Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself while driving the scenic roads of California! In this particular case, the concentration of mountains and ocean vistas just can’t be believed until you experience it first hand.

And even though you could tackle this 500-mile Waves to Wine: San Diego to Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez and Back Wine Country Getaway loop over a weekend, it’s best to allow at least 4+ days to enjoy all that the Santa Ynez Valley has to offer and avoid sensory overload!

Below are a few brief tips that will get you into vacation mode, with wine in hand, ASAP.

San Diego rental camper van at Firestone Winery

The Winnebago Travato taking a break in the shade @ The Firestone Winery in Los Olivos, CA

Encinitas to Santa Barbara
216 Miles ~ 4 Hours

The key to starting this journey is timing your travels to try and minimize time in Los Angeles traffic (insert eye roll here).  From our home in Encinitas we left around 4:30a (yep, early) while exiting route 5 around Laguna Niguel and taking routes 73+405+101 instead.  Driving along this coastal route you pass through all the iconic beach towns such as Newport Beach, Long Beach, Santa Monica and Malibu where there is no shortage of gourmet grocery stores, surf shops, and designer boutiques.  You feel like you should have a surfboard in hand and the soundtrack to the Beach Boys Endless Summer blaring throughout this Pacific Ocean drive. Stop often, take pictures, smile big and enjoy.

There are a number of destinations where you can set up your wine country basecamp, and here are a few central and popular options:

70 Mile Loop: from Flying Flags RV Resort into Wine Country and back
70 Mile Loop: from Flying Flags RV Resort into Wine Country and back

70 Mile Loop: from Flying Flags RV Resort into Wine Country and back

3= Sunstone Winery, Santa Ynez
5= Rusack Vineyards, Solvang
6= Firestone Vineyard, Los Olivos
7= Fess Parker Winery, Solvang
8= Foxen Winery & Vineyard, Santa Maria
9= Casa Dumetz Wines, Los Alamos

While the best of the best change often, our go-to sources of top picks are YELP Sunset Magazine
Tour Options
Wanna experience wine country and leave your RV at camp? Here are some convenient options:

  • The GrapeLine Wine Tours  All-inclusive guided tours allow you to sit back and enjoy the area without having to plan and better yet, drive
  • Hertz Rent a Car  An easy way to keep base camp set up while you head out and explore by car. The rental kiosk is located at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Hotel, McMurray Rd, Buellton CA (805)688-4398

tasting room in Los Olivos

So many wonderful tasting rooms in Los Olivos

Lemonade stand in Los Olivos

This lemonade stand in Los Olivos is not only adorable and friendly, but also very tasty and refreshing on a hot day

Beach life is gorgeous and endless

Beach life is gorgeous and endless

palm trees along street and mountains in distance


Link to More Helpful Planning Tips Here!

Class A RV rental in San Diego