Santa Maria Valley is known for exquisite cool-climate wines and traditional Santa Maria Style barbecue. But there’s a new family-friendly activity that’s growing in popularity in the valley and across California: agritourism. Agritourism is the practice of traveling to visit farms and learn more about the way produce is grown. This trend has blossomed over the past few years, and what better place to experience agritourism than in one of the largest fruits and vegetable-growing regions in California? Read on for three great farms and vineyards to visit during your Santa Maria Valley agritourism tour.
This small, locally owned farm offers guests the chance to pick and enjoy delicious produce. U-Pick Blueberries grows blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, lavender, apricots and plums. The farm does not use pesticides, making it safe for children and families to roam through the rows of crops safely. Picking berries encourages children and families to work – and, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor afterward!
Avila Valley Barn
Avila Valley Barn is located 25 miles north of Santa Maria, just past Pismo Beach, in the town of Avila. The farm sells a variety of produce, fresh-cut flowers, baked goods and other treats and souvenirs. The farm is also home to adorable goats, emus, sheep, chickens and ponies that kids and families can feed and interact with. Avila Valley Barn also hosts seasonal events like a hay maze, tractor rides and a Christmas tree lot.
The Luffa Farm
This hidden gem is nestled near the town of Nipomo, just 20 minutes north of Santa Maria. The Luffa Farm grows luffa bath sponges from heirloom seeds year-round. Most people are surprised to discover that luffas do not come from the ocean like sea sponges. Luffas are actually gourds, similar to pumpkins, squash and melons. Visitors can purchase souvenirs, including their own natural luffas and handmade soaps, lotions and other bath supplies. The Luffa Farm is one of the few of its kind left in the United States.
Try visiting one of these local farms on your next family getaway to Santa Maria Valley. As a bonus for parents, be sure to ask the staff at your favorite Santa Maria Valley winery about its grape-growing process!
In Santa Maria Valley, there’s so much to do from here. Hit the road and explore it all with our 24 hiking trails, 34 tasting rooms, seven unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. There is no need to venture far if you are looking for sand dunes, cycling and authentic Santa Maria Style dining. You’ll find it’s the perfect home base, where you can eat, drink and do more for less.