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Santa Barbara’s backyard gem is the Santa Ynez Valley — California’s picturesque wine country that offers a slower version to living. Rolling hills covered with ranches, wineries and land as far as the eye can see. The Valley is a picture-perfect mosaic of charming country towns. Although wine-tasting is the most notable activity to embark on in this community, you will also find an array of up-and-coming restaurants, art galleries, and upscale shops.


Motorcycle Museum

The Solvang Motorcycle Museum, located in Solvang, California, displays a collection of vintage and rare motorcycles as well as European race bikes.

The collection is quite broad with something for everyone, ranging from a 1910 FN to the present, and across all makes. The emphasis is tilted toward racing motorcycles. At the museum, you will find names such as AJS, BMW, Ducati, Gilera, Matchless, Moto Guzzi, MV, Norton, Triumph, Velocette and Vincent.

The museum rotates some of the bikes each month so that the bikes on display are constantly changing and expanding.

Check out a recent video from the 2012 Pebble Beach Concourse. Jay Leno and Virgil Elings discuss the unique, 1922 Megola front wheel drive motorcycle.

Mission Santa Ynez

The museum, church and garden are open daily for tours that begin in the Mission gift shop.

Self-guided tour hours are 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM daily (except Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day) Price: $5.00 (Children under 12 – free admission to the museum). All children under 18 must be accompanied by adults.

Docent-led tours are available for groups from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM and must be scheduled in advance at the Gift Shop. Cost is $6.00 per person 12 years and older. Self-guided group tours are $5.00 per person 12 years and older. All group tours must be scheduled in advance at the Gift Shop and the Gift Shop must have the cell phone number of someone travelling with the group. We accept there may be unavoidable delays in transit and our docents are volunteers who only show up specifically for scheduled tours, hence we need to know if there are delays in arrival.

In the first room of the museum, a history sheet in five languages: English, Spanish, Italian, German, and French is available for visitors.

Wine Country

The Santa Ynez Valley is among the favorite weekend destinations in the Central Coast region of California. Located two hours north of Los Angeles and five hours south of San Francisco, this peaceful locale offers lush scenery, great restaurants, countless outdoor activities and superb accommodations.

For the wine aficionado, Santa Ynez Valley has the greatest concentration of wineries in Santa Barbara County. Prior to Prohibition, the Valley had roughly 5,000 acres under vine. It took until nearly four decades after repeal for commercial viticulture to reestablish itself in the region. Santa Ynez Valley was granted AVA (American Viticultural Area) status in 1983 and of its 42,000 total acres, approximately 7,500 are currently planted to grapes.

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