A Brief Look Into The Evolution Of Santa Ynez Valley

December 18, 2017


Soon after you enter the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, you know that this place is more than just a wine country region.

Entrapped within its rolling hills, rustic wine tasting rooms, ranches and other tourist attractions is the thrum of its heritage, the rich history that brings together Californian, western and foreign cultures together.

The consistently clear weather is ideal, whether you are out for a picnic at Nojoqui Falls Park in Solvang, taking a hike trip through San Rafael Mountain range, or weaving through the wine tasting rooms along the Buellton trail. Every place you go will offer you something different in art, food, music, and even wine.

So, let’s see where it all started, shall we?

Blast From The Past

Each town that now makes up the entirety of Santa Ynez Valley was established between the late 19th and early 20th century. To look into a few renowned ones, Santa Ynez was established in 1882, followed by Los Olivos in 1887. The start of 20th century saw two new more of these culture-rich regions; Solvang was established in 1911, and Buellton in 1920.

Perhaps one of the most outstanding parts of the Santa Ynez Valley is Solvang. Dubbed “California’s Little Denmark”, the place gets its recognition from its Danish heritage.​​

You’ll find various reminder of the Scandinavian architecture here, from a replication of the Copenhagen’s Round Tower, to overhead windmills.

Many of the town’s shops and restaurants are themed, including the Red Viking Restaurant and Mortensen’s Danish Bakery. The Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is the place to visit to get your fill of the town’s history.


The people there pay homage to the Danish traditions with occasional folk music and dancing festivals. The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is the attraction to go for a perfect recall of the prolific writer’s work.

Growth And Popularity

Connecting the valley to San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Overland Coast Line Stagecoach is credited with Santa Ynez initial growth and fame.