Santa Maria is a hidden gem in the heart of the California Central Coast. It’s bursting with places to see and explore without breaking the bank.
From outdoor adventures and cultural heritage sites to delicious wine and barbecue, Santa Maria is a secret dream destination.
1. Laid-Back Wineries
Also known as “blue-jean” wineries, these exist so you can have an amazing winery experience without getting all dressed up. So put on some comfy leggings, and head down the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in Santa Maria where you can visit 17 vineyards!
If you’re interested in neighboring wine regions, we have some favorites to recommend:
- Paso Robles
- San Luis Obispo
Each town has a growing wine scene and offers vineyard tours and transportation. It’s easy to arrange and leaves the driving to someone else!
2. Perfect Weather for Year-Round Adventures
The temperate climate in Santa Maria allows you to enjoy the outdoors all year long. Find out what exciting excursions this region has to offer.
Visit Los Flores Ranch Park
This nearly 2,000-acre park is for every level of nature-lover:
- Over 15 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails
- Horseback riding trails
Pismo Dunes and Beach
Also known as the Oceano Dunes, this area is a natural preserve that’s open to the public. Feel free to go hiking, fishing, and ATV and horseback riding through the sand.
Pismo Beach mixes wine life with beach life and is a favorite local spot for family vacations in Santa Maria.
3. Delicious Local Barbecue
The region of Santa Maria has a unique style of barbecue that’s recognized as a historic California tradition. It’s prepared over a red-oak fire and served with sides of salsa, French bread, Pinquito beans, and salad.
Visit some local favorites:
4. The Community is Charming
With antique architecture straight out of a movie, you’ll love exploring the quaint town of Santa Maria. But it’s also expanded in the last decade. There are new restaurants, shopping boutiques, a craft brewery, and more!
5. There’s a Luffa Farm
At The Luffa Farm in Nipomo, you’ll learn how shower sponges are made! You can take a 20-minute tour that walks you through the process of hand-making shower luffas.
Santa Maria has something for everyone. Plan a short stay or enjoy a leisurely vacation!
You can find cheap airfare on a nonstop flight from Vegas through Allegiant.