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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Planning a Meeting in the Santa Ynez Valley

Whether escaping hectic Los Angeles or crossing the country, business retreats although a fabulous idea, can seem daunting to plan. Among the quiet, rolling hills of California wine country though, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott awaits with mountains of inspiration. Here’s our list of all you need to know for planning a meeting in the Santa Ynez Valley.

7 Reasons to Plan a Meeting at Santa Yenz Valley Marriott

Location, location, location: Just over 2 hours from Los Angeles, Santa Ynez Valley sits in the heart of California wine country. The property is located 45 minutes from Santa Barbara, conveniently accessible from California’s Hwy 101.

IMG_4534-banquetSpace galore – From intimate to extravagant, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott has meeting and event space for every type of group. Over 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting and conference space spreads across the property including ballrooms, outdoor pavilions and banquet rooms. Plan a social hour with Santa Ynez Valley as your backdrop on the Outdoor Garden Pavilion and celebrate your team’s achievements in the Turf Club Ballroom!
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Help in planning and executing– Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is more than ready to help with any and all meeting needs! Thanks to professionally accredited, on-site Certified Meeting Planners, who are experienced in coordinating event agendas from executive retreats to full-scale, multi-faceted events for hundreds, you can rest easy. Our award-winning, Certified Meeting Planners are professionally trained to deliver attentive service from inception to execution of your event and our team will be on hand to assist with technology needs, décor and guest accommodations.

IMG_4593-fruit-bev-station2Meal time is always a good time: Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s on-site culinary team delivers thoughtful menus that can be customized for any budget or event-style. Our Starting Gate Restaurant, Lobby Lounge and in-room dining are also perfect options for individual, down-time meals.

All the business perks: High-speed Internet access, on-site audio-visual services, 24-hour business center and boarding print station will assure your meetings go according to plan from start to finish. And if that’s not enough, our team will be on site to assist for any and all questions or issues.

Down-time fun: There’s plenty of ways to relax after your meeting. Santa Ynez Valley Marriott amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, heated pool, sun deck, tennis court, racquetball court and game room. Spa services include massage therapy and facial treatments and the Finish Line Hair Design offers an intimate and modern salon experience, specializing in precision haircutting and modern color techniques.
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Adventure all around: The small-town charm of SYV will come to life with visits to neighboring towns like Solvang and Los Alamos. California’s natural beauty is also up for grabs with national parks and beaches at every turn. Book a wine or cycling tour. Whatever your interests, Santa Ynez Valley has something for everyone.


screenshot-by-nimbusThere’s never been a better time to get away! Plan the next chapter of your business with crisp California air above you and the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott staff all around you. From beginning to end, we promise to put the skills that earned Santa Ynez Valley Marriott a 2013 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, to very good use. For more information, please visit our meetings and events page.

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Guide to Outdoor Fun in the Santa Ynez Valley

As spring unfolds, it’s inevitable that warm-weather getaways and summer vacation are increasingly on the brain. Seated in the heart of California’s wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley is certainly no stranger to California’s thrilling outdoor activities. From easy-going to adventure-seeking, when the great outdoors call, here’s where we answer.

Outdoor Fun in the Santa Ynez Valley:

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park 
Some of the finest remaining art of the Chumash Native Americans, these cave paintings are located in the shadows of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Adorning the sandstone walls of a cave, it’s believed that the art dates back to the 1600s and earlier. Be prepared for a steep path that leads to the cave entrance.

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Gaviota State Park
Located on Highway 101, the park is a popular spot for swimming, picnicking, surf fishing, camping – and if you’re feeling especially ambitious – climbing Gaviota Peak for views of the coast and the Channel Islands. 37 of the beach’s 39 camping spaces can now be reserved for summer dates.

La Purisima Golf Course la_purisima
This 18-hole championship course, designed by world-renowned architect Robert Muir Graves, is the perfect place to spend the day. Combine the experience of playing a course that’s equal parts challenging and beautiful with Santa Ynez’s spectacular weather and you have a match made in golf heaven. Welcoming everyone from PGA pros to amateur hopefuls, it’s easy to see why the course has twice received a 4 1/2 star score from readers of Golf Digest.


Nojoqui Falls Park 
A short trail leads to the secluded Nojoqui Falls – a 100 foot waterfall. Ideal for a quiet afternoon retreat, the falls are best viewed after a rain, but are available to visit any time of year. Picnic tables, barbecue grills, ball fields, hiking trails and a playground deem the park a true family affair.

Alisal 
The Alisal Ranch boasts two 18-hole championship golf courses – Ranch Course and River Course – each with a distinct terrain and personality. Offering a variety of golf services from practice facilities and professional instruction to tournament package plans and a fully stocked pro shop, Alisal is serious about making the most of your time on the green.


stelprdb5363661Figueroa Mountain 

Often referred to as Figueroa Lookout, this summit is accessible by car, though some prefer an active bike ride to the top! Upon reaching the 4,000 foot high point, visitors are greeted with a panoramic view of the San Rafael Wilderness and the Santa Ynez Valley that is, in a word, breathtaking.

In the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is passionate about tailoring the great outdoors to your specific stay. Relax with poolside dining and fire pits under the night sky or choose to get active with one of our Stay and Play Golf or Biking packages. No matter your speed, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is thrilled to make California’s magnificent natural beauty a part of your SYV experience.

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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.

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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.

©2011 Red Square, Inc. —-
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.

 

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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History of the Santa Ynez Valley

You don’t have to be in the Santa Ynez Valley long before realizing that this is a special place. The nature is picturesque, the weather practically perfect and the pastimes, like bike riding, wine tasting and general life celebrating, are simply everyday events. Yet underneath those present day realities thrums a rich history of foreign culture and westward expansion that has shaped the valley into what is today.

Here’s a glance into the history of the Santa Ynez Valley.

The towns that make up the Santa Ynez Valley were established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Ballard in 1881, Santa Ynez in 1882, Los Olivos in 1887, Solvang in 1911 and Buellton in 1920) and as each unique town formed, a new culture arrived in SYV.

Solvang Santa Ynez Valley

Danish-American settlers brought their old world to a very new, undeveloped California in the early 1800s, creating a rich mix of the two in the town of Solvang. Danish for “sunny field,” Solvang remains a European treasure in the heart of California wine country complete with windmills overhead and a replica of Copenhagen’s Round Tower in the town center. Many of the town’s shops and restaurants, including Mortensen’s, Greenhouse Café and the Red Viking Restaurant, provide a taste of the old world while other Danish traditions including the Danish language, folk dancing, music and festivals keep the traditions alive. While in town, visit the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Museum to put the finishing touches on your Danish cultural experience.

Starting in 1858, the Overland Coast Line Stagecoach helped grow the Santa Ynez Valley as it ran from San Francisco to Los Olivos and then on to Los Angeles, San Diego and finally Yuma, Arizona. As people traveled the line, economic activity poured into the towns making them true pictures of the West complete with saloons, blacksmiths and mercantile stores. Then, in 1887 the Pacific Coast Railroad helped bring more growth to the area by making it easier to transport large farming tools necessary for the area’s growing agricultural society.

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An ideal climate for crops, the area first thrived with cattle and sheep as well as the growing of olives, peaches, walnuts, prunes, apples and cherries. At the time of Prohibition, roughly 500 acres of the valley were used for vineyards. It took nearly four decades after the repeal for the area’s wine culture to regenerate, but today nearly 20% of the valley’s land is under vines.

For a complete history lesson, stop by the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Parks- Janeway Carriage House next time you are in the area. And when you do, be sure to take the historical journey in style with the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s Escape! Wine Transportation Package. Complete with a four-hour town car tour, three buy-one-get-one-free wine tasting passes at local wineries and deluxe accommodations at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, we think you’ll agree – it’s the ideal way to experience the best of both the past and present in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Sources:
SantaYnezMuseum.com
LosOlivosCa.com
FirestoneWine.com

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Santa Ynez Valley Family Getaways

There’s something special about the days that stretch between Christmas and New
Years – rare moments with families home from work and school. It’s also the perfect time for a quick trip!

In this neck of the woods, wine-getaways are the tried and true option, but among the region’s rolling vineyards, a few quirky neighbors offer the makings of a perfect Santa Ynez Valley family getaway. Whether your calendar lets you skip town for a few days or a few hours, these family-friendly trips will make the most of your time in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Family Fun in Santa Ynez Valley

Quicksilver Ranch qslogo
The universal rule that everything is cuter in miniature form comes to life at Quicksilver Ranch. Few people know that SYV carries the nickname, “Kentucky of the West,” but this ranch lives up to the label by inviting visitors to visit their miniature horses up-close. Gentle, mild-mannered and patient, these miniature hosts will be the perfect company for an afternoon in the sun-soaked hills of Santa Ynez Valley.

Lavender Farms
While the Santa Ynez Valley is dotted with lavender fields, Clairmont Lavender Farms is one of the few that actually invites visitors to peruse its fields and picnic on its lush, sweetly-scented grounds. A family-owned farm, Clairmont is five acres of sun-soaked Grosso lavender and 300 year-old oak trees. Also, their essential oil, lavender based personal care products and homemade soaps are all organically made and available for purchase in the farm’s shop.

Seein’ Spots Farm
A family-owned farm in Santa Ynez Valley, Seein’ Spots Farm became famous in recent years for Zeyore, a donkey-zebra cross. Otherwise filled with miniature donkeys (yes, you read that right) that are never more than 36 inches tall, the farm is a barnyard delight. Also, originally an apple farm, the land still holds over 800 apple trees that can be picked from late August to November. Loyal, sweet and affectionate, the miniature donkeys welcome visitors of all sizes into their petting areas and encourage the smallest of these to take part in the farm’s kiddie rides.

Ostrich Land USA
If miniature horses and donkeys (or even a zonkey) aren’t tempting enough, perhaps Ostrich Land USA is calling your name. The ostriches and emus that parade the property are available for visiting, feeding and petting. Bonus: the lush land that they roam is reminiscent of their natural habitats, lulling in you into the feeling that you’re on safari. The site’s shop also sells intriguing keepsakes including ostrich and emu egg shells, emu oils, feather dusters and ostrich meat
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Hike in Los Padres National Forest
Mountains, streams, rivers and beaches – Los Padres National Forest holds beauty that will take your breath away. Stretch your legs and let yourself wander some of California’s natural sites as you take one of the park’s numerous day hikes. While most campsites are closed for winter, this is one place to bookmark for warmer weather romps.

Nojoqui Falls Park
A short trail walk away, Nojoqui Falls is a secluded 100-foot waterfall fit for a quiet afternoon retreat. The falls are viewed best after rain, but are available to visit any time of year. Pack a lunch, blanket, board games and books to make an afternoon of it!Nojoqui-Entrance

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is the perfect home-base for your California adventures. WhenIMG_4688-fireplace you return from a hike at the falls or a picnic in lavender fields, relax with a book and glass of wine next to our fireplace or take a dip in the heated pool before meeting your family for dinner at our Starting Gate Restaurant.

No matter the size of your clan or length of your stay, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is ready to help you get away with those you love the most.

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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://syvmarriott.com.

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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A Wine and Cheese Pairing How-to for the Holidays

Santa Ynez Valley Style

The holidays are upon us which most likely means you’re at least two drafts into guest lists and menus for an upcoming festivus get-together. Here in the Santa Ynez Valley, we love a good wine and believe, as tradition tells, that there are few better things to pair it with than cheese. We’ve created a mini pairing how-to for holiday events and even threw in a few beer options to ensure you’re covered when it comes to family and friends and their spirit of choice.

A wine and cheese pairing party by Alchemy Fine Events.

A wine and cheese pairing party by Alchemy Fine Events.

A few basic wine pairing principles:

Go White
When it comes to wine and cheese pairings, people tend to think red, but truth be told, white is where it’s at. As local winery, Bridlewood Estate Winery and Laura Werline, an award-winning author and authority on cheese, share, “Compared to reds, white wines, like Chardonnay, work better with most cheeses. Most people don’t like to hear this, but I promise you, it’s true.” The lack of tannins (textural elements like grape seeds, grape skins and oak that make wine taste dry) along with white wine’s lively acidity usually make it the better choice.

If Red, Go Light or Old
Just in case you insist, No way, no how can I go through the holidays without a glass of red wine – may we suggest you look for a lighter, older one? A light, low-tannin wine like a Beaujolais is a great choice. Just make sure to pick one that has had time to age because (vino nerd-alert) tannins mellow over time.

Pair like with like
Just as when you plan a meal and pair lighter wines with lighter foods and heavier wines with heavier foods, so too, light cheeses like goat cheese, tend to pair nicely with a crisper, lighter wine. The rule also applies to beer and cheese: pair mild with mild and intense with intense.

Pair From the Same Region
When in doubt, make this your go-to trick.

Salty with Sweet
A winning combo in all fields of food, the salty taste of a blue cheese and even some washed rind cheeses beautifully balance the sweetness of dessert wines.

Rich and Creamy with Bubbles
Champagne or any sparkling wine paired with a rich, creamy cheese is a great pleasure – and that’s what the holidays are for, right?

 

A few brew & wine pairing cheat sheets:

Image via matchmywine.com

Image via matchmywine.com

Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, and the American Dairy Association (ADA) partnered to create a simple guide (originally found at BeerAdvocate.com):
Sharp Cheddar with Pale Ale
Feta with Wheat Beer
Mascarpone with Fruit Beer
American Cheese with Pilsner
Colby with Brown Ale
Gorgonzola with Barleywine
Gruyére with Bock Beer
Swiss Cheese with Octoberfest Beer
Parmesan with Amber Lager

Wisconsin Cheese has two brilliant and easy online pairing tools that allow the user to pick a wine, beer or cheese which the tools then match to a smorgasbord of pairing options: Cheese Cupid
Wisconsin Cheese Pairing Tool

 

Thanksgiving Buffets in Santa Ynez
Santa Ynez Valley Marriott loves to entertain and this Thanksgiving, we welcome you into our home. Reserve you and your family’s places at our Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet now and let the worry of feast-making to-dos disappear. Our Starting Gate restaurant will be preparing a chef-carved turkey, prime rib of beef, baked ham, poached salmon, jumbo shrimp, a pasta bar, a variety of Mediterranean and local salads and delicious desserts. Reservations are required, so please call (805) 688-1000 to reserve a table. For more information, visit us at syvmarriott.com.

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