In Lompoc Valley, you’ll find the perfect pairing of world-class wines with local flavors
In Lompoc Valley, you’ll find the perfect pairing of world-class wines with local flavors and rural charm, making it a must-explore destination on Highway 1 along California’s scenic Central Coast.
Art enthusiasts will find larger-than-life outdoor murals to photograph; wine lovers will savor the exclusive, small batch premium wines; history buffs will revel in a tour of Lompoc’s awe-inspiring historic mission, and adventure seekers will enjoy the near-perfect year round Mediterranean climate for outdoor pursuits like golf, hiking, surfing, birding and even sky diving.
At the heart of Lompoc Valley is historic Old Town, with a vintage vibe all its own. Visitors stroll along the streets and alleyways to view the impressive collection of nearly 40 Lompoc murals, providing colorful glimpses into Lompoc’s history and heritage. In Old Town, you’ll also find historic buildings, an art gallery, the Lompoc Museum and small shops and eateries to explore.
Once the flower-seed capital of the world, and still a thriving agricultural community with fields of flowers and seasonal produce, Lompoc is also now a bountiful wine destination. It is home to nearly 40 wineries and boutique tasting rooms, showcasing wines produced from local grapes in the surrounding Sta. Rita Hills. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier and other cool-climate varietals are the must-try wines of this region.
Start your tasting in town at the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, a collection of 20 artisan wineries and tasting rooms clustered together in a modest industrial park. But don’t let the name, or the non-descript façades fool you. Inside the doors are passionate winemakers, offering wines as distinctive and bold as their personalities. For California wine country ambience, take the Lompoc Wine Trail loop, along Highway 246 and Santa Rosa Road through the Sta. Rita Hills. You’ll find breathtaking vistas and estate wineries around every bend. Be sure to stop at Sanford Winery, featured in the movie Sideways, where the first Pinot vines were planted in this region more than 40 years ago.
The term “locally made” doesn’t just apply to mural art and wine in Lompoc. It also applies to the food scene, where several restaurants source from nearby growers and ranchers to create innovative menus. Valle Eatery + Bar, inside the Hilton Garden Inn hotel, is acclaimed for its pork belly tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and signature craft cocktails. Scratch Kitchen features farm-to-table cuisine, seasonal specialties, local wines, and craft beers. Sissy’s Uptown Café, popular for its baked-fresh daily pies, showcases an impressive wine cellar of more than 300 regional wines. And for those who prefer craft beer and pub food, Lompoc Hoptions & Eatery is a great choice, with brewed-on-the-premises lagers, ales, pilsners, and stouts.
Lompoc’s top visitor attraction – La Purisima Mission, founded in 1787 – offers the opportunity to step back in time to early California mission life. Considered the most fully restored and furnished of the 21 historic California missions, La Purisima is also a state park, with 25 miles of beautiful hiking trails connecting to the back country.
To best experience all that Lompoc has to offer visitors, plan to spend a few days, and make it your home base for wine tasting, site-seeing, and exploring nearby beaches and towns. Located close to both Santa Barbara and Solvang – but without the high price tag and crowds – Lompoc offers a variety of accommodations to suit your style and travel budget.
For information on all Lompoc lodging options, and to plan your Central Coast getaway, visit ExploreLompoc.com