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Trip List by kirk20003

The Best of Santa Maria

Jun 9, 2006  Local Resident
4.0 of 5 stars based on 4 votes

If you find yourself in the Santa Maria area for business or pleasure for an extended amount of time - or a short trip/vacation, here's some suggestions.

  • 1. Radisson Hotel Santa Maria
    Radisson Hotel Santa Maria, Santa Maria, California
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    Avg price: $151

    This place is really coming on strong - many great reviews, and surprise it's location next to the Santa Maria airport runway is surprisingly quiet! Its got a nice place to eat as well as a wine bar .. and you are near a nice park to picnic, walk your dog (great dog park), and unwind from a great day wine tasting!

  • 2. Santa Maria Inn
    Santa Maria Inn, Santa Maria, California
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    Avg price: $144

    Probably the best - well one of the few, good places to stay in Santa Maria. A bit of an identity crises between remaining a historic inn, and a modern hotel. Good rooms, average service. I actually would pay less and stay in the historic wing of the hotel - its older for sure, but much more fun given the history. Get a room facing the courtyard. The hotel has a nice pub with great beers on draft, a nice Sunday brunch, and a little wine bar in the basement. The pool is very nice, set in a lovely courtyard. There is a quaint little neighborhood of old homes and nice gardens on opposite side of the street - its a safe walk around if you want to do that after dinner.

  • 3. Shaw's Famous Steak House
    Shaw's Famous Steak House, Santa Maria, California

    A pretty good local steak house - actually better steak and cheaper then the Far Western Tavern. Across the street from the Santa Maria Inn. Tri-Tip is always the favorite .. but I like the NY Strip and Filet. Come 4-6PM for early bird specials.

  • 4. Addamo Estate Vineyards Tasting Room
    http://www.addamovineyards.com/tastingroom.php

    A great tasting room, but even better, a great place for lunch AND dinner, and now open till 930PM! Very good food (pizzas, appetizers, sandwiches, casual fare, etc). Please call ahead as sometimes this place closes early or is booked by a private party.

  • 5. Wine Cottage Bistro
    http://www.ourwinecottage.com

    This on again, off again bistro in Old Orcutt can be charming for dinner or wine tasting at the bar, but has been in consistent recently. It just sold, so we expect it to hopefully improve regarding hours and service. Still a good find nearby without driving to San Luis Obispo or Los Olivos

  • 6. Best Western Shore Cliff Lodge
    BEST WESTERN PLUS Shore Cliff Lodge, Pismo Beach, California
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    Avg price: $243

    If you want to be near the beach, this is one of the best places to stay - every room faces the water in Pismo Beach - about 20-25 minutes from Santa Maria, CA

  • 7. Los Olivos
    Los Olivos, California

    Charming small town where many wineries have their tasting rooms. Also you can base here to drive to the wineries or olive tasting rooms .. then stay in town for dinner - many excellent places to eat.

    I would suggest eating at Patrick's Sidestreet Cafe .. much more intimate then the Wine Cafe in town, and the chef is great and personable. There is no corkage fee here, so bring you own .. or buy in town and dring.

  • 8. La Purisima Mission
    http://www.lapurisimamission.org/

    Located just 30 minutes away from Santa Maria - near Lompoc. This was the 11th mission built in CA. It is the most fully restored of all the missions, and probably the least visited. Beautiful park nearby.

  • 9. Two Blocks Off the Beach

    One of the best fines for dinner or light eating. Great food, intimate atmosphere, casual wine tasting or a good brew. A find in a city (Pismo) with just-average eating.

  • 10. Pismo Beach
    Pismo Beach, California

    One of the last few blue collar beaches in CA - the way it used to be. Nothing stylish about the town, but just a great beach - try Splash Cafe for the best clam chowder.

  • 11. Big Sky Cafe
    Big Sky Cafe, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County

    One of the best places to eat in San Luis Obispo, especially for breakfast. Especially good is their breakfast on weekends - a very kid friendly place without turning off the single or couple set. Very fresh local food - also great option for vegitarians.

  • 12. San Luis Obispo
    San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County

    This is what Santa Maria could of been if it didn't demolish its older section of the city ... its charming. Go to the Thursday night farmers market, a not-miss. There are a lot of wineries in the Edna Valley just 10 minutes out from the city itself. The place is laid back and most eateries close at 9PM. Bars stay open till 11 though - it is a college town.

  • 13. The Hitching Post
    The Hitching Post, Casmalia, California

    The best steaks hands down. Of course, this is a matter of argument among locals. But you won't be disappointed. Its famous sister place in Buelleton is more famous from the movie "Sideways" but this is more local. Its a bit hard to find. You can make reservations on "Open Table"