The Santa Ynez Mountains

santa ynez valley

This lovely range of mountains is one of our favorite parts of Santa Barbara. If you’re not looking at the ocean view, then you’re probably gazing at the dramatic, 4,000-plus feet high peaks of the Santa Ynez range that surround the city.

And wait for late afternoon—words can’t describe how the sun drenches the mountains in incredible color that seems to glow.

There are several hiking trails up into the mountains from all parts of Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito, and cyclists and mountain bikers alike are constantly heading for its steep roads and paths.

But why do that when you can drive up into the mountains past Lake Cachuma and enjoy the wealth of local wineries that are hidden down in the golden hills? You can also stop in Solvang for some aebelskiver, craft beer and a traditional Danish dress for your next Halloween party.

riviera and mountains from harbor