Travel trend – Santa Barbara News-Press


Midweek is the new weekend

COURTESY PHOTOS
Art Spot on Wheels allows people to paint in scenic locations such as vineyards. It’s among the special programs in the Midweek Membership Club.

With the pandemic allowing people more flexibility in their work schedules, midweek has become a new travel trend for 2022, one that the Midweek Membership Club in Visit the Santa Ynez Valley is offering through March 31.

Approximately 30 hotels, restaurants, wineries and other venues are participating. 

Guests who book an eligible consecutive two-night, Sunday-through-Thursday stay, will receive five digital passes, each of which can be redeemed at the locations for a wine tasting for two or $20 credit at restaurants, retailers and activity providers. Midweek Membership Club travelers will also receive club member pricing on wine purchases.

Three of the more unique venues are Art Spot on Wheels, Broken Clock Vinegar Works and The Ultimate Escape Rooms. 

“We’ve combined some of the best things in the world — art, wine, nature and people,” said Christi Belle, owner and founder of Art Spot on Wheels, which allows people to paint in special locations. “Imagine you and your friends surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley with a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of estate wine in the other.”

“Art Spot on Wheels is a full-service art studio operating on wheels,” said Christi Belle, owner and founder. “We’ve combined some of the best things in the world — art, wine, nature and people. Imagine you and your friends surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley with a paintbrush in one hand and a glass of estate wine in the other.

“Not just another pain-and-sip class, our signature ‘Painting in the Vineyard’ events will delight your senses with fantastic views and delicious wines from local wineries.”

Charles and Jody Williams started Broken Clock Vinegar Works in their home kitchen before expanding to Mission Drive in Solvang in late 2017.

“We use a double fermentation method to produce our vinegars,” said Ms. Williams. “First, whole fruits are fermented into a dry wine. Then that wine is fermented into acetic acid. Our lineup of vinegars, shrubs, pickling kits and lacto-fermentation products are designed to promote a healthy, probiotic lifestyle and provide a means of reducing food waste through preservation.”

They offer tastings along with pickling and fermentation classes at their production facility in Solvang.

“Midweek is such a special time to enjoy the valley. It’s a slower pace and visitors can really settle into the small-town feel,” said Ms. Williams. “So many of our customers are coming from big cities. The rural atmosphere is just what they need to re-charge and immerse themselves in the open-space.”

The Ultimate Escape Rooms is a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and must use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues and escape the room within a set time limit.

“The rooms are a little like video games come to life. They are filled with gadgets, puzzles and clues that teams — usually of two to eight people — have to solve in order to escape,” said co-owner Annette Cortez.

“I personally love doing fun things during the weekdays when things aren’t so crowded and hectic,” Ms. Cortez said. “It’s such a great opportunity to enjoy a relaxing and fun getaway with friends and loved ones without having to fight the crowds. The added bonus of saving money makes this a deal that can’t be passed up!”

Other participating venues include Ampelos Cellars, Brick Barn Wine Estate, Coquelicot Organic Estate, Crawford Family Wines, Dana V. Wines, First Street Leather in Los Olivos and Solvang, Grassini Family Vineyards, Renaissance Antiques, River Grill at the Alisal and Toccata Tasting Room.

“A special experience any day of the week, the Santa Ynez Valley is particularly appealing midweek when the bustle has quieted, and the valley provides an even more relaxed respite to visitors,” said Shelby Sim, president and CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “With the continued popularity of work-from-home and remote working, there’s never been a better time to visit. 

“It doesn’t take long to do the math and realize the value that this program presents, particularly when midweek hotel rates are already typically discounted from their Friday and Saturday night counterparts,” he added. “Yes, there are still deals to be had in travel. Yes, midweek is the new weekend. 

“And yes, the Midweek Membership Club from Visit the Santa Ynez Valley is the very best of both.”

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FYI

Midweek Membership Club passes cannot be redeemed for cash or applied toward gratuity and are valid Sunday through Thursday only. For more information, including a complete list of participants or to plan and book a Midweek Membership Club visit to the Santa Ynez Valley, go to www.visitsyv.com/midweek.



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