Santa Barbara’s 23rd Annual Vintners Spring Weekend

Wine a little at Santa Barbara’s 23rd Annual Vintners Spring Weekend! Enjoy 4 days of good wine, food, and fun thanks to the city’s best wineries and restaurants. The weekend festivities take place in various locations among the beautiful rolling hills of Santa Barbara’s wine-country. Each winery will host their own series of unique events! They will feature activities including dinners with the winemaker, library tastings, new wine releases, barrel tastings and more. With over 120 participating venues, your taste buds are bound to find something they love.

You’ll want to arrive early with events kicking off on Thursday! You won’t want to miss the first two days of fun prior to The Festival Grand Tasting which takes place on Saturday April 25th. You’ll feel like a local at the Grand Tasting as it’s celebrated with home-grown assortments only! Enjoy relaxing to live music while sipping on unlimited wine selections and munching on an assortment of samples from renowned restaurants and caterers.

Using a designated driver? Parking is free for your convenience! Everyone in your group looking forward to the unlimited wine samples? We are too! Luckily the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is located just over a mile from River View Park in Buellton, home of the Festival Grand Tasting. Spring is our favorite season in Santa Barbara and the perfect time for afternoon strolls to and from the Grand Tasting. You’ll want to book our Buellton hotel now and beat the crowd!

Be sure you carve out some time to shop and play in order to make the most of your weekend getaway! The sky’s the limit in Santa Barbara, with plenty of ways to soak in your beautiful surroundings, including a sensational hot air balloon ride. This year’s Vintners Spring Weekend is the perfect excuse to unwind like you deserve to!


Springtime Fun Santa Ynez Valley Style

Spring In Santa Ynez Valley Ah, yes, springtime has officially arrived in the Santa Ynez Valley! Located in the heart of sunny California’s Wine Country, Santa Ynez Valley must have been in mind when the phrase “the great outdoors” was coined.  From the mountains to the golf courses, SYV is the perfect destination for your springtime getaway.

Did someone say golf? (We did.)

Santa Ynez Valley plays home to two world-class golf courses, Rancho San Marcos and Sandpiper Golf Club. Both offer a challenging, championship-caliber round whilst being set on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Sandpiper Golf Club was built in 1972 and features rolling fairways, challenging greens, and has been rated by Golf Digest in the top twenty-five public golf courses in the country.  Take advantage of our Sandpiper Golf Club Stay and Play Package which includes: deluxe guest room accommodations, green fee, cart fee, drive practice tee, and Titleist rental sets that are readily available.

Rancho San Marcos offers a par 71 and 6,939 yards of pure California bliss, exuding elegance and exclusivity that only private clubs extol. Enjoy our Rancho San Marcos Stay and Play Package that includes deluxe accommodations for two at the SYV Marriot, breakfast for two at Starting Gate Restaurant, 18 holes of golf for two with cart fee included, and Titleist golf club rental upon request.

If golfing isn’t your thing, the SYV also offers parks that are not only beautiful but also historic!

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park offers some of the last remaining art of the Chumash Native Americans. Located in the shadows of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the sandstone walls of the cave are believed to date back to the 1600s and earlier. For your more classic park adventures, such as swimming, picnicking, surf fishing, and camping, you’ll want to check out Gaviota State Park! The park also plays home to the Gaviota Peak that offers views of the coast and the Channel Islands.

Lastly, you’ll want to check out this extensive list of wineries located in Santa Ynez Valley that will surely quench your thirst for some of the finest wine in the world.

When searching for a Santa Ynez Valley hotel, look no further than SYV Marriot. A place where business meets pleasure, where your senses are indulged and your spirit is renewed, a place where your most pressing decision is shiraz or chardonnay. A mix of countryside charm and modern amenities, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is designed for an unpretentious Santa Barbara wine country escape. Envelope your senses and renew your spirit in the serenity and beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley.


Touring Santa Barbara Wine Country with our Escape! Wine Tour Package

California wine country

Explore the beautiful Santa Barbara Wine Country and Santa Ynez Valley countryside in style this spring with Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s Escape! Wine Tour Package.

This wine lover’s package includes deluxe accommodations for two, a four hour tour across Santa Barbara County, complimentary gifts and much more that will give you the full Santa Ynez Valley wine country experience.

Santa Ynez Wine Country Getaway

Begin your Santa Ynez wine country getaway with a buffet breakfast for two including made-to-order omelets at the Starting Gate Restaurant. Relax over coffee before venturing out on your own private town car tour through the Valley. With our customizable town car options, the perfect getaway vehicle awaits for your wine country adventure. Our transportation partner, Luxury Limos, also offers upgraded option for an additional fee if you desire an extra luxurious tour.

This four-hour tour across the Santa Ynez Valley is sure to entice with its miles of rural countryside topped with lush vineyards and greenery. Enjoy the view at your own pace with a complimentary California wine country map and a glass of wine in hand. Your Escape! Wine Transportation package includes three buy-one-get-one-free Santa Barbara wine tasting passes so you can explore the Santa Barbara wineries along the way and enjoy the fruits of your host’s labor.

Wine Tasting In Santa Barbara


Visit the SYVMarriott website for a complete list of Santa Ynez Valley wineries and start planning your wine tour itinerary now. Wineries participating in the buy-one-get-one-free pass program vary, so visit often to experience the variety of premium wines SYV has to offer including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot.

Relax and Renew

After a full day of touring the Santa Barbara Wine Country and visiting the local Santa Ynez wineries, unwind in your deluxe Santa Ynez Valley hotel accommodations. Take home your gift bag full of treats including a monogrammed wine opener and two stemless wine glasses to commemorate your wine country getaway.

Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind package and reserve your stay today! Call (800) 638-8882 or click here to make online reservations at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. For more information please visit


23rd Annual Taste of Solvang comes to the Santa Ynez Valley

Taste of Solvang - Windmill

Hidden within the Santa Ynez Valley lives Solvang, Southern California’s very own hint of Europe.  March brings the 23rd Annual Taste of Solvang, “…a culinary journey through Solvang, where wine country meets ‘dine country'”.

Solvang (appropriately Danish for ‘sunny field’) is home to quaint boutiques, fine dining and historic sites.  Drinks and cuisine are Euro-Inspired, making it the perfect destination event for food and wine lovers alike.  Don’t let this tiny town deceive you; they’ve got some pretty big events.

Festivities begin Wednesday March 18th though many visitors continue to trickle in for weekend happenings such as Saturday’s Grand Tasting. At this event, visitors will have the opportunity to snack, sip, and shop throughout Solvang’s charming boutiques and tasting rooms.

Solvang Shopping Alisal Road

After a Saturday filled with shopping and snacking, guests enjoy unwinding at the 2-day Wine and Beer Walk. Solvang offers over a dozen tasting rooms, bars, and taverns. Each scene provides new flavors of local wine and craft beers unique to this Southern California city.

Complete your Santa Barbara Wine Country escape with visits to the many wineries and vineyard tasting rooms in Los Olivos, Buellton, and Ballard.  The SYV Marriott website features a complete list of Santa Ynez Valley Wineries and a downloadable California wine country map.

Your wine country trip won’t be complete without a stay at The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott – the perfect blend of countryside charm and modern amenities.  Book your hotel accommodations for Taste of Solvang soon as availability is very limited during this popular wine country festival.

Don’t forget to buy your weekend passport now and read more about the events on tap for 2015’s Taste of Solvang!  Tickets go quickly, so if you miss the most popular events at this year’s festival, visit the SYV Marriott site for a complete list of things to do in the Santa Ynez Valley and other annual wine and beer festivals and events.


Valentine’s Day 2015 in the Santa Ynez Valley


Valentines Day in Santa Ynez Valley

Plan your Valentine’s Day 2015 in the Santa Ynez Valley with a gourmet dinner at the Starting Gate Restaurant at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton.  This year’s Valentine’s Day menu features a four-course meal that is sure to make the year’s most romantic month one to remember.

Your romantic dinner begins with a glass of champagne and a first course of mixed baby greens with fresh strawberries, raspberries, mandarin slices, Queso Fresco, drizzled with raspberry/walnut dressing accompanied with freshly baked rolls and butter.  A second course of Tomato Florentine soup garnished with roasted cherry tomato and crisp kale follows.

Entrée choices include lobster served with drawn butter or prime rib with creamed horseradish.  Accompaniments include grilled root vegetables and cheesy skin on red mashers.  A vegetarian option is available upon request.

Vanilla crème brulee with fresh berries or warm chocolate caramel crunch provide a sweet finish to your romantic dinner.

Superb service and carefully prepared menus make Valentine’s Day dinner at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott a tradition among locals and visitors from surrounding areas.   Reservations are required and typically fill quickly.  Call the Starting Gate Restaurant at 805-688-1000 today to make your reservation.


Holiday Events in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley California

Christmas in Solvang CAThe Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang CA offer a delightful assortment of things to do during the holiday season for families, couples and even independent travelers looking for solo adventure.  Explore our holiday event guide for ideas on things to do in Solvang and where to celebrate in Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang, California during the holidays of 2014.

Key to Wine Country – December 5 – 7th

Unlock unique and exclusive experiences in Santa Barbara Wine Country this holiday season.  Hosted by the Santa Barbara Vintners, the Key to Wine Country is like a wine tasting passport giving you special offers and deals at 38 participating wineries and 10 restaurants throughout Santa Barbara County December 5th through 7th. Find out more and purchase your key at the Key to Wine Country website.

Solvang Julefest Parade – December 6, 2014 – 11am  

Cozy up with the family and a thermos of hot cocoa in downtown Solvang for this traditional Danish Julefest parade.

Wildling Holiday Marketplace – December 6th

Mark off some items on your holiday shopping list with unique gifts from local Santa Ynez artisans at the Wildling Holiday Marketplace.  Customize your gifts at the art activity station while the kids get their faces’ painted.  The Holiday Marketplace is open from 12pm to 5pm on December 6, 2014.  Find out more at the Wildling Museam website.

Buellton Winter Fest Celebration – December 7th

An all-day spectacular, the city of Buellton invites you to start the day with breakfast with Santa from 9am to noon at the Buellton Rec Center or come in the afternoon for concerts, cookies and cocoa from 4:30 – 6pm. In the evening from 4:30 to 8pm, wander the neighborhood block party on the Avenue of Flags, sampling from food trucks, enjoying beer, wine and spirits from vendors and playing in twenty tons of snow. The Mobile Light Parade will start at 6 pm and the Buellton Christmas Tree Lighting at 7 pm.

Holiday Wine Walk – December 13th and 14th

2014’s Julefest Holiday Wine Walk is a 2-day wine and beer tasting passport at a dozen wine tasting rooms in Solvang.  Tickets are available through the Solvang Visitors Bureau.

Nativity Pageant – Saturday, December 13th

Treat your family to a Christmas classic with the “Christmas Story” as it comes to life in the Nativity Pageant at the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater.  Actors in traditional costumes, live animals on stage, a choir and the outdoor setting make this performance unique and fun for the entire family.  Performances are at 5pm and 7pm at 420 Second Street.  They are free and are on a first come first seated basis.

New Year’s Eve Revelry at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott

New Years Eve 2014 Santa Ynez Valley MarriottThe Santa Ynez Valley Marriott brings back two of their annual New Year’s Eve Celebration favorites – the New Year’s Prime Rib Buffet Package and New Year’s Eve Evening Out Package with Molly Ringwald Concert tickets.

The New Year’s Prime Rib Buffet Package for 2014 includes one night accommodations for two at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott on New Year’s Eve and prime rib buffet for two.  Dinner is served 5pm to 9pm.  Dinner reservations are required so please call (805) 688-1000 to make your dinner reservations after booking your package.  Click here for more information about your New Year’s Eve Prime Rib  Buffet Package at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Buellton hotel.

The 2014 New Year’s Eve Evening Out Package with Molly Ringwald Project concert tickets includes deluxe accommodations for two at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, prime rib buffet for two, and two tickets to the Molly Ringwald Project Concert and New Year’s Eve Celebration.  Click here to book your New Year’s Eve package and for more information.


Thanksgiving Day Buffet in the Santa Ynez Valley

Thanksgiving Day Buffet 2014 at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott welcomes you to a Thanksgiving Day Buffet on Thursday, November 27th 2014. Thanksgiving Day is a time when we celebrate the bounty of the Santa Ynez Valley by serving only the best and most unique cuisines made from local produce. First seating will start at 11.00am and last sitting begins at 3.00pm.

Thanksgiving Day menu options

Main courses

You have a choice of five main dishes.

  • Baked tilapia served with caper dill sauce
  • Carved ham served with gourmet mustards
  • Carved turkey served with creamed horseradish sauce, cranberry sauce, and homemade gravy
  • Jumbo shrimp served with traditional side accompaniments
  • Pasta station with shrimp Marinara, smoked chicken sausage, and Alfredo sauce


  • A variety of local and Mediterranean salads
  • Assorted freshly made crackers and breads
  • Assorted Marriott holiday cakes and pies
  • Cherries flambé and bananas foster
  • Chocolate fountain
  • Cranberry-apple sourdough stuffing
  • Local and international cheeses
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Orange glazed honey yams
  • Red skinned mashed potatoes

Your Thanksgiving buffet also includes Starbucks Coffee, iced tea, or hot tea.

Thanksgiving Buffet Prices

Prices (excluding taxes and gratuity) are as follows;

  • Seniors (65+):                         $29.95
  • Adults            :                         $35.00
  • Children (7-13):                      $19.95
  • Children (6 years or under): Free

Other menu options available

Even with Thanksgiving Day activities ongoing on that Monday, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott will continue to thrill guests with our sumptuous dishes.

Starting Gate Restaurant

Starting Gate Restaurant will still serve classic and modern classic breakfasts.  So, those not taking part in the Thanksgiving can still enjoy an All American breakfast comprised of two eggs made to your desired style with crisp hash browns. For a total of $13, you also get juice and coffee, muffin or bagel and your choice of protein including ham steak, sausage, Canadian bacon or bacon.

You’ll also be able to grab your favorite Business Lunch Special where Starting Gate allows you to create your own sandwich wrap, and include a salad, soup, and a soft drink of your choice. Even dinner specials will be available in plenty.

Winners Circle Lounge

Winners Circle Lounge activities will still be in full swing. Gather with friends at the lounge as early 5:00pm on that Monday for your favorite drinks including Raspberry Mojito, Palamani, Tangerine dream, Ginger Smash, and so much more. Come enjoy the leather easy chairs and shake off any lingering tension from your busy holiday schedule.

Lobby Lounge

The Lobby Lounge is always open from 6:00am to 6:00pm every Monday and that will remain the case on Monday, November 27th. Even with Thanksgiving Buffet underway.  You’ll still be able to explore the scenic valley as you enjoy Tazo herbal teas, Starbucks Coffee, pastries and so much more. Lobby Lounge stocks your best beer in town and is known for the tastiest wines.

In-room and poolside dining

In-room and poolside dining will remain on offer as well. Available from 6:00am through to 10:00pm, choose your favorite dishes and wait to be served in your guest room with the in-room dining option. Poolside dining is perfect for the sunny weather. You never have to swim, all you need to do is order your favorite dish and enjoy the warmth of the California sunshine.


Click here for more information on the Thanksgiving Day menu on Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s main website or download your copy of the Thanksgiving Day menu as you prepare for the occasion.  Reservations must be made in advance.  Reservations are required, so contact us at 805.688.1000 to ensure you book your desired seating time.

Thanksgiving Buffet Marriott Details


Celebration of Harvest in the Santa Barbara Wine Country


Santa Barbara vintners Celebration of HarvestThe leaves are changing and the smell of wine and excitement lingering in the air means that the Celebration of Harvest weekend was here. This year almost 150 vintners shared the fruit of their labor with festival attendees. Many winemakers and winery managers were present to personally answer questions about each bottle.

The Celebration of Harvest weekend kicked off with the inaugural La Paulee De Santa Barabara Dinner. A Paulee is a traditional end-of-harvest celebration amongst winemakers and winery workers where they bring their most prized bottles from their cellar to share and celebrate the end of the harvest. The event was catered by Chef Pink of Bacon & Brine and was served family style. Attendees were invited to bring a bottle of wine from their personal collection for everyone to share.

Saturday started with a seminar moderated by Matt Kettmann, of Wine Enthusiast and senior editor at the Santa Barbara Independent. The seminar also featured a panel of six wine producers, each representing a different area of Santa Barbara County. The panelists all shared their wines and personal stories.

Saturday also held the cornerstone event, The Festival Grand Tasting. Over 100 members of Santa Barbara Vintners gathered to present their season’s wines. Most of the actual winemakers were present and shared more than just wine with the guests. They shared their stories and answered questions, sharing themselves along with their wines.

California wine festivalsThe day also included barrel tastings, library sales, and a silent auction. There were also pop-up seminars where attendees could pick the brains of growers and winemakers. Along with great wines, attendees enjoyed great food and live music that made the Festival Grand Tasting a memorable experience for all.

Those who purchased the Vintners Visa had the unique opportunity to choose from 60 wineries and tasting rooms to visit between Friday and Monday. So if by chance, they missed the opportunity to ask a winemaker questions at one of the other events, this was their time to have a personal experience both with the wine and the winemaker.

Overall, this weekend was a wine lovers dream. The mission of bringing together winemakers and the community was a huge success. From light to full-bodied, woody to sweet to dry, corky to sulphury, each wine tasted during the weekend brought its own unique taste and flavor.

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott was honored to host and provide transportation for many of the festival participants. For those who missed the festival, we would love to help you put together your ideal tour of wineries and tastings.

Contact us to find out about our current specials and packages. Most of the winemakers at the festival are in close proximity to our hotel and we can assist you in arranging a visit. Visit our site for a list of upcoming Santa Ynez Valley events and make the most of your California wine adventure.


Miracles Happen in the Santa Ynez Valley

Miracles Happen Golf Tournament - Santa Ynez Valley MarriottThe 2nd annual Miracles Happen Charity Golf Tournament just wrapped up last week with another resounding success. This year’s event – sponsored and hosted by the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott – was played on the River Course at the Alisal resort in Solvang. This year’s sold-out event was held on Friday, September 19th and drew the maximum 30 foursomes to the scramble event. With the entry and fees, sponsor contributions and the $7,000 matching donation from the sponsors at Marriott, the event raised over $14,000 for a very worthy local charity, People Helping People.

This year, the much appreciated sponsors included the Rabobank, Breen Automation, Chumash Casino, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Harrell Hospitality Group, Ronald Mickwee, Montecito Bank, Ford Motor Company, Marc Owens
Kevin, SYV Computers, Service Master, Lee Rosenberg, Sexton Eng, Ecolab, General Pavement MGMT, Sorenson & Associates and Stonescapes. Each vendor was invited to decorate its green.   Montecito Ford generously donated a brand new car for a hole-in-one on the 16th green.  Other specialty prizes donated by sponsors included a case of adult beverages for the longest putt and other raffle prizes. All their help and support is highly valued.

As mentioned, the event benefits People Helping People, specifically their children’s health care services in Lompoc and Los Alamos as well as the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley area. The organization provides a variety of services to the local community but is focused on the needs of impoverished and at-risk children. In particular, they offer early mental health services, drug counseling and prevention programs and mentoring for area youths as well as sponsoring the SYV Youth Coalition.

For more information on this year’s tournament or if you are interested in sponsoring the event next year, please contact us online at the SYV Marriott or call us directly at 805-688-1000. The 3rd annual event is again scheduled to be played in late September of 2015. Contributions start at $250 for a Tee Sponsorship and run to $5,000 for the very distinguished Platinum Corporate Sponsorship with entrance for two foursomes as well as exclusive signage on one green.

Our team at the Marriot Buellton would be happy to discuss any particular needs you have in becoming a sponsor and look forward to your patronage in helping this worthy cause.


Solvang Shopping and Things to Do in the Santa Ynez Valley

Shopping in the Danish village of SolvangCalifornia’s Santa Ynez Valley and the town of Solvang California have long been vacation destinations due to the world famous Solvang chocolates, the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley and the shopping boutiques found throughout the region. Beyond that, a trip into Solvang is like a trip to an old Dutch village as much of the town and surrounding areas play on this theme creating a picturesque and quaint village near California’s Central Coast.

©2011 Red Square, Inc.A perfect home base for a trip to the Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang is the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, a full-service hotel right in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. The hotel offers a multitude of amenities including free in room WiFi, daily newspapers, luxury suites, massage therapy and spa treatments, and on-site restaurants and bars.  Relax and unwind at your leisure in the Starting Gate Restaurant or Winner’s Circle Lounge.  Or grab a quick cup of coffee and gourmet pastry at the Lobby Lounge, proudly serving Starbucks beverages.

globalGardensOnce you leave the grounds of the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott you will find yourself immersed in a variety of fantastic shopping opportunities and outdoor pursuits. If you are a wine lover, head to any of the locally owned and nationally famous wineries and their tasting rooms to sample a selection of fantastic California wines. A walk down Solvang’s streets brings you to their famed chocolatiers where you can sample some the best dark and milk chocolate treats this side of Brussels.

13924312-a-couple-on-a-horse-rideOutdoor enthusiasts will find several gear outfitters throughout Solvang, stocking equipment for hiking, rock climbing and exploring. Get some hiking boots and head out for delightful hikes in some of the golden hills of Central California, or head through some of the natural rock and canyon formations for a horseback adventure. For the truly bold hot air balloon tours are available for evening champagne sunset flights and early morning sunrise floats.

Weddings in Santa Ynez ValleySolvang, California and the Santa Ynez Valley are also a popular destinations for weddings. The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott offers special wedding packages where their wedding planning specialists will assist in coordinating everything from the rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony to the reception and room blocks for your guests.

Golfers will love the Santa Ynez Valley as it has several world class courses with challenges to thrill even the most jaded and die hard of golfers. Pro shops supply you with everything you could need, and if help on your short or long game is in your list of needs, pros are available for lessons guaranteed to improve your game. The concierge at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is available to arrange your tee time, pro lessons or any aspect of your California golf trip needs.

Solvang California is a true destination for shopping, dining, events, sports and of course, great California wine. When you are ready for a getaway, simply book a package or room at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott and come to the Central California area for rest, relaxation and fun in gorgeous surroundings.