Southern California never gets old, keep exploring with Traffic411. Instant traffic reports & updates on cool things to see that you don't know about yet!

Gaviota Side Trip: Nojoqui Falls Park

The Farm-Stead is a fun side trip off Highway 101 between Santa Barbara & Solvang (photo Traffic411)

The Farm-Stead is a fun side trip off Highway 101 between Santa Barbara & Solvang (photo Traffic411)

Here’s a fun little side trip the next time you drive Highway 101 in Santa Barbara County between the Gaviota Coast and Solvang:  Nojoqui Falls Park & The Farm-Stead.

The Farm-Stead is a cute little store that sells fresh organic produce, and offers the opportunity to pick your own.

Families were gathering raspberries and strawberries in their roadside garden during my recent Sunday visit. I bought some heirloom cantaloupes which were sweet and delicious!  There are goats, mules and pigs in a pen out back, with a bucket of veggies that customers can feed the animals. The Farm-Stead is located along Old Coast Highway Road in Gaviota, although the ocean is nowhere in sight.

The Farm-Stead has goats and pigs out back (photo Traffic411)

The Farm-Stead has goats and pigs out back (photo Traffic411)

Nojoqui Falls Park (pronounced no-HO-wee) is just up the road from The Farm-Stead. Shaded by rustic oaks dripping with moss. There are picnic tables for day visits, so pack a lunch or pick up fresh snacks at The Farm-Stead. It’s typically an easy hike to Nojoqui Falls (although chances are you won’t see much water because of the drought), but the trail was closed on the day I visited (July 2016) because of a mudslide.

The trail to Nojoqui Falls is closed because of a mudslide (photo Traffic411)

The trail to Nojoqui Falls is closed because of a mudslide (photo Traffic411)

These spots are located above the Gaviota tunnel off Highway 101, heading north you’ll make a right just off the highway. You’ll come to the Farm-Stead first, and then make a left on Alisol (easy signage) to get to Nojoqui Park.  This route is also a scenic short cut into Solvang.

Nojoqui Falls sign & street sign Old Coast Highway & Alisal (Photo Traffic411)

Nojoqui Falls sign & street sign Old Coast Highway & Alisal (Photo Traffic411)

Traffic411 Insider Tip: There’s a free electric vehicle (EV) charging station outside the Farm-Stead. Pick some berries while you’re charging your EV battery!

Distance from LAX: 139 miles

Share

Wine Lovers: Santa Ynez Valley

Rideau Vineyards in Solvang is one of my favorite spots for wine tasting in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley. (Photo: tastesoflife.blogspot.com)

If you have seen the movie Sideways, you know that the Santa Ynez Valley (Santa Barbara wine country)  is home to some terrific wines, and it’s a scenic and easy drive from Los Angeles.  Whether you’re a fan of reds or whites, there is something for every wine lover in this beautiful Southern California wine country. And, it’s a romantic spot for Valentines.

The little town of Los Olivos offers several tasting rooms on one street, so you can park your car and walk to sample a lot of wines including varietals from Andrew Murray, Arthur Earl, Tensley, Qupe, Daniel Gehrs and more.

As for beautiful scenery, my favorite winery is Rideau Vineyards.  Owned by New Orleans native Iris Rideau, the place is surrounded by vineyards with an old-style feel.  It’s a relaxing place to sample delicious wines and relax in beautiful surroundings. Be sure to try the Tempranillo!

The quaint Santa Ynez Inn is my pick for a romantic place to stay.  The boutique bed & breakfast it’s a bit pricey, but the rooms are plush, quiet and very romantic. Each room is unique, decked out in pillows, plush bedding, thick rugs and most, if not all, have a Jacuzzi tub and fireplace.  It’s a great, private hide-way to romance your sweetheart.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, nearby Solvang offers a lot of options, including a Best Western. Solvang is a Dutch-themed village with an old world European feel. A fun daytrip while you’re in the area.

Santa Ynez is about a two hour drive north from Los Angeles, some of the route you’ll be hugging the coast, a gorgeous drive up the 101 freeway. If you’re already in So Cal, it’s an easy getaway for a one or two night stay.  And, it’s not far from Santa Barbara, another favorite spot for lovers.

Traffic411 Insider Tip:  Do a day trip to Solvang or Santa Barbara if you have time. Chumash Casino is nearby, if you wish to try your luck.

Distance from LAX: 132 miles (2 hours 15 minutes, when it’s not rush hour)

Helpful links to help plan your getaway:

Los Olivos wine tasting

Wine tasting at Rideau Vineyard (tastesoflife.blogspot.com)

Santa Ynez Valley: Living the Life


View Larger Map

Share