Los Olivos, CA | USA

Traveler: Ali Tufan Koç – Journalist

What is your most unforgettable escape? Filled with olive trees, wine tasting rooms, lavender farms, Santa Barbara’s picture-perfect wine town Los Olivos.

What was the purpose of your travel? Fine wine, good love, bright weather and delicious local foods.

What did you most like about the trip? All the above.

With how many people did you travel? Hard to remember some details (and faces) after all those wine…

Your most surprising find during the trip… Almost each bite, each sip!

Favorite restaurants or food you have tried during your trip? Sides Hardware and Shoes – A Brothers Restaurant is a well-rewarded one. It is housed in an historic building which used to be the town’s shoe and hardware store. Ches Michael Cherney’s fabulous bacon steak is a must-try. A delicious Pear Upside-Down Cake topped the evening. Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café is doing a good job with market salad and some local, fine wines.

What is the must tries of the city? Take a sip from wine tasting rooms, starting form Sanfer Family of Wines, Daniel Gehrs Wines, Cinque Stelle Winery. Have a local olive oil tasting in Olive Hill Farm. Take a coffe break Corner House Coffee, probably the most cozy, peaceful coffeshop in the region. Spend the night in Fess Parker Wine Country Inn or Santa Ynez Inn.

Any hidden gems you could whisper to us? Just go and discover yourself.

Would you go back? Always!

Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? These can be anything from traditional finds to airport finds to hotel creams! Persimmon Sauv Blanc wine soap bar from Buttonwood Vineyard ’10 Pinot Noir and ’11 Tempranillo from Cinque Stelle Winery ’12 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir from Holey Estates *A bucket of lavendar from lavendar farm. A bottle of Blood Orange Olive Oil from Olive Hill Farm.

Any tips that might be useful to know before going there? Make plans for june and try to catch Jazz and Olive Festival. Spend a saturday afternoon in the valley, surrounded by local wineries, world-class jazz musicians, and olive-themed dishes.

Next stop you would like to visit? Hopefully, New Orleans!