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).
San Ysidro Ranch
Jackie and John F. Kennedy honeymooned at this ranch outside the city of Santa Barbara. In addition to the main guesthouse, the property has cottages, most with decks and hot tubs. At the Stonehouse Restaurant, new chef John Trotta serves refined dishes like mascarpone and scallion risotto (doubles from $300; 900 San Ysidro Ln., Montecito; 800-368-6788 or sanysidroranch.com).
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Santa Ynez Inn
This 2 1/2-year-old Victorian-style hotel is within walking distance of everything in Santa Ynez, in the heart of wine country. The breakfast room serves excellent French toast, as well as late-evening desserts, such as triple-decker chocolate cake (doubles from $265; 3627 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez; 800-643-5774 or santaynezinn.com).