A beautiful three-hour drive north of Los Angeles, Santa Maria Valley offers easy access to all of California’s Central Coast in addition to its affordable accommodations, calming views of the vineyards and even the mesmerizing ocean. Santa Maria Valley’s coastal climate allows for getaway trips year-round. Whether you’re looking to rest in a picturesque California landmark like the Historic Santa Maria Inn or choose to stay in the Radisson Hotel Santa Maria, Santa Maria Valley has a place for everyone to feel at home.
Whether you’re a red or white wine connoisseur, Santa Maria Valley’s local wineries produce award-winning Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and many others. It’s no surprise that this wine-grape growing region is the Central Coast’s first American Viticultural Area (AVA). It’s known that vintners have been growing grapes in the area since the Mexican Colonial period. But whether you’re planning a getaway to try out wine or sight-see, be sure to check out the Santa Maria Valley Swirl Machine. It’s a digital-meets real-world experience where you can create digital art made out of wine based on your personality.
If you’re planning your trip from May to October you can’t forget to hop on the Wine Trolley. The Trolley takes you on a trip around the valley by stopping in different tasting rooms. Throughout your time in Santa Maria Valley, visit one or all 30 tasting rooms to sample local wines. If you’d like to adventure on your own, the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail features 13 wineries along a scenic 30-mile stretch of road.
Finally, you didn’t visit Santa Maria Valley if you didn’t try the traditional Santa Maria-Style Barbecue. Unlike other barbecues, this is a tradition that can be traced back 150 years and, even better, it’s still prepared almost exactly the same way. Vaqueros (Spanish cowboys) and rancheros enjoyed this delicious meal and to this day, it’s still an important part of the culture in the valley. Santa Maria-Style Barbecue is slow-roasted over native red oak and typically it’s tri-tip or top block sirloin. It’s served with native Santa Maria Valley pinquito beans, fresh salsa and salad. Download our Santa Maria Style barbecue cookbook to learn more.
Hop on the Wine Trolley, take a walk around the vineyards, enjoy a 150-year-old culinary tradition and more, #SantaMariaStyle. The best part? You can enjoy a weekend getaway for two people to the Santa Maria Valley for $500 or less.
*** 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.