Molly O’Brien headed down the California Central Coast, giving five reasons to drive to Santa Maria Valley. Enjoy this excerpt from the Thrillist article below:
5 Reasons to Drive to The Santa Maria Valley, California
Just a few hours north of Los Angeles at the tip of Santa Barbara County, the hidden gem of the Santa Maria Valley is nestled into California’s Central Coast. The area is best known for growing delicious strawberries and fresh produce, but this underrated region is a beautiful, bountiful place full of things to explore.
From the rolling sand dunes to the miles of hiking trails, beaches, lakes, and wildlife opportunities, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventure. Pair this with the incredible barbecue offerings, nearly three dozen local wine tasting rooms, craft breweries, a variety of cultural heritage sites, and a welcoming community—a drive up the 101 freeway to Santa Maria Valley makes a relaxed California wine country or beach-style vacation.