Santa Barbara is a tale of two landscapes. On the southern shore are the red-tile roofs of Santa Barbara city. Here, small-town conveniences meet big-city attractions, from rock \u2019n\u2019 roll at the Santa Barbara Bowl to opera, fine art and live theater downtown.\r\n\r\nThe inland, northwestern part of Santa Barbara County is wine country, which stretches through the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria valleys. Today, the culinary and cultural activities in the valley communities of Buellton, Solvang and Los Alamos complement the strong wine scene that\u2019s existed for decades.\r\nGet Outside\r\n\r\n\r\nFew adventures are as rewarding as sea-cave kayaking in Channel Islands National Park, an island chain that extends 150 miles along the California coast. Santa Barbara Adventure Company leads daily tours to Santa Cruz Island for all skill levels. Want some ocean spray without all that paddling? Look for blues, grays, humpbacks and killer whales aboard the Condor Express. Something even dryer? Land-lubbers can experience everything from sunsets and sips to horseback riding and rifle shooting with Cloud Climbers Jeep & Wine Tours, which offers varied excursions in its yellow 4x4s.\r\nView Vines Anew\r\nThe Sta. Rita Hills present stunning vistas from the ground, but the best way to see how the Pacific Ocean blows into this cool-climate appellation is from 13,000 feet up with Skydive Santa Barbara. The tandem skydiving trip offers the bucket-list thrill of a 120-mph freefall before the jumpmaster opens the parachute and you drift gently back toward Earth. On the other side of the Santa Ynez Valley, cyclists love to explore Happy Canyon with Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling Tours, which offers several itineraries for day tours, as well as in-depth, multi-day excursions around the county.\r\nTapping Into Beer\r\n\r\n\r\nSanta Barbara is burgeoning with breweries, but the suburbs of Goleta and Carpinteria are experiencing especially stunning sudsy growth. Near the college kids of University of California, Santa Barbera, Goleta offers M Special Brewing Company, Draughtsmen Aleworks, Hollister Brewing Company and Captain Fatty\u2019s Craft Brewery, all within a five-minute drive. The oceanfront village of Carpinteria holds Island Brewing Company, Rincon Brewery and brewLAB. Those craving mead, cider and other more fringe fermentables should seek out The Apiary Ciderworks & Meadery, which experiments with hopped, botanically infused and single varieties.\r\nCocktail King\r\nAlvaro Rojas has been crowned champion at several recent Santa Barbara cocktail contests, thanks to the fresh ingredients and true stories that inspire his creations. Sample that ingenuity at his original Alcazar Tapas Bar in the seaside Mesa neighborhood, or his second outpost, Milk & Honey, near downtown\u2019s theater district.\r\nWhere to Stay\r\n\r\n\r\nSanta Barbara\u2019s West Beach neighborhood features dozens of inns, while East Beach is home to several bigger resorts. But in the heart of it all, near the beach, Funk Zone and bustling State Street, sits The Wayfarer, with 27 private rooms and four shared hostel rooms that sport an urban retro-chic vibe. A bit more classical, the downtown Canary Hotel offers seasonal drinks and eats at its downstairs restaurant, Finch & Fork, and its rooftop pool provides views from the Santa Ynez Mountains to the sea.\r\n\r\nThanks to the popularity of Scandinavian design through IKEA, and cuisine at Copenhagen\u2019s NOMA, the out-of-place Danish architecture of Solvang is suddenly considered cool. The Landsby offers stripped-down, Scandinavian-style accommodations. Further up Highway 101 in the one-street culinary mecca of Los Alamos, the Alamo Motel is undergoing a makeover. It\u2019s the latest rundown motel renovation project by the Shelter Social Club, which has classed up joints in Santa Barbara, Ojai and Solvang as well.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSee All of Our 2017 Guide to California >\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\nWhere to Eat\r\nProprietor Will Henry\u2019s father founded the Henry Wine Group, so the list at this new restaurant\u00a0Pico\u00a0in the old Los Alamos General Store is ridiculously deep and unicorn-filled, with vintage flights that extend back decades. Rustic and rich, Drew Terp\u2019s food suits this Wild West town.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nS.Y. Kitchen opened in April 2013, this has become the Santa Ynez Valley\u2019s preferred place for Italian comfort food, prepared by the exuberantly\r\n\r\nfriendly owner and chef Luca Crestanelli and his brother, Francesco, both from Verona. Exotically spiced drinks crafted by Mixologist and Bar Manager Alberto Battaglini also merit a visit.\r\n\r\nIndustrial Eats\u00a0is the brick-and-mortar extension of Jeff and Janet Olsson\u2019s New West Catering that elevated Central Coast wine-country cuisine over the past two decades. A casual walk-up experience, it delivers wood-fired goodness, from lamb and tzatziki-topped flatbreads to pancetta-wrapped shrimp. Tumblers of local wine cost less than $10, and there\u2019s almost always a winemaker eating there.\r\n\r\nSomerset opened after a multimillion-dollar renovation, complete with century-old olive trees placed on the patio, the restaurant lured Lucques/AOC\u00a0chef Lauren Herman from Los Angeles to create upscale fare in a glitzy setting. Cocktails crafted by George Piperis are jaw-dropping.\r\n\r\n\r\nTips From Local Experts\r\nChef Pink, Co-Owner, Bacon & Brine, Solvang\r\nChrystal \u201cChef Pink\u201d DeLongpre and her wife, Courtney Rae, were just days away from moving from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles when they decided that they couldn\u2019t raise their daughter in the big city. So they turned to Craigslist, where they found a 300-square-foot former hot-dog shop for sale. The couple decided to create a hyperlocal sandwich eatery, Bacon & Brine, in Solvang, the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley.\r\n\r\nThey work with surrounding farms to find produce, and Rae pickles veggie scraps that would otherwise be tossed in the compost bin.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe do really real farm-to-table,\u201d says DeLongpre. \u201cWe get all of our poultry and pork from a single-source farmer who [raises] the animals just for us.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen we eat dinner out, and especially with a drink, it\u2019s definitely SY Kitchen,\u201d she says. \u201cTheir pasta is pretty darn good, and their service is great, which is huge for me.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe family lives in Los Olivos and often dines at Sides Hardware and Shoes, one block from home. \u201cI get the burger, and they have really good drinks there,\u201d says DeLongpre. \u201cThey\u2019ve got a good kids menu. And they have Taco Tuesday, which is a little more elevated.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe couple takes their daughter, 7, to Sunny Fields Park on Alamo Pintado Road, between Los Olivos and Solvang.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s big, and we can keep an eye on both our dog and daughter,\u201d DeLongpre says. \u201cThere are usually tons of kids to play with.\u201d\r\n\r\nThey\u2019re also fans of Ice in Paradise, the new ice rink over the mountains in Goleta.\r\n\r\n\u201cBesides that, we\u2019re a pretty academic, artsy family,\u201d says DeLongpre, who enjoys shopping for books at the Book Loft in Solvang and Chaucer\u2019s in Santa Barbara. \u201cWe spend a lot of time at home reading, doing art and taking care of the animals on the farm. My social butterfly days have come and gone.\u201d\r\nTyler Tomblin,\u00a0Co-Owner, Stagecoach Wine Tours\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter he worked at art galleries, surf shops and more, this Laguna Beach native and graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, signed on with Stagecoach Wine Tours in 2003. Tomblin was elevated to partner in 2010. Today, the company has a large fleet of vehicles that guide clients to unique wineries.\r\n\r\n\u201cI go to Brophy Brothers a lot,\u201d says Tomblin of the two-story, harborside seafood spot. \u201cIt\u2019s got great local vibes, beautiful views, and good margaritas and Bloody Marys.\u201d He likes The Boathouse and S.B. Shellfish Company for similar reasons. \u201cAnd we eat at [Mexican restaurant] La Palapa because it\u2019s kid- and dog-friendly, and can handle big groups.\u201d\r\n\r\nFor fun with his wife and kids, Tomblin hikes the San Marcos Foothills, scouts the beach for rocks from Hendry\u2019s to Mesa Lane and kayaks in Santa Barbara Harbor.\r\nClarissa Nagy,\u00a0Winemaker, Riverbench\r\n\r\n\r\nEver since she worked her first harvest in 1995, this Cal Poly grad has devoted herself full-time to wine. Nagy started her namesake label in 2004, and she landed the top job at the Santa Maria Valley\u2019s Riverbench in 2012. She lives in Orcutt with her husband, Jonathan (winemaker at Byron), and daughter, Gabriella.\r\n\r\nFor Friday night dinners, they head into the vibrant restaurant scene of Old Town Orcutt. \u201cNiya does Asian fusion and sushi, and they have Pho Fridays, so I usually get that,\u201d she says. \u201cAnd my favorite at Trattoria Uliveto is [its] butternut squash and sage ravioli.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe also likes Rooney\u2019s Irish Pub, but doesn\u2019t go for corned beef. \u201cWe absolutely love the fish tacos,\u201d she says enthusiastically. \u201cIt\u2019s the last thing you would ever think.\u201d\r\n\r\nFor a fancier meal, they adore the rack of lamb at Far Western Tavern, which she enjoys with Riverbench\u2019s Blanc de Blanc bubbly. \u201cI don\u2019t know if anyone else would love that pairing, but I do,\u201d says Nagy.