The crew from Modern Hiker recently made the scenic drive from Los Angeles to the Central Coast to eat, drink and hike their way around Santa Maria Valley. During their 36-hour stay, they visited local breweries and restaurants, rode the wine trolley, and hiked Oso Flaco Lake Trail and to Point Sal.

Modern Hiker enjoyed two hikes in Santa Maria Valley. First, they hiked Oso Flaco Lake Trail, which takes hikers across the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, past Oso Flaco Lake and to the ocean. This trail offers great views of local plants and native wildlife. This hike is mostly on a boardwalk, which makes it an easy stroll for hikers of all skill levels. The group packed a picnic and enjoyed their breakfast on the beach before returning back down the trail.

They also took on a more challenging trail during their trip: the hike to Point Sal. This hike is more strenuous and longer than most trails in Santa Maria Valley, but seemed to be a perfect challenge for these veteran hikers. Jonathan Legg, who tackled the hike to Point Sal, called it “Santa Maria Valley’s best hike.” Watch the full video of Modern Hiker’s trek to Point Sal here.

Modern Hiker is known for not only exploring a destination’s hiking trails, but also a city’s culture and venues. In between hikes, they visited Naughty Oak Brewing Comp

any to get a taste of the hopping craft beer scene along the Central Coast. They also rode the wine trolley, visiting Ca’ Del Grevino, Cottonwood Canyon and Costa de Oro. During their time visiting the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail they sampled Santa Maria Valley’s renowned Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.

“As we tasted the region’s wine we were impressed by the quality, but we were even more excited about the low-key atmosphere and affordability,” hiker Corey Caffrey said after visiting the tasting rooms.

And, of course, they explored Santa Maria Style barbecue at Far Western Tavern and Shaw’s Famous Steakhouse. At Far Western Tavern, they opted for lighter options, which are made from ingredients locally sourced from the Central Coast. Corey said he would recommend the awesome tri-tip he got at Shaw’s. He also noted that our traditional salsa atop the tri-tip is a tradition that shouldn’t be missed.

Modern Hiker proved that even if you’re only in Santa Maria Valley for a short time, you can enjoy much of what makes us special. From our barbecue, wine, beer, hiking and everything in between, come experience for yourself what makes Santa Maria Style so unique.


Photos courtesy of Modern Hiker.

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.