Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Visiting Los Olivos

My last post described the drive from Santa Barbara over Higway 154 (also referred to as the San Marcos Pass.  This map shows the route we travelled.

We drove first straight to Los Olivos as we planned to back-track to Solvang for a lunch of Bratwurst and Sour Kraut at the Heidelberg Inn's cafe.


Wine Country covers the Santa Ynez Valley, with wine tasting rooms in Solvang, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos.  My favorite tasting rooms happen to be in Los Olivos; although the best tasting venues are at the wineries themselves.  The most practical way to do wine tasting at the numeous wineries is to take one of the many tours available.  Leave the driving to them, enjoy the ride without worry and learn a lot about the wineries and the history of the area from the tour guides on the bus. It is truly a fun experience.

Los Olivos was founded in 1861 with the establishment of the Overland/Coast Line State Station at Ballards, just south of present Los Olivos.  The stage ran from San Francisco through Los Olivos, south to Los Angeles and then on to San  Diego.

In 1887, Felix Mattei , anticipating the arrival of the Pacific Coast Railway, opened a hotel and tavern to accomodate rail and stage passengers.  Mattei's Tavern is still located in it's original spot just down from the center of town at 2350 Railway Avenue.  A beloved landmark and outstanding restaurant it is still a place for family and friends to gather and enjoy a great meal.  Restored to stagecoach day glory, Mattei's Brother's Restaurant is a glimpse into the past.  Velvet wallpaper, old family photographs and crackling fires in the various fireplaces are complemented and contrasted by the innovative wine country cuisine of brothers Matt and Jeff Nichols. Plan to make this a leisurely stop to fully enjoy and appreciate the cuisine and hospitality of Mattei's Tavern.
(information from Los Olivos Business Organization

Some major points of interest in Los Olivos are:

 Fess Parker's (Davy Crocket) Wine Country Inn and Spa.  A fabulous Inn in the heart of Los Olivos.  Featuring wonderful rooms, cottages, spa facilities and a fine dining facility called Petros Los Olivos featuring upscale California-Hellenic Cuisine.  Dress is casual nice.  You won't find many people wearing ripped and torn blue jeans, although jeans are in order...the designer kind.

My husband and I have stayed at the Inn several times and very much enjoyed ourselves.  The Inn offers several packages including wine tasting at Fess' own winery. 
 For more information:
Bring your bikes and come for a couple of days to enjoy this gorgeous valley.

Patrick's Side Street Cafe, located at 2375 Alamo Pintado is our favorite lunch stop in Los Olivos.  Patrick is the Chef and Proprietor of this charming cafe and restaurant.  Wonderful California Cuisine with lots of fresh and local food with a Side Street twist.  My husband is a 'meat and potato' man...and I prefer light, fresh and interesting fare...we both love it. No reservations required, but it is a popular place so go early...or if you have to wait...walk over to Woeste's down the street...

J. Woeste, located at 2356 Alamo Pintado Ave is a destination in itself!

Home and Garden Treasures of the most unusual kind...

an endless source of inspiration....

orchids, violets, begonias oh my!

wonderful vignettes and displays

have you ever seen happier plants and flowers?

a room with books, toys, stuffed animals and furniture for children

lots of wonderful artwork..some of it already in our home!

these my kind of Ravens...friendlier than the ones in my neighborhood.

A garden and nursery filled with fountains, statues, and an amazing variety of plants

These cherubs would look soooo fabulous in my garden....

yes...these are real chickens!

Woeste's specializes in unusual succulents.....

come to a special place to nurture your soul...

laugh...rejuvenate and...

visualize a wealth of ideas....

whatever your taste...whatever your space....

J. Woeste is a must stop in Los Olivos

What are YOU doing for Valentine's Day???
I can't think of a  more wonderful day to spend your Valentine's Day

lunch at Patrick's and a walk in the J. Woeste Garden!

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