Day Tripping in Buellton

By Donna Polizzi
Keys to the Coast ~
Have you ever been to a self-service wine wall?

If not, Terravant in Buellton is a fun place to go and taste some of the regions finest wines with the added convenience of enjoying their innovative self-serve wine dispensers. You get to control the size of the pour, and of course the frequency of the pour, which is my favorite feature.

Trust me, this restaurant has delicious food and an interesting selection. The tapas menu has a wide variety of food choices in large and small plates to pair with your wine choices. Everything without exception that I have tried on the menu is excellent. My favorite is the yuppie crack. It’s a crispy bacon wrapped date stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with balsamic and served with basil oil. I order it every time I go so it is indeed addicting. A couple other must tries are Terravant’s Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese and the Pear and Prosciutto Pizza. Yum!!!

Terravant has an industrial feel with a sense of sporty sophistication. The lights are somewhat low and a beautiful mural of Spanish dancers graces the walls. The view out of the bar window is spectacular. Picture a rustic country setting with green mysterious mountains and low lying clouds as the backdrop.

Santa Barbara County has many hidden spots that don’t make the national news as often as Santa Barbara proper does…rarely will someone mention in a movie they’re heading to Buellton. But located roughly a half hour north of Santa Barbara is a valley of cultural beauty and recreational riches from spectacular outdoor hiking up Figueroa Mountain, to some of the most sensational wineries on the Central Coast. If you want to explore a delightful Danish village, Solvang is unmatched for its quaintness.

The gift shop sells Ostrich eggs that are roughly the size of a cannon ball. One egg is the equivalent of 18-24 chicken eggs and I hear they’re quite tasty. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting conversation starter for your Sunday brunch?

Another unusual destination is the Ostrich Farm located on Highway 246 which connects Buellton and Solvang. It is located on a picturesque tree-lined highway, with rolling hills to your right and horse farms with green pastures to your left. It’s a delightful reminder of a quieter, slower paced life. Not to mention having the chance to see these remarkable prehistoric looking creatures up close and personal. The gift shop sells Ostrich eggs that are roughly the size of a cannon ball. One egg is the equivalent of 18-24 chicken eggs and I hear they’re quite tasty. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting conversation starter for your Sunday brunch?

My guess it that you’ve heard the old cliché “Pull your head out of the sand” stemming from Ostrich behavior. The truth is that they dig holes in the sand to bury their eggs. Periodically, they put their heads in the hole to turn their eggs. Watching this is a fascinating display of effective parenting.

The options are almost as numerous as the oak trees that grace this delightful area on the Central Coast. Hopefully, I have enticed you to get up here any enjoy Buellton. You are sure to be awakened and delighted by the myriad of hidden gems in the Santa Ynez Valley.

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Curious ostriches of Buellton.

(Donna Polizzi is a regional travel expert and founder of Keys to the Coast. Keys to the Coast is a travel resource. We take persons specific areas of interest in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey County and give an authentic, honest list of recommendations and offer a personalized travel guide. “It’s where I love to go, where my friends love to go, and no one can pay me to say so”.) Visit www.keys2thecoast.com for “Locals Treasures” on great places to Wine, Dine, Explore and More on the California Central Coast.)

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