Quality of Life

Located along the Pacific Ocean halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Central Coast region offers long sandy beaches and rocky coastline vistas, wine country tours, and world famous barbecue. Agriculture, personal services, and government dominate the economic base of the Santa Maria Valley, a growing region of about 137,000 people. The beaches and mountains of California’s Central Coast are the backdrop for an economy expanding far beyond its agricultural and tourism base that includes regional trading, manufacturing and service industries, transportation, oil, electronic manufacturing, and government installation at nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Santa Maria Valley is a pro-business community that promotes responsive and properly planned growth. It is a safe, family oriented community where residents enjoy working and living. Over the years the Santa Maria Valley has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1998 All-America City Award and the California Parks & Recreation Society Award.

Besides the Valley’s business friendly reputation, the city offers a wide range of choices for recreational, cultural and social pursuits. There are two public libraries, one of which is currently expanding to be the most state-of-the-art learning center in the Valley. The Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center, Paul Nelson Aquatic Center, YMCA, Natural History Museum, Santa Maria Civic Theater, Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum all offer recreational activities and programs for youth and adults.


Other recreational facilities include one drive-in and one walk-in movie theater, twenty-two parks including playgrounds, a municipal swimming pool, a nine-hole golf course, a modern 18-hole golf course, one softball complex, a 32-lane bowling alley and a miniature golf park.

A forty-acre fairground facility accommodates the Santa Barbara County Fair and Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival each year. It also serves as host to many conventions and community events. The Elks Unocal Event Center is also available as a facility that hosts local fairs and events, including the annual Elks Rodeo.


The Santa Maria Valley may be famed for its nutrient-rich soil, but its bounty doesn’t stop there. The fresh and captivating spirit of this region is also reflected in its cultural offerings, yielding a visual and performing arts scene that thrives with a life all its own. Throughout the Valley you will find a diverse array of attractions, mild climate and a complex coastal ecosystem that combine to offer virtually unlimited outdoor adventures including birdwatching, beach walking, dune hopping, farm touring, golfing and bicycling.

In addition to the Valley’s unique coastal geography, the area also boasts a spectrum of fresh and distinctive flavors. From rolling strawberry fields to magnificent vineyards, street side barbecues to fine restaurants, the flavors of the Santa Maria Valley ultimately represent a wondrous experience for the senses.

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