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.



Holiday Events in Santa Ynez Valley

Merry and bright and filled to the brim with things to do – there’s nothing quite like the holiday season in the Santa Ynez Valley. Here at Santa Ynez Valley Marriot, the spirit of the season comes to life in so many ways – let us point you to the holiday events must-do list!

The Holidays in Santa Ynez Valley:

Solvang on Ice
December 6-8
We know that ice skating isn’t exactly what people think of when planning a visit to California’s wine country, but that makes Solvang’s first ice skating rink all the better! Lace up your skates and prepare to show off the best of your Michelle Kwan moves under the SYVM_SolvangOnIceglow of Solvang’s Christmas tree.

Santa Ynez Cowboy Christmas & Holiday Celebration
Saturday, December 7
Join Santa Ynez in kicking off the holiday season with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause from 1-4 pm, enjoy holiday deals from shops and restaurants and watch carolers and the tree lighting at 6 pm.

Solvang Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 7
Starting at 11 am, Solvang’s streets will be filled with dancers, musical groups, vintage vehicles and animals! Come celebrate the magic of the season and see Santa Clause who will be available for visits and photos after the parade.

BuelltonWinterFestBuellton WinterFest Celebration
Sunday, December 8
An all-day spectacular, the city of Buellton invites you to start the day with breakfast with Santa or come in the afternoon for concerts, cookies and cocoa. In the evening, wander the neighborhood block party, sampling from food trucks 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 14 & 15, 11 am- 4 pm
Enjoy a holiday taste of Solvang with the Holiday Wine Walk! A two-day event complete with 13 tasting rooms, the walk will lead you through the village, giving you ample time to savor both the holiday and Solvang spirits.

Saturday, December 14, 4-7 pm
Who knew such a genius event could exist? Brand-new to Solvang’s Julefest line-up, this delicious event invites you to Solvang Park in Downtown Solvang to jam out to the Molly Ringwald Project and holiday tunes while roasting marshmallows and creating customized s’mores from locally produced candy and baked goods.

Santa Ynez Valley Chorale Concert
December 20 – 22, 7:30 pm
The Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale, Youth Chorale and Orchestra invite you to their “Welcome All Wonders” show. With music from Bach, Haydn, Mendelsohn and more to popular holiday favorites and carol sing-a-longs, it will be a night of true holiday music.

New Year’s Eve with the Molly Ringwald Project
December 31, 2013
A staple in the local-music scene, this 80s cover band will be focused on one thing alone: making New Year’s Eve the best dance party ever. Join them at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott and enjoy the prime rib buffet and midnight champagne toast to top off the night!SYV_Molly-Project

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is ready to celebrate the holidays with you! Your home-base for holiday parties, get-togethers and get-aways, the Santa Ynez Vallet Marriott knows how to make the most of this merry time. Book your company or organization’s holiday event at

And while you’re at it, leave the New Year’s Eve planning to us, too! Ring in 2014 with the Molly Ringwald Project 80s cover band and our Prime Rib Buffet. Special local room rates are available and after a night of great food, music and dancing – why not just take the elevator home? Buy your tickets and book your stay now.





Uncork the Story in Santa Ynez Valley

CaWineIf you are familiar with wine tasting protocol, the 5 S’s are nothing new: See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Savor. It is a simple way to ensure that all of one’s senses are invited to take part in the richness of the wine experience. In the flavor of this ‘S’ theme, we invite you to one more ‘S’…September. An entire month dedicated to honoring the bountiful story in your glass. The state of California and in particular the incredible Santa Ynez Valley region is embracing the multi-leveled experience of wine and celebrating all things wine from grape to glass and then some. Although wine lovers rarely need an excuse to raise their glass, this is truly the opportunity to explore and appreciate the fruit of the vine.

California’s Commitment to Wine

A little background on the source: California wine is a major contributor to the economy; the state is the fourth largest wine producer in the world. Making a full 90 percent of American wine, the golden state is responsible for $18.5 billion in retail wine sales in the U.S. Its broad industry encompasses may tiers from the scenic, historic, cuisine enhancing, travel and tourism, environmentally enhancing with committed sustainable practices, to jobs for 1/3 of a million people.

That brings us to the small but wonderfully rich Santa Ynez Valley. Worlds away from Los Angeles and San Francisco, yet just a short travel distance down the road. Here there is no mystery…no pretense, as simple as See, Swirl, Sniff, Sip and Savor…in September most especially. Plan your visit soon to Uncork the Story!


Harvest in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country is a revered season when visitors and locals can experience wine from grape to glass. In celebration, wineries and businesses throughout the Santa Ynez Valley are hosting events, classes, dinners, deals and packages .It is a unique opportunity to see, taste and buy some of the best wines California has to offer, including tastings of special releases and library wines and entertainment around every corner!  Take a tour of a vineyard or winery, taste reserve wines or find the perfect food pairing at events throughout September. For special events and more information, visit the Santa Ynez Valley’s Visitor’s Association. Some of the many participating in the Santa Ynez Valley include: Sanford Winery & Vineyards, Coghlan Vineyard & Jewelers,  AVANT Tapas & Wine, Brewer-Clifton WineryMosby WineryWandering Dog Wine BarCimarone and 3CV Wines.

©2011 Red Square, Inc.The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott hotel in Buellton, the heart of wine country, invites you to relax and make the most of your September ‘Uncork the Story’ adventure, as we host your stay overnight in true Marriott style. Wind down beside the outdoor fire pit on the cool fall evenings, start your day with our Starting Gate’s sumptuous breakfast and take advantage of our staff’s broad, local wine country knowledge.


Tesla Charging Station in the Santa Ynez Valley


Swag? … check!


Santa Ynez pairs with the Tesla

Chances are you have heard of and maybe even spotted one on the road…an electric automobile that has taken green driving to a new level, the Tesla. With styling that is said to rival the BMW and Jaguar, Tesla Motors has produced an all-electric vehicle that arguably may set the new standard for the next generation of cars. Produced by Silicon Valley-based Tesla Motors, and headed by PayPal co-founder, Elon Musk, these high performance electric cars are approaching near ‘celebrity’ status. The name Tesla is a direct reference to the famous inventor and electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla and the primary deign of their first sport model is actually based on the inventor’s 1881 design.
Tesla sightings are plastered all over social media platforms across the web and here is what the buzz is all about:


  • How do you charge a Tesla? Simply plug it in, anywhere. Where there’s an outlet, you can charge.

There are four basic charge options: the standard 120-volt wall outlet found in every household, the 240-volt outlet (found at hotels, businesses, even your house – think basic clothes dryer), and SYV-TeslaChargerFREE public supercharging stations conveniently found near restaurants and user-friendly spots along highways. Currently there are 27 stations across the country and by the end of the year coast to coast travel will public accessible charging stations will be possible. The fourth option,coming soon, is a full public battery swap.

  • How long does it take to charge a Tesla? It depends on the type of charger utilized.
    The most convenient time to charge is at night, when it’s parked in your garage. Although there are a few options depending on the Tesla model and charging choice (upgraded options are available which speed up the process), by the time you wake up in the morning, you will be ready to hit the road. Public supercharging stations allow Tesla owners to get an 80 per cent charge in just 30 minutes. That’s about the same amount of time as you’d spend having lunch during a road trip.

The battery swap option which involves exchanging your battery for a fully charged battery in less than half the time it takes to refill a gas tank. 93 seconds to be exact. Really. These public battery-swap bays should be constructed by the end of 2013, and the service will cost $60 to $80 plus an additional fee if you want to keep the new battery, which has a fresh warranty. You can also return for the pack you turned in, presumably on the return leg of your trip, and avoid the fee while Tesla recharges it in the meantime.

  • How far can it run on that charge? It varies depending on the battery capacity in your Tesla. The largest battery supplies 300 miles of range at 55 MPH; and just like in a gas powered car, it also depends how you drive. teslatomorrowCurrently, Model S owners who show up at Tesla’s network of quick-charge “supercharger” stations can get enough juice for 180 miles in about 30 minutes for free.
  • How ‘green’ is it really? ZERO emissions. Traditional gas powered cars have only one source of fuel, non-renewable oil. Tesla’s electric cars potentially source a variety of renewable energy options  such as hydroelectric, natural gas, biomass wind, solar, and geothermal.  As our nation’s electricity grows cleaner and as the grid shifts to more efficient technologies and uses more renewable sources, electric vehicles toll on our environment will drop even further.
  • What’s it like to drive? This is where the swag comes in to play. As you approach your Tesla with your ‘key’ and the door handles extend to greet you, the tone is set. There is no “start” button. The motor starts with a simple tap on the brake and the only noise you hear is the hum of the performance tires on the highway. Then there is the entire roof construction complete with innovative technology that delivers a convertible-like drive experience every day.  On even the hottest days, 81% of the heat is blocked. Tesla AppDon’t forget to download the corresponding model app to schedule and monitor charging, pre-condition your car on very hot or cold days, and even honk the horn to find your car in a crowded parking lot, all from your smartphone! Finally, when you arrive at your destination, you just get out of the car; it turns itself off and locks up as you leave. Did we mention 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds?
  • Additional bonuses – Currently there is a $7,500 federal tax credit available and many local governments offer additional incentives like free parking, special charging rates, and HOV lane access. Forget oil changes, smog checks, and spark plugs too! Plus many public charging stations are equipped with solar panels to offset energy use and provide a zero emission recharge. Over time, Tesla plans to add solar canopies to all supercharger stations.

“ For the first time since anyone can remember, this year’s winner was a unanimous choice. Not a single judge had any doubts about the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year.”
— Motor Trend, November 12, 2012

MarriottSantaYnezValleyExteriorLandscape(2)DistantThe Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is proud to be a part of this evolution! As one of the first  of many Tesla super charging stations in the nation, we welcome guests to experience the fastest charge on the planet! Although we cannot guarantee a Tesla sighting, chances are good you will have the opportunity to witness what just may be the car will globally revolutionize the way we think of driving. Tesla









Saddle up, then Sip on, in the Santa Ynez Valley

13924312-a-couple-on-a-horse-rideHorse lovers know that there is nothing like time with their equine partners. There is something truly magical about it! No matter how pressing life is, moments spent with a horse somehow insist you slow down and be present in the moment. Now pair that equine zen with a travel destination in which time slows down enough to set aside the details and stresses of everyday life…and an opportunity for true vacation bliss is born. The Santa Ynez Valley is one of those gems, where the pastoral ambiance affords visitors with an ease as promising as the ‘equine therapy’ also available there. Meander the country roads and stop to meet up with one of the many horses along the way or join in a twilight ride followed by world-class yet unpretentious wine tasting. It is an equestrian paradise offering a multitude of choices for all levels of horse expertise: from the city slicker to the seasoned rider, from trail riding to tours of breeding farms. Here’s a glimpse into it all.


A Day of Wine and HorsesA DAY OF WINE & HORSES – offers customized tours to world famous horse facilities and professionally guided tastings in the Santa Ynez Valley’s fabulous wineries. A delightful gourmet lunch is served on location and tours are based on the individual preferences of guests (riding or simply touring), assuring an unforgettable experience sampling the finest the Santa Ynez Valley has to offer. Whether you are a horse lover or wine lover, or better yet, both, it is an unforgettable experience.

Quicksilver Miniature Horse FarmQuicksilver Ranch –  There isn’t much cuter than these tiny equines. Get up close and personal with miniature horses. Open to visitors every day from 10am-3pm. Tours are available by appointment also.



Vino Vaqueros, located along the Foxen Canyon wine trail, Vino VaquerosVino Vaqueros lets you experience the rustic beauty, splendid vistas, and verdant vineyards of Santa Ynez Valley, cowboy style.Travel through Fess Parker Winery’s cattle ranch and up a mountain to a view that stretches for miles, then descend through the vineyard for a close-up tour of the vines. Your experience is completed with wine tasting and lunch or dinner.


Return to Freedom WIld Horse SanctuaryReturn to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary is dedicated to the preservation of the freedom, diversity and habitat of America’s wild horses through sanctuary, education, and conservation. The organization strives to enrich the human spirit through direct experience with the natural world and offers the opportunity to connect to your inner self, nature, and wild horses. Experience yoga outdoors in the fresh clean air and rolling hills of Santa Barbara’s Central Coast. Dine (al fresco) on fresh organic vegetarian fare. Practice stillness and mindfulness both in motion and sitting meditation. Journey into the world of wild horses with morning and evening hikes. Experience progressive healing including Reiki, crystal therapy, aromatherapy and yoga. Special events include: Guided Wild Horse Walks, Wild Horse Photography Workshops, Guided Wild Burro Walks, Private Tours, Photo Safaris, Kid’s Days and Nights at the Ranch, and more!

SYV Polo ClassicThe 2nd Annual Santa Ynez Valley Polo Classic in Buellton takes place Saturday, July 20, 2013. Fast paced polo action, world class skill and those fabulous hats all benefiting People Helping People. Featuring several of the highest rated players in the world in addition to local Santa Ynez Valley polo celebrities, it is sure to be the event of the season!


Marriott-Santa-Ynez-Valley-Pool-Shot-(2)Stay with us at at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott and make it the perfect equestrian inspired getaway. We invite you to relax, recharge, and take home fantastic memories and maybe even a few bottles of you favorite vintage!


Santa Ynez Valley Brings on the Bacon!

Santa Ynez Bacon CelebrationIf the mere thought of bacon cooking causes your mouth to water reminiscent of Pavlov’s pups…

If your most heartwarming childhood memories include Sunday mornings with mom cooking up that ultimate comfort food…

Then the Santa Ynez Valley, a bacon mecca in its own right, has the key to make your bacon dreams come true! The home of world-class vintages and craft beer adventure is now taking bacon-fever to a new level…because yes, even bacon pairs well with wine!

Bacon-philes unite!

Bacon and Barrels Saarloos and SonsBacon And Barrels – Imagine an entire festival dedicated to cutting edge bacon concoctions and amazing cocktails to compliment them. As the bacon craze is reaching legendary status, that is just what the Santa Ynez Valley has in store Friday – Sunday July 19-21. The weekend kicks off with an all bacon dinner under the stars in Los Olivos. Followed by Saturday’s main event, at Saarloos and Sons Field, featuring the hottest chefs from the finest local restaurants preparing dishes starring bacon in its most inventive forms. The best mixologists, brewers, and wineries will quench your thirst with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews. Live music will be provided by the  Mother Corn Shuckers, an 8 piece acoustic Bluegrass/Americana band based out of the Central Coast of California. Bacontrepreneurs and bacon-friendly brands will exhibit their wares and even a piggy petting zoo will be on hand. Celebrity Judges will award the ‘Jefe del Porko’ award to the Top Chef and Mixologist of the day for achievement in the bacon arts.  It is destined to be a raucous, rockin’ good time for all. Sunday wraps up the bacon bonanza, so don’t leave yet! Cruise around the Santa Ynez Valley with your Bacon & Barrels wristband for deals on food, wine tasting, and more.  Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.Tickets availability is extremely limited so don’t hesitate! **Non-drinker tickets only available to date.

Santa Ynez Valley MarriottMake it a relaxing getaway and extend the bacon celebration with a stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. Allow our attentive staff and soothingly sophisticated yet rural atmosphere envelop you in a rejuvenating getaway. Keep in the bacon spirit as you ease into your day with our Green Chile Buellton Burrito or the The Santa Ynez Omelet from  the Starting Gate Restaurant, where innovative recipes of the Santa Ynez Valley to bring you inspiring cuisine. Perhaps then indulge poolside with the Marriott Burger featuring 100% Angus chuck, aged cheddar and served with onions and yes…crisp bacon. Highlighting local produce, house-made ingredients and a selection of wines from local vintners, our selections will encourage you to indulge your palate. Finally unwind in the Winners Circle Lounge with a wide selection of Santa Ynez Valley wines and micro brews to complete your day. Click here to book your stay today!

wide selection of Santa Ynez Valley wines, micro brews – See more at:
wide selection of Santa Ynez Valley wines, micro brews – See more at:
Innovative recipes pare with the bounty of the Santa Ynez Valley to bring you unique cuisine to inspire and delight your senses. Local produce, house-made ingredients and a selection of wines from local vintners will encourage you to indulge your palate.

Innovative recipes pare with the bounty of the Santa Ynez Valley to bring you unique cuisine to inspire and delight your senses. Local produce, house-made ingredients and a selection of wines from local vintners will encourage you to indulge your palate.




Santa Ynez Valley Taps into Craft Beer Month

Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer MonthIn what is proving to be a glorious time in history for beer enthusiasts everywhere…tap real estate is booming! With well over 1,600 craft breweries throughout the U.S.,  California’s Santa Ynez Valley is taking this opportunity to foster the craft beer spirit and is expanding its annual celebration of craft beer from one week to the entire month of May. It is officially Craft Beer Month in the Santa Ynez Valley and to kick-off the festivities, we have a gathered a bit of insight into this brewing revolution.

Why Craft Beer? Flavor.

It is all about having a broad spectrum of flavors and choices. Something the wine industry has forever been exploring and that the Santa Ynez Valley knows so very well, now affords beer drinkers the same palate pleasing opportunities.

A few basics for those who may not be familiar:

  • Craft beer is made by small, independent brewers. This allows fresh, high quality, and carefully chosen ingredients to be used. Often interesting and non-traditional ingredients are also added for a spin on the ordinary. These elements, combined with the heart and soul of the brewmaster, produce innovative and delicious choices for everyone’s tastes.
  • Craft beer is often brewed and transformed by seasonal availability and therefore differs by region. Unique styles and seasonal ingredients pair for an infinite combination of brews.
  • Craft Beer is just that…truly a craft. Beer that is as innovative, diverse and individually unique and surprising as the brewers themselves.

Basic Styles of Craft Beer:

  • Lagers: made with yeasts that prefer lower temps when fermenting and tend to be smoother and mellower than ales.
  • Ales: quite the opposite, prefer warmer processing temps, which typically translates into more of a flavor impact. These usually involve a higher alcohol content and many more varieties than lagers.

Specific Styles of Craft Beer: although too many to list, here are the main players:

  • Wheat beer (Weizens) are often cloudy in appearance and the flavor ranges greatly. Typically lighter in flavor, some may be considered ‘spicy’ and reminiscent of European styles.
  • Brown Ale: Typically a darker amber color, it is a very old style beer and is said to be earthy and less bitter in flavor.
  • Pale ale is one of the world’s most popular beer styles. The aroma and flavor of hops is definite yet balanced with malt. Marked by the often times citrusy character of American hops.
  • India Pale Ale (IPA): Dating back to the time when English troops needed to preserve the life of their beer traveling on their voyages to India, extra hops were added as a natural preservative thus producing the slightly bitter (read hoppy) and crisp flavor profile.
  • Double IPAs or Imperial IPAs. Multiply the amount of hops and added malt for balance and the result is a fairly intense and bold hoppy giant.
  • Stouts are made with black, unmalted barley which results in a heavily roasted flavor and thick head. Little hop flavor but often with hints of coffee, chocolate, licorice, and molasses.
  • Pilsners are relatively young style beer with crisp, strong varying hop flavor and fragrant.

Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer Month Craft Beer Month in Santa Ynez Valley features more beer events than even the most seasoned craft beer lover can imagine!  Click here for full event details. Some of the highlights not to be missed include:

The 2nd Annual Buellton Brew Fest at the River View Park, Saturday, May 11, 12-4pm, featuring Craft Beer from nearly 30 breweries along with music, food, and fun. Featuring a Craft Soda component for the designated drivers, bring your beach chair, blankets and relax and enjoy the afternoon with the sounds of Burning James and the Funky Flames. Tickets $45 – last year was a sell-out so reserve your tickets early! Price includes unlimited tastings, one meal, and a souvenir tasting glass.

Americana meets Craft Beer! Fast cars, neon lights, hamburgers & shakes, and Surf Rock at the Friday Night Beer Dinner, May10. Chances are you have never paired your beer with a milkshake..but they will show you how! The Buellton Beer Fest is partnering with BIN 2860 and the iconic Mendenhall Musuem guaranteed to make this a dinner like no other!  $75 (tickets are extremely limited).

Passport Craft Beer Tasting adventure – During entire month of May, visit at least 6 designated passport stops for craft beer tasting paired with a special discount and you will be entered into the Beer Country Giveaway.  Participating stops in Solvang include: the Wandering Dog Wine Bar, Solvang Brewing Company, Randy’s Taproom, Sante Wine Bar & Lounge, The Good Life, and Valley Brewers. Passport stops in Buellton include: Firestone Walker Brewering Company’s Barrelworks, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, Avant Tapas & Wine Bar, and the Winner’s Circle at SYV Marriott. Passport stops in Los Olivos are: Bin 2860 Wine Shop, and Los Olivos Cafe & Wine Merchant and the Passport stop in Santa Ynez is the Ranch & Reata Roadhouse.

Craft Beer Education – For those thirsty to learn all about craft beer, figueroa_mountainFigueroa Mountain Brewing Company is offering a Beer Class with FMB Brew Master, AJ Stoll. valley_brewersValley Brewers is featuring both a Yeast Starter Class, and a Free Cheese demo, where you will learn how to make cheese fondue; a great food pairing with beer!  The Wandering Dog Wine Bar is hosting Friday night Beer Classes, an Ales vs. Lagers Class, a Beer Styles Class, and a High-End Specialty Brews event. wandering_dog Bin 2860 will be hosting beer-themed classes with topics ranging from ales vs. lagers to sour beers to yeast classes as well as brewing demos.

Special Craft Beer Deals can be found at Solvang Brewing solvang_brewingCompany anytime during Craft Beer Month and Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Barrelworks Firestone Walker Brewing Companywill be releasing a Library Anniversary Ale every Friday.  Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company is offering special “pint nights” and progressive brew tastings throughout the month.

Special Craft Beer Events are hoppin!

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott With the entire month of May devoted to Craft Beer, make it a midweek rendezvous or even a relaxing weekend getaway. Book your stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, making it your home-base for all the local craft beer festivities. Starting Gate Restaurant Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Craft Beer Month MenuTake advantage of our featured $20.13 dinner entrees carefully paired with fabulous craft beer selections at the Starting Gate Restaurant. Our Winner’s Circle Lounge is proud to be a featured stop on the Craft Beer Passport event and is featuring 15% discount on food & offering beer flights. The fabulous local beer selections include:





Santa Ynez Valley’s Mother’s Day Toast

wineTulip18392572_sLooking for a memorable way to celebrate Mother’s Day? How about a relaxing getaway nestled in the enchanting, rolling hills of Santa Ynez Valley’s wine country. It’s the stuff mothers’ dreams are made of…Solvang’s Danish bakeries with made-from-scratch pastries, gourmet restaurants featuring fresh local ingredients and inspired cuisine, unique shopping and art galleries…all paired with world-class yet unpretentious wine tasting. A seamless blend of sophisticated style and unhurried, small town charm is the ideal escape for the mother in your life this May.


Check out our Santa Ynez Valley Mother’s Day ideas sure to make it a special occasion:

  • Solvang Village Farmers MarketWednesdays 2:30-6:30pm visit Solvang Village Farmer’s Market where local chefs routinely peruse the availability of fresh ingredients for inspiration and tonight’s menu offerings! Featuring fresh produce and flowers, culinary treats and much more.
  • Solvangs Third Wednesday Wine WalkContinue the Wednesday adventure with Solvang’s Third Wednesday Wine Walk kicking off May 15. Stroll through the Village of Solvang from 3-7pm and take advantage of the many wine tasting rooms offering special discounts. Tickets are $20 and include a Solvang Third Wednesday logo glass, map and tasting at 5 places of your choice.
  • Wandering Dog Wine BarWandering Dog Wine Bar presents Styles of Beer, Friday, May 10 from 6-7pm. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about various styles of beer while sipping and discussing in a relaxed and wonderful venue. Class includes 6 beers along with light cheese and crackers for $20. Please call 805.686.9126 to make reservations.

**Although individual registration it is sold out…

Team ASPCAConsider contacting the race’s Charity Partners: ASPCA, MMRF, and Lazarex Cancer Foundation Charities & Fundraising. Be a part of a special kind of cause by joining TeamASPCA or one of the other teams in the Wine Country Half Marathon. Click on the link to learn how you can walk or run to help save the lives of millions of animals (and enjoy some great wine!): Team ASPCA

  • Fess Parker Vineyard and Winery Finishers PartyFinishers Party at Fess Parker Winery & Vineyards Saturday May 11 2-5pm  is another fabulous way to celebrate the marathon and unwind with friends & family. Relax in the sunshine, out on the lawn at Fess Parker Winery, rimmed by mature oaks, and enjoy a Santa Maria style BBQ, two glasses of fabulous wine (of course!) and live music.
  • Zaca Mesa Winery Los OlivosGSM Blending Event at Zaca Mesa Winery – Come spend the afternoon on May 11, 10-1pm, with the talented winemaker, Eric Mohseni! He will instruct you on the art of blending the red Rhone varietals. From barrels to bottle you will have the chance to create your own Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah blend, done to your taste! Everyone will get to take home a bottle of their own wine to show off with family and friends. Lunch with the winemaker will be included: A gourmet picnic provided by Fresco Valley Cafe.

Cimarone Estate WInery

  • Celebrate the wonderful mother in your life with a day of wine tasting at Cimarone Wines in Los Olivos. Featuring free tastings Saturday May 11, join Cimarone and relax – you deserve it!

bottle-shock-movie-poster-2008Kalyra-1000737440 Join Kalyra Winery in their Summer Movie Night Annual Kickoff featuring:  BOTTLE SHOCK, Saturday May 11 5-9pm, on the big screen at Kalyra’s outdoor amphitheater. Admission is free to this fabulous outdoor movie adventure.They’ve wanted to show this fantastic flick since last year. Every wine enthusiast NEEDS to see it. It’s the true story of how California wines, starting in Napa, got put on the world map when Napa was a dusty hippy town in the 70’s. Arrive early to stake out your place on the grass (first-come/first-serve), and enjoy food, wines by the glass, music on the patio, and beautiful wine country sunsets prior to the movie. Bring your own blankets and chairs. No RSVP necessary!

Sunstone Winery Mothers Day Blending EventSunstone Winery’s Special Event: A Mother’s Blend is an exclusive Mother’s Day Wine Blending Experience May 12, 10:30-12 noon. Celebrate Mom with Sunstone at their intimate wine blending experience on the grounds of the majestic Sunstone Villa. Guests will start the morning with a gourmet selection of pastries, charcuterie, and mimosas while enjoying the Villa and sweeping views of the Santa Ynez Valley. After a glimpse into the origins, history, and traditional use of each grape varietal, Moms and guests will work together and create their own distinctive Bordeux blend to take home in a beautifully wax sealed bottle. Additional bottles of your custom blend will be available to purchase and take home as the perfect momento of the day. Unable to spend Mother’s Day with your Mom? Why not create the perfect blend and send the gift her way.

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott

Honor the mother in your life with a Mother’s Day getaway and book your stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott today. It is the picture perfect escape that is sure to make mom feel appreciated…luxurious linens,relax by the pool, work on your forehand at the on-site tennis courts and a fabulous Mother’s Day Brunch. Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Mother's Day BrunchWhen the mood strikes, venture forth and explore everything the Santa Ynez Valley has to offer, from over 141 wineries to the scenic streets of Solvang. It’s a fabulous opportunity to renew her spirit in the serenity and beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley.


Savor the Adventure in the Santa Ynez Valley

Hungry for a bit of epicurean adventure?

Taste of Solvang 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyNestled in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley’s scenic rolling hills, lush rural pastures and fabulous vineyards you will find a charming surprise…the Danish capitol of America. This time of year, the European-inspired, flower-lined streets of Solvang are a truly enchanting springtime destination and also happen to be hosting a cultural food-forward adventure. Solvang Santa Ynez ValleyThe 21st Annual Taste of Solvang, March 13 – 17, invites fellow epicurean explorers to a delightful spring celebration of food, wine and entertainment. Featuring five days of flavor offerings highlighted with samples of locally grown foods, wines and the rich culinary and cultural heritage of Solvang, it is sure to have something for everyone.

The event kicks off Wednesday March 13 with a Special Chef Walk & Demo through Solvang’s local farmers market. Join local Chef’s David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante, Master Chef Norbert Schulz of Mirabelle Restaurant and Chef Heather Rae Hovey of Hadsten House Restaurant for a personalized tour through the market as they search for seasonal ingredients and share farm fresh menu inspiration (reservations required). Taste of Solvang 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyLearn from the masters how and why cooking in-season is a great way to utilize healthy and regional food from local suppliers. The last part of the afternoon will be highlighted by the Chef’s cooking demonstrations, a personalized cooking lesson and a unique dining and wine pairing experience at the Mirabelle Restaurant from Chef Norbert and special farmer’s market dinner with Chef Heather Rae Hovey (reservations required).

Taste of Solvang 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyLater in the evening, the Taste of Solvang Dessert Reception wraps it all up with delicious sweet treats, wine and live jazz entertainment.

The Walking Smorgaasbord on Saturday features 40 taste stops
around the village of Solvang featuring delicious bites of Danish, American, Latin, Japanese and Italian cuisines offered by Santa Ynez Valley restaurants and bakeries.Ticket purchase includes a detailed map and menu plus valuable coupons for “day of” specials and some coupons for future dates as well.

Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, savor the Wine & Beer Tasting Walk through the village of Solvang with a dozen local tasting rooms pouring their vintages into your souvenir Taste of Solvang etched wine glass. Taste of Solvang tickets may be purchased a la carte or all inclusive with a Weekend Passport which includes a logo wine glass, wine charm and souvenir canvas tote bag.

Throughout the event, wine tours of Santa Ynez Valley vineyards will be offered including taste stops at four wineries, gourmet picnic lunches and souvenir wine glasses. Special pricing and itineraries will be offered by Grapeline Wine Tours, Serenity Limousine & Sedans and Stagecoach Tours. Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended.

Buellton Wine Chili Festival Santa Ynez ValleyWrap up your Santa Ynez Valley culinary journey with Buellton’s Wine & Chili Festival where a gathering of talented local chefs will compete to take home cash prizes for the best Red Chili, Chile Verde and Homemade Salsa in Santa Ynez Valley.

Guests are invited to vote for the People’s Choice awards. You decide who has the finest Red Chili, the winning Chile Verde, the championship Salsa, the best Booth Showmanship, and top-notch red and white wines. The festival takes place at the Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground and tickets available for purchase on line include a souvenir wine glass and unlimited wine tastes, ten chili tasting tickets, a tri-tip BBQ lunch, entertainment by Unfinished Business. The Buellton Wine & Chili Festival is proudly sponsored by Kessler-Haak Vineyard, Avant Tapas and Wine, the Buellton Chamber of Commerce, Chumash Casino and the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association. Featured Santa Ynez Valley local wineries include Ampelos Celllars, The Hitching PostAlma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Dog Hill Vineyard, Falcone Family Vineyards,Sort This Out Cellars, Hoyt Family Vineyards, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co, Press Gang Cellars, Lucas & Lewwllen Vineyards, and Zotovich Cellars.

Santa Ynez Valley MariottStep into Spring and make this a refreshing and delicious getaway. Book your stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott today for the full Taste of Solvang experience. Relax in the perfect blend of countryside charm and modern amenities. The Santa Ynes Marriott is the ideal destination to renew your spirit and enjoy the season’s splendor!






Museum Week Inspires in the Santa Ynez Valley

Santa Ynez Valley Museum WeekIn an era of non-stop text-messaging, virtual reality and on-line everything, finding avenues to live tangibly can be somewhat challenging. Fortunately, there are over 17.500 key places in the U.S. that can help bridge the gap between the virtual and tangible…museums. Consider becoming an explorer of humanity for the day or even a just few hours. Why not take advantage of these simple yet unique opportunities to learn about our past, present and potential future.  Be inspired & enriched, support community and take part in a real cultural conversation!


Santa Ynez Valley Museum Week

Santa Ynez Valley Museum WeekThe enchanting towns of the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos, Buellton and Solvang are kicking off a week of museum celebration with a FREE museum day Saturday March 3. This Fifth Annual Museum Week runs from March 3 – 10 and offers an opportunity for your whole family to explore art, history and cultural inspiration in the valley’s local museums and feature many special events for the week. Sponsored by the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association, the following museums will be participating:

Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Carriage HouseSanta Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Carriage House traces Santa Ynez Valley history from the early Chumash Indians through its 20th-century ranching days. It boasts the largest collection of American made horse-drawn carriages in the Western US. Educational presentations, tours,  exhibits and special celebrate bountiful Santa Ynez Valley history. Activities include Chumash rock painting and other activities in the courtyard for the kids throughout the day, the ever popular 1906 Cretor Popcorn Wagon in front of the Museum popping up fresh, free popcorn for visitors, and 30 minute Carriage House tours at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm.

Wildling Art Museum Solvang Santa Ynez Valley

The Wildling Art Museum in Solvang is truly where art and nature meet! The Wildling’s mission connects people with the wonder of America’s wilderness through great art. The museum offers nature-related classes, special events and rotating exhibits throughout the year. On Museum Day, the museum will have free art craft activities for children.

Elverhoj Museum of History & Art Solvang Santa Ynez ValleyThe Elverhøj Museum of History & Art  showcases Solvang’s rich history and the Danish-American pioneer spirit of the town’s founders.  Museum Day events include living history demonstrations throughout the day and interactive activities for all ages.  There will be a panel discussion titled “Themes and Variations.” at 4pm with artists whose work is in the “Original/Multiple” exhibition currently on display in the museum gallery.

Old-Mission-Santa-InesOld Mission Santa Ines Museum, Solvang. Founded in 1804 and now on the National Register of Historic Places, the 19th in the chain of 21 Missions throughout California, Mission Santa Inés proudly possess a collection of paintings, statuary, vestments, manuscripts, and artifacts used in and around the Mission throughout its history.

Hans Christian Anderson Museum Solvang Santa Ynez ValleyHans Christian Andersen Museum, Solvang. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875),  is considered the “father of the modern fairy tale.” “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “The Princess and the Pea” are favorites among his more than 150 tales. The museum, filled to the rafters with copies of Andersen’s books, sketches, silhouettes and memorabilia, is housed in a second story garret above The Book Loft.

Los Alamos Valley Historical Display & Depot Santa Ynez ValleyLos Alamos Valley Historical Display & Depot features exhibits in the vintage T &T Building & Train Depot. Learn about the history behind this western town established by ranchers John Bell and James Shaw  in 1876 as the United States celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Buellton Historical Society History Room,  offers a glimpse into the past of this charming ‘Service Town USA’ and the Buell Ranch. Conveniently located in Andersen’s Pea Soup Restaurant above the gift shop, stop in for a bit of history and a cup of the famous soup!

Santa Ynez Valley Mariott

Make it a midweek rendezvous or a weekend immersion in the Santa Ynez Valley’s Museum Week celebration. Book your stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, making it your home-base for museum exploration perhaps coupled with a bit of world-class wine tasting.

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Loyal Locals Dining ProgramTake advantage of great mid-week rates and join their Loyal Locals Dining Rewards Program offered exclusively by the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. Eat. Drink. Earn rewards. Satisfy your palate and earn points towards dining, overnight stays, discount offers and free gifts each time you dine at the Starting Gate Restaurant, Winner’s Circle Lounge, and Lobby Lounge at the Santa Ynez Marriott.