Family Travel: Los Olivos

In this town, which is a four-hour journey south of the Bay Area, the roads are flat, relatively uncrowded and interesting.
On the map, Los Olivos is ten minutes from Solvang, the windmill-laden tourist town known for (what else?) Danish cookies. Reserve a hotel room in Solvang and make that your weekend base camp. Or stay in the Wine Country Inn (, where a cottage comes complete with a kitchen and dining area.
Pick up gourmet meals at New Frontiers Natural Marketplace, where the deli counter is chock full of interesting salad combinations and tasty sandwiches.
If you bike from Solvang to Los Olivos, the 5.6 mile trek will have you passing farms and grassland. Los Olivos, a former stagecoach stop, is peppered with a few restaurants, art galleries, a town park, the J. Woeste garden shop and the enchanting Global Gardens organic olive oil and gourmet food shop (
A visit to Clairmont Farms (, with its beautiful lavender fields, is worth the trip, especially for the daily demonstrations of making lavender oil from a still.
Check out the cute shop where they sell lavender everything at reasonable prices. Kids will love seeing live chickens roaming, clucking and laying eggs throughout the premises.  
As long as you’re riding your bikes, stop by Quicksilver Ranch in Solvang ( to see the miniature horses. It is open daily. You can get up close and personal with these adorable creatures. The ranch sells them, so don’t be surprised if your child wants to buy one and take it home.


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