Lovely Los Olivos

In continuing our tour through the Santa Ynez valley we are now stopping in the lovely town of Los Olivos.

Los Olivos was founded in the late 1800’s and was a stop on the Overland Coast Stagecoach route. Now the quaint town is know for being the center of a wine producing region. Ever seen the movie Sideways? Much of it was filmed in this area. (I have never seen the flick so I’m just going to have to base this on signs in almost every establishment in town that say “as seen in the movie Sideways.”)

Los Olivos is a very small town that has a surprisingly large of things to do in it. Here’s what I found (and it only includes one winery!).

In our family Quicksilver Ranch is known as the miniature horse farm. Why? Cuz of these lil fellas.

It really IS a miniature horse farm. And from 10-3 daily you can stop and visit them. I highly recommend it as it will totally make your heart melt.
These cuties are super friendly and like being petted.

Oops! I guess I should have read the sign. Maybe you shouldn’t pet them after all.

Enjoy Cupcakes
If I’m nutty enough to visit a cupcake ATM, there’s a good chance I’ll be eating cupcakes when I travel. And Enjoy Cupcakes is one of my best discoveries. When out and about, the company sells cupcakes out this trailer.
When not, it’s parked in front of Sarloos and Sons wine shop and the tasty treats are available inside.
Full disclosure, we went here two days in a row. The cupcakes are THAT good. My favorite is the Chocolate Blackberry Syrah – a rich chocolate cupcake, fresh blackberry frosting, and a hint of wine. Mmm, mmm, mmm….I wonder how quickly I can get there now?
Los Olivos Homegrown
Located in the heart of the town is this stand.
Only open on Saturday and Sunday, it contains more varieties of garlic than you can ever imagine.
The friendly proprietor will proudly tell you that he grows over 100 varieties and has 30-40 available for sale at a time. Holy Cow! I never knew so many existed. The owner is a true garlic genius and will tell you everything you need to know about the plant. He’ll also offer you plenty of samples. Word to the wise, only take a taste. Garlic is quite intense raw (shocker I know) and will definitely stick with you (and want to exit you) for the rest of the day.
Clairmont Farms
As you may remember, I’m quite the fan of lavender. So you know a farm devoted to this flower is going to be high on my list.

Clairmont Farms is a small establishment with a lovely field of lavender that you are free to wander in. Try it, it’s fun. And makes for great pictures.

Now you didn’t think I was about to show you a pic of me frolicking!

Anyway, they also have a small store that sells many items made from the flower. I went home with a sachet and some pillow mist and my sister grabbed some lavender honey. The farm is open 10-4 daily.

Seein’ Spots Farm
Horses aren’t the only miniatures around these parts. At Seein’ Spots Farm you can visit with miniature donkeys and you can enter their pens and pet them.
These little guys are surprisingly affectionate and will want you to pet them forever. I would have gladly done that if it wasn’t so hot out. The owner is very nice and is happy to have you give her pets some love. She’s also known for her animal rescue

only asks for a donation to help with their care. They are open to visitors 10-3 Wednesday – Sunday. And if you’re at all on the fence, just look at this.

One week old! Can it get any cuter than this?

In keeping with the farm theme, our next spot is Summerset Farm. This spot specializes in fruits and vegetables (sorry no mini animals here!) that are organically grown. And the best part, some of it’s U-Pick! A city girl like me loves any chance she gets at collecting her own veggies. When we visited, the options were strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. $5 to fill a basket and our gullets. Really, they told us we could eat as much as we wanted while picking.

And they were seriously some of the best berries I’ve ever had.

Fess Parker Winery
Now don’t blame me if you get the Davy Crockett theme song stuck in your head. Fess Parker was an actor famous for portraying the Western icon in the Disney series. He also was a person who loved the Santa Ynez valley and founded one of it’s preeminent wineries. Being a pop culture geek I knew that if I was going to visit any winery in the area, it would be this one.
 Located farm from the center of town on a rural highway it is a sight to behold. The grounds are simply beautiful.
And inside is a wide selection of wines to taste and purchase. Yes, some bottles have a Davy Crockett theme (awesome). Yes, the wine glasses are etched with coonskin caps (double awesome). And, yes, you can buy a coonskin cap for your wine bottle (off the charts!!). I absolutely loved it!
So, there ya have it – Los Olivos. Lots to do, huh?
Tune in on Thursday as we continue our tour through the Santa Ynez Valley. Next stop – Laid Back Los Alamos.

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