Santa Ynez Valley at a GlanceSotheby's International Realty
The Santa Ynez Valley is located about 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara, between the Santa Ynez and Rafael mountains. The Santa Ynez Valley is home to many world-renown vineyards and wineries as well as recognized horse breeding ranches. Other local attractions include the majestic Los Padres National Forest, beautiful Lake Cachuma, ideal for fishing and camping, Old Mission Santa Inez, golf courses, and the historic Carriage House museum that depicts relics of when Santa Ynez's past as a stage coach stop. Santa Ynez Valley real estate includes luxury homes and equestrian properties.There are many small communities that comprise the Santa Ynez Valley. Ballard is the Valley's oldest community. This charming town located 3 miles north of Solvang is known for its historic two-room red brick school, which is still in use. This city also has a thriving miniature horse breeding ranch. The main road, Ballard Main Street, is lined with attractive art galleries, antique shops, western supply stores, and general stores. Another town, Buellton is located at the junction of the US 101 and Highway 246. There is a variety of restaurants in town, but the most recognized is Andersen's Restaurant, famous for its smooth, delicious pea soup. The main street is also lined with many gift and general stores.Lompoc is located between Pacific Coast Highway and Highway 246. Once famous for the mustard seeds that still cover the hillsides today, its major industry at present is the production of flowers and their seeds. The flowers are celebrated annually in a festival that includes a parade of flower-covered floats and a chili cook-off. The other main attraction is the variety of colorful murals, continually increasing in number, that are painted on the sides of buildings throughout town.Further north lies Los Alamos and Nipomo. Los Alamos, located about halfway between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, is known for the graceful cottonwood trees that line the banks of the San Antonio Creek. This town, once a stage coach stop, annually celebrates its heritage in a street celebration, called Los Alamos Days, in September. The town has a variety of quaint restaurants, antique shops, and wine tasting rooms. Nipomo is located off of US 101, just within the San Luis Obispo county line. This thriving city is popular for its hillside swap meet on the weekends and Black Lake Golf Course, the only golf course on the Central Coast boasting a 27-hole course. A popular attraction is the Nipomo Native Gardens, a botanical preserve of native plants and trees. Scenic roads lined with noble blue gum eucalyptus trees grazing the blue skies overhead, and the gracefully rolling green hills give this neighborhood a rural feel that is open to everyone.