I’ll admit, I’ve never actually watched a full episode of the Andy Griffith Show. But– the idea of “Mayberry” – the iconic fictional location of the series, an idyllic American small town – immediately comes to mind when visiting Los Olivos, CA– and for all the best reasons.
Now, that’s not without warrant (it actually WAS the town of “Mayberry” in the 1986 TV series ‘Return to Mayberry’) – and it’s clear at first glance, Los Olivos is special. Not only is it a quiet, picturesque getaway from Santa Barbara and LA tucked inside the Santa Ynez Valley — but it maintains it’s charm along with being one of California’s premiere locations for wine tasting and pretty landscapes.
I’ve written about Los Olivos before – several times actually– and I consider it a home away from home. It’s a fantastic destination when considering a refined bachelorette weekend, a pre/post wedding getaway, or of course, a wedding (stunning example here!) So– because I’m such a Los Olivos and Santa Ynez Valley (SYV) #superfan, I’m sharing my favorite picks for a weekend away in wine country on the California central coast.
In addition to dozens of tasting rooms ( I highly recommend Epiphany Cellars in Los Olivos proper), the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn offers the feel of a bed and breakfast, with the experience and amenities of a resort, including a full spa and recently opened 5 star Texas-meets-California farm-to-table “refined ranch” restaurant– The Bear & Star.
Another favorite thing to do? Grab a few sandwiches or salads at Paninos (seriously THE best lunch spot!), and dine alfresco at Epiphany Cellars and The Bubble Shack (pre-wedding champagne sampling!) down the street, OR take your picnic and head up the Foxen Canyon wine trail.
Foxen Canyon crawls through the SYV. It’s one of most gorgeous stretches of road on the Central Coast, and you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from everything, with 360 degree views. Foxen Canyon is also home to the Fess Parker Winery – another personal favorite, and a must-visit vineyard. The grounds alone are a destination.
Look familiar? Los Olivos and Foxen Canyon are both just so gorgeous, that I couldn’t think of a more beautiful place to photograph our “Aislin” gown.
I’ve been to Los Olivos and SYV more times than I can count, but each time I fall more and more in love, and each time I discover more new favorite hidden gems. It’s my own personal “Mayberry” – especially for a weekend.