Santa Ynez, CA is in the Santa Ynez Valley, a 40-minute drive north of Santa Barbara, and surrounded by great wineries. It is a charming, small town with several hotel options, a few tasting rooms and several great restaurants to try. Make sure to visit the website for the Santa Ynez Wine Country Association. Getting good reviews is Gainey Vineyard just outside of town. They feature Bordeaux and Burgundy varietal wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Restaurants to try include:
SY Kitchen: At 1110 Faraday, this is a contemporary Italian restaurant in an attractive, converted farmhouse.
Also getting good reviews are Trattoria Grappolo for Italian specialties, Brothers Restaurant Red Barn and Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar.
To stay, there is the ForFriends Inn which is a small B&B near downtown and the restaurants. They now have a number of bungalows as well. 1121 Edison St.
However, I enjoyed the Santa Ynez Inn at 3627 Sagunto St. It is a luxury inn/bed and breakfast in the heart of Santa Ynez. The rooms were really excellent with beautiful bathrooms and bedding. The common areas were very nice including a lovely dining room where they served a very good complimentary breakfast, wine and cheese late in the afternoon and desserts, coffee and tea in the evening. It is a great property with excellent staff. It is a member of the Select Registry of Distinguished Inns of North America. Since I was there, they have updated and transformed all guest rooms, common areas, event spaces, spa and gardens.