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Naughty Oak Brewing Co. Oh, and the beer is really good, too! Donna Polizzi photo.
More than 30 wineries await exploration—pinot noir lovers, in particular, are in for a delicious ride. Hikers have 24 hiking trails to choose from that run the gamut from easy to challenging.
Visitors can sample this unfussy, utterly delicious and award-winning culinary masterpiece at local steakhouses like the original Hitching Post in Casmalia and roide barbecues that take place on weekends for community fundraisers. Take your pick of landscapes from rivers, ranches, ridges, parks, lakes, lagoons and so much more.
The glorious spring afternoon tradition is equally popular with locals and visitors alike. Professionals and home chefs gather to grill, roast, and toast an iconic part of Central Coast history, serving up plenty of opportunities to savor the local barbecue, beer and wine.
In Santa Maria, wine and barbecue are a quintessential pairing. For an urban experience with eating, drinking and shopping peppered in, Old Town Orcutt is very bike-friendly.
Mother Nature always beckons in the Santa Maria Valley. Santa Maria-style Barbecue is legendary for good reason.
Round out your excursion in Santa Maria Valley with some retail therapy. The year-old tradition took root when Spanish settlers prepared giant feasts for their fellow vaqueros cowboys who pitched in to help out during the spring cattle branding. The beer scene in Santa Maria Valley is a-buzzing.
Film lovers will also appreciate that this is where the largest set in movie history—Cecile B. If cycling is your jam, take a spin along the plethora of local cycling trails. And every October October, the Central Coast AirFest takes over the Santa Maria Airport, inviting visitors to enjoy local food and craft beer while taking in-flight demos, performances and aircraft displays.
By treasure hunting, we mean shopping. The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail is particularly majestic and features 13 wineries along 30 miles of scenic country road.
Today, Santa Maria-style Barbecue is typically served with sides of pinquito beans—also grown locally—as well as garlic bread and salsa. Mountain bikers can tackle the Orcutt Hill challenge.
From beaches and bike trails to mountains and golf greens, being outdoors is always easily accessible. The Santa Maria Valley is a sweet, low-key spot for laid-back adventures of the culinary, outdoor and treasure hunting variety.
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The hallmark smoky flavor comes from simply seasoned meat being slow-roasted over red oak coals. When the coast is calling, there are 15 beachesincluding the incredible Guadalupe-Nipomo Duneshome to a wildlife preserve, where hikers can see rare birds and other plant and animal life.
The Santa Maria Valley is also home to some phenomenal farmers markets and antique shops. In addition to local farmers selling produce, eggs and honey, you can pick up artisan jams and baked goods.