Z Folio Gallery

Penguin Family Blue Turquoise – by Jan Machalek

Amidst the t-shirt, souvenir and trinket shops of Solvang lies a gem – Z Folio Gallery. Hand crafted jewelry and glass and wood art from around the world. The artistic displays are complemented nicely by the over-sized photographic prints which cover the walls. As soon as [...]

Valley Grind

Coffee, coffee, coffee…some days it seems like I cannot get enough Most of my weekdays start off at the Valley Grind in Santa Ynez where I pick up my caffeine to go and head off to work. Chelsey is there to greet me with a smiling face and cheery “Good morning!” and already has my [...]

Sansone Studio Gallery

Joel Sansone in front of his "Stellarscape"

Vitreous enamel on copper is art. Who knew?

Long before Los Olivos turned into the wine tasting room mecca it is today, Joel and Pamela Sansone relocated from the Los Angeles area to turn their passion for art into a full time job. Today, their studio is [...]

The SYV Coffee House Bike Loop

This bike ride is may favorite loop through the Santa Ynez Valley. I have named it the SYV Coffee House Bike Loop simply because it passes by five of the best coffee houses in the Valley, any of which are a great meeting place to start your ride. I have chosen the Valley Grind as [...]

Refugio Road, Santa Ynez CA

Top of Refugio Road – Santa Ynez, CA

So, you’re in the Santa Ynez Valley, you don’t have a lot of time or money but want something active to do where you can experience “The Valley.” My suggestion would be a hike or mountain bike ride up Refugio Road. A few miles past the [...]

Longhorn Coffee Shop

Longhorn Coffee Shop – Santa Ynez, CA

The local hang out for breakfast in Santa Ynez is definitely the Longhorn Coffee Shop on Sagunto Street. Serving up breakfast and lunch daily for nearly 40 years, I think it is safe to characterize this place as one of the best greasy spoon in Southern California. [...]

Nojoqui Falls

Nojoqui Falls – Gaviota, California

Hidden at the back of a box canyon near the Gaviota Pass are the impressive 160 foot Nojoqui Falls. Pronounced NAH-ho-wee, the word is of Chumash origin and means honeymoon place. Water spills over these falls year round but if you can catch the falls after a recent rain [...]

Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern

Brothers Restaurant at Mattei's Tavern – Los Olivos

5/5/12 Update:

Sadly Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern has closed. The old stage coach stop has become a ghost town.

The good news is the brothers have opened a new restaurant literally around the corner at the old Sides Hardware location (Patrick’s Side Street Cafe.) “Sides [...]

Figueroa Mountain Road

California Poppies – Santa Ynez Valley

Spring has sprung in the Santa Ynez Valley. If you enjoy wildflowers the trek up Figueroa Mountain Road is well worth the trip for outstanding views and an abundance of California Poppies and Lupine. Be forewarned, the drive can be steep and windy and you should plan on [...]

Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar

Photo: Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar – Santa Ynez

If it is Mexican food you are craving then Dos Carlitos is a must. Serving the best Mexican food in the Santa Ynez Valley, Dos Carlitos’ dishes feature fresh quality ingredients cooked over an open fire grill that give each entree it’s own delicious [...]