Explore incredible trails and learn more about wine as you run through wine country! A Wine Country Adventure, hosted by Vacation Races, is an all-inclusive 3-day trip that includes gorgeous and diverse trail runs each morning and as many different wine adventures as one can pack into the afternoon and evenings. Think big wineries, boutique wineries, small-batch artists, biodynamic tasting rooms, organic wines, picnic lunches among the vines, multi-course meals with wine pairings and more!
The Santa Ynez Valley is north of Santa Barbara and that’s where you will spend your weekend. The east to west mountain range has a dramatic effect on the micro-climates and over 50 different varieties of grapes thrive here. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most popular.
This trip is limited to 50 adventurers. More trips will be added based upon demand.
Arrive in Solvang and check in to the hotel anytime after 4:00 pm. That evening you’ll meet the group and get oriented for what to expect over the weekend. Dinner will be a five-course meal (sourced from California farms) at K’syrah with wine pairings from regional winemakers.
Trail run: 4-Miles
Start the day with a hot breakfast at the hotel before you head off to Figueroa Mountain for the beautiful 4-mile Lover’s Loop trail. This trail gains about 780 feet to the summit, and then declines back to where we started. Expect stunning views of the valley, peek views of the pacific ocean, old oak trees, and wildflowers! The trail is VERY runnable single track. It’s fast and super fun to run.
After, you’ll head back to the hotel so you can clean up and shower, before heading to a catered lunch in the vineyards followed by a tasting. Then it’s off to Firestone winery for a tour of the production side of wine making—from the crush pad to the fermentation cellar to the barrel room plus more tasting. Finish the night with gourmet pizza (& wine) in Buellton; think casual and comfortable, but elevated.
Trail run: 6.5 Miles
This morning you’ll head into Los Padres National Forest to run down the mountain! We’ve saved the most challenging run for today, it’s 6.5 miles and some steep technical downhill, but the views are worth it. On a clear day, you will have views of the Channels Islands off the Pacific coast, AND the Santa Ynez valley from the same spot!
The first 2 miles are run on a wide dirt road with ocean views on the right and Santa Ynez valley views on the left. The dirt road goes uphill for the first ¼ mile but then its downhill to the top of Tequepis Trail Summit. There are some rocky sections on the dirt road but its all very runnable. Once you hit the top of the trail, you start a steep, but mostly runnable, 2400 foot descent over the next 4 miles entirely on single track. The trail is steep, and super pretty.
We’ll finish the trail near Cachuma Lake, then travel back to the hotel to get ready for more wine country adventures. Then we’re off to a lovely picnic lunch at Doll Pond followed by a boutique wine tasting. You’ll have the opportunity to try wines from small batch vintners who don’t sell their wines anywhere else.
After lunch we’ll drive to Los Olivos where you’ll have your pick of tasting rooms to visit (how many you fit in is up to you!). Interested in biodiverse or organic wines? Partial to Rose or Chardonnay? This is your chance to test out a variety of wines. In the evening, you’re free to explore the charm of Solvang. PIck up some pastries at Olsen’s bakery, check out original Hans Christian Anderson manuscripts at the local bookstore, shop at one of the many boutique stores, or take time to visit a local spa for a relaxing massage.
Trail run: 5 Miles
We’ll start the morning with a hearty breakfast before we take off into Santa Ynez Valley. This morning we’ll run through one of the prettiest vineyards you have ever seen right in the heart of the famed Santa Rita Hills. This run will start at the Sanford Winery Tasting Room parking lot, and head for 1.75 miles around the relatively flat lima bean field. Just before the 2-mile mark runners will begin climbing 350 feet of elevation and be rewarded with one of the best views in the valley from the Rinconada and Sanford & Benedict Vineyards. The final 2 miles, as runners head back to the finish line adjacent to the Sanford Winery Tasting Room, is primarily downhill with some light rolling hills. After this 5 mile run, we’ll enjoy a tasting of wines created from the very grapes you just ran through.
Then it’s time to go back to the hotel where you’ll have time to pack up and get ready for a really special lunch at Petros’ brand new tasting room. As a group we’ll enjoy a leisurely 7 course Greek meal with perfectly balanced wine pairings. It’s the absolute best way to finish out the weekend together.
After lunch, you will return to Solvang.
How difficult are the runs and hikes? What is the activity level?
Each day you will be running/hiking between 4-7 miles, for a total of about 15-16 miles in 3 days. All trails will be dirt, most will be single-track. Please be prepared to maintain at least a 20 minute/mile pace on these trail runs.
Do I have to run every day?
This is your vacation—you should do what you want! If you want to take a break for a day or two, then by all means do it. The goal is to make sure you have the best possible experience on the trails, whatever that means for you.
Are there aid stations?
There are no aid stations in these trail runs. Most people will be either using a hydration backpack or carrying a water bottle in hand, along with a few gels or other snacks if needed. You are required to bring your own hydration system.
Are there any discounts available for a Wine Country Adventure?
We do not offer any discounts on our Wine Country Adventures at this time.
Are there options for a partner that doesn’t want to run?
If you want to bring a partner to the event that doesn’t want to participate in the runs, that’s totally fine. Unfortunately, there are no discounts for non-runners.
What about Vegan and Vegetarian food options?
There will be vegetarian options for our runners at all meals. Most meals will also have vegan options.
Are there any age restrictions?
Participants must be at least 21 years old, but there is no other age requirement. We’ll be glad to have you join us whether you’re 21 or 121!
What if I or my partner doesn’t drink?
You do not need to participate in the wine tasting, however, we do not offer any kind of discounts for participants that won’t be drinking.
April 23–April 26 (Thursday through Sunday)
Pricing and Deposit:
$1500 includes everything mentioned in the itinerary. Deposit of $500 is due at registration, after which the remaining $1000 will be billed to you approximately 60 days prior to the trip departure (February 24th, 2020).
Based on Double Occupancy:
This pricing is based on double occupancy of the hotel room. If you register with a partner, you will be able to stay with them. If you register as a solo adventurer, we will pair you with someone else of the same gender.
Single Occupancy Pricing:
If you prefer to have your hotel room to yourself, the cost will be $300 extra ($1800 total) to cover the additional hotel expense.
Cancellation and Transfer Policy:
The deposit of $500 is refundable up to 60 days prior to the event (February 24th, 2020). After this date, the deposit is non-refundable unless we are able to transfer your registration to another participant.
The remaining balance of $1000 is due 60 days prior to the event. Once the event is 60 days out, all remaining balance is due. If you choose to cancel within 60 days of the event, there are 2 options available to you.
Option 1: Transfer your registration to another participant if you are able to find someone willing to take your place.
Option 2: Receive a refund. If you choose to receive a refund within 60 days of the event, there will be a fee of $500 applied.