DescriptionIn this charming village in Santa Ynez Valley, art galleries have sold paintings, sculpture and photography since the 1970s, many operating out of historic buildings on Grand Avenue. Competing for your attention are nearly two dozen wine tasting rooms, testifying to the prominence of the Santa Ynez Valley as “a winemaker’s paradise,” in the words of a local vintner. The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, a 21-mile rural road studded with wineries, runs northwestward from Los Olivos into the town of Santa Maria.
Two county historical landmarks distinguish the township of Ballard, less than 2 miles south of Los Olivos on Alamo Pintado Road. Ballard School, 2425 School St., the quintessential “little red schoolhouse,” opened its doors in 1882 and is still in session; Ballard Country Church (now the Loper Funeral Chapel), 2465 Baseline Ave., dates from 1898. Both are open to the public free of charge.
Self-guiding toursFree touring maps of Santa Barbara County wineries and locales from the film “Sideways”—several scenes of which were shot in Los Olivos and the Santa Ynez Valley—are available from the Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association, Solvang Visitor Center, P.O. Box 633, Solvang, CA 93464; phone (805) 688-6144.
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