Around The Valley

Summer Weekend Escape

Whatever the occasion, there are plenty of good reasons to get away.

For some, a weekend escape to Santa Barbara Wine Country could be a bachelorette getaway, for others it’s a golfing trip and for couples it might be enjoying lazy summer days filled with chilled wines and golden sunsets.

Whether you want to play hard or just relax there is no shortage of things to do in and around the Santa Ynez Valley. From its award-winning golf courses and casino to wine tasting and camping, the valley is an ideal location for a group trip.

Enjoy World Class Entertainment and Gaming

For an evening of entertainment enjoy a live show at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom. The Resort hosts top A-List entertainers throughout the year (see Upcoming Events on page 78 for this summer’s performances). After the show, head to the casino to play poker, blackjack or hit one of the casino’s popular slot machines. Book your weekend stay at the Chumash Casino Resort where you can be close to the action. For more information on upcoming live events and hotel reservations log on to or call 1-800-CHUMASH

Golfing in the Valley

Book a tee time at one of two first-class golf courses in and around the Santa Ynez Valley or try both. The River Course at the Alisal features some of the most breathtaking views of surrounding foothills and Santa Ynez Mountains. At 6,830 yards, this par-72 course is challenging but not punishing. (805) 688-6042; 

Just off Hwy. 154 in the Santa Ynez River Valley, is the tranquil Rancho San Marcos Golf Course, which Golf Magazine named one of its “Top Ten Places to Play.” This 6,800 yard par-71 course is steeped in history. Rancho San Marcos was established in 1804 by the Santa Barbara Mission as an outpost. Its spectacular panorama will blow you away. Whatever your level, there’s no better experience to share with the boys. 805-683-6334;

Wine Tasting

Spend a weekend in Santa Barbara wine country, home to world-class wineries, dozens of tasting rooms and wine bars. You can sign up for a limousine wine tour or do wine tasting on horseback. The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association is a great wine country resource. u805) 686-5881;

If you prefer to savor the Valley’s delicious wines in one spot head to the Chumash Casino Resort’s AAA Four Diamond restaurant, The Willows. Located on the third floor, The Willows has one of the best wine selections in town. Root 246 in Solvang also offers a superb wine selection. Both restaurants recently received Wine Spectator magazine’s Award of Excellence for their wine lists. Book your room at nearby Hotel Corque in Solvang. This luxury boutique hotel is centrally located and offers the ultimate in a wine country escape. 805-688-8000.

Outdoor Adventures

The Los Padres National Forest, which encompasses nearly two million acres in the coastal mountains of Central California, offers the kind of rugged landscape that can inspire even the slouchiest of couch potatoes. You can easily arrange numerous outings from fishing and hiking to horseback riding and camping. 805-968-6640;

For some target practice, check out the Winchester Gun Club. The shooting range offers a large variety of activities from skeet shooting to “Cowboy Action Shooting Matches.” Participants dress up in old western garb and use old-fashioned firearms. 805-964-5606;

– Written by Hildy Medina

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