Labor Day in Santa Ynez Valley

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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.

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A Buellton Weekend Getaway

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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!

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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!

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Valentine’s Day 2015 in the Santa Ynez Valley

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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.

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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.

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

SYV Marriott’s Special Offers

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Putting Roots Down – Fall Events in SYV

As summer winds down and we return to more normal schedules of school and work, there’s much to look forward to in Santa Ynez Valley. From festivals celebrating our roots of heritage to festivals celebrating the roots of our crops, let’s celebrate fall!

Fall Events in SYV

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2014 Grape Stomp Party
Bring the season to a start with a classic Grape Stomp Party! Hosted by Sevtap Winery, this harvest get-together will include live music, food and wine to set the mood for the main event. Buy tickets through Sevtap Winery’s website now.

 

Santa Barbara Vinters Celebration of Harvest
Celebrating the fruit (literally) of their labor, this harvest celebration includes wine maker dinners, winery and tasting room open houses and library tastings over the Columbus Day Weekend. There’s never been a better time to visit and discover the magic of this slice of California Wine Country!

1150269_242880415836817_509894190_nDanish Days Festival
A visit to Solvang, CA is almost like making an international trip without leaving the country! And of all times to discover the Danish history that makes Solvang the treasure it is, the September weekend of the Danish Days Festival is simply the best. Danish food and dances will fill Solvang’s streets while its museums and businesses open their doors to visitors’ delight. For a full schedule of events, visit their site.

Los Alamos Old Days Street Festival
A true town of the Old West, Los Alamos celebrates its heritage each year with a festival. Complete with a car show, parade, food and live music, this year’s celebration is one for the whole family. Join them the weekend of September 26-28!

Verdad-16There’s something truly magical about fall in Santa Ynez Valley. And while summer may be coming to a close, that doesn’t mean your traveling has to. The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, situated among the area’s gorgeous vineyards, is a perfect place to celebrate the new season.

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Spirits are rising: Visit SYV’s New Distillery

First comes wine, then comes craft beer…then comes moonshine distilleries? It’s true! The latest in local liquid fascinations, a distillery has put down roots in nearby Buellton.

The Business of SYV’s New Distillery

Opening the first legal distillery in Santa Barbara County since the Prohibition Era, Ascendant Spirits is the perfect new addition to Santa Ynez Valley’s growing food and beverage scene.

Surprisingly, whiskey ages well in Santa Ynez Valley for many of the same reasons that wine does – climate. Ascendant Spirits’ products include Breaker bourbon whisky, American Star vodka, Silver Lightning moonshine, single malt whisky and rye.

President and master distiller Steve Gertman explained in a recent interview that their products are infused with other local goods including fruit and rare caviar limes. Strawberries, for example, from nearby Santa Maria are used in Ascendant’s strawberry vodka the same day they are picked.

Gertman’s interest in crafting liquors started after his very first whiskey tasting while on a trip to Scotland. Since then, his love for the drink has only appreciated. “I’ve learned,” he writes on his website, “one thing that unites many different people around the world is a love for fine whisky.”

Speaking on the building of the Ascendent brand, he writes, “It was surreal the first time I saw our whisky, Breaker Bourbon, on the shelf at El Rancho,” Gertman says on Ascendant’s website. “I felt and still feel a great sense of pride and achievement that my dream had become a reality. I haven’t regretted my decision to take this journey, even at the darkest moments. I get intense satisfaction in creating a beautiful product that people enjoy. And I also get to be a mad scientist, creating new flavor combinations.”

They currently offer tastings Friday-Sunday each week. Be sure to visit the distillery on your next visit to Santa Ynez Valley!


For more foodie guides to the Santa Ynez Valley, read about artisan cheese, craft beer, brunch spots and, of course, wine.

Between our Starting Gate Restaurant, Winner’s Circle Lounge, room service, pool-side service and holiday specials, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott also knows a thing or two about food and beverages. Next time you stay, be sure to start or end your day with a meal by our talented team of chefs and cooks.

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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. 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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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.

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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