It’s a small town about 20 minutes away from Solvang, and one that I debated on sharing because it’s such a peaceful gem. The people in this town are humble, kind, and very friendly. They live a happy life, a simple one, and truth be told, there isn’t too much to do when you’re there but it’s not meant to be a crazy weekend out of town anyways.
While Los Alamos is pretty low key, there is one motel – yes, motel, that caught my eye on Instagram. Now the last time I slept in a motel was about 7 years ago, at Motel 6, in Vegas on NYE. It was a last-minute, spontaneous trip, and everything was booked. While the stay wasn’t bad, I still prefer hotels over motels. However, I will vouch for this gem in Los Alamos and do recommend it to anyone who is looking for a quaint place to stay for the weekend.
Where to Stay
The Alamo Motel is changing people’s perspective on what a motel is. Contrary to popular belief, a motel is not always dirty, run by cartels, or just for those who can’t afford a real hotel. I get it, there have been bad experiences we all have had but that shouldn’t dictate your entire view on motels. Just as they’re amazing hotels, there are also bad ones and there’s no guarantee that the ratings always match the service you get.
I’m not going to lie; I brought my own pillowcases, slippers, and carefully inspected the room the minute we got in. You know what I found? Nothing. The place was spotless, well lit with sunlight during the day, and the bathroom was clean. We were greeted by the front desk and given our keys without any issues, you can park wherever you like but people typically park in front of their assigned rooms. There’s a wine tasting room on-site and large fire pit with blankets and s’mores available. With their gorgeous details and decent sized rooms, Alamo Motel is my recommendation if you plan on staying a night or two – or three.
What to Eat
If you are looking for something that will take your breathe away, may I suggest Pico? While they may not consider themselves to be fine dining, I certainly do because of the quality, care, and feel of our experience. Certainly something you wouldn’t expect from a small town.
However, the fine dining entrees are found Monday thru Saturday, while their more relaxed menu is on Sunday. We happened to make reservations on a Sunday, which is their “Burger Night”, and yes, they only serve burgers on this night. Let me preface this by being very blunt, I typically do not like burgers (except for In & Out), and I don’t usually like getting messy when I eat (with the exception of Boiling Crab).
So you can imagine KSOLE’s surprise as we sat down and looked over the menu. He looked at me and said, “they only have burgers, you don’t like burgers.” I told him that Pico was one of the highest rated places in town, so I wanted to try the food and if a burger could impress me than that says a lot. As you can guess, the burger did, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it (hah).
In addition, I’m also not a fan of vegetables but their appetizers: the cauliflower and mushroom salad blew me away. Both dishes were full of flavor and well portioned. The burgers were cooked perfectly, were juicy and big. I made it half way through before tapping out (aka taking it home). But, I made sure to have room for their homemade chocolate cookies. Yes, they were good too!
I cannot wait to visit again and try their regular menus, which I can only expect to be amazing.
Bob’s Well Bread Bakery
The most recommended spot for brunch was Bob’s Well Bread Bakery and I can testify that everyone in town was not wrong in saying this place was good. You can smell the freshly baked bread the minute you walk in the door and their fresh ingredients can be tasted in their dishes. Not to mention that their service was friendly and fast too. The staff seemed to know everyone in town by their first name, which showed great hospitality.
KSOLE and I had a light brunch; I ordered the lox plate while he had a quiche. Indoor, covered patio, and outdoor seating is available. Plenty of space to sit and enjoy your meal. The bakery had a really laid back vibe, welcoming you to slow down and really enjoy your time there. We loved just sitting outside, watching people’s dogs play around, and listening to the birds. I don’t think I had a brunch so peaceful as this one.
Full of Life
So, this is a pizza place and yes, I am lactose intolerant. However, I do not regret risking it for Full of Life because their pizza was just that good. From the crunch of the crust, to the proportioned amount of toppings, this place is a must whenever you’re in town. Plus it’s super casual, has a large amount of seating, and there’s a great variety of wines to pair with your pizza.
The only thing I will have to say is that the appetizer choices were a little lackluster. We had a salad and soup, but they weren’t anything to rave about to be honest. Then again, you’re here for the pizza so I’d just jump right into that.
As for desserts, there is plenty to choose from and we opted for an apple pie with ice cream. I do wish we got their version of s’mores tho, it looked really good but I was also too full to attempt to eat it (as it was huge).
What to Do
Vintage and antique shopping
I love looking for possible treasures at antique and vintage stores, especially for Lucille Ball memorabilia. There’s a huge antique mall in Los Alamos that you can’t miss. I think we spent an hour in here alone, just admiring all the items around. It’s the perfect place for those who love records, archived magazines and books, and even vintage cameras.
Down the street are a few other stores to browse through, including a gift shop and thrift store.
Drive to Solvang
Just 20 minutes away is Solvang, and if you haven’t been, I highly recommend you do as it’s the cutest place. With a variety of restaurants and stores, there’s plenty to do for a full day —and they have a miniature horse farm too!
Check out my guide on Solvang here.
So, the one thing you are supposed to do in Los Alamos is go wine tasting but I decided to skip on it (as I’m not big on wine). I had a glass or two during our dinners but to go through a whole tasting is not my jam. However, there are plenty of great options if you’re down for that and there’s even a tasting room on the property of Alamo Motel too.