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When arriving in the Santa Ynez Valley, the top question we get asked from guests is where should we go wine tasting? While there are countless wineries and tasting rooms within the 20-mile range of the valley, here are a few of the top favorites!

1. Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards

Alma Rosa Winery is situated on the north-facing slopes of the Santa Rosa Hills in Santa Barbara County. Our wines are layered, vibrant and balanced, and they reflect the special terroir of the Sta.Rita Hills, which benefits from cool Pacific Ocean breezes funneled inland through the unique transverse mountain range of our region.

2. Folded Hills Winery, Ranch & Farmstead

Tucked behind the mountains of Santa Barbara County you will find the Folded Hills Estate Tasting Room. This tasting room is warm and welcoming and has fantastic seating on the terrace with great views of the vineyards. They offer tasting flights, wines by the glass, or bottle!

3. Brick Barn Wine Estate

This charming tasting room is situated along Highway 246 in Buellton. The atmosphere boasts elegant décor and options for indoor or outdoor seating. The tastings consist of Grenache Rose, Pinot Noir, Rhône Blend, and many others. Brick Barn Wine Estate offers a truly unique experience!

Is it safe to visit the Kīlauea Volcano during my Hawai’i vacation?

Found in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Kīlauea is one of two active volcanoes on the Big Island (the other being Mauna Loa). In 1983, the Kīlauea Volcano began what would be a 35-year eruption streak.

Sometime around 2008, a rather uncommon occurrence transpired – Kīlauea began erupting in two separate places, down at Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s East Rift Zone and at the summit in Halemaʻumaʻu’s crater. This dual eruption continued until April 30, 2018 when the summit of Puʻu ʻŌʻō collapsed.

48 hours later, the lava lake at Kīlauea’s summit began dropping substantially and a new, more dramatic Puna eruption on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone began. But by August, the eruption subsided, leaving many to suspect that Madame Pele, the goddess of volcanoes and fire, had left as fast as she arrived.

The lake of water forming in Halemaʻumaʻu since then suggested otherwise. By December 20, 2020, lava began erupting from vents on the northwest side of the Kīlauea Volcano’s caldera after more than two years of inactivity.

  • Do not enter closed areas. This includes areas marked off by tape, cones, and signs, as well as cracks in the earth and cliff edges.
  • Stay on the designated trails and in designated overlooks, no matter what other visitors may be doing.
  • Be aware that volcanic gases rising from the crater can be a health hazard, especially to infants, pregnant women, and those with respiratory or heart conditions. Visit the USGS Kīlauea updates or contact park staff at 808-985-6011 for the most current information on vog and air quality.

Although you can see the lake’s glow and billowing plume with the naked eye, binoculars don’t hurt. Capture the sight of the active volcano with your smartphone or camera, but do be respectful of others around you and of the sacred nature of this area to the Hawaiians.