As part of their recent list of Most Underrated Towns in Every State— which considered the food, natural beauty, recreation, historical significance and more–  of hundreds of cities across the United States, House Method named Santa Maria the “Most Underrated Town in California.”

Santa Maria Valley is often known for our iconic barbecue, unique wines and Santa Maria Style hospitality. But what visitors may not be aware of is that this underrated California destination is scenically beautiful, rich in tradition and is a short drive from 34 tasting rooms, 24 hiking trails, 13 beaches and amazing restaurants.

Our historic barbecue style dates back to the mid-1800s, and our wine appellation is the oldest on the Central Coast, dating back to the 1830s. Grape growers here have nearly 200 years of experience under their belt, and you can taste the difference in our rich, complex and flavorful wines. Our delicious barbecue and rich wine blends are two of the top reasons why the Santa Maria Valley is one of the most underrated places in California.

House Method gave the Santa Maria Wine Trolley a special shout out, saying, “One of the best ways to taste your way through Santa Maria is on the step-on, step-off Wine Trolley. The trolley stops through town and at popular wineries along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail such as Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard & Winery and the Presqu’ile Winery.” Between our popular wine trolley, savory restaurants and harmonious wines, it is no wonder the Santa Maria Valley is considered the most underrated place in California.

We take pride in our historic and genuine culture, our unexpected and unpretentious wines, and our full-flavored food. The best part of all is that here in Santa Maria Valley, you can eat, drink, see and do more for less. Plan your trip to California’s hidden gem – The Santa Maria Valley – today!

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.