Santa Ynez Valley

Explore Santa Ynez Valley and Homes For Sale

Area Description

This is California wine country living at its finest. With a long history of agriculture, cattle ranching, and thoroughbred equestrian estates, the Santa Ynez Valley is today home to hundreds of vineyards and wineries, and the gourmet lifestyle is peaking thanks to a vibrant farm-to-table culinary scene. There are always opportunities to buy palatial spreads and vineyards, but the towns of Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, and Ballard also offer affordable single-family homes and condos, popular for those who commute to Santa Barbara or Santa Maria for work.

Area Highlights

The Neighbors

Real ranchers, gentleman cowboys, vineyard owners, winemakers, tasting room employees, tourism professionals, and plenty of families and retirees seeking clean air and open spaces.

Market

Single-family homes and condos in the slightly more urban areas of Solvang and Buellton; ranchettes and ranches everywhere else.

Lifestyle

Life moves slower up in the valley, but there’s more to do than ever before, with tasting rooms on every corner, plenty of great restaurants, and festivals almost every weekend.

You'll Love

Daily walks through the vineyards, fishing at Cachuma Lake, shopping amid the Danish architecture of Solvang, and sipping pinot noir on your back porch while watching the deer.

Perfect For

Those who love the country but still enjoy good meals, fine wine, and things to do.

Around the Area

Once home to many Chumash villages, the Santa Ynez Valley was quickly understood to be a prime place for farming and ranching by the Spanish colonists. They founded not one but two missions at opposing ends of the valley: Mission La Purisima near the modern town of Lompoc and Mission Santa Ines, which is adjacent to the city of Solvang, which was founded and developed by Danish immigrants more than a century ago.

Farming and ranching still dominate the Santa Ynez Valley landscape, with world-class vineyards steadily consuming much of the available acreage over the past 30 years. Today, there are four federally recognized wine-growing appellations in the Santa Ynez Valley, and roughly 200 wineries produce and pour their wines at various tasting rooms around the area. Simultaneously, the culinary scene continues to evolve, and now there are great places to eat all sorts of food, from A-RU Sushi in Buellton and creative Italian at SY Kitchen in Santa Ynez to high-end new-California food at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos.

There is a wide variety of housing available, from sprawling ranches and smaller ranchettes to single-family homes and condos. The latter options are more common within the cities (Solvang, Buellton, and Lompoc) and townships (Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, and Ballard), but the larger options can be found everywhere, often with grapevines and/or equestrian facilities included. As with any form of country living, the great outdoors is a major attraction for those who live in the Santa Ynez Valley, where crystal clear night skies are full of stars and the days enjoy views from the tip of Figueroa Mountain out toward the crashing waves of Surf Beach.

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