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 [...]

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 [...]

Windhaven Glider Rides

Photo: Dad and Maria at Windhaven Glider Rides – Santa Ynez

If you want a completely unique experience while you are in the Santa Ynez Valley then make your way over to the Santa Ynez Airport, just off Highway 246, and check out Windhaven Glider Rides. What better way to view the Valley than [...]

Performance Fitness

Photo: Performance Fitness – Solvang

If you are anything like my brother Jim and his family then it does not matter that you are on vacation, you still need to get in a good workout. If the gym at your hotel is lacking the gear, or maybe there is no gym at all, then [...]