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Country Roads

Take Me Home

Hugged by rolling hills, whether lush and green or warm and golden, there lies a valley that conjures the very idea of home. City dwellers invest in artwork depicting hill-filled landscapes and travel in droves to experience longed-for rural areas on their vacations. Lucky for those who live, work, and recreate here; for us, the Santa Ynez Valley is home.

Our valley’s winding roads thread together a rich fabric of immigrants, settlers, and native-born as we work and live together like an extended family. We greet everyone the same - the gentleman behind the counter, the retired teacher pouring wine, and the celebrity sitting behind us at the steak house. We cherish our deep-rooted connections as we run our errands, in and out of each unique town’s vibrant shops. We hike the breathtaking trails. And as we go about our days, we bask in each town's cultures and delights, experiencing a rich quality of life.

For over a hundred years, Solvang has displayed its Danish style, allowing all to enjoy the look and taste of the culture of Denmark. Amongst the windmills, pastries, and smorgasbords, Valley residents and tourists alike gather to recite poetry, listen to local singer-songwriters, and purchase signed copies of a local writer’s book. Even the Michelin-rated restaurants pay homage to "local" with farm-to-table dishes.

Ballard, a quintessential village of a seemingly bygone era, quietly entreats us to admire 19th-century standing testament to the respect that those who reside in the SYV have for history. Long-time residents remember dining at one of the few tables in the old country store, yet despite modernization, the essence of Ballard’s character remains as if time has stood still. 

Pull-on cowboy boots and mosey on over to Santa Ynez! It is not difficult to imagine those who rode their horses in from the ranch as you take in the Old West facades of the downtown area and everything that Sagunto Street has to offer. Blending equestrian heritage with fine art, boutique shops, and wine, the traditional acts as a complement to the new. 

Los Olivos offers local art, artisan wares, fine foods, and wine for palates of all levels. In the old-fashioned town square, a flagpole marks the center. For residents, it’s a short walk to the country store. Rent an electric bike, pack a picnic basket, and explore the surrounding country roads. 

Los Alamos residents engage in an active, collaborative effort to maintain not only that small-town feel but a lifestyle all their own. A walk through the old cemetery, the taste of Bell's, Pico, Full of Life Flatbed, and so much more, and we know we’re fully immersed in a special community that can only exist in our special corner of the world, that we call home.

Buellton stands firm in its commitment to shape and mold itself into a town residents are proud to call home. Over the years, it has emerged from a stop on the highway to a thriving hub of recreation and culinary delights. Too many freeway stops lose the lifestyle in the process, exchanging small-town values for commerce. However, Buellton offers a vibrant commercial area, yet remains committed to locally-owned wineries, breweries, and restaurants. 

Here in the SYV, the residents have insisted that each town continues to communicate the history, the culture, and the dreams of those who call it home. Ever-evolving, and always diverse, the Valley embraces the differences while savoring the distinct flavors that each community offers. We welcome those who long to experience our charm. Charm them we do but in such a way that retains the individuality of each community yet enhances the lives of its residents.

Our valley's winding roads weave a rich fabric of shared history.