Are you thinking about visiting the Santa Maria Valley? Well, you are not alone!

Indeed, in its 2011 Annual Report, the Santa Maria Valley Visitor & Convention Bureau reports a 12 percent increase in city “bed tax” revenues over the previous year, meaning that even amid a challenging economy, more and more people are coming to the area and staying at local hotels and motels.

It can’t hurt that Santa Maria Style Barbecue continues to garner widespread attention, with recent media coverage in, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,, American Cowboy Magazine, Reuters, LA Weekly, and elsewhere. No doubt, more folks are following the red oak smoke to experience California’s BBQ Capital!

Other local flavors are a major draw as well. For example, word is spreading about the remarkable quality of Santa Maria Valley wines. In fact, the Wine Enthusiast named three locally grown wines to the top 10 slots on its most recent list of Top 100 Most Coveted Wines in the world! Think about that for a second…Then there’s our famous Santa Maria Valley strawberries and fertile fields of everything from cilantro to broccoli.

The valley’s award-winning theater presentations, stunning Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes and adjacent beaches, affordable world-class golf and unique cultural experiences are also beckoning you.

To help plan your next visit, check out the following three resources presented by the Official Santa Maria Valley Barbecue Blog: our Santa Maria Valley Welcome Guide, our Arts & Culture roundup, our Visitor Resources and our Santa Maria BBQ restaurants page.