The Santa Maria Valley welcomes your next production, and we are here to assist you with all of your filming needs. Whether you are scouting for beaches, quaint towns, mountains, rolling hills, vineyards, ranches or agriculture fields… they can all be found within close proximity to each other in the Santa Maria Valley. Please call our office at (805) 925-2403 for assistance. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you soon!


Santa Maria is located in California’s Central Coast between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, approximately 170 miles north of Los Angeles and 270 miles south of San Francisco. The Santa Maria Valley lies between the ranges of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean. It includes the cities of Santa Maria and Guadalupe, as well as unincorporated Orcutt.


Highway 101 runs through the valley, while Scenic Highway 1 borders to the west. Highway 166 runs east to the I-5 near Bakersfield.


Located 12 miles from the Pacific coastline, Santa Maria enjoys a smog-free climate with mild temperatures throughout the year. Ocean breezes cool the valley in the summer and warm it in the winter. Rainfall, averaging over two inches during the winter months, turns the valley to spring by mid-January. Expect hazy morning fog during the summer months and cooler evening temperatures during the winter.

Average Temperatures Rain Humidity
Period    Min.   Mean.    Max. (Inches) 4 a.m.    10 a.m.    4 p.m.
Jan. 37.9 50.3 62.6 2.18 81 63 59
April 44.8 55.0 66.1 1.23 88 63 63
July 52.4 62.1 71.8 .01 88 64 62
Oct. 47.6 60.5 73.4 .51 85 53 59
Year 45.4 56.8 68.2 11.37 86 62 62

Click here for current weather information.

City of Santa Maria – 101,103
Santa Maria Valley – 127,411

California Film Commission
Santa Barbara County Film Commission
The City of Santa Maria film permit is available online to assist production companies.

Local Photo Library
Full-color slides, a digital photo CD, interactive DVD and a four-minute video featuring the Valley’s beautiful wine country, recreation activities, and other visitor information are available through the Bureau. A representative from your group may request them free of charge.

Location Database
Full-color photos of vineyards, rustic ranches, farmlands, rolling hills, winding roads, natural sand dunes, deserted beaches, marine preserves, and historical sites.

Film Resources Directory
Let area businesses provide you with the assistance you need. Whether it’s production services, costumes, transportation, equipment rentals or supplies — we’ve got it all.

Familiarization Trips
The Bureau is pleased to offer information on Familiarization Tours (FAMs) available throughout the year for travel planners. Please contact us if you are interested in visiting the Santa Maria Valley on a FAM tour. Should you wish a preliminary visit to our area for an on-site selection, the Bureau will arrange itineraries with a variety of options based upon your specifications.

Accommodations Assistance
Bureau personnel will obtain hotel availability and rate information from local hotels for you and your crew.

Media Database
A complete listing of newspapers, radio stations and television stations in the area available at your fingertips.

Welcome Bags for Cast & Crew (includes maps, restaurants, and area attractions)
The Bureau provides welcome bags full of literature for your clients that contain useful information for visitors to the Santa Maria Valley. These bags contain information such as brochures on local attractions, wine tasting maps, city maps, restaurant guides, special event calendars, and small souvenir items such as magnets, mouse pads, pinquito beans, and postcards. Please submit your request for these materials one-month ahead of your arrival date and we’ll have them ready for you when you get here.

Interactive DVD
The greater resolution of our interactive DVD enables viewers to truly experience and appreciate the beauty of our Valley. Features include documentary-style footage, recipes, interactive menus, links to the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau website, and maps.

Resource Directory

From Cecil B. DeMille’s silent epic The Ten Commandments to The Pirates of The Caribbean: At World’s End to the Academy Award-winning Sideways, the Santa Maria Valley boasts a cinematic heritage that spans eight decades and dozens of feature films and commercial projects.

From oak-studded backroads to towering coastal dunes, rolling vineyards to rustic ranches, the Santa Maria Valley offers a wealth of locations for a wide variety of projects, including:

▪         Feature Films
▪         Television Productions
▪         Commercials
▪         Still Photography
▪         Corporate Videos

Discover how the Santa Maria Valley can meet all of your filming needs. Our Bureau offers a host of Complimentary Services to make your stay a pleasant one while filming in our area. We look forward to being a part of your next production. Contact [email protected] or call (805) 925-2403.

Equipment Services & Rental

City of Santa Maria Community Television
Santa Maria Community Television has made its TV studio available for rental to commercial video or photography productions.  Located at 910 South Oakwood Drive in Santa Maria, the studio is the only one of its kind in northern Santa Barbara County.

The  measures 35’ X 19’ with a grid height of 12.5’.  The entire studio is painted Chroma key green, with the option of either a black velour or beige muslin curtain background. Color-corrected fluorescent softie light-boxes and a limited number pf focusable Fresnel instruments provide for both general and specialty lighting needs.

Rental of the studio includes:

  • 170 square-foot meeting room
  • 8 foot loading door
  • 15 parking stalls
  • Restrooms
  • Rental rate is $54.00 an hour, with a two-hour minimum.
  • Weekend rentals include a 50% surcharge.
  • Rental rates for additional production equipment available on request.

For more information contact Alan Sutterfield, Station Manager at (805) 925-0951 Ext 501 or
[email protected]

Ahern Equipment Rental, Inc.
1105 S. Blosser Road
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Phone: (805) 925-1869

Ahern Equipment Rentals is your high-reach specialist with
over 45 years of service providing personnel lifts, scissor lifts,
articulated lifts, booms, forklifts, generators and welders.

Central City Leasing
Contact: William Moffatt
1313 E. Main St.
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 928-3388
Leasing of vehicles—all makes and models. Leasing of most types of equipment including computers, furniture, construction equipment, machinery and almost any industrial equipment.

Central Coast Fleet Service
1565 E. Betteravia Rd.
Santa Maria, CA 93454-9647
(805) 925-2596
Central Coast Fleet Service offers moving supplies and equipment rentals including pickup trucks.

Expo Décor and Party Rentals
P.O. Box 9321
3224 N. Weber Ave.
Fresno, CA 93722
(559) 495-3300
FAX: (559) 266-2232
Email: [email protected]
Trade show/convention decorating, party rentals, tents and canopies. Rentals also include concession and audio visual equipment.

Got You Covered
Contact: Percy “JR” & Sally Freedman
3681 Sacramento Dr. #5
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-7170
(805) 541-8368
FAX: (805) 541-1914
Email: [email protected]
Got You Covered offers party supply and equipment rentals including tables, chairs, glassware, china and flatware, linens, dance floors and lighting, canopies, stages and platforms. Delivery is available. Visit their showroom and warehouse today.

Party Place & Rental Center
Contact: Phyllis DuMond
406-A W. Betteravia Rd.
Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 928-2515
FAX: (805) 349-0526
Party Place and Rental Center can provide you with tents, chairs, tables, beds, cribs, carseats, audio/visual equipment, dance floors, arches, candelabras, inflatable party jumps, coffee makers, and champagne fountains. Plus it’s a one-stop shop for all your bulk paper products, helium balloons, theme and holiday decoration needs.

United Rentals
Contact: Alex Trejo
1935 Preisker Lane
Santa Maria, CA 93455-1713
Phone: (805) 922-2151
FAX: (805) 925-8109
United Rentals offers the sale, service and rental of the widest selection of construction and industrial equipment.

Permit Requirements

California Film Commission
Business, Transportation & Housing Agency
7080 Hollywood Blvd. #900
Hollywood, CA 90028-6126
Fax: 323-860-2972
[email protected]

Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara Film Commission
Contact: Geoff Alexander, 1601 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA  93101-1909
Alt: 805-966-9222
Fax: 805-966-1728
Permit Requirements
The County of Santa Barbara consists of several jurisdictions requiring permits.  Permits are ALWAYS required.

Santa Maria Valley
Population: 102,216
Located 70 miles north of Santa Barbara at the crossroads of Highway 1, 101, and 166.  Santa Maria is in the North County ‘s largest city, and primary retail center. Vineyards, rolling hills, wineries, ranches and farms – with well-tended row crops of strawberries, lettuce, broccoli, and gladiolas – border the city on all sides.  Only minutes from sand dunes, winding country roads, and the western towns of Guadalupe and Orcutt.  Santa Maria Airport offers daily L.A. commuter flights, and is frequently used in films and commercials.

Permits:  City of Santa Maria
Contact:  Mark Van De Kamp, 110 E. Cook St., Santa Maria, CA 93454
805-925-0951, ext. 2372
Fax: 805-928-0535

Support Services: Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau
Contact:  Jennifer Harrison, 614 S. Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 925-2403
Fax: 805-928-7559


Population: 7,225
A small, agricultural town, with turn-of-the-century buildings that give Guadalupe a timeless appeal.  The Guadalupe Dunes Preserve has a windswept, desert look.  Credits: Odd Couple II, Rocky and Bullwinkle ,Hidalgo , GE, The Ten Commandments, Ford 450.

Permits:  City of Guadalupe
Contact:  Juana Merino, 918 Obispo Street, Guadalupe, CA
805-343-1340 Ext.103
Fax: 805-343-5512

Permits:  Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve and Park
Contact:  Lyn Semenza, 610 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara, CA  93105
Fax: 805-568-2459
NO FILMING – during Snowy Plover nesting: March 1 through October 1.
Credits: Pirates of the Caribbean III: At World’s End, Hidalgo , GE Wright Brothers commercial, The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille), Soldiers of God.

Permits: Oso Flaco Lake
Contact: Dena Bellman, 340 James Way, Suite 270, Pismo Beach, CA
Fax: 805-773-7176
One of a dozen freshwater lakes in the dunes northwest of Guadalupe, Oso Flaco offers amazing diversity, including a marine beach, marshland, forest, grassland, chaparral and desert dunes.  You will find a varied mix of wildlife including mammals, amphibians and reptiles. There are 200 species of birds living in or migrating through the area, many of which are endangered or federally protected.

Film Credits

A Look at Productions filmed on location in the Santa Maria Valley

Year Production
2007 Voodoo Moon
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
2004 Sideways
2003 Hidalgo
2000 Rockets Red Glare
1999 Rocky & Bullwinkle
1998 Hearts and Bones
(Later renamed Cowboy Up),
1997 Odd Couple II
1996 G.I. Jane
1993 Amelia Earhart
1991 LA Story
1990 Rocketeer
1957 The Spirit of St. Louis
1923 Ten Commandments