The Perfect Weekend Getaway

Are you looking for the perfect weekend getaway itinerary? Are you a wine lover who also happens to enjoy escaping the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles? Do you enjoy verdant rolling hills against a cerulean blue, cloudless sky? Do you enjoy knowing where the food you eat is coming from? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above then you’ve come to the right place, er, blog! Keep reading and be advised that this post does include some affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I will receive a nominal commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, I only write about places and products that I truly enjoy and return to.

California’s Central Coast

Most wineries open at 11am, which is why I give myself two hours, give or take, to make my journey north. I usually leave no later than 8:30am from the San Fernando Valley area. This gives me ample time to grab much needed caffeine and make a potty stop, if necessary. I’m always certain to eat a hearty breakfast as I know my weekend getaway will include heavy wine consumption.

The Santa Ynez Valley is home to 120 wineries with approximately 1 million cases of wine being produced each year. Most are family owned and operated, which is what gives this area so much charm. While many call Disneyland their “Happy Place,” the Santa Ynez Valley is mine. Below, I’d like to share a sample itinerary of my idea of the perfect weekend getaway for like minded folk.

Saturday

  • 8:30am – Hit the road to begin the weekend getaway
  • 11am – Signature Wine Tasting reservations at Brick Barn Wine Estate
        • Their 2017 Grenache Noir is fabulous and can be purchased here.
        • The grounds/views are equally as stunning
  • 12:30pm – Lunch at Los Olivos Grocery
        • They have a wonderfully delicious deli located at the back of the store – I order the mediterranean delight veggie sandwich, which never disappoints.
        • They have a great patio area to enjoy your meal al fresco
  • 1:30pm – Wine tasting reservations at Pence Vineyards
        • Ask to walk the property after your tasting. You won’t be disappointed.
  • 3pm – Check into Wine Stone Inn.
        • Make reservations in advance via Booking.com and note, the property is a bit further north of the Santa Ynez Valley but well worth the drive.
  • 4-6pm – Enjoy Happy Hour at the Inn
  • 7pm – Order pizza delivery from Bello Forno
        • Watch the sunset from your top floor balcony while awaiting your wood fired pizza
  • 830pm – Wine down and watch a movie on the in-room Smart TV before snoozing

Sunday

  • 9am – Eat breakfast
        • Don’t forget the caffeine courtesy of the in-room Keurig machine.
  • 11am – Wine Tasting reservations at Folded Hills Ranch
        • Their ranch was once home to a family that made wine in their basement during the prohibition days.
        • Great tasting wines with another tasting room in the coastal town of Montecito.
  • 1pm – Lunch Reservations at SY Kitchen.
        • Don’t skip hearing about the specials but their wild mushroom pappardelle pasta and roasted cauliflower are finger-kissing good.
        • Pair your meal with one of their exquisite wines or well-made cocktails. Their cilantro margarita happens to be one of my faves.
  • 3:30pm – Wine Tasting reservations at Old Creek Ranch Winery
        • If you’re not quite ready to see the weekend getaway come to a close, then make a pit stop at one of the greatest, most relaxing fully outdoor wineries on your way back to Southern California. While not in the Santa Ynez Valley, it’s a lovely reprieve from city life. I hesitate even sharing about it as it’s still quite the #hiddengem.
        • Pro Tip: If it’s a particularly chilly time of year, be sure to reserve one of their fire pits in advance.
  • 5pm – Time to head home as most wineries close.

Wine Tasting by Old Creek Ranch Winery's Fire Pit

As I said, this is just a sample itinerary of weekend getaways I have partaken in. I would like to include a few honorable mentions. If Wine Stone Inn is too far for you, then the Sideways Inn in Buellton is a lovely, convenient stay, just a stone’s throw from Brick Barn and Pence Vineyards.

On the food front, there are so many great restaurants in this area so it would be difficult to only recommend SY Kitchen. Brothers Restaurant at the Red Barn in Santa Ynez and Pico in the quaint small town of Los Alamos are easily favorites of mine. If one is a so-called foodie, one must dine at all of the above at least once in his/her life.

The following are tasting rooms that deserve honorable mention as well:

My goal was to show everyone how accessible great tasting wine is beyond the aisles of your local Trader Joe’s. This itinerary could be condensed into a day trip or an extended stay. I’ve certainly taken a three to four day weekend and enjoyed all that California’s central coast has to offer. And if wine isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to see and do in this part of the great golden state. Stay tuned for more weekend getaway itineraries where I’ll highlight some of those non vino related things to do and see. Until then, never ask why. Ask wine not? Cheers!

Linds Wine Tasting at Bien Nacido's Outdoor Tasting Room in downtown Los Olivos during a Weekend Getaway

 

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