Never having won much, our recent Getaway contest winners, Gary and Christa were quite surprised upon learning they had won an all-expenses paid trip to visit Santa Maria Valley this June. Winners of the Let’s Get Together Rodeo Getaway sweepstakes, the couple from Simi Valley headed up the 101 for a weekend of wine tasting, experiencing the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo and of course, getting their fill of Santa Maria Style barbecue and hospitality.

Gary and Christa’s trip began on a Thursday afternoon when they arrived at the Radisson hotel and prepared for a fun evening at the opening night of the Wrangler PRCA Champions Challenge Santa Maria Elks Rodeo.

Friday they headed to Foxen Winery and Vineyard for VIP wine tasting, followed by some shopping – getting decked out at Carrs Boots & Western Wear.

Later that evening, they enjoyed a Friday night dinner date at Far Western Tavern in Old Orcutt and stopped in to visit some of the local merchants that were open late for First Friday. On Saturday, Gary and Christa participated in the Cowboys Kickin’ Cancer event, which was especially meaningful for the couple as Christa herself is a cancer survivor. After a heart-filled afternoon, Shaw’s steakhouse welcomed them in for a hearty meal where they enjoyed true, authentic Santa Maria Style barbecue. Then, before heading back home, Sunday brunch wouldn’t be complete in Santa Maria Valley without a stop at Moxie Cafe (unfortunately, Moxie Cafe has since closed).

“Christa and I would like to thank you so very much for all of your hard work to make our getaway weekend a huge event in our lives,” Gary said in a message following their visit. “We now have many new places to visit when we come to Santa Maria.”

Famed for its unexpected wine experience, agricultural heritage, coastal access points, and flavorful barbecue, the Santa Maria Valley is the ideal home base for the perfect weekend getaway to the central coast. For more ideas of things to see and do, click here.

You can also enter here for a chance to win a $2,000 two-night trip for four to Santa Maria Valley. Entries are being accepted now through September 30, 2017.