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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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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Film Guide to Santa Ynez Valley

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

Scene It – Movies filmed in beautiful Santa Ynez Valley

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Book your glamorous, cinema stay now.

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10 Reasons to Plan a Wedding in the Santa Ynez Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Say ‘I do’ at Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. Wedding packages, menu options, and guest room information are all available at SYVMarriott.com.

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Romantic Dates in the Santa Ynez Valley

The Santa Ynez Valley has all the makings of a romantic date – lush, rolling hills beneath your feet, sweet sunshine above your head and wineries, small towns and nature-escapes all around. Now that the scenery has done half the work, here are eight ideas for romantic dates in Santa Ynez Valley.

Romance in the Santa Ynez Valley

Couples massage at Santa Ynez Valley Marriott – Unwind with your loved one by letting the hotel’s Natural Balance massage therapist work the worries right out of your muscles. The hotel offers a bounty of options including deep tissue massages that last 50 or 80 minutes.

450px-Nojoqui_FallsPicnic at Nojoqui Falls Park – Pack a picnic complete with blanket, wine and games and take the short hike to Nojoqui Falls. The sound of the water and the experience of being secluded in the park will make the afternoon one to remember.

Glider Ride – Take a scenic flight with Windhaven Glider Rides and have your breath taken away by California’s natural beauty. Climbing 2,500 feet above the lower ridges of the Santa Ynez Coastal Mountain Range, you’ll see views of Lake Cachuma and the Santa Barbara Coastline.

Visit Solvang – As you soak in the Danish ambiance of this Santa Ynez Valley town, you’ll wonder if you’re even actually in California. Meander underneath windmills and in and out of  the town’s unique shops, art galleries, restaurants and bakeries  – and don’t forget to stroll the gardens of the Santa Ynez Mission!

Bike Tours – From strenuous workout to relaxing jaunt, the Santa Ynez Valley offers a bounty of bike tour options. Whichever you choose, beautiful backdrops will surround you as the wind whips past your face and you soak in some rays. Many bike companies also offer a wine tasting/ bike combo, which, after a workout never sounds like a bad idea.

13924312-a-couple-on-a-horse-rideWine Tasting & Horseback Riding Tour – If bike rides aren’t your idea of a romantic date, maybe horseback tours are. With many tours to choose from, you can even combine the outing with a wine tasting and gourmet lunch – because that’s just what we do in the Santa Ynez Valley.

 

Wine Fantasy in February – The Santa Ynez Valley never has a shortage of wine events. In February, take advantage of the four-day event, Wine Fantasy, that includes 15 wine tastings and the opportunity to meet the area’s wine makers and winery owners.  The event stretches over Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend, make your getaway plans now!

5sideways_picnic-smSideways Tour – If you’re both cinema fans, retrace the story of the movie Sideways! 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Oscar-award winning film and Santa Ynez Valley plans to celebrate all year. From stops at boutique wineries to meals at the exact restaurants, let the story come to life as you follow Miles and Jack’s steps. There’s even a map to do just that.

Romantic dates in Santa Ynez Valley may be easy to come by, but a great place to stay can be hard to find. At the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, we’d like to think that we’re experts at both. While planning your romantic Santa Ynez Valley date, be sure to book the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Romance Package, complete with deluxe overnight accommodations for two, a bottle of champagne or wine upon arrival and breakfast buffet for two at our Starting Gate Restaurant.
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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.

S’moresFest!
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 http://www.syvmarriott.com/santa-ynez-valley-holiday-events.

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.

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Romance in the Santa Ynez Valley

Surprise your loved one with the gift of wine country romance…cupid approved!

Santa Ynez Valley MariottThe enchanting Santa Ynez Valley, celebrated for its world-class vineyards and wineries, miles of rolling hills, gnarled oaks, blue skies, innovative cuisine and artistic treasures, is the ideal destination for an intimate romantic getaway.

We’ve gathered some fresh ideas for you and your valentine to explore in and around the bountiful Santa Ynez Valley.

Your Santa Ynez Valley romantic adventure awaits…

Santa Ynez  Valley Marriott Valentine's Day Dinner“Share the Love” Valentine’s Dinner, February 14th at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott
A fabulous four course gourmet dinner served in the elegant Jockey Club includes:
Amuse Bouche & Salad Course
Lobster Tail with Newberg Sauce or
Filet Mignon with Balsamic Syrup and Goat Cheese or
Portebello Napoleon
Dessert First seating 6pm ~ Last seating 9pm, $80 per couple, plus tax, Reservations are suggested – 805.688.1000

A Wine Fantasy in February 

A Wine Fantasy in February Santa Ynez ValleySanta Ynez Valley’s most popular wine tasting passport event, taking place this year February 15 – 18. With passport in tow, visit 15 world class winery tasting rooms located in Los Olivos, Solvang, Buellton and Santa Ynez, over the four-day weekend. This is a stellar opportunity to discover new wines and revisit old favorites. On Saturday, each tasting room will be serving catered hors d’ourves and you will have the opportunity to meet many of the vinters and owners. Take home a signature logo glass along with your memories. Passports are $45 and available online. Buy your passports early, as this event will sell out!  Designated driver tickets are available for $10 each and include soft beverages and hors ‘dourves on Saturday.

 

Valentine’s Day Dinner 

Firestone Winery Los OlivosJoin Winemaker Paul Warson at the Firestone Winery in Los Olivos as he guides you through a thoughtfully constructed cocoa themed menu paired with award winning wines. February 16, 6:00-9:00pm, Wine club members:$60,  Non-members $75. Tickets will go fast, so please RSVP to tastingroom@firestonewine.com.

 

 

The Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure

Garagiste2013SYVlogo-215x300Cutting-edge Wine Making without the Rules! A non-profit festival featuring 30 of Santa Ynez Valley’s signature high-quality, small-production, artisan winemakers, all pouring under one roof on February 16th, in Solvang. This is an unprecedented event combing personal winemaker interaction and renegade spirit. Showcasing high-quality, cutting-edge, small production, commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,200 cases a year, the one-day festival begins at 11:00 AM with “The Ultimate Barrel Tasting – Oak Flavors Tasted and Explained”  seminar. Winemaker and vineyard owner Michael Larner, of the renowned Larner Vineyard, and winemaker Ryan Render, of Rendarrio Vineyards and cooperage Tonnellerie Saint Martin, bring their knowledge of viticulture, winemaking, and barrels to the table. Attendees will learn (and taste) how different oak treatments – from type to region to toast – can affect the finished product and change the profile of a single wine.  Grand Tasting runs from 2 PM – 5 PM. VIP All Access Pass:  $80 per person, Grand Tasting – $50 per person. Tickets available online.

 

Valentines Carriage rides in SolvangValentine's Day Carriage Rides Solvang Relax with your Valentine! The 30 minute horse drawn carriage ride includes: Wine-tasting at a local winery (21 and over only), a rose for your sweetheart, a handcrafted fudge-art heart piece with your names on it and dessert or coffee drink at Solvang Trolley Ice Cream Parlor.

 

If you are looking for an even more adventurous romantic plan…

bike-tourWine tasting series on bike. Why not combine cycling the beautiful scenery with great wine and food to create the perfect valley experience. Local operations are custom-tailored and day tours can include a romantic gourmet picnic lunch within the wine tasting and cycling routes.


wine-taste-horsebackWine tasting series on horseback
. Local stables offer horseback riding and wine tasting tours in the gorgeous Santa Ynez Valley. The scenery is breathtaking, and what more romantic way to travel from vineyard to vineyard than on horseback with your loved one?

Nijoqui Falls Santa Ynez Valley

Take a hike and a picnic at Nojoqui Falls. The Nojoqui Falls Park has a short trail to gaze at the falls in a gorgeous outdoor setting. The park has plenty of places to enjoy a picnic for two after you’ve taken in all the beautiful scenery.

 

 Santa Ynez Valley Romance Package

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Romance Package Searching for that memorable gift for your someone special? Combine one or more of the fantastic local Santa Ynez adventures with a romantic stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott.

Celebrate your love with a romance-filled escape that includes:
A bottle of champagne or wine upon arrival, roses and truffles, and deluxe overnight accommodations for two.
Also includes your choice of: sumptuous breakfast buffet for two featuring cooked to order omelets at the Starting Gate Restaurant or breakfast for two in bed from room service. Why not pair your overnight stay with the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s  “Share the Love” Valentine’s Dinner on February 14th.

SYVMarriott-Valentines-2013-adMake this Valentine’s celebration one to remember!

 

 

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