Lompoc: Experience the Unexpected

Sometimes, when you travel off the beaten path, you’ll discover something unexpected.

An emerging destination on Highway 1 along the California Coast, Lompoc blooms big in summer with fields of flowers, vineyard vistas, and scenic backroads for visitors to explore. An easy drive from Bakersfield, Lompoc—cooled by ocean breezes—is a great summer escape when inland temperatures rise.

So, why not explore Lompoc and discover what’s around the bend?

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Exceptional weather year-round makes Lompoc a popular outdoor playground for active travelers and thrill seekers. Boasting the highest tandem jump in Southern California, SkyDive Santa Barbara offers an exhilarating experience, and a checkmark for those with sky diving on their bucket list. Visitors take flight on a two-plus hour tandem skydiving journey that provides sensational views of the coastline and hillsides.

Lompoc Wine Trail
Lompoc Wine Trail

Golf more your style? Try the 18-hole championship La Purisima Golf Course, designed by renowned architect Robert Muir Graves. Acclaimed as “one of America’s Best Designed Courses,” it’s well worth the drive.

Lompoc Valley is a cycling destination as well, and host to the Explore Lompoc 805 Criterium Weekend in June. Bring your bikes to enjoy flat and challenging country roads. For BMX enthusiasts, the River Bend Bike Park offers off-road trails and jumps for all levels.

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It’s no secret that Lompoc winemakers are producing some of California’s best Pinots and Chardonnays. Experts say it’s the combination of climate, east-west hill orientation, and calcium-rich soil that makes wine magic in Lompoc’s Santa Rita Hills.

Start sipping in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. Clustered together in a modest industrial park, this collection of 20 casual tasting rooms has become a mecca for artisan wine production. Most Wine Ghetto tasting rooms are open Thursdays through Sundays. Be sure to try the top-rated wines at Brewer-Clifton, Fiddlehead, Flying Goat, and Longoria.

Looking for wine country ambiance? Take the Lompoc Wine Trail loop, along Highway 246 and Santa Rosa Road. You’ll find breathtaking vistas and estate wineries around every bend. Almost all wineries and vineyards are open Fridays through Sundays; Babcock, Foley, Melville, and Sanford are open daily.

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La Purisima Mission docents
La Purisima Mission docents

By far, Lompoc’s top visitor attraction is La Purisima Mission. It is one of California’s most visited missions. Ten of the original buildings have been fully restored and furnished including the church, shops, living quarters, and blacksmith shop. On select Saturdays costumed docents offer candle making and blacksmithing demonstrations reminiscent of early mission life. Miles of hiking trails surround the mission, making it a popular place for day hikes as well.

Lompoc Valley blooms in summer with a kaleidoscope of colors from the flower fields, celebrated by locals and visitors during the annual June Flower Festival. Nearby Jalama Beach is a popular summer spot for camping, surfing, kite flying, and birdwatching. The self-proclaimed “world famous Jalama Burger” is worth the detour, alone.

No visit to Lompoc is complete without a stroll through Old Town to view all the outdoor murals. This impressive collection of nearly 30 larger-than-life murals provide colorful insight into Lompoc’s history and heritage. Stop in the Lompoc Visitor Center (located at 111 So. I Street) to pick up a mural map, walking tour brochure, and other helpful information about Lompoc.

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Spend a few days, and make Lompoc Valley your home base for Central Coast sightseeing. Close to Solvang and Los Olivos—but without the high price tag and crowds—Lompoc offers a variety of accommodations to suit your style and travel budget.

For information on Lompoc lodging options, and to plan

your getaway, visit ExploreLompoc.com.

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