#27 – A Real Watering-Hole – The Cold Springs Tavern



After checking out the Painted caves, you can continue on the road you are on through the actual town of Painted Cave at the top of the mountain. Keep following the road and when you get tot he T make a left. This road will then bring you back up to the 154. When you hit the 154 make a right and continue about 1/2 a mile. There is only one place you can turn left at before you hit the Cold Springs Canyon Bridge. Make a left onto Stagecoach Road following it towards the right. There is a sign there showing the eight way to go.


Once you navigate a few more sharp turns with an amazing view of the bridge on your right, you will find the tavern tucked back in the corner of the canyon. The building was originally built in 1886 as a stop for Stage Coaches traveling across the Santa Ynez Mountain Range, often exchanging horses or repairing buggies to make it the rest of the way over the mountains. The structures have not been changed and only been repaired when necessary, bringing you back in time the minute you step foots onto the property. Now on a Tuesday, the place doesn’t look that exciting, but if you make you way up here on a Sat or Sun in the summer time, you are in for a fun time, as well as a heaven for people watching. The mixture of culture and personalities is matched by few other places in the world. The tavern is a stop on almost every bike tour heading along the California coast so you are likely to see about 100 or so motorcycles upon arrival. There is always someone revving up a motor, or showing off their rides in some other hot shot way. Along with the bikers are the international tourists, US Travelers, city folks, farmers locals and every other kind of person you can imagine. The place usually has a live band, often something folky or into the classic rock direction to entertain drunken dancers, occasionally  joined by someone whose liquid courage has encouraged them to try and take over the microphone. The bad part is, you dont want to be driving on the 154 when all these people are leaving … Bring a DD.

Along with the booze which are flowing freely, the weekend bring THE TRI-TIP SANDWICH. It’s the best one iv’e ever had. Along with the fresh bun and hefty serving of meat comes an array of sauces, my favorite being the wasabi mayo. They are 8 bucks but well worth it. 1 will fill you up, but given that you might end up being here all day, i’ve gone through 2 or 3.

If you are making this trip on a weekday, you will likely find the place quiet and empty, perfect for a romantic meal or a family outing in their highly acclaimed restaurant, which serves a variety of game and the kind of comfort food you would hope to find when dining in a ~130 year old tavern in the middle of the woods. Trust me, its amazing !

The main entrance to the restaurant is located in the center of the image. There is another separate building to the left, which opens as a bar on the weekends. click on the photo to see their website.

This is the old Buggy Shop where you can get repairs done and switch out your cavallos

The old jail doesn’t look like much, but then again, there was no where to run anyway.


#21 – Rainy day at Gainey

Here is a shot of Gainey Vineyard. Although it’s raining a bit up here in the Santa Ynez valley, the wine is flowing and those seeking an alternative drinking experience to the traditional green beer can be found enjoying the Pinots and Syrah’s of the area.

Gainey Vineyards

Gainey Vineyards