It’s the season for apples, grapes, and pumpkins. Get ’em all on a drive or a bike ride from Los Olivos to Solvang on Alamo Pintado Road. The first stop is a stand on the side of the country road. Dittmar’s Apples, dating back to the 1970s, has about 10 different types, including heirloom varieties such as Jonagold and Summerfeld. Right now the crisp and sweet Pink Lady and the slightly tarter Granny Smith are on the menu. Next, head south a bit on Alamo Pintado, to taste the current vintages at laid-back Buttonwood Farm Winery and Vineyard
. This small producer of dry and dessert wines also has delicious farm products harvested from its herb and flower gardens and orchards, including peach, Asian pear, and olive. Still farther south, Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch (pictured) rounds out the tour. Each pumpkin here has its own character and color—from wrinkled green and white gourds to short and squat pumpkins with jack-o’-lantern potential. Crop cornucopia!WHERE TO STAY OR CAMP:
In the center of Los Olivos, Fess Parker Inn
is splurge-worthy luxury. Fireplaces and warm colors make the high-ceilinged, elegant rooms cozy and inviting. A stay includes breakfast at the airy on-site restaurant, Petros, and complimentary tastings at all four Fess Parker Family tasting rooms. Also on-site is BiN 2860, the inn’s wine and beer shop. The only beer tasting in the area, BiN boasts a first-rate selection of close to 200 rare beers. For a less expensive overnight option, Cachuma Lake Recreation Area
has tent camping, yurts, and cabins, and is dog friendly. Camp on the east side (sites 204 to 208 and 230 to 234) to watch the moonrise, or camp on the west side for gorgeous sunsets (site 480 at El Dorado Point is relatively secluded and has prime lakeside views). Informal hiking trails starting from the Mohawk area meander through fields by the water’s edge.From the flag pole in the center of Los Olivos, head south on Alamo Pintado Rd. to Dittmar’s Apples (also known as Green Haven Orchard). Buttonwood Farm Winery and Vineyard (dog-friendly!) is located at 1500 Alamo Pintado Rd. Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch is a mile south on Alamo Pintado Rd.