5 Free and Affordable Things to do in Santa Maria Valley
Don’t let inflation get you down. You can get the same Central Coast experience you’d get in places like Paso Robles, Pismo and even Napa for half the price in Santa Maria Valley. Heck, it might even be better than what you’d get at those places! Before you cancel your summer plans, check out these five things you can do affordably while you’re here. Trust us, we cut the price but don’t skimp on value.
It’s hard to enjoy the coast if you can’t be outside to take in the salty sea breeze and vast views. Stop by Oso Flaco Lake and follow the boardwalk to the beach to ‘wave’ to the Pacific. Take a hike at one of our favorite parks, Los Flores Ranch. With over 1,700 acres of beautiful rolling hills to roam, you’ll be glad it’s completely free to enjoy.
Spend a day at the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes where you’ll get to take in one of Santa Maria Valley’s pride and joys. This nature preserve is home to 550-foot sprawling, sandy hills and a unique ecosystem.
Come check out the wildlife and sink your toes in.Soak up more Vitamin D with more outdoor activities.
Quench Your Thirst with Craft Cocktails
You know we love our wine, but maybe fermented grapes aren’t your thing. It’s cool, we have something here for you too. You can try some one-of-a-kind handcrafted cocktails in Santa Maria Valley at places like The Salty Brigade Kitchen, The Maker’s Son and Cool Hand Luke’s. Specialty drinks at these restaurants range from $10-$14.
If beer is more your thing, The Naughty Oak Brewing Company offers refreshing, locally-crafted brews on tap for around $10. Plus, they have trivia nights, beer yoga and plenty more for you to do throughout the week! Maybe you’re feeling a little fruity and want to try something new? Pop by Piper’s Kombucha Brew for home-brewed kombucha with a kick, all at a reasonable price.
Satisfy Your Appetite
What’s a trip without trying some new restaurants? Meals in Santa Maria Valley average about $30 per person (at top-ranked restaurants), so both you and your wallet can stay fat and happy. The Homestead is the place to go for brunch and sandwiches (keep it small so you have more room for wine). Bell’s is great for affordable dining that feels higher end. Trattoria Uliveto puts out top-notch, drool-worthy Italian dishes. Maya Mexican Restaurant puts other Mexican restaurants to shame with its array of unique but authentic dishes and drinks. Finally, fan over some brick oven-fired pizza at Bello Forno.
Traveling on a budget? We’re here for it. Wine tasting at Cottonwood Canyon is just $20 per person, but that fee is waived if you purchase two bottles while you’re there (because, why not?). And not to worry, tasting throughout Santa Maria Valley is far more accessible than that of other areas on the Central Coast – if you’re looking to sip to your heart’s desire without breaking the bank, you can do it here.
Here is a wine tasting guide to help you make the most of your next getaway to Santa Maria Valley, where the price is cheap but the flavor is anything but.