SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif. — The reopening of the Santa Ynez Valley to visitors, most notably lodging for leisure travel and the resumption of outdoor service for restaurants and wineries, could not have come at a better time for those struggling with the Groundhog Day-like effects of pandemic fatigue.
According to the most recent Travel Sentiment Index Report from Destination Analysts, more than half of American travelers (53.1%) indicated they experienced “cabin fever” at least half of the time during the last 30 days. As we approach one full year since COVID-19 travel restrictions were first implemented in California, it’s no wonder why the Santa Ynez Valley is emerging as a popular destination for those seeking to enrich their lives once again through travel.
“I don’t know if it’s cabin fever, travel deprivation, or simply getting back to doing what we love, but we are just as eager to see some fresh, new, and friendly faces around the valley as I’m sure visitors are to see something other than the four walls they have been largely confined to for the past year,” said Shelby Sim, President & CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “The Santa Ynez Valley is a community of hosts, entertainers, providers, and makers. We’re in the business of providing an escape, and to be deprived of the ability to share our destination with others has been a challenge we are excited to move past.”
The path toward doing just that began on Jan. 25 when Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the statewide stay-at-home order, paving the way for the resumption of leisure travel and related services in the process. Among the most notable Santa Ynez Valley visitor services and attractions that have reopened or have relaxed restrictions recently include the following:
- Leisure travel is permitted to the Santa Ynez Valley
- Hotels and accommodations are open with modifications
- Restaurants are open for outdoor service, takeout, pick-up, and delivery
- Wineries are open for outdoor service
- Retail occupancy is capped at 25 percent indoors
- Outdoor recreation remains available including golf courses, hiking trails, and parks
“As we continue to see case numbers decrease and vaccinations increase, we’re hopeful that traveler optimism will continue its upward trajectory and that Southern Californians, followed by other Californians and ultimately visitors from outside the Golden State will be able to safely return to and find joy in a visit to the Santa Ynez Valley,” said Sim. “It’s also important to note that the resumption of leisure travel and the easing of restrictions do not mean the pandemic is over. We cannot overstate the importance of visitors remaining vigilant about their safety and the safety of others at all times, so they can continue to enjoy this beautiful valley and we can continue sharing it with them.”
For more information, or to research attractions, book lodging and activities, and create a custom travel itinerary, visit VisitSYV.com.
About the Santa Ynez Valley:
Barely two hours from Los Angeles and a scenic four-hour drive from San Francisco, the Santa Ynez Valley is home to six distinct towns each with its own culture, vibe, and menu of experiences. Blanketed with fruitful farms and vineyards, the California Central Coast wine region’s temperate weather allows for year-round activities of all sorts, spread throughout the historical communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Solvang. Destination dining and world-class wines await, accompanied by lodging at every level, all painted into atmospheric backdrops that colorfully mesh Old World and Old West. Visit more than 100 wineries, feast on chef-driven cuisine, and enjoy festive events and design details from Victorian-era to mid-century to modern Danish. For more information, including a listing of wedding venues, restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, and events, go to VisitSYV.com.