You're visiting Santa Barbara - or perhaps you're a local - and you're craving a little (or big) taste of those Central Coast grapes everyone is always talking about. So what do you do? You can get down and dirty in the Funk Zone and explore the Urban Wine Trail (very good and quite convenient). Or, if you love adventure and scenery, we recommend that you set aside a day to visit Los Olivos.
Los Olivos is a small town about half an hour north of Santa Barbara. Although it's not very far away, you will feel like you have been transported to a different place entirely. The road there is beautiful, packed with scenic vistas, sunshine and wildlife. Deer sightings are not uncommon.
Once you arrive in downtown Los Olivos, it's highly likely that you'll fall in love at first sight. Wineries and restaurants line the two main streets, and people are almost suspiciously friendly. This is actually very dangerous because you can easily follow the wrong smile and end up in what looks like a super-fun tasting room, only to discover that it actually pours mediocre wine.
10Best to the rescue! This list of the 10 best tasting rooms in Los Olivos will help you avoid the tourist traps and go straight to the good stuff. Alta Maria, Carhartt, Kaena... every place on this list serves wines that completely validate the Central Coast's reputation as a viticultural force to be reckoned with.