avila beach hotels

Day Trippin’: Los Olivos and the Santa Ynez Valley

Avila Beach is one of the best places to hang your hat for a while and use as a home base while discovering the rest of the Central Coast. So what’s a great day trip from Avila Beach hotels?

Los Olivos

Located just under an hour drive from Avila Beach, Los Olivos is one of those precious little California towns that’s perfect to wile away an afternoon. The drive itself is beautiful as you take the 101 south through Santa Maria and meander along wine country in the famed Santa Ynez Valley. Pull off at any of the wineries along the way to stretch the legs and have a taste.

Once in Los Olivos, Grande Avenue is the main thoroughfare lined with restaurants, eclectic little shops, and tasting rooms galore. Take a stroll and take in all the goodies by local artisans. Don’t be afraid, however, to wander off the main drag. Victorian-style houses line the back streets as well as many other shops, tasting rooms and businesses that are definitely worth a peak.

Sip cider and nosh on popcorn at Dreamcote!

The Wine Scene

The main draw to Los Olivos is the tasting rooms. Los Olivos is nestled right in the renowned Santa Ynez Valley. Instead of driving around the valley from winery to winery, Los Olivos is home to tasting rooms of several area wineries, so you can sip, savor and stroll from one tasting to another. We like Stolpman and Barbieri (to name a few) but do not limit yourself! They are all worth a pop-in.

Other Spirits

If you want a little break from wine (or if wine isn’t your preferred spirit), check out Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. They always have some great event going on, and even do Taco Tuesdays!

Dreamcote is another little gem, located on San Marcos Avenue. This is possibly the most laid-back winery in the Santa Ynez Valley and they also make excellent cider! Another little perk is instead of the chalky little crackers, they set out popcorn.


After all the wine tasting, definitely soak up some of that juice at The Bear and Star. (You do, after all, have to drive back to Avila Beach – please taste responsibly!) Find friendly service and a pretty outstanding farm-to-table menu of everything from burgers to brunch, all locally sourced.

Do make sure to keep tabs on the events in Los Olivos – they host a lot of fun little seasonal festivals!

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