Natural Wonders: Cachuma Lake Recreation Area

100_8051Just 15 minutes from downtown Solvang, you and yours can discover all the natural wonders of Cachuma Lake Recreation Area. This is one of my favorite local outdoor spots for active recreation or relaxation. There’s so much to do (or not to do)—from hiking, boating, kayaking, canoeing and fishing plus amazing guided nature cruises are offered year round aboard The Osprey, a 30-passenger pontoon boat. You can see herons, hawks and deer and the resident bald eagle pair if you’re lucky (not to mention some amazing flora, especially this year). Rains have “greened” up the surrounding Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountains (yes, the lake level is low due to the on-going drought, yet it’s still beautiful). Cachuma is a gorgeous place for a mellow day outdoors or a picnic on the shore or a hike or a stroll. There is a general store plus the very interactive Neal Taylor Nature Center (one of my faves is comparing my arm span to a bird’s wingspan). Year-round, there’s free Nature Hikes leaving from the Center at 10am on Saturday morning. Park admission is only $10 per car and so worth it! For more details and directions, access

Vroom! Velkommen Datsun Roadsters

Solvang Datsun Roadshow group-picture-for-webpageDo you or someone you know like vintage autos? If so, you’re in luck since it’s time for the 29th annual Solvang Datsun Roadster Classic–happening this Saturday, 4/23/16 from 9:30am-3pm in downtown Solvang. More than 100 of these beauties will be on display on First Street across from Solvang Park. It’s free –so come admire these cars and chat up the owners (and of course, stroll & shop & eat & wine & beer taste, too!) Organized by the Southern California Datsun Roadster Owners Club and CM Breyer & Associates since 1988, this gathering has become one of the most sought-after Datsun Roadster shows by enthusiasts across the nation.

Datsun Roadster LogoMake plans now to come wander around downtown Solvang this Saturday and see how these vehicles and their owners proudly shine! For more details, visit

Cheers to the 34th Annual Vintners Spring Weekend!

SB Vintners Spring Weekend logoWhen you look at the vineyards surrounding us here in Solvang— “bud break” is giving way to “leafy shoots”—and that visual means it’s time for the 34th annual Vintners Spring Weekend. This year, a full 4-day celebration of our local wines is April 21-24, 2016. Sponsored by the non-profit Santa Barbara Vintners organization, there are so many exciting events and activities on offer— you’ll definitely want to come stay, sip and swirl around Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley for awhile! Solvang, CaliforniaFor example, don’t miss “The Grand Tasting” Festival event on Saturday, 4/23/16 from 1-4pm. featuring over 100 wineries and winemakers, more than thirty food purveyors and chefs; and live music at River View Park in nearby Buellton. All weekend long there are winemaker dinners, vineyard tours, barrel tastings and special open houses throughout the area. So, you need to make hotel reservations now and get your tickets in advance. Here’s all the details:


It’s Tee Off Time . . . Fore!

alisal-guest-ranch-golfSpring has sprung and there’s more hours of daylight—so now’s the chance for you and/or someone you know to get out and play more golf (just like they’re doing this week at the Masters Tournament in Augusta—I’ve actually attended five times and it is magnificent there—yet here in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley, we can play year-round!)  So get ready to shout “fore” in style soon!

Surrounded by rolling hills, ranches and vineyards, our local golf courses definitely have some great scenery to enhance your play time. Just five minutes from downtown Solvang, The River Course at The Alisal is situated on the banks of the Santa Ynez River against a backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains, and was prominently featured in the 2004 Oscar-winning movie Sideways; plus the River Terrace overlooking the course is a delicious place for breakfast and/or lunch.

In the nearby Santa Rita Hills wine country west of Buellton, check out La Purisima Golf Course created by world-renowned course architect Robert Muir in 1986 on 309 acres. Zaca Creek Golf Course is a sweet 9-hole, par-29 public course in Buellton. Rancho San Marcos gracefully saddles the natural topography meandering amid a plethora of ancient oaks just 30 minutes away down Scenic Highway 154.

For complete details on where to tee off, visit