I'm flying into Santa Barbara soon for a ride up the California coast, but I want to visit family in the Santa Ynez Valley on my way. I live in DC, but I grew up in Santa Ynez and remember the drive from Santa Barbara well. That was before my cycling days and the roads I remember were not roads I would want to bike, i.e. - 154 and the San Marcos Pass.
Bruce Gordon Ti Rock N Road , Fat Chance Mountain Tandem 
Road with a little gravel capabilities?
If you are starting from the SB Airport go West on Hollister Ave. to 101 junction/overpass [under 3 miles]. [It is legal to ride on freeway starting at Winchester Canyon/Hollister Ave. junction; Good shoulders for riding.] After 20+? miles on 101 Exit at Refugio Rd. turn right and climb sometimes steeply to Refugio Pass passing by the Reagan Ranch near the top. Gravel starts at the top heading into Santa Ynez for about 3/4 of a mile. Refugio Rd meets Hwy 246 at the Santa Ynez High School. You know the way from there I expect. Have a good ride.
At the top for county liability reasons there is often a sign saying road closed. I talked to the road dept guy there and he said bikes are not a problem.
Of course! That sounds perfect, thanks so much for the help. Riding through Los Padres National Forest is probably pretty nice too. I don't mind the gravel roads at all. Now I'm really looking forward to my trip!