Bet you didn’t know Santa Maria California is the largest city in Sana Barbara County…this factoid comes as a surprise to many people who automatically assume Santa Barbara to be the largest city in the county that shares its name. But in fact, it is Santa Maria that has emerged over the past decade as the tail that wags the proverbial dog. And besides being the largest city between Ventura and the Bay Area, the Santa Maria/Orcutt area combines with nearby Lompoc, Los Alamos, and Santa Ynez Valley to become one of the top areas in California for wine-tasting in the world.

In the Santa Maria Valley, there are 12 vineyards all of them open to the general public. Each and every one of these 12 properties boasts a uniqueness not only in terms of its aesthetics, but each property’s “vibe”. And needless to say each grape producers hand-crafted wines are quintessentially independently terrific. And Santa Maria isn’t only known for its assortment of fine varietals, but also world-famous for its “Santa Maria Style BBQ,” with some of the best tri-tip served up anywhere. The Old Orcutt area, located roughly 5 miles outside Santa Maria, is home to a variety of family-owned restaurants, wine bars, tasting rooms, spas, and also what is commonly believed to be one of the oldest bars in California. And you all of this with a classic old-town vibe.

Santa Maria is at its core a family-oriented city of 100+ thousand, however it also boasts options for sophistication. For patrons of the arts, for example, the PCPA theater company offers some of the most entertaining theater in California.But let’s not ignore one of the most simple of basic facts, Santa Maria is home to some of the most dynamic agricultural production and operations in the Western United States. From lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, and bell peppers, one crop that gets more than its fair share of attention are the strawberries…where each year thousands from around the state visit Santa Maria to attend its famous annual strawberry festival. Come for the wine, stay for of myriad of other fun and delicious reasons.


A Weekend of Wine and History- Santa Maria, Ca is full of rich history

If you’re looking for a two or three-day getaway, to enjoy great wine, food and natural beauty, head to Santa Maria’s Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.  The Trail includes13 distinctive wineries, each with unique stories to be told. A Keys 2 the Coast favorite is Rancho Sisquoc Winery. Located at 6601 Foxen Canyon Road in Santa…

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Orcutt, Ca is a Gem of a Destination Hiding in Plain Sight

Take an East Clark Avenue excursion into charming Old Town Orcutt and visit some of the best places to wine and dine in Santa Barbara County. For those who enjoy the finer things in life, visiting California’s Central Coast is truly an adventure. For the past 15 years, my family and friends have had a…

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Cottonwood Canyon Winery in Santa Maria, Ca

Living on the Central Coast and working for Keys 2 the Coast, finding the best places to wine, dine, explore and more is a gift. Yesterday, I discovered the most delicious, aged red wines at Cottonwood Canyon Winery.  It is truly an impressive facility, located at the northern edge of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail…

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Stars and the Star-Struck…

Visitors continue to flock to Hearst Castle and the Santa Maria Inn, just as they did in the heyday of Hollywood. Living on the Central Coast is living the dream. The mountain and ocean views are simply awe-inspiring. It’s no wonder tourists flock from around the world to visit Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and…

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With Wines, Vines and Bucolic Vistas, Santa Maria Valley Is a Sight to See

Having lived on the Central Coast since the mid-1980s, I’ve come to realize that every city in our region has treasures to be enjoyed. That is if you know where to look. Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo have always received favorable recognition for many reasons, and justifiably so. What many people don’t realize, is that Santa…

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Things To Do in Santa Maria – Keys 2 the coast.

By Donna Polizzi After living on the California Coast since the mid-eighties, I’ve come to realize that every city in our region has treasures to be enjoyed. That is if…you know where to look. Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo have always received favorable recognition for many reasons and justifiably so. What many people don’t…

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