Castles, Wine & Internationalism: Three of our favorite Southern California day trips from Santa Barbara

Once immersed in all of the internal beauty of Santa Barbara, it becomes easy to overlook the nearby attractions and experiences that are just outside of the city. Just a short drive from Santa Barbara are three of our favorite Southern Californian day trips:

1. Santa Barbara County Wine Tours

Beyond the city limits is official Santa Barbara wine country, home to some of the most productive and high quality vineyards in the world. Coastal mountains create valleys directly open to the Pacific Ocean; this affects climate and wind on the land and allows for the cultivation of winemakers’ ideal grapes.

Visitors of Santa Barbara have countless options for exploring this renowned and fascinating territory. From cars to Jeeps to bicycles, there are many options with boundless possibilities. Check out Hotel Milo’s Ocean to Vineyards special to start!

2. Hearst Castle

William Randolph Hearst was one of the most successful newspaper publishers in American history. He also had one of the greatest art collections of any private owner and was the inspiration behind the movie “Citizen Kane,” one of the greatest American films of all time. Visitors can still see his estate, Hearst Castle, located in San Simeon, CA.

This hilltop estate is filled with rich history, fascinating architecture and some truly spectacular art. Just a two-hour drive north, Hearst Castle is an ideal SoCal day trip for those visiting Santa Barbara.

3. Solvang

An intriguing and unexpected attraction near Santa Barbara is a little town named Solvang, but known to many as Little Denmark. Solvang is about a forty-minute drive north—past Ostrichland, another must see—of Santa Barbara, located in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The town, comprised of Danish architecture with a European ski town vibe, truly feels like an international experience. From shopping for handmade Danish toys and clothes, to eating authentic cuisine and drinking some more of Santa Barbara County’s finest wine, there is plenty to be enjoyed during a day trip to Solvang.