Danish Days in Solvang

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Explore a truly family-friendly mix of tradition and modern Danish culture during Danish Days in Solvang. Experiencing the old-world, authentic charm of Solvang is always a great reason to visit but just in case you need a bit of a nudge, here are 10 reasons to explore Solvang this September 16 – 18!

Add up the fun with us:

  1. The Food! Ever-popular food events highlighting the Aebleskiver – a traditional, fantastically delicious Danish treat.
  2. Danish Style Beer and Wine Garden – Sip imported spirits as well as local offerings.
  3. Viking Encampment – Viking times brought to life through historical reenactments.
  4. Living History Festival – Elverhoj Museum of History & Art presents artisans, craftspeople, storytellers and interactive activities for all ages.
  5. Shopping – an Old World artisanal crafts marketplace and a contemporary Solvang merchant walk.
  6. Parades! The Torchlight Parade – be a part of this beautiful tradition with your own candles, The Children’s Parade – costumes are encouraged, and The Danish Days Parade – the Solvang Village Band, floats, equestrians, Village Dancers and more.
  7. Kid’s Corner – Parents, this is perfect! Snacks, beverages, games and fun in Solvang Park featuring LEGOS and a supervised Play & Rest Area.
  8. Hans Christian Andersen – Young and old alike will enjoy listening to hours of tales from Denmark’s favorite author impersonator.
  9. Concerts! The US Air Force Band of the Golden West, “Galaxy”, the Danish Days Organ Concert, and more.
  10. Danish Days Dinner Dance – a Danish-style barbecue followed by dancing and live music.

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Topping it all off, it’s the 80th anniversary of this Danish time-honored tradition and general admission to Solvang Danish Days is free. Some featured events do charge a minimal admission. There is also an option to  ‘Live Like a Viking’ with the Dane for a Day VIP Package.

Don’t miss this wonderful family opportunity. Book your hotel accommodations for Danish Days soon as availability is very limited during this popular festival. Reserve your room at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott where you will enjoy family-friendly accommodations with the perfect blend of countryside charm and modern amenities.

Skål!

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Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

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

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

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

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

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

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

A mix of countryside charm and modern amenities, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is designed for an unpretentious Santa Barbara wine country escape. Envelope your senses and renew your spirit in the serenity and beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley!

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Plan Your Wedding in the SYV Wine Country

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If you’re reading this blog because you’re recently engaged, congrats! And you’ve found the right place. If you’re reading this blog because you’ve recently been deemed Maid of Honor- good luck. And you’ve also found the right place. Spring has sprung, and it’s brought wedding season along! Planning your special day is exciting but we know it can be stressful too. The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott would love to assist you in making your dreams come true.

Invite your guests to join you in escaping the hustle and bustle of daily life during your wedding weekend. A couple hours north of Los Angeles and just off the 101, the SYV Marriott is easily accessible but also beautifully nestled in Santa Barbara’s wine country.

The rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley make for the perfect wedding backdrop, with our 15,000 square feet of event space perfect for weddings on an intimate or grand scale. We would be honored to host your ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, and any other wedding to-do you desire. The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott offers a multitude of wedding features:

  • Professional wedding team to assist in the planning process
  • Deluxe accommodations for two to hundreds
  • Over 12,000 square feet of wedding and event space
  • Turf Club Ballroom, offering more than 4,000 square feet of space and divisible into three smaller venues
  • Private dining areas available for smaller gatherings including rehearsal dinners and intimate receptions
  • Ballroom with separate entry ideal for grand entrances and quick escapes
  • Spacious pre-reception foyer
  • Complimentary onsite parking
  • Convenient location

Contact our Wedding Specialist here or at (805) 688-1000 to begin planning your California wine country wedding!

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Springtime Fun Santa Ynez Valley Style

Spring In Santa Ynez Valley Ah, yes, springtime has officially arrived in the Santa Ynez Valley! Located in the heart of sunny California’s Wine Country, Santa Ynez Valley must have been in mind when the phrase “the great outdoors” was coined.  From the mountains to the golf courses, SYV is the perfect destination for your springtime getaway.

Did someone say golf? (We did.)

Santa Ynez Valley plays home to two world-class golf courses, Rancho San Marcos and Sandpiper Golf Club. Both offer a challenging, championship-caliber round whilst being set on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Sandpiper Golf Club was built in 1972 and features rolling fairways, challenging greens, and has been rated by Golf Digest in the top twenty-five public golf courses in the country.  Take advantage of our Sandpiper Golf Club Stay and Play Package which includes: deluxe guest room accommodations, green fee, cart fee, drive practice tee, and Titleist rental sets that are readily available.

Rancho San Marcos offers a par 71 and 6,939 yards of pure California bliss, exuding elegance and exclusivity that only private clubs extol. Enjoy our Rancho San Marcos Stay and Play Package that includes deluxe accommodations for two at the SYV Marriot, breakfast for two at Starting Gate Restaurant, 18 holes of golf for two with cart fee included, and Titleist golf club rental upon request.

If golfing isn’t your thing, the SYV also offers parks that are not only beautiful but also historic!

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park offers some of the last remaining art of the Chumash Native Americans. Located in the shadows of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the sandstone walls of the cave are believed to date back to the 1600s and earlier. For your more classic park adventures, such as swimming, picnicking, surf fishing, and camping, you’ll want to check out Gaviota State Park! The park also plays home to the Gaviota Peak that offers views of the coast and the Channel Islands.

Lastly, you’ll want to check out this extensive list of wineries located in Santa Ynez Valley that will surely quench your thirst for some of the finest wine in the world.

When searching for a Santa Ynez Valley hotel, look no further than SYV Marriot. A place where business meets pleasure, where your senses are indulged and your spirit is renewed, a place where your most pressing decision is shiraz or chardonnay. A mix of countryside charm and modern amenities, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is designed for an unpretentious Santa Barbara wine country escape. Envelope your senses and renew your spirit in the serenity and beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley.

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Holiday Events in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley California

Christmas in Solvang CAThe Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang CA offer a delightful assortment of things to do during the holiday season for families, couples and even independent travelers looking for solo adventure.  Explore our holiday event guide for ideas on things to do in Solvang and where to celebrate in Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang, California during the holidays of 2014.

Key to Wine Country – December 5 – 7th

Unlock unique and exclusive experiences in Santa Barbara Wine Country this holiday season.  Hosted by the Santa Barbara Vintners, the Key to Wine Country is like a wine tasting passport giving you special offers and deals at 38 participating wineries and 10 restaurants throughout Santa Barbara County December 5th through 7th.

Solvang Julefest Parade – December 6, 2014 – 11am  

Cozy up with the family and a thermos of hot cocoa in downtown Solvang for this traditional Danish Julefest parade.

Wildling Holiday Marketplace – December 6th

Mark off some items on your holiday shopping list with unique gifts from local Santa Ynez artisans at the Wildling Holiday Marketplace.  Customize your gifts at the art activity station while the kids get their faces’ painted.  The Holiday Marketplace is open from 12pm to 5pm on December 6, 2014.  Find out more at the Wildling Museam website.

Buellton Winter Fest Celebration – December 7th

An all-day spectacular, the city of Buellton invites you to start the day with breakfast with Santa from 9am to noon at the Buellton Rec Center or come in the afternoon for concerts, cookies and cocoa from 4:30 – 6pm. In the evening from 4:30 to 8pm, wander the neighborhood block party on the Avenue of Flags, sampling from food trucks, enjoying beer, wine and spirits from vendors and playing in twenty tons of snow. The Mobile Light Parade will start at 6 pm and the Buellton Christmas Tree Lighting at 7 pm.

Holiday Wine Walk – December 13th and 14th

2014’s Julefest Holiday Wine Walk is a 2-day wine and beer tasting passport at a dozen wine tasting rooms in Solvang.  Tickets are available through the Solvang Visitors Bureau.

Nativity Pageant – Saturday, December 13th

Treat your family to a Christmas classic with the “Christmas Story” as it comes to life in the Nativity Pageant at the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater.  Actors in traditional costumes, live animals on stage, a choir and the outdoor setting make this performance unique and fun for the entire family.  Performances are at 5pm and 7pm at 420 Second Street.  They are free and are on a first come first seated basis.

New Year’s Eve Revelry at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott

SYV Marriott’s Special Offers

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Putting Roots Down – Fall Events in SYV

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

Fall Events in SYV

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Cheese, please! A Guide to Artisan Cheese in Santa Ynez Valley

Beyond the rolling hills of California wine country, there’s a lot of happiness spreading thanks to artisan cheese farms and shops popping up across California. A perfect match to the region’s first love, wine, the specialty of craft of artisan cheese is entering a new era in Santa Ynez Valley.

Image via matchmywine.com

Image via matchmywine.com

Artisan Cheese in Santa Ynez Valley

So what exactly is “artisan” cheese?
Artisan cheese is made by hand, using the craftsmanship skills of traditional cheese makers. It is the old-school, slow, small-scale creation of cheese.

What makes artisan cheese special?
Each artisan cheese undergoes a specific aging and ripening process in order to achieve certain aesthetics including a more developed flavor and texture. As a result, the cheeses are more complex in their taste and variety, reflecting the environment they were produced in.

Where in Santa Ynez Valley can the trend be found?
A number of businesses, including the recently opened Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company are proud carriers of artisan cheese. Here are just a few of Santa Ynez Valley’s best options:

Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company
If you’re not a cheese lover yet, owners Russ and Kristin Collins promise to make you one by the time you leave their newly opened shop! Located in downtown Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company is a new favorite among locals. Currently selling artisan cheese and cured meats, the Collins family has plans to one day produce and sell their own brand of artisan cheese thanks in large part to their own herd of sheep.
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Follow SYV Cheese Company on Facebook and read more about their journey here.

Los Olivos Grocery
The Los Olivos Grocery store is perhaps one of the best kept secrets when it comes to artisan cheese in Santa Ynez Valley. Offering an array of cheeses from around the world, the grocery store also has a cheese course available to teach you everything you need to know on how to become a connoisseur.
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The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is thrilled to play host to your California foodie adventures. From wine to cheese, our staff is prepared to help you plan the perfect outings to experience the taste of Santa Ynez Valley. Book our Santa Ynez Valley Grapeline Wine Tour Package for a carefree day in the Santa Ynez Valley hosted by a wine country insider, room accommodations and lots of foodie extras upon arrival in your room.

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Craft Beer in Santa Ynez Valley

For the past month, the Santa Ynez Valley has been engulfed in the merry, yeast-filled celebration otherwise known has Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer Month. Perhaps most celebrated for its wine-soaked hills, the towns of SYV have increasingly become known as a place for artisan brews, flight tastings and craft brew festivals as well. Craft Beer Month is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean pint glasses need be put away for the next 11 months.

Here’s a quick guide to experiencing and enjoying craft beer in Santa Ynez Valley:

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SYV Beer Trail Map – When on a mission, it’s always best to have a game plan. The Santa Ynez Valley Beer Trail Map is the perfect one-stop shop for planning all your brewing adventures. Created by VisitSYV.com, the map gives the lay of the land with breweries, brew shops and more, broken down by town. Download your free map today.

 

 

Solvang Brewing Company – Located in Solvang, the “Danish Capital of America,” Solvang Brewing Company is where Danish tradition, craft beer and delicious food come together. With deep roots in the community, including one founding owner who is a fourth generation Solvang born Dane, local pride is a staple here. They brewing company also recently won a Gold Medal in the San Diego International Beer Festival competition.

Valley Brewers – Everything you need for DIY libations, Valley Brewers specializes in home brew, wine and cheese making supplies.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. – Run by a father/son team, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. has an affinity for top tier beers, particularly those that showcase the unique flavors of the Santa Ynez Valley. Their beers have one numerous awards at the Denver International Beer Competition, Los Angeles International Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and World Beer Championships to name a few. Stop in at their Buellton taproom or Los Olivos tasting room for firsthand experiences!

Firestone Walker Brewing Company – A three time Great American Beer Festival winner and 4 time World Beer Cup champion, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is serious about creating quality brews. The company has come a long way from its first days as a small brewery and now serves the entire Central Coast region of California. For those wanting to learn the ins and outs of their processes, complimentary, guided tours of their brew house and cellar are offered daily.

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe – Captured in the Oscar-award winning film, Sideways, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe has been a must-stop for wine, beer and food lovers since its opening in 1995. Lunch and dinner menus are updated seasonally to capture the tastes of the central Californian coast and beer and wine tastings are available daily until 5 pm.

easyJackFirestoneWalker1Journeys can be taxing – which is why the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott invites you to relax inside our comfortable, spacious walls before, during and after your trip down the SYV Beer Trail. Sleeping in won’t be difficult thanks to our Marriott Revive beds and complimentary wireless Internet, over-sized work desks, sofas, easy chairs and mini-refrigerators mean the comforts of home are never too far away. And even if you don’t make it through the brew map, local favorites including Firestone Walker Brewing and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. are available on-site in our Winner’s Circle LoungeBook your trail-blazing stay now!

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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! For more information about SYV Marriott’s event space, view the event space diagram.
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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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