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Santa Maria is primarily an agriculture town that borders the north end of the Santa Maria Wine Valley. The town does not have much in historic value (it was bulldozed to make room for a mall in the 1970s and they have been regreting it forever). The town serves as a low-cost base for trips into wine country, and would be a nice location to hit both the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande appelations to the north, and the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez, and Santa Rita to the south. Broadway between Stowell and Main retains some kitchy character to it - worth a drive through if your staying at the Santa Maria Inn - a historic inn that also added to its charm with a new wing during the 80s. The region is also known for their strawberries, with many stands along the 101 highway in Santa Maria. The beach - Pismo is only 20 minutes to the north. The town of Lompoc, where Vandenberg AFB is located, is only 20 minutes to the south-west.