider spending Valentine’s Day weekend in Santa Ynez to create romantic, lifelong memories that you will cherish forever.

Royal Oaks Ranch Winter Santa Ynez Valley

Rancho Maroma Fireplace Santa Ynez Valley

OK, OK, I know I said basically all the time is a great time to visit Santa Ynez. (And I know I mentioned wine at all those times.) But frankly, it’s true. Santa Ynez is gorgeous wine country year-round and makes a fabulous vacation spot for different reasons during different times of the year. Even the “off-season” in Santa Ynez is spot-on for travel. Santa Ynez is truly a year-round travel destination.