Find recreation areas, nature activities and things to do in the outdoors in the Santa Ynez Valley:
Cachuma Lake Nature Center
Address: HC 59, State Highway 154, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Cachuma Lake Nature Center is a facility which offers exhibits and programs to thousands of guests each year free of charge: children on field trips, youth organizations, tour groups, camping clubs, churches, individual campers and day use visitors. The Center is unusual because of its location in a lovely, 1950s ranch house, its emphasis on hands-on materials, and its focus on local human and natural history. For information on Cachuma Lake Recreation Area (camping, boating, pickning)
Apple and Fruit Farm Stands
Seasonal apple and fruit stands offer fresh produce throughout the Valley–plus some opportunities to “pick your own”.
The Bakery Farmstand
Address: Corner of Santa Barbara Ave & Olivet St, Los Olivos, CA
Tel: 805 252 9866
Offering a changing menu of fresh baked pies, cookies, muffins, scones, quiche, and whatever else sounds good to husband and wife team, Glenn & Tracy. Open at 8:30am on Saturdays.
The Farm Stead
Address: 2323 Old Coast Highway, Goleta CA
Tel: 310 918 9400
Produce always available. During their “Weekend Market” on Saturdays and Sundays they have extra goods available: baked goods, fresh eggs, honey, olive oil, and more. A variety of farm animals live here, grab some lettuce from their “feed the animals” bucket and make their day!
Address: 1702 Refugio Rd, Santa Ynez CA
Tel: 805 688 0209
Finley Farms is open year-round and operates as an honor system farm stand featuring organic produce and flowers.
Greenhaven Orchard/Dittmar Farms
Address: 2275 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, CA
Morrell Nut & Berry Farm
Address: 1980 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, CA
Address: 2480 Roblar Street, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Tel: 805 688 7505
Clairmont Farms is a family owned lavender farm. Located in Los Olivos, there are five acres of the Grosso variety lavender, known for its healing quality. The fields are breathtakingly beautiful with the backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Three hundred year old oak trees dot the grounds. Filmmakers, photographers and painters arrive each year and apply their craft. The driveway is lined with olive trees that were planted by the Spanish Missionaries over 175 years ago. In addition to our essential oil, we also offer a complete line of lavender based personal care products, homemade soaps, etc. The farm in open to the public from 10a.m. to 6p.m. daily. Tours each day with no charge! Visitors are welcome to stroll through the fields, picnic and shop in our boutique located next to the fields.
A 33-acre breeding farm with more than 100 birds. Kids enjoy the back pen that houses a motley crew of gawky baby ostriches. There is also a smattering of emu on property. A small store sells eggshell paintings, fresh ostrich meat and other souvenirs. As seen in the hit movie SIDEWAYS!
Cachuma Lake Recreation Area
Located 10 minutes from Santa Ynez on Highway 154, this placid and beautiful body of water is home to fish, deer and bobcats as well as 275 species of birds, including migratory bald eagles in the winter. From November through February, eagle cruises depart from the lake marina to reveal these majestic predators in their native habitat. March through October enjoy wildlife cruises, all with naturalist aboard. There are also boat rentals, fishing, plus picnic, camping and play facilities. For general information, call 805-686-5054; for details and reservations on nature cruises aboard the Osprey 48-foot pontoon boat.
Nojoqui Falls County Park
This delightful spot, part of a county park 20 minutes from Solvang on Alisal Road, is reached via a 15-minute walk on a canyon trail, but is well worth it. In the winter it is a silvery cascade off the cliff, in summer a cool bank of moss, ferns and trickling waters.
Figueroa Mountain Road area hiking trails offer opportunities to explore a ruggedly handsome section of the nearby Los Padres National Forest. Wildflowers in the spring are especially plentiful and vibrant.
Mid March 2008 By Helen Tarbett, Los Padres National Forest Service Ranger