No visit to the Santa Maria Valley is complete with out a taste of Santa Maria Style Barbecue, Santa Maria Valley wines and…farm-fresh Santa Maria Valley strawberries!

Barbecue and wine may get the most press, but local strawberries enjoy the spotlight every spring at the ultimate berry bash: The Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival, taking place this year from April 29 through May 1 at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

This family friendly event features strawberry varietal sampling, strawberry desserts, educational exhibits, a farmers market, cooking demonstrations, agricultural displays, wine tasting, live music, old-fashioned carnival entertainment and, of course, Santa Maria BBQ. Click here for more information.

More than 7,000 acres and 10 varieties of strawberries are grown in the Santa Maria Valley. What’s the secret to the valley’s success as one of North America’s most prolific, high-quality strawberry producers? It’s the same thing that makes the valley such a great place to live, and to grow wine, too: the uniquely moderate coastal climate.  In the words of local grower Daren Gee, “It’s rarely too hot or too cold in the Santa Maria Valley. Most of the time, we hover between 50 and 75 degrees, which is perfect for growing strawberries.”

In other words, what’s good for Syrah is also what’s great for strawberries! And the Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival is just another reminder that our region offers a regional culinary experience like no other.