Road Trip

Scarecrows Summon Smiles in the Santa Ynez Valley

The fanciful figures are adding autumn-cute quaintness to several wine country communities this October; can you find them all?

SYV Scarecrow Fest

What to Know

  • Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest
  • Look for scarecrows near homes and businesses in Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Solvang, and Santa Ynez
  • Free to see through Oct. 31, 2021

A SCARECROW IN A FIELD? You've likely seen at least a few fanciful figures, if you've taken some road trips through vast expanses of on-the-vine, in-the-ground fruits and vegetables. But though you may have gazed with intensity in the direction of the scarecrow, and craned your neck to get a better glimpse, enjoying some of the agricultural icon's smaller details can be difficult if you're not in the scarecrow's immediate vicinity. There is a way, however, to be in the vivacious, photo-cute vicinity of dozens of scarecrows, and to make an autumn-adventurous day out, too: By calling upon the communities of the Santa Ynez Valley through October. For nearly a decade now, all sorts of...

SWEET AND SPOOKY SCARECROWS... have popped up around Buellton, Ballard, and Los Olivos, as well as Santa Ynez, Los Alamos, and the windmill-y place that launched the tradition, Solvang. These quaint visitors to wine country are only spied in October, meaning you'll need to visit one or all of the towns if you want to behold the artistry, imagination, and flair behind the building of each straw-tastic symbol of the season. The locals who dress up these fanciful figures as Minions, ghosts, pumpkins, and other quirky characters are doing it to delight one and all, of course, but there's also a contest element, meaning you can weigh in on your favorite (the ballot is only online in 2021, do note).

SO HOW MANY... will you see during a toodle through this bucolic bastion o' grapes, pastries, horses, and happy times? There were nearly 100 scarecrows on display in 2019, all "... crafted by local businesses, individuals and organizations." There will be plenty to see in 2021, and plenty to do while you're in the area. Restaurants, wine tastings, and the Solvang Farmer Pumpkin Patch are fall-festive add-ons to your visit to the whimsical region, a place that takes its celebrated sips, and snapshot-ready scarecrows, seriously (but, you bet, with a sense of humor, too).

Contact Us