A TOWN WITH TALES: California is rather on the large side (perhaps you've heard) and it is rather on the long side (just glance at any map) and it happens to have a city or two or five that's mighty major and mighty impressive. But here's the truly impressive thing about the 31st state: It has a wealth of interesting towns, from wee Amador City in Gold Country (the state's smallest incorporated city) to Solvang (the "Danish capital of America") to Zzyzx in San Bernardino County (which just might be the most z-iest spot on any regional map). Los Alamos, which isn't too far from Solvang, definitely gets a blue ribbon in the "interesting village" category, for it is a place where California's past remains vibrant and alive. Stroll past many of the buildings in the Santa Ynez Valley destination, including the 1880 Union Hotel, and you could feel as though you've slipped through a portal in the space-time continuum.
AND FEW TIMES OF YEAR... are as in touch with the town's bygone spirit as Los Alamos Valley Old Days, which will trot again for its 70th annual hoedown from Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 25. Los Alamos spotlights its "authentic Western heritage" during the long weekend via the "Greatest Little Small Town Parade" on Sept. 25 as well as a host of other happenings during the festivities, including a Tri-Tip Beef Sandwich BBQ, a Peddlers Market, and an Artisan Faire. Beautiful ponies, retro automobiles, chili dinners, and more small-town-y merriment enhance the venerable Old West meet-up. California has many cities, as mentioned, but there are only a handful that still have that 1800s-style yeehaw-o-sity and ten-gallon charm. It's Los Alamos, one of the coolest vintage towns of the Golden State (or any other state).