Take a Santa Ynez Walkabout

A Shopper’s Guide to the Country-Western Wine-Country Township

Santa Ynez General | Credit: Courtesy

If you haven’t been to Santa Ynez lately, you’re in for a treat — especially if you’re a shopper who loves a good browse. Since becoming a Santa Ynez local in February, I’ve done my fair share of retail research (ahem, “therapy”), both on my own and while showing visitors around. To my surprise and delight, I quickly discovered that my small town of 4,100 residents has an impressive concentration of quality shops, eateries, and watering holes that keeps getting better.

Forage Floral Bar | Credit: Courtesy

Over the past several months, more new retailers have joined the compelling mix of homewares, antiques, clothing, farm goods, and gifts purveyors. These independent shops are all located in an easily walkable three-block district encompassing Edison Street, Sagunto Street, and Meadowvale Road. The ambiance is very cute to boot, thanks to the historic 1880s-era buildings and Old West vibe. So, whether you’re looking for day-cation inspiration, a leg-stretching break on a wine tasting tour, or want to get a head start on holiday shopping, consider this your cheat sheet of essential shopping stops on a Santa Ynez walkabout. 

Devine Supply (1050 Edison St., Ste. D) is the newest darling on the block. The airy boutique is a family affair, helmed by Vicki Devine and her daughters, Sabrina and Kat. They carry a thoughtful mix of premium clothing for women and men, as well as jewelry, accessories, and home accents. In the same complex is Loom Boutique (1050 Edison St., Ste. B), which just celebrated its first anniversary. Owner/buyer Torrie Smith is a passionate young entrepreneur who prides herself on offering affordable, stylish goods for women. 

Another one for the ladies is Favour (3585 Sagunto St.), a standalone shop that looks unassuming from the street. It’s packed with a robust selection of designer denim, dresses, tops, and loungewear hand-picked by proprietress Lindsay Branquinho. Plenty (1110 Faraday St.) also exemplifies Santa Ynez style as interpreted through the savvy eyes of co-owner BFFs Julie White and Stephanie Braly, who offer an affordable, colorful mix of country chic bohemian dresses, separates, and vintage denim. Their neighbor Heaven Scent (3601 Sagunto St.) is a small beauty apothecary and women’s clothing and accessories shop.

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Speaking of accessories, KJ Murphy’s Custom Hatter (3569 Sagunto St.) is a hat-lover’s dream. Kevin recently moved into a much larger space, expanding his offerings beyond his own made-to-order creations to include a wide range of Stetsons, Resistol, and Charlie 1 Horse hats. But it’s one of his custom-made toppers I’m saving up for! 

All of my guests have found something to covet at Santa Ynez General. Owners/husbands Pearson McGee and Spencer Turnbull recently opened a second space to create a dedicated home shop (3558 Sagunto St.) and clothing store (the original at 3630 Sagunto St.). Both locations are artfully merchandised and full of high-end luxury lifestyle goods, including their own line of straw totes, leather sandals (named after Santa Ynez streets), and men’s cashmere sweaters. The new home shop now has more space to accommodate antiques, art, and furniture, along with sumptuous textiles and dinnerware by the likes of Farmhouse Pottery and Jono Pandolfi. 

KJ Murphy’s | Credit: Courtesy

An ever-changing array of home décor, art, and gifts can also be found at Lark Trading Co. (3568 Sagunto St.). Owner/interior designer Starr Hall Egan sources eclectic antiques, spices, tinctures, and candles that are displayed among cookbooks, barware, and garden goods. Antique hunters will want to pop into Valerie’s Vintage & Supply Co. (3568 Sagunto St.) right next door.

Forage Florals (1095 Meadowvale Rd.) is another treasure trove of lovely gifts and home accessories. In addition to gorgeous bouquets made with fresh flowers and plants sourced locally, the shop is stocked with divine-smelling diffusers and candles, attractive vases and vessels, and other tabletop items.

If you need refreshments between shopping stops, Queen Cup is my go-to coffee shop in the same Santa Ynez Mercantile complex as Forage Florals. You’ll find warm service, excellent coffee and tea drinks, and cute merch, including Mexican blankets, hats, and shirts. They share a space with Lucky Hen Larder, who makes gourmet-level sandwiches and salads. Santa Ynez also has an outpost of Panino (3569 Sagunto St.) for super-satisfying sandwiches. Hit Pony Espresso (3558 Sagunto St., Ste. A) for a sweet treat or take advantage of their new early evening aperitivo hours for small plates and wine. If a casual burger and beer are calling your name, mosey over to the Maverick Saloon (3687 Sagunto St.), or take it up a few culinary notches at Brother’s at the Red Barn (3539 Sagunto St.). And S.Y. Kitchen (1110 Faraday St.) never disappoints for a refined Italian lunch or dinner paired to local wine or craft cocktails.

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