Travel Style: History Buff
Buellton has a rich history in hospitality. Our town started as a cattle ranch and dairy farm back in the late 1800s. With the development of the California Highway System, we quickly became a hub for travelers with two state highways intersecting at our core. Today those highways make it easy to explore historical locations in every direction, from one convenient home base.
To get your trip planning started, here are a few popular historic experiences that await you. Visit our online trip planner to design your ultimate escape, and be sure to add a few of these locations if they aren’t on your itinerary already!
- Schedule a private tour through a collection three generations in the making at Mendenhall’s Museum of Gas Pumps & Petroliana.
- Learn about our town history from Buellton Historical Society; located above the gift shop at Pea Soup Andersen’s.
- Spend time in downtown Solvang, being sure to visit Old Mission Santa Ines, the Vintage Motorcycle Museum, Hans Christian Andersen Museum and Elverhoj Museum of History & Art.
- Take a step back in California history at La Purisima Mission.
- Learn all about the history of our area at Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Parks-Janeway Carriage House.
- Spend the afternoon antiquing in Los Alamos, and don’t forget to check out the 1880 Union Hotel.
- Pea Soup Andersen’s Restaurant – This iconic Buellton restaurant originally opened by Anton and Juliette Andersen as The Electric Café in 1924. Though it is world-famous today for its split pea soup, this menu favorite wasn’t originally a part of the cafe menu. One day it was added by Juliette Andersen as a daily special and was so popular it became a menu staple; and eventually a part of the restaurant’s identity.
- Ellen’s Danish Pancake House – Serving delicious food in hearty portions since 1947, Ellen’s is such a popular breakfast spot that their Danish pancakes are served all day long.
- Mattei’s Tavern – Established as a stagecoach stop in 1886, this historical landmark boasts an onsite restaurant, full bar and beautiful gardens.
Tasting Rooms & Bars
- Sanford Winery – In an area known today for Pinot Noir, the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard was the first to plant this popular varietal in Santa Barbara County back in 1971.
- Babcock Winery – Boasting a completely different take on the typical wine tasting room, Babcock is celebrated as much for their award winning wines as they are for their retro Rock-and-Roll themed collection of antiques and eclectic furnishings.
- Ascendant Spirits – Ascendant Spirits made history when they became the first distillery to open in Santa Barbara County, since Prohibition.
- Maverick Saloon – A local favorite and a step back in time, this truly unique country bar is set in the backdrop of old west-style Santa Ynez.