Santa Maria, California

Santa Maria, California
  County: Santa Barbara   Visitors Information: (800) 331-3779

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"Mother and Son" by Clement Renzi 

sb county building


Nestled in lush hills stretching for miles along California's Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley's fertile land has a long, rich history that includes prominent agricultural endeavors and temperate weather. The region is filled with thousands of self-made men and women who have simply believed in something and pursued it. Farmers, restaurant owners, Realtors, Mexican immigrants laboring the fields and brilliant engineers working in the space industry have ventured forth and made great contributions in large and small ways.

Central Coast California and Santa Maria offer a striking portrait of diversity. From wealthy movie stars, world class musicians such as Michael Jackson and millionaire magnates to farm workers picking the crops of broccoli, peas and strawberries, all people share the beauty of gently flowing hills that change with the seasons from green to gold. All people enjoy the fresh produce afforded those who live close to the land where it grows. All can afford and enjoy the wine from grapes grown in the valley. Napa and Sonoma have turned to the Central Coast and wisely purchased many of the grapes and resultant products for enrichment of their lines of wines.


While the Valley is spectacular for its beauty and weather, it has become an oasis that combines the best of country living with the finer things urbanites seek. City dwellers have taken an interest in the region and are buying land quickly. From San Jose/Silicon Valley to San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego, weekend travelers journey to visit and investigate the possibilities of settling in this paradise. It takes only five minutes to drive from Santa Maria off the beaten paths and find yourself exploring country roads with loads of wineries and farms, little towns and old time charm not seen in the city.

There's no need to sacrifice conveniences, however.  Costco, Marshall's, Ross, TJ Maxx, Walmart, Home Depot, Home Base, Linens N Things and department stores such as Robinson May Co. are located in Santa Maria. 


15 minutes North on the Interstate Highway 101 that runs through the middle of the city of Santa Maria is Pismo Outlet with name brand discount clothing, kitchen, shoe, fragrance, paper, leather goods and book shops. Trader Joes and Starbucks Coffee are also there. 30 minutes north of Santa Maria is the college community of San Luis Obispo where dozens of great shops and restaurants offer unique one-of-a-kind items and youthful styles.  30 minutes south of Santa Maria is the Danish village of Solvang and 70 minutes south is Santa Barbara, one of California's most charming cities with a shopping district on State Street that stretches for approximately one mile.  


In Santa Maria, chain food restaurants include Olive Garden, Marie Calendars, Red Lobster and a local favorite found on many street corners on weekends, barbecue meats and tri-tip beef cooked outdoors over oak wood pits Santa Maria style. You'll find it sold at various parking lots along Broadway Street on Fridays and Saturdays. What a treat! Vegetarians need not stress out. If you get a chance to look at the shipping boxes for many of your vegetables found in Los Angeles, they will say "Santa Maria, California." When you buy veggies in Santa Maria, you are getting them fresh from the fields. 


What do you do for a vacation there? After you have toured the wineries, played some golf and seen the city, use Santa Maria as a home base for day trips to surrounding spots such as Hearst's Castle in San Simeon, Solvang, Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara, Lompoc and San Luis Obispo. 


Santa Maria valley is comprised of the cities of Santa Maria and Orcutt which have a combined population of over 100,000 people, making this one of the largest metropolitan areas in Central California. Situated half way between Los Angeles to the south and San Jose - San Francisco to the north, both are about a 3-hour drive by car on US Highway 101. The region is also accessible by commuter prop jets which fly into Santa Maria Airport in less than an hour, or by Amtrak train or Greyhound Bus. 


Temperate climate, blue skies and a small town feel just 11 miles from the ocean make this a highly desired destination. On the northernmost border of Santa Barbara County,   pop music star Michael Jackson, actor Jonathan Winters and too many celebs to count, own ranch homes, mansions and estates in Santa Barbara County. 


Amusements and golf, fine hotels, famous barbecue, wine tasting, car racing, parks, hospitals, public transportation and other amenities lure people from all over the world to the garden spot. There's a community college with a performing arts theatre, several museums, and one of the coast's few vehicular recreation sand dune beaches nearby. You can ride horses, rope cattle, taste strawberries, surf, sunbathe and relax till the cows come home. 


When you get to Santa Maria and discover how relaxed you can be, just remember the mortgage, the job and pets await back at home. Once you visit, it is easy to never want to leave.

Foxen Winery in Santa Maria.


Orcutt < Santa Maria > Nipomo


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