Everything You Need To Know About Santa Maria Valley
Before gaining traction for its barbecues, Santa Maria, CA was famous for having rich soil, which attracted farmers and settlers across the state. Settlers Rudolph Cook, John Thornburg, Isaac Fesler, and Isaac Miller built their homes at the corners of Broadway and Main Street, establishing a small city they called home. Soon enough, the area was known as the town of Grangerville. The name was then changed to Central City, and finally, to Santa Maria in 1885.
Wondering where Santa Maria, California is? This underrated place is actually the largest city in Santa Barbara County by population. Santa Maria’s population has been growing rapidly in the past few years. Once a booming agricultural site, the city is now a major tourist attraction on California’s Central Coast. Day trips from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria are pretty popular here—this is what you should do the next time you’re in the area.
Fun Things To Do In Santa Maria
1. Pay a Visit to the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum
If you’re in Santa Maria with the kids, make sure to check out the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. This favorite family-friendly attraction in California is all about satisfying your children’s curiosities. The kids get to explore the world around them through hands-on activities, programs, and exhibits.
2. Attend a Play at the Pacific Conservatory Theatre
The Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA) is where art comes to life. From Broadway musicals to Shakespeare and comedy, you get to see all sorts of performances here. And if you’re an aspiring actor, join one of PCPA’s acting camps—after all, Hollywood’s not too far away.
3. Stroll along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail
One of the best ways to discover California’s Santa Maria Valley is by hiking the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail. Starting at Los Olivos and ending in Santa Maria, the trail exposes you to the best vineyards and farms in the area—it’s not really a hike; we prefer calling it a lovely stroll.
4. Go on a Tour of the Santa Maria Museum of Flight
Who doesn’t love visiting a good space museum in California? All your questions about aviation are answered at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight, where visitors learn about the industry’s history. The museum inspires future aviators in the region through events, exhibits, and programs, so don’t forget to bring the kids along.