Nestled on California’s gorgeous Central Coast, the Santa Ynez Valley is a destination for any season, but spring and a warm break from the Colorado snow is on my mind. While we still have a few ski weekends on the books, I’m anxiously mapping out a few warm, weekend getaways to wine country, including the Santa Ynez Valley wine country.

Also known as the wine country of Santa Barbara County, the Santa Ynez Valley (Ynez is pronounced ee-NEZ) is barely two hours from Los Angeles and a scenic four-hour drive from San Francisco. It’s home to 100 wineries, a culinary scene steeped in the farm-to-table movement, endless outdoors opportunities, and a rich arts and culture scene. Making the Santa Ynez Valley wine country getaway one to sip back and enjoy. I may need to plan for longer than a weekend…

The mild coastal climate that nourishes the Santa Ynez Valley’s world-class vineyards and wines typically bring blue skies and temperatures that push into the 70s. The weather is perfect for people like myself who are slowly emerging from the winter chill. The weather is ideal for a morning hike through blooming wildflowers, a horseback ride through the rolling terrain, a cycling adventure along idyllic country roads, or a quiet picnic in a vineyard while savoring the latest vintage.

That’s another thing, in the spring, the Valley offers tastes of the newest vintages and varietals from the region’s wineries — more than 100 in all. Calling all wine lovers!!!

If you’re planning a visit to the Santa Ynez Valley or just want to check out some more ideas on things to do, take a peek at this new resource for creating a personalized itinerary to the Santa Ynez Valley. The tool is fairly useful as it automatically sorts through thousands of activity options at the click of a button, helping you to plan your itineraries and identify activities you might not be aware of otherwise.

A few spring activities that look like good pairings for me include those that celebrate the food, wine, and unforgettable experiences of the region, including…

  • 27th Annual Taste of Solvang (March 13-17): The area’s bakers, chefs, brewers, and winemakers come together for an immersive Danish-inspired gourmet event.
  • Buellton Wine and Chili Festival (March 17): Enjoy amazing chili, salsa, wine, and beer while soaking in the atmosphere.
  • Vineyard Easter egg hunts (April 20-21): Held at vineyards throughout the region, families share the holiday with egg hunts in a setting unlike anywhere else.
  • Santa Barbara Vintners Festival and Wine Country Weekend (May 2-6): In its 37th year, the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival offers food, live music, and new releases from more than 70 wineries.
  • Eighth Annual Buellton Beer Fest (May 4): A day of revelry, with craft beers from more than 50 breweries, as well as wineries, spirits, and live entertainment.
  • Los Olivos Jazz and Olive Festival (June 8): Sample from 30 local wineries or taste olive-themed dishes prepared by local chefs, while listening to world-class jazz musicians.

Now, to set my dates. Book the flight and the babysitter… Have you been to the Santa Ynez Valley wine country? What are some of the things you recommend doing?