Hotel At a Glance: Solaire Inn & Suites
Solaire Inn & Suites has been designed to be eco-friendly from nearly every angle. Tucked into Santa Barbara County wine country, its sleek layout includes drought-resistant landscaping, LED lighting, and water-saving showerheads. You'll be close to golfing, beaches, and boutique shops, as well as the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.
- Conserve and preserve: There's an onsite electric car-charging station, recycling bins in every room, and native plantings around the hotel.
- Stylish guest rooms featuring refrigerators and microwaves, set against a minimal white design
- Complimentary continental breakfast available each morning
- Taste and tour: The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail has multiple vineyards.
- Catch a drive-in movie at the Hi-Way Drive-In Theater, a vintage spot showing first-run movies under the stars.
Santa Maria, California: Central Coast Wine Country and Hearst Castle
Situated along California’s Central Coast, Santa Maria lies in an enormous valley carpeted with rows of grapevines and olive trees. The wine country is the oldest in the state, pre-dating both Napa and Sonoma. Visitors will find some 58 wineries scattered amid the rolling hillsides, offering a wide variety of wine tours to choose from. But variety comes not at the sake of quality, as the grape-growing conditions here are stellar, with an unobstructed path between the valley and the ocean for overnight sea fog. "The Santa Maria Valley may well have the highest overall quality of grapes and wines of any appellation in California … it is an insider’s secret," wrote Steve Heimoff, the West Coast editor of Wine Enthusiast.
Anotherlocal flavor is Santa Maria–style barbecue, a tradition stretching back more than 150 years. Prepared at a number of restaurants in town, the recipe involves a sirloin in a special dry rub cooked over indigenous red oak and served with pinquito beans.
Justover an hour’s drive up the coast stands the famed Hearst Castle, an enormous estate that once belonged to newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The building took more than 28 years to complete and has more than 100 elaborate rooms filled with Spanish and Italian art and antiques. Numerous tours crisscross the property’s 127 acres throughout the day, acquainting visitors with its grand rooms, cottages, kitchens, and fitness room wallpapered with Hearst's collection of _Family Circus _ comic strips.