Santa Ynez

The Santa Ynez Valley is a picturesque area with rolling hills and valleys that is tucked behind the coastal city of Santa Barbara. It is located in Santa Barbara County, and lies between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Rafael Mountains to the north. The Santa Ynez River runs through the fertile valley. Several small communities clustered together make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The vintage township of Santa Ynez has a population of approximately 5,000 people. Noted for its period-style false-front building facades housing shops, saloons, feed stores, galleries and random horses hitched to posts, it is definitely a sophisticated cowboy town. Crosswalks in the streets are embedded with horse-shoes. A variety of restaurants serve up everything from casual burgers, pancakes, and waffles, to steaks, seafood, regional Italian fare, Latin fusion and locavore cuisine. The Chumash Casino Resort is adjacent to the township with 24/7 gaming, live entertainment, dining and a luxurious hotel. Old Santa Ynez Day is celebrated every June with a street fair, parade and country-western entertainment. Cyclists gravitate to Santa Ynez as well for a world-class training center, tours or just the chance to ride a bike along serene country roads.