SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Several stress levels away from (and an hour northwest of) the frenzy of Los Angeles sits coastal Santa Barbara County, which includes the eponymous city. The landscapegreen hills with prestigious horse ranches fenced in by enormous mountainsis dotted with wineries that are well worth the trip. Visitors can even camp out in elegant safari tents in a nature preserve a short walk from the ocean.
Brad A. Johnson
Where to Stay
the alisal guest ranch
Quarter horses, cattle and cowboys roam the grassy hills surrounding this working ranch. There's tennis and golf; the charming guest cottages have vaulted beamed ceilings, fireplaces and porches overlooking the wooded gardens, but no phones or TVs (doubles from $425; 1054 Alisal Rd., Solvang; 800-4-ALISAL or alisal.com).