The Santa Ynez Valley, made famous by the director Alexander Payne’s 2004 movie, Sideways, is your next stop. This is wine and horse country, and the landscapes—oak-tree-studded hills and miles of grape vineyards—are some of the state’s most beautiful.
Leave Santa Barbara after breakfast and arrive in Los Olivos in the late morning to check in to the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa. This will be home for the next two days. The 19-room inn is charming and romantic, with fireplaces in each room. It’s also within walking distance of the highly regarded Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard. For lunch, sign up for a two-hour VIP Tasting & Tour Experience, which takes you into the barrel room and includes a seated food-and-wine pairing.
That night, after relaxing in the inn’s infinity pool, grab dinner at The Bear and Star, the on-site restaurant. Chef John Cox has put together a menu that spotlights bounty from Fess Parker’s 714-acre ranch up the road. This means just about every dish includes fresh local vegetables and beef from Wagyu cattle.