With family-friendly festivities such as Julefest, and holiday cheer spread throughout the Santa Ynez Valley, the wine country of California’s Central Coast comes alive each year to celebrate the season

(SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, Calif.) — The best holiday traditions are not contrived … they are born and celebrated over generations. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Santa Ynez Valley, where the holidays always bring joy with celebrations that are unique to the region and perfected over time.

With more than 100 wineries and a prolific farm-to-table culinary scene, the wine country of California’s central coast is known for so much. But few traditions in the Santa Ynez Valley are as beloved as Julefest (pronounced yule-fest), Solvang’s month-long holiday celebration that has long put the popular Danish-American hamlet among the “Most Christmassy Towns in America.” This year, events such as the Aurora Dronealis — a choreographed show featuring hundreds of lighted and autonomous drones — Christmas Market Light Show, and the new Saint Lucia Day parade will add freshness to old favorites.

The Santa Ynez Valley is also known for the diversity and charm of all six of its communities, and it shows with each unique holiday event. Nostalgia thrives during the Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas, and a white Christmas is certain even in the mild climate of the Santa Ynez Valley when 20 tons of snow are piled high for all to enjoy at Buellton Winter Fest. Foodie haven Los Alamos celebrates with a Holiday Stroll, and Santa Ynez invites the whole community each year to light the largest Christmas tree in the region.

“Even as the Santa Ynez Valley’s profile as an international wine and food destination has grown, its communities have managed to preserve their many small-town charms,” said Shelby Sim, president and CEO of Visit Santa Ynez Valley. “Those charms are a key component of what makes the holiday season in the Santa Ynez Valley so special. The festivities are authentic and integrated into the community. But the Santa Ynez Valley also welcomes visitors with open arms to come celebrate alongside locals. It truly makes for a joyous atmosphere befitting the season.”