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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