Solvang Restaurants Open on New Year’s

syvblog-restaurantsinsyvnyeveEveryone loves starting their New Year off with a great meal! However, that can sometimes be difficult since most restaurants are closed for the New Year’s holiday. It’s not impossible, though. Let’s take a look at some of the best Solvang restaurants open on New Year’s!

Actor’s Corner Cafe – This restaurant’s menu is a blend of European roots and California flavors, making for a unique and delicious dining experience. ACC chooses only the finest and freshest ingredients, and sources local organic products whenever possible. Their local wine and beer menu is also top notch. (Open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day)

Bacon and Brine – Chef Pink and Courtney Rae are the culinary geniuses behind the smokey pork goodness and savory deliciousness of Bacon And Brine. Using all local organic vegetables and organic, grass fed, pasture-raised animals, B&B is the perfect way to start off your New Year’s resolution. (Open New Year’s Eve)

Belgian Café – This authentic and cheerful European-esque restaurant serves their famous crispy Belgian waffles and crepes all day. The breakfast menu also features French toast, eggs, and a variety of delicious omelets. For the early crowd, burgers, sandwiches, fresh salads, and daily homemade soups are on the lunch menu. (Open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day)

Fresco Valley Cafe – Fresco Valley Cafe provides quality meals at a reasonable price. They emphasize fresh, organic, and sustainable Californian cuisine, and are one of the best hidden gems in Santa Barbara Wine Country. The Craft beer and Local wine selection is enough to warrant a reservation. (Open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day)

You don’t want to be the only one without New Year’s plans, so make your dinner reservations today! And don’t forget to book your stay at one of the best hotels in Santa Ynez Valley. You deserve it.


Christmas in Santa Ynez Valley

syvblog-christmasinsyvDecember is here, which means Christmas is right around the corner! And according to TIME Magazine, Solvang is one of the most Christmassy towns in America. Check out some of the best events happening across Santa Ynez Valley this holiday season!

Santa Ynez Tree Lighting Celebration – Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Sagunto Street downtown will be the site of the Second Annual Christmas Tree Lighting of the largest Christmas tree in the Santa Ynez Valley! Popcorn, cookies, and cider are to be enjoyed as well as a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus. 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Wildling Museum Holiday Marketplace – Saturday, December 5, 2015
Celebrate the holiday season at the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature with a special open house and marketplace. Meet local artists showcasing their handcrafted gifts and artisans using natural materials to create unique items. It’s the perfect time to purchase holiday gifts! 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Santa Barbara Parade of Lights – Sunday, December 6, 2015
The 30th annual Santa Barbara Parade of Lights with the theme “A Red, White & Blue Holiday” will take place at Santa Barbara Harbor and Sterns Wharf. Santa’s Village is at 3:00 pm and the Boat Parade is at 5:30 pm.

Christmas on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail – December 12, 2015 – December 13, 2015
Foxen Canyon Wine Trail presents “Christmas on the Trail,” a passport event featuring local wineries including Andrew Murray Vineyards, Cambria Winery, Cottonwood Canyon Winery, and more!

Deck the Barrels! – Saturday, December 12, 2015
Deck the Barrels with Sanford Winery! Enjoy the Majestic Barrel Room decorated for the Holidays while indulging in Hors D’oeuvres paired with your favorite Sanford wines. There will be Holiday prizes, special discounts on magnums, Barrel Tastings, and so much more. 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Festival of Carols – Sunday, December 20, 2015
The Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, Youth Ensemble, and Orchestra are delighted to announce their Holiday Concert Series. This holiday celebration includes old-time favorites such as, “Silent Night” and “What Child is This?”, three beautiful renditions of “Ave Maria,” and more. 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Christmas in Santa Ynez Valley is a wonderful experience, and there is no shortage of ways to ring in the holiday season. Make your December even merrier by staying at one of the most luxurious and cozy hotels in Solvang, California.


Feast Your Eyes on This Santa Ynez Valley Thanksgiving Buffet

SYVBlog-thanksgivingThe Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Hotel invites you to a cozy Thanksgiving Day Buffet on Thursday, November 26th, 2015. This is the time when Santa Barbara County celebrates its autumnal bounty by serving only the freshest and most delectable cuisines from local growers. Gather with friends and family and taste the fall season in every delicious bite. First seating will start at 11:00AM and last sitting begins at 4:00PM. Here’s an exclusive sneak peek of our scrumptious Thanksgiving Day Menu:

Assortment of Seasonal Salads
Smoked Salmon
Jumbo Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce & Mango Salsa
Artisan Cheese Display, Fruit Display

Chef Carving Stations
Whole Roasted Turkey
Herb Crusted Prime Rib

Mahi Mahi with Poblano Lime Cream Sauce
Truffled Red Mashed Potatoes
Chef Pasta Stations
Assorted Pastas, Marinara Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Pesto Sauce
Shrimp, Chicken and Sausages

Cranberry Apple Sourdough Stuffing
Garlic Red Pepper Green Beans
Orange Honey Yams

Chocolate Fountain with Assorted Fruits
Pumpkin Ice Cream, Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream.
Cherries Jubilee and Banana Foster Station
Assorted Pies, Assorted Cakes

Includes Starbucks Coffee, Tazo Hot Teas, Iced Tea, Juice, and Sodas
Sparkling Cider for Kids
Includes a Glass of Champagne


Thanksgiving Buffet Prices
(does not include tax or gratuity)
Adults: $42
Seniors: $37
Children (ages 6-12): $29
Children (ages 5 and under): FREE

There is a cornucopia of things to love! So let one of the best hotels in Santa Ynez Valley give you a Thanksgiving reminiscent of home. Our warm and inviting accommodations and gobble-worthy dining are enough to make anyone feel a little more thankful.

RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – Please call (805) 688-1000


New ChargePoint Charging Stations Added to Marriott Property


Following the immense success of the installation of Tesla charging stations in 2013, Marriott SYV has added two new ChargePoint charging stations to its property. With the use of electric cars on the rise, measures are being taken along the major coasts to ensure fast and convenient charging on the go, and we have happily followed suit.

At this year’s Washington Auto Show, two of the top automakers, BMW of North America and Volkswagen of America, together with ChargePoint, the largest electric vehicle charging network, announced a plan to create express charging corridors along the most traveled routes on the East and West Coasts. Designed to increase the number of fast charging locations, the initiative was implemented to help meet the growing demand for convenient, publicly available electric vehicle chargers and support the influx of electric vehicles in the United States.

With hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles being sold all over the country, electric vehicle owners need charging flexibility now more than ever. The express charging corridors conveniently located on our property provide electric vehicle drivers access to direct current fast chargers in one central location. In addition to our charging stations, additional stations have been installed both within and between relevant metro areas, strategically spaced at a maximum of 50 miles apart, making it even easier to take long road trips in an electric vehicle.

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is the first Certified Green Hotel in Santa Barbara County, and we intend to keep it that way! We’re joining the movement and helping to reduce our carbon footprint one charging station at a time. The two new ChargePoint charging stations can be found in our rear parking lot next to the Hertz rental car area.

electriccars ChargePoint’s East and West Coast Express Charging Corridor Infographic; Modified to add “MARRIOTT SYV” road marker


October Events in Santa Ynez Valley

SYVBlog-octoberIt’s the first day of October, and you know what that means! Autumn is here, and we have the line-up to prove it. Take a look at some of the best events happening across Santa Ynez Valley this month!

Solvang Farmers Market
October 7 @ 2:30 pm – October 7 @ 6:30 pm
Downtown Solvang

Each week the farmers in the marketplace display a colorful bounty of local-grown agricultural products. Seasonal diversity is available year-round without exception! Join us in downtown Solvang every Wednesday on First Street, between Mission Drive (Highway 246) and Copenhangen Drive. Experience the taste of certified-organic produce while supporting your local growers.

Celebration of Harvest Weekend
October 9 – October 12
Various wineries throughout Santa Barbara County

This popular Columbus Day Weekend festival celebrates the year’s grape harvest bounty across Santa Barbara Country. Throughout the weekend, select wineries host their own events, ranging from winemaker dinners and library tastings, to new wine releases and barrel tastings. A particularly anticipated part of the celebration is when vintners come together to share harvest tales and pour wine at the Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang.

Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest
October 9 @ 9:00 am – November 9 @ 10:00 pm
Throughout the Santa Ynez Valley

We’re kicking off the fall season with our Annual SYV Scarecrow Fest and Contest on Friday, October 9, 2015, coinciding with the start of Santa Barbara Wine Country’s “Celebration of Harvest Weekend” event. This month-long festival will run through November 9, 2015, during which time visitors and SYV locals are encouraged to stay, play, and enjoy the scarecrow sights and many scheduled events.

Blind Tasting Thursdays
October 15 @ 4:00 pm – October 15 @ 7:00 pm
Wandering Dog Wine Bar

Test your knowledge of varietals and regions with this unique blind tasting challenge. Participants will try to match up answers with each wine based on type of wine, region where it is from, price point, and alcohol content. $15/person

Solvang Third Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk
October 21 @ 3:00 pm – October 21 @ 7:00 pm
All around the Village of Solvang

Enjoy wine & beer tasting while strolling through the Village of Solvang on the Third Wednesday of every month. Tickets may be purchased the day of (cash only) at Wandering Dog Wine Bar, 1539-C Mission Dr. Tickets are $20 and include a Solvang Third Wednesday logo glass, map, and tasting at five places of your choice.


It’s Halloween time and the 22nd Annual Haunted House and Street Festival is almost here! The Good Life will close at 4pm and move over to 2nd St. to open up the Beer & Wine Garden. All are welcome… come and join us if you DARE!


Celebration of Harvest Weekend 2015

SYVBlog-harvestOn October 9-12th, the Santa Barbara wineries will host the 25th Annual Celebration of Harvest Weekend at the Santa Ynez Mission!

This popular Columbus Day Weekend festival celebrates the year’s grape harvest bounty across Santa Barbara Country. Throughout the weekend, select wineries host their own events, ranging from winemaker dinners and library tastings, to new wine releases and barrel tastings. A particularly anticipated part of the celebration is when vintners come together to share harvest tales and pour wine at the Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang.

The Celebration of Harvest Weekend events include:

  • Walking Wine & Food Tours on Friday, October 9th
  • La Paulée-style Harvest Dinner on Friday, October 9th
  • Santa Barbara Wine Seminar on Saturday, October 10th at the Hotel Corque in Solvang from 10-11:30am
  • Festival Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 10th at Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang from 1-4pm (early entry at noon)
  • Vintners Visa, a low-cost pass to twelve different Santa Barbara County tasting rooms over the four day weekend
  • Silent auction, live music, and more

Make sure to purchase your Harvest Festival tickets now! You don’t want to miss this. And don’t forget to use the official festival hashtags #SBCWINE and #COH15 to show off your excitement!


Labor Day in Santa Ynez Valley


Labor Day is fast approaching, and where better to spend it than Santa Ynez Valley, one of California’s best hidden gems? Dubbed as the “New Napa,” SYV is filled to the brim with outdoor adventures and wine expeditions. Let’s take a look at just some of the many ways you can spend your Labor Day in Santa Ynez Valley!

Painting in the VineyardSaturday, September 5, 2015
Paint the gorgeous vines and sip delicious wines. No experience necessary to enjoy this 2.5 hour painting class… all step-by-step instructions and materials are provided. Discover your inner artist and take in the beauty of Koehler’s serene vineyard (10:30AM to 1:00PM).

Cachuma Lake Wildlife CruiseMultiple dates and times
Located north of Santa Barbara off Hwy 154, Lake Cachuma offers narrated nature tours where you’ll be able to see waterfowl, osprey, hawks, bald eagles, and various other birds and wildlife.  Call for reservations.

“Wine and Wisdom” Trivia NightFriday, September 4, 2015
You’re in for a fun night at the Sevtap Winery. After all, trivia isn’t fun unless you’re buzzed. Winner gets a bottle of hand-bottled Sevtap wine to take home!

Hot Air BallooningMultiple dates and times
What better way to experience the scenic Santa Ynez Valley than soaring in a Hot Air Balloon? This adventure lasts from 45min – 1 hour and takes you up over the rolling hills of vineyards and beautiful ranches. Truly a romantic and adventurous way to experience the Valley.

Horseback RidingMultiple dates and times
There’s nothing more breathtaking than riding atop a beautiful horse as you venture out on the trail and take in the majestic views of the Santa Ynez Valley. Vino Vaqueros offers a ride into beautiful ranches and vineyards located in the Valley, and end the ride with a glass of wine and the option for lunch.  No experience necessary.


Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!


As July comes to a close, August quickly becomes the center of attention and fall isn’t far behind. Sure, the weather will start cooling down soon, but Santa Ynez Valley is just getting warmed up.  Here are five events to get excited about to make sure  you end your summer on a high-note.

Concerts in the Park (July 29, August 5, 12, 19)
Ok, ok, so this has been going every Wednesday since mid-June but you still have FOUR chances to get out and enjoy some great live music in the park! This event is held weekly at Solvang Park from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Solvang Park Gazebo. Catch Black Train Bluegrass Roots Trio tomorrow, July 29th, with dining in the park provided by Good2Go Dogs & Cecco. Nothing beats live music especially under the California sunset. You can view the full schedule of the remaining acts here.

Sevtap Winery Grape Stomp Party (August 29)
The 2015 Grape Stomp Party is an SYV staple! Hosted by Sevta Winery, bring in the fall season with live music, food and, of course, wine! (Lots of wine)

Solvang Danish Days (September 18 – September 20)
Back for its 79th, yes 79th, celebration, the Solvang Danish Days Festival got its start in 1936 in honor of the village’s 25th anniversary. Danish Days celebrates Solvang’s heritage with authentic food, music, dancing, parades, live entertainment and family activities. The festival inspires its festival-goers to “live like Vikings” for the weekend. Take the international trip without leaving the USA!

Los Alamos Old Days Celebration (September 25-27)
Los Alamos Old Days Street Festival is a true classic. A celebration of its heritage, the festival includes a car show, parade, vendors, Kids Zone, silent auction, and a Chili Cook Off! The event is free so bring the whole family!

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp (July 31 – August 27th)
Now if you really want to have some fun, take the drive down to Oxnard, California to watch the world’s second most valuable sports team prepare for the 2015 NFL football season. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and the entire Dallas Cowboys football team will be on full display free of charge. Catch some practice, hit the beach and make it a trip you won’t soon forget!

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!


Bike the Valley, Drink the Wine


The Santa Ynez Valley is known for lots of things: the scenic landscape, friendly people, undeniable small town charm and, of course, world-class wine. But within the last few years, a new trend has taken over.

Biking the Santa Ynez Valley.

From family friendly rides to pro-style cycling, there’s no better way to explore Wine Country!

Here are a couple of routes to take in and around Santa Ynez:

The SYV Coffee House Bike Loop:
Address: Begin at the Valley Grind coffee house, 3558 Sagunto St. Santa Ynez
Bike Route Map: Google Map of The SYV Coffee House Bike Loop
This 17.5 mile loop has it all. Spanning 17.5 miles, the loop begins in Santa Ynez and travels north on back country roads through Ballard and on to Los Olivos, where you can do any shopping or wine tasting. After Los Olivos, this route will take you west through Ballard Canyon, southwest to Solvang and finally back towards Santa Ynez. If wine isn’t your thing, this route passes through five of the best coffee houses in the Valley and several Santa Ynez favorite locations.

A Family Ride:
Address: Park at the Mission Santa Ines, 1710 Mission Drive
This route is perfect for the entire family as it follows a bike path with bike lanes and stops for picnicking and sightseeing. The length can be as little as five miles or as long as ten, depending on the turn-around location. Children will enjoy the beautiful grounds and displays of early life in the Mission era. Ride east on Mission Dr (Hwy 246), the official bike path begins at Alamo Pintado Road, and follow all the way to the intersection of Refugio Road. You may turn around here or turn right at Refugio and make your way to Kalyra Winery, which is one of the locations from the film “Sideways.” Enjoy the kid-friendly environment with a relaxed, nice picnic lunch. Enjoy one of the finest views of the Valley before heading back.

These are just two of the more popular routes you can take in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, with plenty more routes viewable online. Santa Ynez Marriot is the perfect destination for your wine-filled getaway. Travelers come for the wine but stay for all of the SYV attractions. We hope to see you soon, the Valley is calling!


A Buellton Weekend Getaway


Located just minutes north of Santa Barbara, Buellton California is one of the five beautiful cities that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The Buellton Visitors Bureau is giving you the chance to sip your way through the city in a Southern California Getaway! Enjoy the many flavors of the Santa Ynez Valley through our award winning wineries and impressive farm to table restaurants. Here’s what one lucky winner will receive….

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is excited to partner with Buellton in allowing you to explore the beautiful Santa Barbara area. With countless wineries, restaurants, parks and beaches, you won’t be bored!

You’ll look forward to unwinding at the end of your fun-filled days in one of our luxurious guest rooms. Don’t forget to treat yourself to some well-deserved downtime too. Our gorgeous central coast weather will permit sipping on drinks poolside; or elevate your relaxation to a whole new level and allow our on-site massage therapist to ease all your worries.

Enter now so you don’t miss out on this Santa Barbara area weekend of a lifetime!