Santa Maria trip planner
Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free
Santa Maria is a city near the Southern California coast in Santa Barbara County. It is approximately northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Its estimated 2016 population was 106,290, making it the most populous city in the county and the Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Metro Area. The city is notable for its wine industry and Santa Maria-style barbecue. Sunset magazine called Santa Maria "The West's Best BBQ Town".HistoryThe Santa Maria Valley, stretching from the Santa Lucia Mountains toward the Pacific Ocean, was the homeland of the Chumash people for several thousand years. The Native Americans made their homes on the slopes of the surrounding hills among the oaks, on the banks of the Santa Maria River among the sycamores, and along the coast. They had unique plank-built boats, called Tomol, which they used for ocean fishing.In 1769, the Portolá Expedition passed through the Santa Maria Valley during the first Spanish land exploration up the coast of Las Californias Province. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was established just north of the valley in 1772, and Mission La Purísima Concepción was established near present-day Lompoc in 1787. Rather than rich soil, white settlers were attracted here by the possibility of free land. In 1821, after the Mexican War of Independence, the mission lands in Santa Maria Valley were made available for private ownership under a Mexican land grant called Rancho Punta de Laguna. At the end of the Mexican War in 1848, California was ceded to the United States.Santa Maria is in California (CA). Plan your tour of Santa Maria and United States travel itinerary using our United States day trip planning tool .
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Santa Maria
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Santa Maria
Side trips from Santa Maria
Hidden gems in Santa Maria
Museums in Santa Maria
Wineries in Santa Maria
Parks in Santa Maria
Places to visit with Santa Maria
Recently planned trips to Santa Maria
25 days in United States BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 31 days in California’s Central Coast & Northwest Ohio BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in California’s Central Coast BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium