Romantic Getaway

Take a getaway to wine country for a romantic weekend with your sweetheart.

Few things are more romantic than a weekend getaway to one of the most diverse wine regions in California. With so much to see and do within a half-hour drive, the Santa Maria Valley is perfect for a weekend away with your sweetheart. Wine and beer lovers alike will find solace here, with more than 30 wineries and five brewery taprooms. The selection of authentic Santa Maria Style restaurants make for great date night destinations.

Outdoorsy couples can experience 24 hiking trails, 15 beaches, dunes and many more activities year-round thanks to our temperate Central Coast climate. Indoorsy couples can enjoy restaurants, wineries, breweries, museums, shows and more. There is something for everyone in our valley.

Pro Tips

  • Santa Maria Valley is home to more than 30 wineries. Each winery provides guests with a unique atmosphere—from intimate and romantic venues to more relaxed or casual experiences.
  • The Historic Santa Maria Inn offers old-Hollywood romance with a beautiful courtyard, pool, and vintage-inspired rooms.
  • Check the events schedule to see what’s going on when you’re in town. Wineries, breweries and other venues frequently host live music, comedy and more.
  • After you’ve fallen in love with #SantaMariaStyle barbecue, you can download our Santa Maria Style Cookbook and bring the flavor home.

Your Trip at a Glance

Day 1

  • Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley
  • Presqu’ile Winery
  • Cottonwood Canyon Winery
  • Costa de Oro Winery
  • Far Western Tavern
  • Nite Creamery
  • PCPA

Day 2

  • Monarch Dunes Butterfly Grove
  • Rancho-Guadalupe Dunes
  • Pizzeria Bello Forno
  • Naughty Oak Brewing Company
  • Vino et Amicis
  • Old Town Market
  • Hi-Way Drive-In Theater

Day One

If you’re visiting Santa Maria Valley May through October, start your trip with a day on the Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley. The trolley is the easiest way to tour some of the region’s best wineries. The trolley runs from May to October and makes stops in Old Town Orcutt, Presqu’ile Winery, Cottonwood Canyon Winery, and Costa de Oro Winery. You can get a free tasting at participating wineries—including Cottonwood Canyon—when you show your hotel key card.

Finish your first evening with a romantic dinner and date night, beginning with Far Western Tavern. This iconic Santa Maria Style barbecue destination is well-known for grilling over red oak coals, which provides dishes with that classic smoky flavor. Far Western Tavern also pours many local wines to perfectly complement your meal.

Experience a unique dessert experience at Nite Creamery in Santa Maria. This ice cream parlor has no freezers. Instead, they use fresh ingredients that are frozen by liquid nitrogen before your eyes. Nite Creamery has a variety of flavors, with new menu items added seasonally. Nite Creamery also makes fresh waffle cones to take your ice cream to the next level.

Finally, catch a show at a local favorite, PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre. PCPA hosts shows year-round in its two beautiful theaters. Since its inception in 1964, PCPA has infused the national theater scene with thousands of trained actors and theatrical technicians from the Central California Coast.

Day Two

If you’re visiting the Santa Maria Valley October through February, don’t miss the monarch butterflies at the Monarch Dunes Butterfly Grove in Nipomo. Thousands of monarch butterflies spend the colder months among the eucalyptus trees in groves along the Central Coast. This grove is a scenic half hour drive from Santa Maria and a beautiful place to see native plants and wildlife.

Then, head over to the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve, where you’ll find a host of outdoor activities. The preserve allows you to enjoy the beautiful temperate coast climate while viewing and learning about native plant life, birds and other animals. Trek to Oso Flaco Lake and enjoy a 1.7-mile hike to the ocean. The trail is mostly on a boardwalk, making it a smooth and enjoyable walk. If you’re lucky, you may spot a rare Western Snowy Plover. Plovers often make their nests along the beach from March to September.

Adrenaline-seeking couples should head to the nearby Oceano Dunes, where you can rent an ATV from Steve’s ATV Rentals and drive across the beach. The Oceano Dunes are the only place in California where you can ride dune buggies right on the beach. Or, you can ride horses in the surf at Pacific Beach Riding Ranch.

For lunch, make your way back into Old Town Orcutt at dine at Pizzeria Bello Forno. This charming eatery serves pizzas, salads and more. You can enjoy lunch at Pizzeria Bello Forno and grab a beer at Naughty Oak Brewing Company for dessert. Another great option is to order out from Bello Forno and eat at Naughty Oak. If you prefer wine over beer, head to Vino et Amicis, which is Italian for “wine and friends.” You can order food to Vino et Amicis too.

While in Old Town Orcutt, make a quick pitstop at Old Town Market to pick up a bottle of wine to go, a jar of Santa Maria Style seasoning, or some red oak chips. Bring the flavor of Santa Maria Valley back home with you after your trip.

Kick it old school during date night at the Hi-Way Drive-In Theater, one of the last authentic outdoor drive-in movie theaters in California. You can pick up movie snacks or dinner to go from Old Town Market to enjoy in your car.

If you and your sweetheart want to spend extra time exploring all there is to do along California’s Central Coast, it’s easy to extend your stay. In Santa Maria Valley, there’s so much to see and do from here.

Things to Do in Santa Maria Valley

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