And the Most Charming Small Town in California Is …

AFAR travel magazine recently announced its selection for “The Most Charming Town in California,” and after living for years in this familiar locale, I can definitively say it’s the perfect spot to stop and smell the rosé! 

Any guesses yet? (If you got it from my subtle hit, sip sip hooray!)

For the just-released report, Afar listed the most charming small towns in each state of the U.S., with “small” defined as places that have about 25,000 residents or fewer. The pick for California was as sweet as a grape newly plucked off the vine at harvest: Los Olivos!

My husband Steve and I have been going to Los Olivos for 25 years and have had a vacation home there for 10 years. I’m so glad to see Los Olivos get its day in the sparkling (wine) sunshine.

As AFAR said: “Why we love [Los Olivos]: This rare gem includes a walkable wine community, world-class cuisine, and luxury amenities.”

I couldn’t agree more! In fact, last year, Travel + Leisure magazine agreed too, voting Los Olivos as “America’s Best Small Food and Wine Culture Town.” It was also featured in the movie Sideways, so if you make the 45-minute sojourn northwest from Santa Barbara, wine-movie enthusiasts will probably recognize the road!

So, why is Los Olivos suddenly getting so much media attention and acclaim? 

The 2.5-square mile downtown area oozes with charisma and a near-magical appeal that’s evident in every little wine shop and local produce store you visit. There are approximately 27 wine tasting rooms in Los Olivos, (walk around and sip, no driving necessary!) with new bars and restaurants popping up all the time, plus the gorgeous luxury hotel The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern (a family favorite). The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern was an 1886 stagecoach stop, a Prohibition-era watering hole and now, newly renovated, is part of the ultra-chic Auberge Resorts Collection. We love dining there when we’re in town. The baby artichokes, little gems salad and fried chicken are all out-of-this-world dishes! 

Another local mainstay is Bar Le Côte, a stylish seafood tavern that’s Michelin-rated and delectably showcases the cuisine of the Central Coast.

All in all, the national recognition of Los Olivos is well-deserved, a reflection of, as Afar explained, an “innate appeal to seekers of the finer thing in life.” 

Cheers to Los Olivos, one of America’s most charming small towns!

Andrew Manning • REALTOR® • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties • DRE: 00941825 • 818-380-2147 •