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Visit Santa Maria, California

COMPLETED BY 3

LISTED 10

Need a reason to visit Santa Maria Valley? Relax—we have ten of them. From a coastal climate that winegrowers love to quaint hotels that won’t break the bank to signature barbecue that’ll have you wanting seconds, you’re sure to fall in love-at-first-taste with our one-of-a-kind valley.

Acclaimed wine-growing region

The Santa Maria Valley is one of six federally recognized American Viticultural Areas (AVA) within Santa Barbara County, making the area one of the top wine regions in the world.

Coastal climate is one-of-a-kind

The region boasts a rare “transverse” geography—an east-west orientation forms valleys that open directly into the Pacific Ocean. This unique topography creates one of the coolest wine-growing regions in California, making for an ideal environment for classic grape varietals.

There’s no better place to fill your glass

Pinot, Chardonnay, and Syrah are among the varietals that excel in the Santa Maria Valley. These are composed of well-drained soils that also contribute to exceptional fruit intensity and flavor concentration.

They always celebrate something

Downtown Santa Maria hosts the Autumn Arts Grapes and Grains Festival in September. In the neighboring areas, the Chardonnay Symposium takes place in Shell Beach in May, and the Santa Barbara County Vintners Festival Grand Tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley takes place in April. The Celebration of Harvest Grand Tasting also occurs every October in Solvang.

Fresh air is in abundance

The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail connects Los Olivos and Santa Maria, a journey that gets you out of the city and into the country. There are meandering roads, breathtaking views, and tucked-away vineyards all along the trail.

The valley is full of flavor

A great complement to Santa Maria Valley wines is Santa Maria-style barbecue, which centers around beef tri-tip or sirloin combined with a simple seasoning, grilled over red-oak wood. The traditional accompaniments include pinquito beans, fresh salsa, tossed green salad, and grilled French bread dipped in sweet melted butter.

West-Coast hub

Santa Maria is approximately 3 hours from Los Angeles, and approximately 4 ½ hours from San Francisco. Santa Maria also has an airport with direct flights to and from Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Neighboring cities such as Santa Barbara (SBA) and San Luis Obispo (SBP) also have airports.

Weather is worth cozying up to: Excellent weather makes visiting the Santa Maria Valley easy year-round, with temperatures averaging 69 degrees.

 

Success stories

Riley White

Mar 23 at 23:56 pm
For my 30th birthday I finally made it to the west coast to see Pacific Ocean

Nicki Miller

Feb 01 at 18:58 pm
Honeymoon/Santa Monica Pier