A unique summer vacation awaits travelers in California’s Santa Ynez Valley wine country. Summertime weather in Santa Barbara County features perfect daytime temperatures and cool, comfortable nights. Mere minutes from some of the best beaches and surfing along the Central California Coast and nestled in the heart of Santa Barbara County wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley is a one-of-a-kind summer vacation destination. Plan to revel in sunshine, outdoor activities, wine, and world-class dining.
For starters, visit the annual Santa Ynez Valley Polo Classic mid-July to indulge in a champagne reception and three-course luncheon. Dress for the occasion, including creative hats for the ladies. Celebrities judge the Hat Contest, and the polo tournament begins. The Polo Classic isn’t an isolated event, either – plenty of estates and wineries throughout the area host dinners and wine pairings on beatific summer evenings.
Outdoor lovers who visit the Santa Ynez Valley can stay busy basking in the perfect summer climate. Horseback tours wind through the countryside as water lovers fish and kayak on Cachuma Lake. Hikers can visit the vineyards, explore the more than 1,257 miles of trails in the Los Padres National Forest, and climb in the nearby mountains. Cycling companies offer a variety of tours such as half-day winery rides, mountain biking excursions, or multi day trips from the vineyards to the sea!
Golfers visiting the Santa Ynez Valley enjoy courses for all skill levels. The Alisal Guest Ranch near Solvang has two 18-hole championship courses. The legendary Billy Bell Jr. designed the Ranch Course, situated among huge oaks, sycamores, and eucalyptus trees. The River Course enjoys a secluded and serene riverside setting with an uninterrupted panorama of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The Rancho San Marcos Golf Course near the town of Santa Ynez is considered the premier golf experience in the region. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Rancho San Marcos wanders along the San Marcos Stagecoach trail under ancient oaks. One of America’s best-designed courses, the La Purisma Gold Course designed by Robert Muir Graves, sits at the heart of wine country in Lompoc
Oenophiles will find Heaven on Earth in the Santa Ynez Valley each summer. Between the wine trail events and tours, and meet-the-vintner events occurring outside in the peaceful summer air, there’s something for every wine enthusiast here. Take a stagecoach or horseback tour along one of several wine trails in the idyllic summer sun. The Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance welcomes visitors mid-August to the historic La Purisma Mission courtyard when two dozen wineries pair outstanding Santa Rita Hills wines with local culinary specialties.
Over 42 vineyards, wine-tasting rooms, wine bars, and winery operations lie among the stunning summer landscape. Wine enthusiasts, outdoor adventure lovers, and people simply seeking time away from day-to-day life can find bliss in the offerings of the Santa Ynez Valley with an unforgettable summer vacation. Don’t forget to check out the Wine Country Summer Pass offered in the Valley to get tastings at 13 wineries.
Need a place to stay for your summer vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley? Consider one of our beautifully appointed luxury vacation rental homes that will take your summer getaway to the next level. Many are appointed with swimming pools, tennis courts, hiking trails on the property and many other outdoor activities to take full advantage of the gorgeous Valley weather.