Rainy Days in Santa Ynez Valley

California is fortunate to have 300+ days of sunshine every year. However, there are occasional times when the sun can’t come out to play because the rain just won’t go away. It’s to those days that we dedicate this blog post.

What To Do on Rainy Days in Santa Ynez Valley:
Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Janaway-Parks Carriage House
Learn the rich pioneer history of the area at Santa Yenz Valley Historical Museum through exhibits, collections and programs.

Old Mission Santa Ines
Founded in 1804, the Santa Ines Mission has been a part of the Santa Ynez Valley from its very beginning. Today an active parish church, the mission is open to visitors and offers beautiful views of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges as well as expansive gardens and grounds to roam.

elmuseumElverhoj Museum
Known as California’s “Little Denmark”, Solvang is steeped in Danish history, culture, food and tradition – all of which is celebrated at the Elverhoj Museum. The former home of one of Solvang’s most artistic families, the museum is free to tour with docents available as guides.

SYV Marriott Spa
Perfect for a peaceful afternoon, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Spa offers enough spa treatments including massages and facials to last through a monsoon season.

Shopping on State Street in nearby Santa Barbara
Antique shops, clothing stores, restaurants and art galleries – there’s something for everyone on this popular Santa Barbara street.

andmus1Hans Christian Andersen Museum
Author of more than 160 fairy tales, Hans Christian’s stories have been told to children around the world for generations. Learn more about this unforgettable storyteller at his Solvang museum.

Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
Check out a fascinating collection of rare and vintage motorcycles at the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum! Even if it’s not your first visit – the museum regularly rotates the bikes on display so there’s always something new to see!

The Wildling Art Museum
The mission of the Wildling is to connect people with the wonder of America’s wilderness through great art. Featuring the wild places of North America through the talents of world renowned artists, the museum also regularly offers photography competitions, family art days and other community events.

Chumash Casino
Non-stop games including slots, table games, bingo and poker along with a regular line-up of entertainment including comedy, concerts and boxing fights means every day is a great day to visit Chumash Casino.


SYVbeermapBrewery Tour
Although best known as California wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley is also home to a number of local breweries. And with a number of them featuring brewery tours and tasting sessions, a brewery hop sounds like a perfect plan for a rainy day!

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott has its own roster of rainy day activities to fill your unexpected day indoors. Sleeping-in won’t be difficult thanks to our relaxing Revive beds and a slow breakfast at our Starting Gate Restaurant will ease you into the day. Enjoy a massage in our spa and a haircut with our salon experience followed by an easy afternoon with our complimentary internet, game room, fitness center and lobby lounge.
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Summer 2014 in Santa Ynez Valley

We’ve officially entered the long and sweet days of summer. There’s something about this season that calls for a slower pace, more time dedicated to simple things and dates with our favorite people. Whether you’re an SYV native or visiting for the week, make this list of events a part of your own summer 2014 in Santa Ynez Valley.

Santa Ynez Valley Dreamin – Summer in SYV

Summer-Pass-2014-LogoWine Tasting All Summer with the Summer Pass
Your ticket to wine tastings at 15 premier boutique wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Summer Pass at $40, is perhaps the best deal of the season! No reservation required, pass is good through August 31, 2014.

Fourth of July Festival & Fireworks Show
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of the Santa Ynez Valley, these explosions in the sky are considered the best on the Central Coast. Gates open at 1 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9 p.m. with fun, games and food in between.

Movie Night at Sevtap Tasting Room
Join the fine folks of Sevtap every Thursday for movies and good drinks. Movies range from cartoons to classics, including Casablanca later this month.

Jazz Under the Stars Jazz-Under-the-Stars-Resized-for-Web
Every Wednesday, dine under the shade of beautiful trees at The Vineyard House and enjoy the sounds of cool jazz all night long. A different artist or band every week, they’ll keep you coming back all summer.

Blind Tasting Thursdays
At Wandering Dog Wine Bar, every Thursday night is a great foodie adventure as you challenge your palate and learn about wine at the same time!

3rd Annual Santa Ynez Valley Polo Classic
Benefiting People Helping People, join one of the area’s favorite summer events on July 19, 2014. Enjoy the thrill of polo – live and up close, along with a champagne reception and 3-course gourmet lunch. You’re invited to dress for the occasion with creative hats and festive charm.

Summer Concerts in Solvang Park
Every third Wednesday of the month, Solvang Park is filled with the music of the night. Open to the public, the concerts are free so grab your chairs, blankets and picnics and revel in a night of summer air and great music.

Solvang Farmers Market
Every Wednesday, enjoy all things local by shopping at the neighborhood Farmer’s Market.

moviesintheparkMovies in Solvang Park
Grab the family and head to Solvang Park this summer on Friday nights for classics of all kinds. Still on the roster for this summer? Despicable Me 2, The Lego Movie, Frozen and Star Trek.

In the Vineyard and on the Farm
Seated beneath the sky and between the vines at Bernat Vineyards, join wine maker Sam Marmorstein, farmers Debby and Shu Takikawa and Chef Chris Joslyn for an unforgettable dining experience this August.

 

 

All Farm Dinner at Buttonwoods10178093_863193150373828_5463691357372030429_n
Celebrating the farm-to-table tradition and their 8th year of bounty, Buttonwoods Farm, Vineyard and Winery invites you to a dinner under the stars. In true farm-to-table form, all parts of the meal, from arm-raised meat, farm-grown fruits and vegetables to Buttonwood’s famous peaches and award-winning wines will hail from Buttonwoods own land.

28th Annual Los Olivos Quick Draw & Arts Festival
This August, enjoy the arts in Los Olivos! This festival invites you to step into studios, observe talented artists as they work to complete original pieces of work within 1 hour and then sell them to the highest bid during an exciting live auction. Peruse different artists showing and selling original work, listen to live music, and enjoy delicious food and wine served by Chef/Partner Robbie Wilson and his team as well.

PoolThe Santa Ynez Valley Marriott appreciates all the best things about summer – and we’re proud to help you experience them all during your stay. Park your car and cycle Santa Barbara Wine Country with the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Cycling Package. You’ll enjoy fabulous coastal weather and breathtaking sunsets as you pedal past miles of vineyards and cattle grazing the gentling rolling hillsides of SYV. Dinner al fresco by our outdoor pool will bring your night to a relaxing close while a sound sleep in one of our Marriott Revive beds will ready you for another day of SYV summer adventure! Book your summer stay now.

 

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Miracles Happen in Santa Ynez Valley

This fall, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is privileged to host the Second Annual “Miracles Happen” Charity Golf Tournament at the River Course at the Alisal in Solvang, CA. As we start ticking down the months and weeks until the event, here’s a short list of what you need to know:
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Miracles Happen: 2nd Annual Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Charity Golf Tournament

1. A beautiful, late-summer day at the Alisal instead of the office? How fast can we get here?! The River Course is a picturesque backdrop with views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and Valley. Featuring four lakes, the course also often follows the meandering path of the Santa Ynez Valley River, bringing nature straight into the heart of your game. At 6,830 yards, the par-72 River Course is dramatic without being impossible, a good afternoon challenge for golfers of all levels.

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2. The Making Miracles Happen Tournament has one simple goal: to help People people-helping-peopleHelping People benefit children’s health services in Santa Ynez Valley, Lompoc and Los Alamos. Serving men, women and children for 20 years, People Helping People is committed to helping others achieve self-sufficiency with dignity and ultimately, fulfill their potential.

3. Teams of all sizes are welcome! Want to go solo? Great. Have three friends that
want to join? Fantastic. Both individual and team registrations (for teams of 4) are available. Registration costs will cover entry into the tournament, barbecue, raffle tickets, fun on one of California’s most beautiful golf courses and the opportunity to help change others’ lives for the better. Long drive, putting and closest to the pin contests are also available with over $2,500 in cash prizes for the taking. And lest we forget, the chance to win a new car with a hole in one!

4. Speaking of prizes, let’s say that again: over $2,500 in cash prizes will be available for the taking, plus the chance to win a new car with a lucky hole in one!

5. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit the event’s site.

For more information and registration forms, visit syvmarriott.com/miracleshappen or call (805) 325-2020.

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is committed to the well-being of its surrounding community. An official Green Business of Santa Barbara County as well as a 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott constantly strives to serve not only their valued guests, but also their community. Join us September 19, 2014 as we give back and watch miracles happen. For information on room accommodations during the tournament, click here.

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Craft Beer in Santa Ynez Valley

For the past month, the Santa Ynez Valley has been engulfed in the merry, yeast-filled celebration otherwise known has Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer Month. Perhaps most celebrated for its wine-soaked hills, the towns of SYV have increasingly become known as a place for artisan brews, flight tastings and craft brew festivals as well. Craft Beer Month is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean pint glasses need be put away for the next 11 months.

Here’s a quick guide to experiencing and enjoying craft beer in Santa Ynez Valley:

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SYV Beer Trail Map – When on a mission, it’s always best to have a game plan. The Santa Ynez Valley Beer Trail Map is the perfect one-stop shop for planning all your brewing adventures. Created by VisitSYV.com, the map gives the lay of the land with breweries, brew shops and more, broken down by town. Download your free map today.

 

 

Solvang Brewing Company - Located in Solvang, the “Danish Capital of America,” Solvang Brewing Company is where Danish tradition, craft beer and delicious food come together. With deep roots in the community, including one founding owner who is a fourth generation Solvang born Dane, local pride is a staple here. They brewing company also recently won a Gold Medal in the San Diego International Beer Festival competition.

Valley Brewers – Everything you need for DIY libations, Valley Brewers specializes in home brew, wine and cheese making supplies.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. – Run by a father/son team, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. has an affinity for top tier beers, particularly those that showcase the unique flavors of the Santa Ynez Valley. Their beers have one numerous awards at the Denver International Beer Competition, Los Angeles International Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and World Beer Championships to name a few. Stop in at their Buellton taproom or Los Olivos tasting room for firsthand experiences!

Firestone Walker Brewing Company – A three time Great American Beer Festival winner and 4 time World Beer Cup champion, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is serious about creating quality brews. The company has come a long way from its first days as a small brewery and now serves the entire Central Coast region of California. For those wanting to learn the ins and outs of their processes, complimentary, guided tours of their brew house and cellar are offered daily.

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe – Captured in the Oscar-award winning film, Sideways, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe has been a must-stop for wine, beer and food lovers since its opening in 1995. Lunch and dinner menus are updated seasonally to capture the tastes of the central Californian coast and beer and wine tastings are available daily until 5 pm.

easyJackFirestoneWalker1Journeys can be taxing – which is why the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott invites you to relax inside our comfortable, spacious walls before, during and after your trip down the SYV Beer Trail. Sleeping in won’t be difficult thanks to our Marriott Revive beds and complimentary wireless Internet, over-sized work desks, sofas, easy chairs and mini-refrigerators mean the comforts of home are never too far away. And even if you don’t make it through the brew map, local favorites including Firestone Walker Brewing and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. are available on-site in our Winner’s Circle LoungeBook your trail-blazing stay now!

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Film Guide to Santa Ynez Valley

There’s no denying the beauty of Santa Ynez Valley. Generations of families have made their home here because of it. Thousands of people visit every year because of it. Even film directors, so delighted with the area, decided to make their movies here because of it. Forever immortalized on the silver screen, here is a brief film guide to Santa Ynez Valley.

Scene It – Movies filmed in beautiful Santa Ynez Valley

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Sideways: Perhaps most famous, Sideways is the 2004 Oscar-award winning film by Alexander Payne. Following Miles and Jack (Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church), the movie traipses through California wine country as the men take one last road trip before Jack’s impending wedding. Capturing the Santa Ynez Valley in a tender, evocative way, Payne makes the land a character all its own, masterfully capturing small towns such as Solvang as well as local wineries, Ostrich Land and Gaviota State Beach. Lacing the land through the scenes and emotions of the men’s journeys, the film instantly makes you want to pay a visit, too.

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Following the film’s success, fans began making their own journeys to the area to retrace the men’s steps. Maps for self-guided tours are available as well as professionally led ones. And ten years later, a celebration is planned this coming October for the film’s 10th anniversary.

Flying Lessons – A 2010 indepent film, Flying Lessons stars Maggie Grace and Hal Hol Brook as an unlikely pair, both struggling to remember their pasts. Shot solely in the Santa Ynez Valley, local director and producer Derek Magyar chose his home turf for the film because he believed it to be a picturesque canvas. Filming locations included downtown Santa Ynez streets and local spots like Maverick Saloon, Artiste Wine Tasting & Gallery and the Fossemalle Dance Studio. In an interview Magyar says this of the experience of filming in SYV: “The story was not originally written for Santa Ynez Valley but it fit like a glove…Santa Ynez Valley is an incredible place. We couldn’t have done it without the support of the local community.”

Of Mice and Men – The 1992 film of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era classic has roots in the Santa Ynez Valley as well. Filmed in California’s rugged countryside, the rolling hills of SYV play witness to the friendship, dreams and downfalls of Lennie and George.

It’s Complicated – Nancy Meyers’ 2009 film starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin captures the complicated relationship of a divorced couple while simultaneously capturing the tranquil charm and cool of nearby Westlake Village and Santa Barbara. It’s Meyers’ well-known eye for gorgeous backdrops that pushes SYV into the film as a quiet, but unmissable character.

 

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Knowing that Hollywood has already give its stamp of approval, isn’t it time to experience the movie magic of SYV personally? Proud to be in the very center of the scene, it’s Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s pleasure to make your stay as film-worthy as possible with adventure packages including bicycle tours, wine tours and romantic getaways as well as VIP accommodations and amenities.

Book your glamorous, cinema stay now.

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Planning a Meeting in the Santa Ynez Valley

Whether escaping hectic Los Angeles or crossing the country, business retreats although a fabulous idea, can seem daunting to plan. Among the quiet, rolling hills of California wine country though, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott awaits with mountains of inspiration. Here’s our list of all you need to know for planning a meeting in the Santa Ynez Valley.

7 Reasons to Plan a Meeting at Santa Yenz Valley Marriott

Location, location, location: Just over 2 hours from Los Angeles, Santa Ynez Valley sits in the heart of California wine country. The property is located 45 minutes from Santa Barbara, conveniently accessible from California’s Hwy 101.

IMG_4534-banquetSpace galore – From intimate to extravagant, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott has meeting and event space for every type of group. Over 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting and conference space spreads across the property including ballrooms, outdoor pavilions and banquet rooms. Plan a social hour with Santa Ynez Valley as your backdrop on the Outdoor Garden Pavilion and celebrate your team’s achievements in the Turf Club Ballroom! For more information about SYV Marriott’s event space, view the event space diagram.
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Help in planning and executing– Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is more than ready to help with any and all meeting needs! Thanks to professionally accredited, on-site Certified Meeting Planners, who are experienced in coordinating event agendas from executive retreats to full-scale, multi-faceted events for hundreds, you can rest easy. Our award-winning, Certified Meeting Planners are professionally trained to deliver attentive service from inception to execution of your event and our team will be on hand to assist with technology needs, décor and guest accommodations.

IMG_4593-fruit-bev-station2Meal time is always a good time: Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s on-site culinary team delivers thoughtful menus that can be customized for any budget or event-style. Our Starting Gate Restaurant, Lobby Lounge and in-room dining are also perfect options for individual, down-time meals.

All the business perks: High-speed Internet access, on-site audio-visual services, 24-hour business center and boarding print station will assure your meetings go according to plan from start to finish. And if that’s not enough, our team will be on site to assist for any and all questions or issues.

Down-time fun: There’s plenty of ways to relax after your meeting. Santa Ynez Valley Marriott amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, heated pool, sun deck, tennis court, racquetball court and game room. Spa services include massage therapy and facial treatments and the Finish Line Hair Design offers an intimate and modern salon experience, specializing in precision haircutting and modern color techniques.
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Adventure all around: The small-town charm of SYV will come to life with visits to neighboring towns like Solvang and Los Alamos. California’s natural beauty is also up for grabs with national parks and beaches at every turn. Book a wine or cycling tour. Whatever your interests, Santa Ynez Valley has something for everyone.


screenshot-by-nimbusThere’s never been a better time to get away! Plan the next chapter of your business with crisp California air above you and the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott staff all around you. From beginning to end, we promise to put the skills that earned Santa Ynez Valley Marriott a 2013 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, to very good use. For more information, please visit our meetings and events page.

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Toasting Earth Day in Santa Ynez Valley

As April makes a turn towards Earth Day (April 22), it’s time to toast Santa Ynez Valley’s commitment to sustainable practices and a greener future. After all, from organic wine production to green business practices, there’s certainly a lot being done to make Mother Nature proud.

Toasting Earth Day in Santa Ynez Valley all month (and all year)

One of the many wonderful things about Santa Ynez Valley, of course, it wine production. The other wonderful thing about SYV is that a number of area vineyards approach the tradition with organic techniques. Returning readers will remember the organic wine tutorial featured on our blog last year, but as a recap, the basics that deem wine organic include hands-on, small-production techniques, use of sustainable, organic, and/or bio-dynamic agriculture and an elevated degree of environmental stewardship.

In the Santa Ynez Valley, a number of vintners have made the commitment to such practices. Here are just a few:

almarosa Alma Rosa Winery has worked over 40 years to set the benchmark in organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods and environment-friendly commerce. Working over 100 acres of certified organic vineyard, they also support earth-friendly causes such as the reintroduction of peregrine falcons to the Santa Ynez Valley.

ampeloscellarsAmpelos Cellars – Using bio-dynamic and organic farming practices, Ampelos focuses on a minimalist approach, meaning no yeast, artificial tannins, artificial malolactic bacteria or artificial coloring is added to their wine. They strive for every sip to evoke the beauty of Santa Ynez Valley.

Beckmen-vineyards Beckmen Vinyards – Respecting the land, the Beckmens are committed to bio-dynamic farming which naturally builds soil life and vitality while defending against pests and disease. “Our goal,” says Steve Beckman says, “is to always get better and better. Biodynamics allows us to achieve the purest possible expression of our Purisima Mountain Vineyard terroir, which is at the very heart of our wine growing philosophy. Since we’ve gone bio-dynamic, we have produced some of our best wines ever.”

cimerone Cimarone – Owners Roger and Priscilla Higgins are dedicated to sustainable farming, especially the prevention of soil erosion and incorporation of biodegradable/natural materials when dealing with pests and mildew issues in the vineyard.

 

ClosPepe

Clos Pepe Vineyard – The vineyard encourages a healthy, diverse vineyard environment by using sheep, chickens, owl boxes and raptor perches and promotes soil health by composting and organic fertilization.

coqueliciotCoquelicot Estate Vineyard – The estate focuses on healthy and balanced soil, water conservation, natural critter and weed management and cover crops.

 

foxen_vineyard Foxen Vineyard – Dedicated to sustainably-farmed, vineyard-focused wines using a minimalist approach. Tasting rooms are solar powered.

 

RefugioRanchRefugio Ranch – Using a wholly natural approach to grape growing, Refugio Ranch uses low-yield sustainable farming practices which allow the unique terroir and mico-climate of the area to come alive in their crops.

 

SunstoneWinerySunstone Winery – Sunstone has been committed to growing wine grapes without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fungicides since  initial planting in 1990. Nick De Luca, winemaker and viticulturist says, “It is really wonderful to work with fruit that has no residual pesticides. I feel that the vines tend to be healthier, and organic farming is certainly the way of the future, as we will have to use a more sustainable approach to agriculture as a way of caring for the world that we live in.”


StolpmanVineyardsStolpman Vineyards – Pursuing highest-quality wine making, Stolpman Vineyards promotes both organic farming and bio-diversity with over 50 acres of land, an organic vegetable farm, olive trees, owl habitats and the use of varying cover crops every year.

 

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, itself, is certainly not immune to the green bug. In fact, the hotel is a certified TripAdvisor Green Leader and as well as the first hotel in Santa Barbara County to complete the Green Business Program.

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SYV Marriott’s commitment to preserving the planet continues by:
-taking steps towards energy efficiency and water conservation
-adding bulk soap and shampoo dispensers in guest rooms to reduce plastic bottle waste
-upgrading lighting throughout the hotel
-adding new controls on vending and ice machines to reduce energy use
-monitoring landscaping around the property for water efficiency
-adding new native, water-wise plants
- putting recycling programs in place throughout the hotel
-becoming one of the first Tesla super charging stations in the nation
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If you happen to be in Santa Ynez Valley this month, make plans to join these Earth Day events:
Earth Day Festival, April 26-27, Alameda Park, Santa Barbara1497478_10151829106911637_1921727119_n
The 1st Annual Earth Day includes a pop-up farm-to-table dinner in the park, the longest-running public Green Car Show in the U.S. including the BMWi3 and Tesla Model S, free bike valet and bike tune-ups and music headliner Hot Buttered Rum on Saturday, April 26th.

Earth Day Celebration, April 26, Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden
The perfect day to appreciate Mother Earth, join the garden for family fun and rock painting – perfect for doorstops, gifts, paperweights and garden décor.

BikeWheel2-13868484_sCelebrate Earth Day this year with a green stay at Santa Ynez Valley Marriott! Fully equipped to make your stay in the Santa Ynez Valley as relaxing (and green) as possible, we invite you sit back and relax. Plan a bike tour of the area by booking our Cycling Package or book a Sustainable Wine Vine Tour complete with behind-the-scene tours of four organic vineyards and an organic, gourmet picnic lunch.

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Guide to Outdoor Fun in the Santa Ynez Valley

As spring unfolds, it’s inevitable that warm-weather getaways and summer vacation are increasingly on the brain. Seated in the heart of California’s wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley is certainly no stranger to California’s thrilling outdoor activities. From easy-going to adventure-seeking, when the great outdoors call, here’s where we answer.

Outdoor Fun in the Santa Ynez Valley:

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park 
Some of the finest remaining art of the Chumash Native Americans, these cave paintings are located in the shadows of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Adorning the sandstone walls of a cave, it’s believed that the art dates back to the 1600s and earlier. Be prepared for a steep path that leads to the cave entrance.

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Gaviota State Park
Located on Highway 101, the park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing, camping - and if you’re feeling especially ambitious – climbing Gaviota Peak for views of the coast and the Channel Islands. 37 of the beach’s 39 camping spaces can now be reserved for summer dates.

La Purisima Golf Course la_purisima
This 18-hole championship course, designed by world-renowned architect Robert Muir Graves, is the perfect place to spend the day. Combine the experience of playing a course that’s equal parts challenging and beautiful with Santa Ynez’s spectacular weather and you have a match made in golf heaven. Welcoming everyone from PGA pros to amateur hopefuls, it’s easy to see why the course has twice received a 4 1/2 star score from readers of Golf Digest.


Nojoqui Falls Park 
A short trail leads to the secluded Nojoqui Falls – a 100 foot waterfall. Ideal for a quiet afternoon retreat, the falls are best viewed after a rain, but are available to visit any time of year. Picnic tables, barbecue grills, ball fields, hiking trails and a playground deem the park a true family affair.

Alisal 
The Alisal Ranch boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses – Ranch Course and River Course – each with a distinct terrain and personality. Offering a variety of golf services from practice facilities and professional instruction to tournament package plans and a fully stocked pro shop, Alisal is serious about making the most of your time on the green.


stelprdb5363661Figueroa Mountain 

Often referred to as Figueroa Lookout, this summit is accessible by car, though some prefer an active bike ride to the top! Upon reaching the 4,000 foot high point, visitors are greeted with a panoramic view of the San Rafael Wilderness and the Santa Ynez Valley that is, in a word, breathtaking.

In the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is passionate about tailoring the great outdoors to your specific stay. Relax with poolside dining and fire pits under the night sky or choose to get active with one of our Stay and Play Golf or Biking packages. No matter your speed, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is thrilled to make California’s magnificent natural beauty a part of your SYV experience.

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Brunch in the Santa Ynez Valley

Can we agree that life would be better if every day included a leisurely brunch? For most of us, brunch remains a weekend-only pastime, but fortunately, the Santa Yenz Valley has no shortage of delicious spots to make the most of it.

Next time you’re in the area, here are a few spots to brunch in the Santa Ynez Valley:

Starting Gate Restaurant
Inside the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, the options are yours for the taking at Starting Gate Restaurant. From a breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets, eggs, crisp bacon, waffles, cereal and granola to modern classics like French toast, huevos rancheros, 3-egg omelets with the freshest ingredients and piping hot coffee and juice, there’s no way you’ll leave hungry – or unsatisfied.

Vineyard House Restaurant TheVineyardHouse_SYVblog
Located in a 1907 Victorian home, Vineyard House Restaurant is surrounded by gardens and views of the area’s surrounding mountains. Under the shade of century-old pepper trees, brunch on frittatas, crab benedict, French toast, steak and eggs, fresh salads, pasta and pizza. This is a place that brings all the best of California to the table.

Café Quackenbush
Don’t be fooled by the small menu, this café and gallery is a Los Alamos treasure that excels in sandwiches (pulled pork, oven-roasted turkey) and daily soups alike. And that’s not to say that breakfast items including brioche French toast, omelets (ham and brie, Dungeness crab) are to be missed. Sit among artwork in the gallery, inside the café or outdoors with a view of historic Los Alamos.

Fresco Valley Café
FrescoValleyCafe2_syvblogLocated in the Danish-haven of Solvang, Fresco Valley Café prides itself on fresh, organic, sustainable Californian cuisine. From scrumptious breakfast sandwiches and their quiche-of-the-day to hearty breakfast burritos and scrambles, they live up to their sustainable goal by using only local free range organic eggs. Top the meal off by sipping fresh cappuccinos, mimosas and bellinis under the patio’s umbrellas and you’ll definitely be glad that you got out of bed that morning.

Mother Hubbard’s Restaurant
If you want to dine where all the locals are, round up your crew and head to Mother Hubbard’s Restaurant. Located in Buellton, this diner is a family affair with options for days. From family favorites listed on the menu to griddle vittles and omelets galore, this is a home cooking kind of place where, with time, everybody knows your name.

Paula’s Pancake House
PaulasPancakes_syvblogCharles and Paula Greenwald have been serving breakfast to the Santa Yenz Valley for three and half decades. It was with Paula’s Pancake House, opened in 1986, that Danish pancakes became their calling card. Committed to exceptional food quality, fresh ingredients and genuine hospitality, their breakfast is served all day.

Our Starting Gate/ Winner’s Circle Restaurant is just one example of the pride we put into serving the needs of our guests. No matter the time of day, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is prepared to help make your stay the best we possibly can. Book your stay now to discover the many delicious side of SYV tomorrow.

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10 Reasons to Plan a Wedding in the Santa Ynez Valley

With winter on its last legs, wedding season is certainly on its way. As you look towards the day you say ‘I do’ (or help a loved one plan their special day), here are 10 reasons to plan a wedding in the Santa Ynez Valley:
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1. The Backdrop
Sprawling, rolling, twirl and sing on a mountaintop kind of landscape – that’s what you find in Santa Ynez Valley. With this neck of the woods as your backdrop, everything from your ceremony location to pre-reception cocktails to photos will feel picture-perfect.

2. Near Perfect Weather
Repeat after us, 300+ days of sunshine. This is the place where outdoor weddings thrive.

3. Wine, Wine, Wine
You have come to wine haven, let the local agriculture do its part in making your celebration merry and bright.

4. Outdoor Adventures Await
In the downtime between matrimony festivities, your guests will have a slew of options for things to do. From wine tours to horseback riding, bike tours to golf courses. there’s something for everyone.

5. Your guests will thank you
Since we are talking about your guests, let’s just say it – they’re going to love you for choosing the Santa Ynez Valley. Yes, they are certainly looking forward to seeing you and your loved one tie the knot, but they’re counting the days until they reach that sweet California sun. A vacation is all they’ve ever wanted.

SBASY-Champagne6. Choice Vendors
While it may sound like a challenge to plan your wedding long-distance, the vendors in the Santa Ynez Valley are superb at what they do. From photographers to florists, DJs to desserts, wedding planners to officiates, the area has everything you’ll need for the big day and grand celebration.

7. Romance is everywhere
From coastline sunsets and mountaintop views to wine soaked hills, Santa Ynez Valley has romance around every corner.
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8. Great food
A diverse cultural history combined with a rich wine culture has created a deeply-satisfying mix of local culinary delights that are not to be missed.

9. From small town to city slick, it’s the best of both worlds.
The towns that comprise the Valley (including Solvang, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez) along with Santa Barbara are short drives away. California’s big city gems (San Francisco to the north and Los Angeles to the south) are but a road trip away.

10. Santa Ynez Valley Marriott
A seasoned expert in the Santa Ynez Valley wedding scene, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is the perfect choice for a wedding location. 15,000 square feet of flexible event space means whether your idea is an intimate ceremony or a lavish reception, indoor or outdoor, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott has all the options. A convenient location, on-site wedding specialists and custom menus also help ease the planning process so that when your day arrives, it’s one that you can truly enjoy and cherish.

©2011 Red Square, Inc. —-
Say ‘I do’ at Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. Wedding packages, menu options, and guest room information are all available at SYVMarriott.com.

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