Los Alamos (California)

Los Alamos (California)

Los Alamos was once home to Zorro. Well, not really, but the bandit that the character was based on, hid in the hills behind the town of Los Alamos, ten miles north of Buellton. Solomon Pico (1821-1860) was a Mexican bandit and local hero who lost his wife during the California gold rush and vowed vengeance on the state’s gold miners who he believed caused her death. He is said to have worn a necklace made from his victim’s ears.

The main street of Los Alamos is California State Route 135, also known as Bell Street, which is home to many historic town buildings. The Victorian Mansion Bed and Breakfast, built in 1864 and is now comprised of six outrageously themed fantasy guestrooms (and receives a recommendation in this guide. See “Hotels.”) The 14 room 1880 Union Hotel is not only a historic landmark but is associated with many twentieth century musicians. Johnny Cash played the hotel dining room early in his career when the hotel was considered a road house. At least two music videos were filmed there. Bon Jovi filmed his video for “Bang a Drum,” with Chris LeDoux and Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney used the Union Hotel in their “Say, Say, Say” video.

Besides history, Los Alamos is full of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and opportunities for wine tasting. The Bedford Thompson Winery and Vineyard is on Alisos Canyon Road and has gotten rave reviews for their no frills tasting room, friendly, passionate staff and superlative Cab franc, syrah, Grenache, and Gewurtstraminer.

9175 Alisos Canyon Road, Los Alamos, CA 93440
(805) 344-2107