Santa Maria shopping & wine tasting
YOUR WINE. YOUR GIRLS. YOUR WEEKEND.

It’s a Girls’ Weekend in California Wine Country

Thinking about taking a break from the office, the to-do list, or the sounds of the city? A girls’ weekend in California’s wine country with your besties by your side is just what you need. Grab your squad and make your way to Santa Maria Valley for an unforgettable stay in one of California’s most prominent and unique wine regions where you and the gals can enjoy a tasting for as little as $15. Check out the itinerary below to get started!

Wine Flies When You’re Having Fun

Your Complete, Two-Day Itinerary for a Girls’ Weekend

If you’re looking for a wine weekend on the Central Coast for half the cost, this welcoming community and uncrowded Pacific coastline definitely has your names written all over it. Santa Maria Valley is the perfect home base for a girls’ weekend in California wine country. From exciting bars and restaurants to endless outdoor recreation—Santa Maria Valley is also the primary growing region for all of Santa Barbara County’s wines—so you can rest assured you and the gals will be sipping award-winning varietals straight from the source that will suit every palate in the party.

Beyond the exceptional food, wine, and recreation—not to mention the six authentic Santa Maria Style barbecue restaurants, 24 hiking trails, and 15 beaches within a 30-minute drive—it’s a great place to relax and unwind in whatever way you and the girls see fit.

Cottonwood Canyon Wine Cave
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At a Glance

Your Trip

Day One: Taste Your Way Through Wine Country

Morning

Santa Maria Valley shoppingSo, how does the ultimate girls’ wine weekend in California start? In Old Town Orcutt at Kay’s Country Kitchen for breakfast (we recommend the biscuits and gravy paired with a strawberry mimosa), it’s the perfect combination of savory and sweet. Kay’s has been voted Best Breakfast in Orcutt 18 years in a row and truly is a local favorite. 

If you’re looking for breakfast with a Santa Maria Style twist, try the Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip & Eggs—it’s a serious crowd-pleaser. After breakfast, check out some of the boutique antique shops throughout the area, like Déjà Vu Antiques. This absolute antique mecca houses over 35 premier antique dealers who curate unique items from all over the United States. 

Afternoon

You’re not done with Old Town Orcutt just yet. Once you get your fill at Deja Vu, kick off an afternoon full of wine tasting by grabbing a glass of small-batch wine at the cnagy Tasting Room. While you’re there, pick up tickets to ride the Santa Maria Wine Trolley (which runs May through October). It’s the best way to explore Santa Maria Valley’s wide-open spaces, local wineries, and tasting rooms. The best part? You can spend as much time at each stop as you’d like while you’re tasting. The Trolley is hop-on, hop-off, so when you’re done, you can always guarantee you and your girls will have a safe trip back to your rooms.

As you make your way through this breathtaking wine region on your girls’ weekend in California's wine country, make sure to stop by Cottonwood Canyon Winery and Vineyard to enjoy some magnificently crafted boutique wines. Santa Maria Valley’s cool growing environment coupled with Cottonwood’s hands-off approach to winemaking produces age-worthy wines. This 78-acre estate specializes in hand-crafted Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay. 

Pro tip: Cottonwood Canyon Winery and Vineyard is only 19 miles from the Pacific. If you have the time, we recommend making your way down to the beach. There’s nothing quite like letting your hair down to dance with a cool ocean breeze next to your favorite people.  

From Cottonwood Canyon Winery, continue your adventure at Costa de Oro, a vineyard that leverages the old-world style of winemaking with new-world grape-growing methods to make their complex and harmonious Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Named “the Most Unique Tasting Room on the Central Coast,” Costa de Oro Winery believes good wine, music, and food brings people together—and we couldn’t agree more. 

Early Evening

As you and the girls sip and swirl your way through the weekend, hopefully snacking on some form of charcuterie at every winery you possibly can, we recommend the Vintage Room for just a couple more glasses of wine and a few more snacks before dinner. The Vintage Room serves wines from all around Santa Maria Valley and beyond, as well as a selection of mouth-watering appetizers and deli-style treats.

Evening & Dinner

For dinner, the first night of your girls’ wine weekend getaway should be spent savoring the timeless and traditional flavors of true Santa Maria Style barbecue. This 150-year-old tradition, born on the ranches of this beautiful valley, is a simple and delicious way to bring people together. Check out one of our classic barbecue joints, like Far Western Tavern, to delight in meals prepared with fresh flavors from nearby farms, ranches, and local vineyards.

Pro tip: What to expect— Santa Maria Style barbecue consists of meat, usually tri-tip or top block sirloin, grilled over native red oak coals and served with pinquito beans, buttery garlic bread, a fresh green salad, and chunky salsa.

Day Two: Wake Up, Hydrate, & Treat Yourself (Again)

Morning

Ready to try the best breakfast burrito you’ve had to date? La Unica in Santa Maria is known for its delicious Mexican food with a twist. Fondly referred to as “The Only One,” this family-owned and operated restaurant is one-of-a-kind. Mario Chavez, the owner, puts his heart into every recipe on the menu. The secret to his success? “Love what you do.”

Afternoon

After you fuel up, get ready to take your girls’ wine weekend outdoors, soaking up the gorgeous Central Coast weather at Oso Flaco Lake. 

This quick out-and-back is about 30 minutes north of Santa Maria Valley. The Oso Flaco Lake Trail is a 1.7-mile hike to an untouched California coastline through stunning scenery as you cross the lake from the boardwalk. The trail is perfect for bike rides, birdwatching, or just a peaceful walk with your best friends by your side where you can laugh, connect, and reminisce, making fun new memories along the way. 

Pro tip: The route that leads to the overlook is wheelchair accessible. There’s a $5 per vehicle fee charged to park in the lot.

Once you’ve gotten your nature fill, make your way up Highway 1 to visit one of the only growers of luffa sponges in the country—The Luffa Farm. Believe it or not, luffas are grown naturally on the Central Coast, and this farm uses special heirloom seeds to produce extra soft sponges. The Luffa Farm offers free drop-in tours and a gift shop (is it really a girls’ weekend in California wine country if you don’t bring back a souvenir?). Grab yourself a luffa sponge and a few beautifully crafted hand-made soaps and lotions before you head to your next stop: the spa.

Early Evening

What’s a weekend away without allowing yourself to indulge just a little bit? Head to Sandalwood Spa at the Monarch Club on your way back into Santa Maria for some true R&R. The Sandalwood Spa is exactly what you and the girls need on your getaway. With gorgeous water features just about everywhere you look, it’s almost impossible not to relax here. Take in all the sights and smells between your treatments (you’ll notice the whole place smells like sandalwood, it’s no accident!), or, stop by the sculpture garden to kick back with a glass of wine, champagne, or tea. The spa offers a variety of relaxation packages including massage therapy, skincare, body care, and nail care. 

Pro tip: We recommend calling ahead to book an appointment to ensure you and your girls can experience this wonderful place together, it’s popular!

Evening & Dinner

Emerge from your spa day refreshed and ready for dinner. Head to Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods for a meal you won’t soon forget. Chef Rick’s serves fresh, California fusion dishes including salads, burgers, pasta, and so much more. The unique combinations of ingredients used in Chef Rick’s entrees are likely not to be found anywhere else! With a casual and relaxed atmosphere coupled with a delicious menu, it should be no secret that this is a favorite spot among locals.

Late Night Cap

Bring your girls’ wine weekend getaway to a close with one final glass of wine at the Wine Cellar. Located in the Historic Santa Maria Inn, the property features a stunning courtyard and a vintage vibe (perfect for some “Take Me Back” vacation selfies). It was a favorite among celebrities like Bette Davis and John Wayne. A registered historic landmark and celebrity retreat, the Santa Maria Inn offers beautiful guestrooms and luxury suites, some with fireplaces and patios (do you really have to leave already?)

As you and the girls relish your nightcap against a stunning Santa Maria Valley sunset, you can toast to a girls’ weekend in California’s wine country done right and in #SantaMariaStyle.

Eat, Drink & Do More

Two days isn’t nearly long enough to experience all that Santa Maria Valley has to offer. With 34 tasting rooms, 15 beaches within 30 miles of one another, hiking, biking, and incredible food you’ve still yet to try, why not extend your stay? Visitors are treated like family in Santa Maria Valley, and with so much to do from here, it really is the perfect home base to experience California’s Central Coast. Book your stay to eat, drink, and do more for less with your best gals by your side.