There are few places more beautiful than the California Central Coast in the fall. Picture leaves on trees turning warm shades of orange, yellow, and red over the rolling hills of California Central Coast vineyards. Imagine the hazy mist settling into the dips of the Valley landscape on a cool fall morning, slowly burning away as the day warms up. If sitting on the patio of Goodgame Ranch with a hot cup of coffee or a glass of wine overlooking the golf course at the La Purisima Farmhouse sounds like your perfect escape, we have an amazing fall vacation itinerary for you to make the most of your trip to the Santa Ynez Valley in September, October and November.
The Bakery Farmstand in Los Olivos
The Bakery Farmstand is at the intersection of Santa Barbara Ave. and Olivet in Los Olivos – look for the signs and chalkboards – and houses some of the most baked goods and confections in the Valley. The Bakery Farmstand is open every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Their treats range from sweet to savory, and use ingredients from their garden and local purveyors near by. Their menu varies weekly (check their website for current offerings), but you are almost certain to see fresh berry pies, cookies, muffins, scones, granola and made-from-scratch marshmallows. You can get insider updates on their holiday pie menu by joining their email list, and even pre-order pies for pickup.
Hike the Gaviota Wind Caves
This 2.5-mile hike brings to view beautiful wind sculpted sandstone caves and incredible ocean vistas. While not particularly long, much of the hike is rather steep: but, trust us, it’s well worth the effort!
Attend the Annual Celebration of Harvest Event
Attend one of the most exciting wine country events of the year when harvest season is in full swing in Santa Barbara County and the Santa Ynez Valley. The Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest is an annual event that has four days of wine and culinary experiences in Santa Barbara Wine Country to celebrate the annual wine grape harvest. This year the event is September 29 to October 2, 2017.
Looking for a place to stay during the event?
If you want to take your fall visit to the Santa Ynez Valley to the next level, consider one of these beautiful vacation homes to remember.
Visit the Summerset Farm Pumpkin Patch
Summerset Farm is so much fun to visit during the autumn harvest. This family-friendly destination has pumpkins, gourds and squash of all varieties, onions, apples, figs, local honey, and sometimes summer corn and heirloom tomatoes. There is a produce stand at the front of the property, but visitors can also wander through the gardens in the back, enjoy the pumpkin patch, train rides, a bounce house, fresh produce, and more. This classic isn’t just a fall favorite – it’s great in the summer, too, when you can navigate a berry maze and go berry-picking. The farm is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Attend the Los Olivos Day in the Country Festivities
This is one of the most acclaimed festivals in Los Olivos each year. It is a family-friendly event that celebrates country living in simpler times – and it’s completely free to attend. You can celebrate this quaint country town with an early morning fun run, a small-town parade, local crafters from around the region, local food purveyors, local wine tastings, a tractor show, and more. There’s something for everyone, young and old, at Los Olivos Day in the Country.
Get Scared at the Solvang Haunted House
This haunted house is an annual favorite at the kid-friendly Solvang Festival Theatre. This year is the haunted house’s 23rd year, and it will host the “Fractured Fairytles!” theme for two nights (Oct. 29 and 31, 2017) celebrating the magical and scary sides of fables Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks, and more. Tickets to the Solvang Haunted House can be purchased here.
Enjoy a Memorable Autumn Meal at Mad & Vin Restaurant
The Mad & Vin (Food & Wine in Danish) restaurant at the Landsby has a warm and welcoming lobby bar that serves traditional and craft cocktails, beer, and locally produced wine. Mad & Vin overlooks a charming courtyard garden and their wine country cuisine menu celebrates seasonal ingredients from across the California Central Coast. Be sure to check out their happy hour from 4:00 to 6:00 seven days a week during the fall.
This year, Mad & Vin Restaurant is hosting a special Thanksgiving dinner on November 23 from 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Thanksgiving dinner is four courses, and is $60 per person or $25 for kids age three to 12.
Follow us on Instagram @SantaYnezVR for daily features on local shops and restaurants throughout the fall months. Need help with trip planning? Contact our travel concierge or view our list of Concierge Services here.