Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Santa Maria Valley. Rainfall in winter make the vineyards, fields and surrounding hills lush and green, providing visitors quite a view. Spring is also the perfect time of year to see wildflowers in bloom through the Valley. The temperate Central Coast climate makes spring a particularly pleasant time to visit, as the weather is warm without being too hot. There are many ways to experience the beautiful scenery and weather in Santa Maria Valley during your spring getaway. Keep reading for six of our favorite ways to connect with nature and experience spring Santa Maria Style.
1. At the Dunes
The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes near Santa Maria Valley is beautiful year-round, but spring is an especially great time to see native flora and fauna. The rare Western Snowy Plover makes its home on the dunes in spring and summer. Sections of the dunes get fenced off to protect the plover’s nests and eggs, which allows tourists to observe the birds in an undisturbed habitat.
2. At a Winery
It’s always wine time in the Santa Maria Valley, but spring is a great time to sample the region’s world-class Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Syrahs. There are more than 30 tasting rooms within a 30-minute drive of the Santa Maria Valley, giving winos plenty of tasting options. The Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley kicks off its season in May and allows visitors to the valley to experience our wine in a different way.
3. On Horseback
If you’ve always dreamed of riding horseback on the beach, look no further than the Santa Maria Valley. At Pacific Dunes Ranch, you can book a guided horseback ride. Your tour will take you through the Oceano Dunes Preserve, where you’ll make your way to the beach and experience stunning views and fresh ocean air. Saddle up for this unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
4. In the Fields
The Santa Maria Valley is known for producing more than just wine grapes. The region’s unique climate and extended growing season leads to delicious strawberries and blueberries. You can hit the fields from March through June and pick your own berries at U Pick Blueberries. Don’t forget to stop by the Darensberries fruit stand to also pick up some deliciously sweet strawberries.
5. At a Restaurant
Spring is a great time to dine in the Santa Maria Valley. Many of the region’s most popular restaurants offer outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy your meal and the warm Central Coast climate simultaneously. Head to Kay’s Country Kitchen in Old Town Orcutt to enjoy local favorites and the quaint, antique atmosphere. Or, make your way to Moxie Café in Santa Maria, which serves delicious and healthy spins of your favorite comfort foods.
6. In the Theater
The only drama you’ll find in Santa Maria Valley is at the theater. There are several amazing theaters nearby, which perform shows throughout the year. Head to PCPA, The Santa Maria Civic Theater, The Great American Melodrama & Vaudeville Revue, or the Orcutt Community Theater to see comedies, dramas and romances performed by local artists.
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.