Santa Barbara is the most popular town in the Santa Ynez Valley, but it’s not the only one! While you’re on vacation in Santa Barbara, take a day trip to some nearby cities—the region has plenty to offer for a day out!
Montecito is practically adjacent to Santa Barbara’s eastern side, but it still has a charm all its own. We recommend nature-lovers in particular to take some time to check out our neighbor, who boasts some great retreats that many tourists miss! Butterfly Beach and Miramar Beach are both quite popular with locals, and some of the hikes heading up to the hills give some great views of Santa Barbara! Lotusland is also worth a visit: it’s a series of twenty-five gardens, each distinctively designed, all of them featuring exotic plants. No matter where you’re visiting from, you’ll find something here that you don’t see back home!
Head west on the US 101-N five to ten minutes to arrive at Goleta, a small city of about 30,000 people. Goleta, like any great California town, hosts several golf courses, making it a great trip out for any golf enthusiast. It’s also home to an ice rink, meaning you can skate even in a California summer—for many locals, this is the only place they get to discover the thrill of ice skating! One more reason to visit Goleta: The South Coast Railroad Museum. This tribute to trains and rails is a nice stop for any history buff, as the impact of locomotives on the history of America can hardly be overstated. This museum offers a local focus, helping visitors understand both the sweeping changes and the more intimate impact that the Southern Pacific Railroad had on lives across the country.
There’s no place quite like Solvang—except maybe for Denmark, but the weather’s much nicer here! A small town with heavy Danish influences. The architecture here alone is worth the 40- to 50-minute drive—seeing pictures is nothing like being in the real thing! As the village itself is a tourist attraction, bike rentals are popular for touring the village. For the best experience though, take the Solvang Trolley through the village—it’s a wooden streetcar pulled by beautiful draft horses, and an experience you won’t find anywhere else! Plus, if you’re enamored with the wineries and vineyards of Santa Barbara, then come here to try out some more of the Santa Ynez Valley’s fabulous wines.
All of these are easily accessible from Santa Barbara, CA, so why not take the opportunity to visit them? Check out our properties and set up a vacation that fits you, or call 1-805-275-1851 to learn more. Book a few extra days in one of our rentals and enjoy not only Santa Barbara, but the whole Valley!
Photo By Grandhiking – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18931487