Parks for Travelers in Buellton, California

April 22, 2023 9:42 am8 commentsViews: 134

The Santa Ynez Valley is known for its sunny weather, friendly populace, and highly attractive surroundings. Buellton has the pleasant character of a small town combined with the benefits of a city of 4700 people. This locale has a number of nice parks, considering its small size. The parks are well maintained and almost always free of litter. All of the city parks are within ten minutes of the Highway 101 exit into Buellton, which was shown in the film Sideways.

Parks for Travelers in Buellton, California

River View Park

151 Sycamore Drive

This is Buellton’s newest park for its human residents, a lovely piece of land that abuts the Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden. River View Park has amenities for children, such as playground equipment. It has large fields, on which one could play softball. There are also a substantial number of barbecue grills that can be reserved in advance for large groups. This park is ideal for local families and as a pleasant break for travelers passing through on Highway 101. Unique among Buellton’s parks, it has a number of trails for hiking, bicycling, and dog walking.

Oak Park

Corner of Sycamore and Second St.

An appendage of Oak Valley Elementary School, Oak Park is an older park that is in a more urban setting than River View Park. It receives a lot of use for its soccer fields, particularly in the evenings when many residents have finished with their jobs for the day. This park also has children’s playground equipment. There are a few picnic tables with barbecue grills, but not enough for large groups to use.

Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden

River View Park: right side of the parking lot down at the end

This is a dream come true for many native plant enthusiasts in the Valley. The Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden land extends from River View Park down to the Santa Ynez River. It has been planted entirely with native plants, emphasizing riparian ones – those whose growth is involved with the river. The most recent introduction is a grassy meadow. This Garden is fairly new, so many of the trees and shrubs are young. It will be exciting to watch the plants blossom into full-fledge ecosystems. An additional attraction is that many of the plants are hosts for endangered species such as the willow flycatcher.

Nojoqui Falls

Highway 101 South

Officially a Santa Barbara County Park and not part of the Buellton city park system, Nojoqui Falls is nonetheless heavily used by Buellton residents and visitors. It is just a few minutes down Highway 101 and to the left to find the parking lot for this entrancing waterfall. Also, on very hot days, the park is shaded and cool. It is a nice refuge from the summer sun, which can be overwhelming at times. This park is the only one that is a forest.

The waterfall is only a ten minute walk from the parking lot. Children seem to greatly enjoy seeing the falls, which dwindle to a trickle during most of the year, when the climate is that of a desert. It is still worth a visit, even outside of the rainy season. It is a popular place to bring dogs for a walk. There are a number of barbecue grills that can be reserved in advance for large groups.


586 Dawn Drive

The only off leash dog park in the Santa Ynez Valley, the opening of PAWS Park was a breakthrough for dog owners in this Central Coast area. Dog owners must obey certain rules, such as having license and rabies tags on their dogs and having a leash. The dogs are also held to rules, such as not being aggressive or digging. Although located in Buellton, the dog park is a popular place from residents all over the Santa Ynez Valley to bring their canine companions to play with other dogs. There are separate enclosures for large and small dogs.

A Quick Exit From Highway 101 Leads to Buellton Parks

Although a city and not a town, Buellton is noticeably friendlier than other Central Coast cities such as Santa Barbara. It has the good qualities of a small town, while being large enough to maintain some anonymity. The park system is quite impressive for a town of its size. With a relatively low crime rate and almost perfect weather, this city is often viewed as a good place to raise children. The park system of Buellton contributes to the high quality of life in this locale. These parks are ideal stops for travelers passing through the Central Coast on Highway 101 who want to take a quick break in pleasant surroundings without diverting much time from their trips.


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