California residents looking for a great food & wine experience are flocking to Los Alamos, located just 20 minutes northwest of the Santa Ynez Valley and 45 minutes from Santa Barbara. This quaint little town makes a perfect day trip for our guests at Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals. Those who enjoy a glass of wine or two may want to stop by the Bedford Winery in the Los Alamos area, and foodies will definitely want to visit Bell Street in downtown Los Alamos. This is where ample restaurants serving various delicious and delectable cuisines are located. Many visitors to Los Alamos find that all their culinary desires can be met without even having to leave the city.

Los Alamos, CA is a phenomenal, quaint little town…and don’t blink or you’ll miss it! Many people who visit Los Alamos say that it feels like they were dropped right into a movie set – bizarrely juxtaposing an old western and a biker down town. with just a touch of ghost town. Don’t blink or your miss the town, as it’s very small – but you don’t want to miss anything Los Alamos has to offer.

Bell Street Farm is the perfect lunchtime destination for a day trip. The cozy eatery features a fine selection of salads and sandwiches. For those who want to explore the beautiful vineyards and farmland which surrounds the restaurant, Bell Street Farm has a market in which one can assemble a picnic basket. The market also features gifts and merchandise from the best California has to offer.

Italian food lovers flock to Full of Life Flatbread. Visitors from all over the United States come to this restaurant for the delicious foods, all made with ingredients grown locally. Full of Life Flatbread is also well-known for its desserts, salads and appetizers. It serves as a meeting place for local chefs and winemakers. One of their specialties is take-home pizzas, which are made with organic ingredients.

Another fine restaurant, popular with both visitors to and locals of Los Alamos, is the Cafe Quackenbush. Run by a Swedish chef, the cafe is a favorite spot to grab a healthy breakfast, lunch or desert. The cafe also boasts a gallery, both of which are located in a former general store. Visitors to the cafe can sign a guest book which includes entries from people throughout world. (Actor Sean Connery has been known to eat at this cafe!) Patrons can enjoy a glass of wine with lunch or dessert. The ambiance of the cafe is rustic and antique.

One more place you absolutely must visit on your Los Alamos day trip is the 1880 Union Hotel. It’s a historical Old West landmark that ties right in with California wine country. The Union Hotel used to be an original Wells Fargo Stagecoach stop and telegraph office, and it has 14 unique rooms depicting the era it’s from. Stop in at the saloon to enjoy a cocktail, a local microbrew or local glass of wine.

If you’re planning to visit the Santa Ynez Valley and stay at one of our Santa Ynez vacation rental properties, we hope you can plan a day trip to quaint Los Alamos! And for tons of great information about the Los Alamos Valley, check out this great and informational website.

Los Alamos 1880 Union Hotel

(For another day-trip idea while visiting the Valley, check out our article on Santa Cruz Island – A Day Trip.)