The Santa Ynez Valley has a unique history, particularly because over a period of centuries it has been home to a variety of cultures…all of which have made a lasting impact on the Valley’s rich heritage.

The earliest inhabitants of the Santa Ynez Valley were the Chumash Indians. The Chumash Indians are the longest known inhabitants of the area. The first Europeans to live in the Valley were the Spaniards during the era when Spain owned California. After Spain turned California over to the Mexican government Mexicans moved into the Valley. Americans followed shortly and finally the Danish-American settlers who founded Solvang arrived.


Over the years, five towns were established in the Santa Ynez Valley: Ballard (1881), Santa Ynez (1882), Los Olivos (1887), Solvang (1911), and Buellton (1920).

Today, the Santa Ynez Valley is a growing, thriving area. Its beauty, climate and attractions like its many wineries and the Danish town of Solvang draw thousands of visitors each year.