Summer vacation is time to relax and enjoy time away from work, school and the hustle and bustle of daily life. The months of June, July and August in the Santa Ynez Valley are a cut above the standard vacation, more laid back and relaxed with gorgeous summer weather. The summer vacation home rentals, the amazing eateries, the charming towns, and of course the world-class Santa Ynez Valley wineries all lie within a few miles of one another.

There is something for everyone along the Central California Coast when you book a summer trip with Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals. Our travel concierge has put together this memorable summer vacation itinerary to make your trip planning a breeze.

Start your day out right with breakfast and coffee.

Start your trip’s first day with some pep at Valley Grind Coffee at 3558-A Sagunto Street in downtown Santa Ynez. They are a full-service coffee house, prepared to help you start your day in the best way possible. Locally roasted beans, fresh fruit smoothies, farm-to-table quiches and baked goods galore are just part of what you’ll find at Valley Grind.

Must do activity – Santa Ynez Valley wineries!

We recommend spending part of each day indulging in the Santa Ynez Valley’s prominent wineries. One of our favorites at this time of year includes Sunstone Winery at 125 Refugio Road in Santa Ynez.  Open everyday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Sunstone has been owned by the Rice family since 1990. They produce their estate-grown Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, and Mourvedre according to the highest organic viticulture standards.

Seafood Dinner Served with Vine

Descriptions of their wines include “elegant, with balanced structure and a soft mouthfeel,” among others. Enjoy wine tastings in Sunstone’s Provençal French courtyards, picnic area or in their stone barrel-aging caves. Tasting flights are $18 per person, and groups of eight or more require reservations. They can even provide gourmet boxed lunches with reservations.

Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez, CA
Travel to the Gainey Vineyard at 3950 East Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, and taste wines from another sustainable farming operation. Their Spanish-style tasting room is available daily from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with the last tasting at 4:30 p.m. Tastings cost $15 per person and consist of six wines. The vineyard requires reservations for groups larger than eight people.

Gainey Vineyard also features picnic tables in the vineyard garden. Gainey Vineyard holds Signature Cellar Tastings, by reservation only, in their exclusive Wine Cellar. These feature selected flights of limited production wines along with a cheese and charcuterie platter.

For those interested in pairing food with their wine, we recommend the Roblar Winery at 3010 Roblar Avenue in Santa Ynez. Here, the wines are crafted especially to be enjoyed with food and the winery employs a full-time executive chef. Executive Chef Laurence Hauben uses local, seasonal ingredients, many grown on the estate itself, to complement the complex flavor profiles of the wines.

Guests can enjoy the experience at the tasting bar, on the terrace or in the dining room. The Roblar Winery sits amid an oak-tree-studded 40 acres of vineyard. Guests are encouraged to explore the estate, including the 5,000-foot tasting room, the trellis-covered patio, and the extensive gardens.

The Roblar Winery is open seven days a week, and reservations are requested for groups of eight or more people. Reservations should be made at least 24 hours in advance for their delicious five-course wine and food pairing, which are offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Roblar Winery also offers an extensive bar menu without reservations on weekends only.

Roblar Winery in Santa Ynez, CA

You might want to stop for lunch at in the Valley at Industrial Eats in Buellton. Industrial Eats is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 181 Industrial Way in Buellton. They serve food sourced from sustainable farms along the Central Coast and cooked in two wood-fired ovens.  The restaurant sits in a repurposed industrial building filled with communal tables, memorabilia and mad respect for food.

For those requiring transportation between wineries, Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals offers this service as well. Contact our recommended transportation companies in the Santa Ynez Valley here. We want visitors to be safe as they enjoy the abundance of Central California wine country!

Enjoy fun in the sun and under the stars with water, music and art

Spend a day of or two of your summer vacation in the water. The Santa Ynez Valley region offers many opportunities for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking at Cachuma Lake. The Pacific Ocean is just a short drive away, so feel free to get your feet wet surfing, swimming, and enjoying the sun and sand on one of the nearby beaches.

Pacific Ocean from the California Central Coast

Come back to the valley to enjoy one of the many musical performances under the stars in the valley towns all summer long, or visit one of the many local art fairs on the weekends. The Santa Ynez Valley Polo Classic is an annual mid-July indulgence, so pack your fancy attire. Celebrities judge the Best Hat competition for the ladies, and there are a champagne reception and luncheon before the polo tournament.

Santa Ynez Valley Equine Polo Classic

Luxury summer rentals for your home away from home on vacation

After all the fun out and about in the Santa Ynez Valley, kick up your feet at one of the luxurious Santa Ynez Vacation home rentals. Spacious enough for your entire family – or even for multiple families vacationing together – these homes feature all the amenities and comforts of a privately appointed home, and often a better overall price and value than hotels.

A golfer’s delight at The Farmhouse at La Purisima Golf Club

Consider the Farmhouse at La Purisima Golf Club, situated on the golf property itself in the rolling Santa Rita Hills. This rental accommodates up to eight adults and four kids between the main house and the guesthouse, all in luxurious serenity. Guests enjoy discounted rates on the first-class 18-hole La Purisima course, too. The Farmhouse sits close to the Pacific Ocean, so cool sea breezes keep the days from getting too hot.

The Farmhouse Vacation Rental Home at La Purisima

Enjoy outdoor barbecues in the oasis-like backyard. Inside, the house feels like a luxury retreat, filled with high-end décor and everything you could need for a luxury vacation. Relax in the spa or chill out with a bottle of the best Santa Ynez wine in front of the 65-inch flat screen HDTV after a day of golfing.

The La Purisima Golf Course, built by renowned course architect Robert Muir Graves, is available for golfing or practice. It has been ranked at four and ½ stars twice by the readers of Golf Digest and ranked Best in Country by Groundskeeper.org. The course is challenging and attracts PGA pros, celebrities and newcomers alike. Guests at the Farmhouse receive a discount at the course, which is also open for visitors staying elsewhere in the Santa Ynez Valley.

La Purisima Golf Course

Equine adventures and rustic charm at Zaca Creek Ranch

Perhaps your family is in the mood to cowboy up this summer. In that case, Zaca Creek Ranch might be your choice for a summer vacation rental. This picturesque working ranch sits amid 1600 acres of working cattle ranch, some of which has appeared as movie settings! You can indulge your desire for horseback riding, hiking, glamping and more just a few miles outside Los Olivos. This ranch house can accommodate eight to 10 people, and it features four decks for viewing the wildlife and enjoying a glass of the local wine.

Zaca Creek Ranch Vacation Rental Home in Santa Ynez, CA

Zaca Creek Ranch also offers personalized horseback adventures, private cowboy-style dinners, archery lessons, llama treks, wine and cheese tasting, and much more for guests. Even folks staying elsewhere can arrange for horseback riding adventures at the Ranch. Travel the trails and take in the breathtaking scenery that only the Santa Ynez Valley offers. Contact the Ranch to make reservations.

Zaca Creek Ranch Vacation Rental Home in the Santa Ynez Valley

Animal lovers’ paradise at Folded Hills Ranch

Animal lovers may also want to visit Folded Hills Ranch, another of the Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals. This is a working ranch, and you can make arrangement to learn about and even feed some of the 100 animals that live here. Critters in residence include emu, mules, donkeys, goats, pigs, cows and chickens. You may even be able to gather your own eggs in the chicken house!  We’re getting hungry just thinking about the possibilities!

Folded Hills Ranch Vacation Rental in Los Olivos, CA

Historical California beauty at Restoration Oaks Estate

Just off California Highway 101 in the Santa Ynez Valley sits the Restoration Oaks Ranch. It is 955 lush acres of trees, rolling hills, and a berry farm. Amidst this sits the Restoration Oaks Cabin, available for your summer vacation rental. Privacy, prestige and true old California style characterize this rental. First established in 1843 by one of the first cattlemen in California, the property even sports a 500-year old oak tree!  The vacation house itself oozes coziness and rustic cabin charm while still being able to host up to 16 people. Sip wine by the cobblestone fireplace, or enjoy the expansive views in front of the massive windows throughout the home.

Restoration Oaks Ranch Al Fresco Dining in Gaviota, CA

The cabin is ready for al fresco dining with a patio covered in Concord grape vines. Your family can also play a game of bocce ball in the yard or practice yoga in the private yoga studio. The Restoration Oaks rental is large enough for a family reunion and lies close to the town of Gaviota.

Foodies rejoice in the Santa Ynez Valley!

Food is a very big deal in the Santa Ynez Valley. Along with growing some of the best grapes in the world and making world-class wines, residents have committed to organic farming and sustainable agriculture, and some of most renowned chefs have chosen to make their incredible food right here in the Valley. Pick your own fruits and vegetables throughout the Valley and gather the ingredients to cook a succulent meal back at your vacation rental, or dine out at one of the many restaurants the area has to offer.

Go berry picking at a local blueberry farm.

In the summer, berry picking becomes a must-do activity. The blueberry farm at Restoration Oaks near Gaviota is open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On a good day, they how easy it is to collect two and a half pounds of berries in 15 minutes! The Morrell Nut and Berry Farm offers blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries for guests to pick. They are located just down the road at 1980 Alamo Pintado Road in Solvang and are open Tuesdays and Thursdays through Saturday 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Santa Barbara Blueberry Farm at Restoration Oaks Ranch

The Folded Hills Ranch vacation rental property also has a public farmstead, where they offer organic vegetables, fruits, honey, olive oils and more to the public. They also have “u-pick” fields open Friday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with fresh strawberries and raspberries to enjoy! Visitors can also pick their own berries, meet the farmer and learn about organic farming. The Ranch is an ultra-private 600-acre retreat located just 10 miles from the quaint Danish town of Solvang.

Enjoy dinner at a world-class Santa Ynez Valley restaurant.

Wind up your day with a meal at one of the Valley’s best restaurants, such as the Bear and Star in Los Olivos, located on the historic Fess Parker Home Ranch near Foxen Canyon. Open daily between 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., the restaurant focuses on farm-to-table fare and an ever changing menu. The Fess Parker Winery supplies the restaurant with Rhone varietals that consistently score 90+ ratings from critics around the globe.

Woman Eating Dinner with Wine at The Bear and Star Restaurant in Los Olivos, CA

If you are closer to Santa Ynez at the end of the day, drop into the SY Kitchen at 1110 Faraday Street. In addition to dinner 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, (9:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday), they offer lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  This restored farmhouse sits on a side street in Santa Ynez, serving Italian-inspired food with a west-coast twist. Their wine list features both local and Italian wines. Guests dine in various rooms of the farmhouse, including the front room, the porch or in the dining room. The courtyard recently opened as a lounge where visitors can enjoy cocktails or the full menu.

Follow us on Instagram @SantaYnezVR for daily features on local shops and restaurants throughout the summer months. Need help with trip planning? Contact our travel concierge or view our list of Concierge Services here.