With social distancing regulations in place, your current travel plans may be on hold. But, it’s never too early to dream of and plan your next Santa Maria Valley getaway. Whether you’re planning on hitting the road for a wine weekend with the girls, cooking up the perfect foodie’s barbecue tour or taking the whole family along for a weekend of outdoor exploration, Santa Maria Valley is the perfect place to see and do more for less. And there’s no better way to get inspired for your next trip than by checking out the Santa Maria Valley Visitor Guide.
This complimentary digital guide is the ultimate one-stop-shop for trip inspiration, insider knowledge about the valley, and tips and tricks for making the most of a Central Coast getaway. Read on for our roundup of the seven top features in this year’s visitor guide.
1. Pause for a #selfie break: Top Instagrammable moments in the valley
Get your good side ready and open the aperture to a perfect trip, because the Santa Maria Valley is a photographer’s haven. With rolling vineyard hills, pristine beaches, old-California towns with antique charm and much more, you’ll find the perfect backdrop for all your vacation pics. Strike a pose!
2. Explore a rare and unique agricultural niche at The Luffa Farm
Just 20 minutes north of Santa Maria proper, you’ll find The Luffa Farm near the quaint town of Nipomo. This five-acre farm grows natural luffa sponges from heirloom seeds native to the old-world tropics. You can tour the farm, learn about the sponges and pick up a few luffas or handmade lotions as souvenirs.
3. Quench your thirst with a spotlight on Naughty Oak Brewing Co.
Naughty Oak Brewing Co., named for the Central Coast’s famed red oak trees – which are also used in our iconic Santa Maria Style barbecue – is a beer lover’s best bet for a perfect pitstop. Located in Old Town Orcutt, Naughty Oak brews up a handful of small-batch beers as well as cold brew coffee. You can even take some beer to go and enjoy once you get home.
4. Explore California’s history at La Purisima Mission
Once occupied by the Chumash people and Spanish settlers, La Purisima Mission is the most extensively restored mission in California. You can take a tour of the mission, learn about the people who once lived there and explore the 2,000-acre grounds, which include more than 25 miles of hiking and cycling trails.
5. Lessons on life with a real-life vaquero
There are few people who embody what it means to be a California vaquero more than the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum’s 2019 “Vaquero of the Year,” Charles “Tyke” Minetti. With a lifetime of ranching success under his belt, Tyke has a few life lessons for you.
6. Take our personality quiz to learn your perfect vacation pairing
With so many options for adventure, it can be hard to decide how to spend your time in the Santa Maria Valley. But, we’ve got you covered! Take our perfect pairing quiz on page 28 and let your personality decide how to spend your vacation.
7. Learn about agritourism from travel experts
2TravelDads gave us the insider scoop on agritourism – travel that brings visitors to farms, ranches or other agricultural hotspots. “We love agritourism because it’s a very different way to explore and learn,” the dads said. With a temperate Mediterranean climate, more than 7,500 acres of vineyards, and dozens of farms growing fresh California strawberries and other produce, Santa Maria Valley is the perfect place to explore agritourism.
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.