My father kept his ketch in the Santa Barbara Marina for over 25 years. Before that we trailed an 18-foot sailboat to regattas in Southern California. We've always taken the San Marcos Pass shortcut through the Santa Ynez Valley, recently made popular in the film "Sideways". This is horse county. Actress Bo Derek lives here with her horses. The late "Davy Crockett" "Daniel Boone" actor Fess Parker has a winery and Inn in Los Olivos where scenes were shot in "Sideways". Michael Jackson's "Neverland" ranch, whatever is left of it, is just 8 miles north of downtown Los Olivos. Some of the best Pino Noirs are grown and made in the Santa Rita Hills west of downtown Buellton (home of Andersen's Split Pea Soup restaurant). The charming Danish town of Solvang is loaded with bakeries, restaurants and the most hotels in the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Ynez also has quaint restaurants and western saloons with major live western bands during the summer. There is golf in Alisal and Solvang, Two historic missions, and west of 101, the Las Purisima Mission and PGA Qualifying golf course. Sure it's long and hard, but without anything around it the view are great as long as you aren't hitting you ball into the summer westerlies. No wonder Ronald Reagan chose this beautiful spot chop wood when he was vacationing from the harsh realities of being President.
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