DescriptionSanta Maria's scenic location can best be viewed by a drive along the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, a 21-mile rural road with 17 wineries along it. West of town, the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex offers a nature trail, birding and the highest coastal dunes on the West Coast; phone (805) 343-2455. If the kids need to work off excess energy, the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum at 705 S. McClelland St. is open Tuesday through Sunday; phone (805) 928-8414.
Residents assert that no visit to Santa Maria is complete without sampling the city's signature cuisine, the Santa Maria Style Barbecue, which consists of beef tri-tip, fresh salsa, pinquito beans, tossed green salad and toasted French bread. After dinner take in a live production staged by the acclaimed Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA) of Allan Hancock College. Year-round performances range from Shakespeare to Broadway musicals; for tickets phone the box office Wednesday through Sunday at (805) 922-8313.
Visitor InfoSanta Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau 614 S. Broadway SANTA MARIA, CA 93454. Phone:(805)925-2403 or (800)331-3779
ShoppingSanta Maria Town Center, at Broadway and Main Street, has Macy's and Sears among its more than 70 establishments.
Self-guiding toursFree touring maps of Santa Barbara County wineries; complimentary booklets on Santa Maria Style Barbecue; and $10 Central Coast Birding Guidebooks are available at the chamber of commerce office.
Things to SeeSanta Maria Museum of Flight