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Central Coast Road Trip to Los Alamos, CA

California road trips seem to be the safest way to travel with family this fall. The old west town of Los Alamos is just 13 miles from the Meadows and the Groves at Rice Ranch in Orcutt, making it a perfect afternoon down the 101. This neighboring hamlet is named after Cottonwood trees in the area and is home to one of the most eclectic mixes of food, wine, cowboys, art, history, and down-home folks in all of California.

New Homes at the Meadows and the Groves at Rice Ranch

Rice Ranch is Santa Barbara County’s only master-planned community, located conveniently on the 101 in Orcutt, nestled against 580 acres of open space. There are plenty of hiking trails outside your door, the private Summit Club with a pool and tons of outdoor amenities, plus awesome towns like Los Alamos, just down the 101 freeway.

The town has a long history of land grants, cattle ranches, and farms, along with the narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway that ran between Los Olivos and San Luis Obispo in the late 1800s. It’s evolved into a foodie haven, an antiquing gem (shop inside the only remaining PCR station from the era), a cowboy destination full of locals, and a hip hotel and wine spot for the young and fashionable. With open space along the 7-block main road and friendly faces all over town, there’s something for every type of adventurer and everyone in the family in Los Alamos.


Forage for vintage items (and historical train station architecture) at The Depot and Los Alamos Depot Mall or head to Sister’s Gifts & Home for other fun artifacts.

See art at T&T, located inside a former bus garage. This fine art gallery showcases local artists, and if you’re lucky, you may find an artist working when you visit: Bobby Williams is a favorite local painter. 

Grab a picnic and stretch your legs at the small-ish Arthur Ferrini Park in town, or head to Los Alamos County Park, which has playgrounds, BBQs, and short hikes.


Bell’s is the newest eatery in town, and its chef Daisy Ryan was recently chosen as one of the 10 best new chefs in the country by Food & Wine magazine. It’s a great place to get French cuisine! “The duo’s vision was an all-day cafe where you can hang out and read or work on your laptop. A place where you come back again and again…you know the other patrons. This means the food isn’t fancy, but simple and delicious, and it goes well with a good glass of wine.” Read more here!

Plenty on Bell serves seasonal Wine Country cuisine with an extensive Santa Barbara County Wine and Beer List. This is locally-driven, elevated comfort food with no limitation to ethnic varieties!

Pico was founded as a destination for eclectic California cuisine, with influences from Europe, Asia, and the American South. They focus on cooking from scratch, locally sourced ingredients from farmers and ranchers using humane practices, as well as love for wine, spirits and kids! 

Looking for the best barbecue, Mexican and Californian fusion food around? Then head to Cisko Kid at The Station Los Alamos, and dig in to Chef Conrad Gonzales’ delightful creations. It’s just down-home delicious.

For the best French artisan bread, croissants and bakery items in the valley, outside of France, Bob’s Well Bread hand-made specialities won’t disappoint. Full breakfast, lunch, wine and beer also available.


There are many wine tasting rooms in town, plus a few beer and cider choices, too. Bodega has an open air wine and beer garden, most restaurants in town pride themselves on their wine and beer list, and even wineries that aren’t open for tasting will sell you unique bottlings, made by irreverent, local folks. 

A Tribute To Grace Wine Company is dedicated to crafting authentic expressions of Grenache. All wines are single-vineyard sourced to maintain authenticity.

Casa Dumetz is a funky, colorful spot where you can find several labels and varieties of wines, including cider. Their production is boutique and their focus is all things Grenache and Rhone related. Babi’s Beer Emporium is connected and had tons of beer choices.

At Municipal Wines, they think wine should be a treat – it should be fascinating and fun, and you should never feel dumb or bad about it. Municipal is here to include you in wine. This Municipality is a village for anybody who wants to enjoy fermented grape juice, without pretension in this fun, hip tasting room in the middle of town.


The historic 1880 Union Hotel is available to rent the entire place, and it’s a historic landmark with 9 authentic Old West Quarters, a saloon, and plenty of outdoor space and grounds. The 1820’s saloon in town played host to Johnny Cash where he performed in the 50’s and was the site of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson’s “Say, Say, Say” music video featuring Linda McCartney. 

Skyview Los Alamos is perched on a hillside just outside of town, and is iconic roadside motel turned boutique luxury. It’s been modernized, stylized and spruced up so much you won’t want to leave. The pool area is coveted, and the restaurant, Norman, is also very good. Plus a working vineyard. mid century style with modern rustic chic.

The Alamo Hotel is another cool, renovated hotel with lots of cozy spots and beautifully-designed corners, as well as the Municipal Wines tasting room. Watch for new friends, old movies and wine country fun on their expansive lawn, right in the middle of town.

Outdoor Living at the Meadows and the Groves at Rice Ranch

This wonderful destination is only a few minutes’ drive from Rice Ranch, which means you can eat French food as much as you like! There are many benefits of living at The Meadows and The Groves at Rice Ranch, with executive homes, oak tree lined streets, a gated community and private access to active lifestyle amenities like the Summit Club, plus 580 across of open space and expansive views.

Change your life with a change in location!

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