Ep 373: Tips for Wine Travel with Travel Writer and Media Producer, Krista Simmons

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Krista Simmons is a culinary travel writer and producer who runs the digital media company, Fork in the Road Media. She has been on TV shows like Top Chef Masters, Knife Fight, Hell's Kitchen, The Today Show, and more. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Departures, and the Los Angeles Times.

Krista is the real deal: she has held jobs in the restaurant industry since she was 15. And following that she traveled, went to culinary school, and she's studying for WSET Level 2 Exam. She has lived more in her young life than most of us could hope to in our whole lives!

In the show Krista joins to share her wisdom and advice on wine travel, and specifically on travel in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara, California, which she recently covered for a ridiculously popular piece in Condé Nast Travel: How to Spend a Weekend in California's Santa Ynez Valley

We share several tips, and go through the "personalities" of the major areas of the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County (Solvang, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, Buellton). Here are some highlights with links we mention:

Tip 1: Stay close to where you want to go to dinner! That way you can walk home after having some adult beverages. Some hotels we mention:

The Winston, Solvang

Tip 2: Find great restaurants by following people like Krista and the publications she writes for (like Condé Nast Traveler). Food bloggers are another great source of info for top restaurants you may want to hit while visiting wine country. Also, ask your local chefs if they have ever traveled to the area you are going and if they know any great restaurants. When on the ground, tasting room staff are a great resource for the best local fare!

Here are some restaurants we mention:

Pico Restaurant, Los Alamos

Tip 3: Pack well! We spend lots of time talking about packing for comfort (NO HIGH HEELS!). Krista mentions some specific shoe brands:

She also recommends bringing a jacket for the cool nights and a hat for the hot daytime!

Tip 4: If you're traveling on a budget, plan trips for the “shoulder season” – the least busy time of the year. In wine country that's December to February. Travel during the week if you can, it will save you a bundle.

We share so many more tips, including the biggest pitfalls you can fall into in travel. This is a great show for all wine country travel and it is a must if you are going to Santa Barbara County wine country!

Make sure to follow Krista and listen to her podcast, Fork in the Road (especially the episode with Wine for Normal People 😉)

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