Lompoc is a popular getaway destination for wine lovers, history buffs and art enthusiasts in Santa Barbara County. You can take a drive along the Sta. Rita Hills Wine Trail to uncover some of the best locally made wines or join a 246 Wine Tour and leave the driving to your guide. Other Lompoc attractions include historic sites, the Lompoc Murals, a wild horse sanctuary and even a missile and satellite launch facility.

1. La Purisima Mission State Historic Park

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
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Come and learn all about everyday life in the 1800’s at the beautifully restored La Purisima Mission State Historic Park in Lompoc.

The mission was founded in 1787 to serve the Chumash people and some Spanish settlers and in its heyday the inhabitants herded many thousands of cattle and sheep.

A visit to the mission will give you the chance to learn all about this part of California’s heritage as you explore the mission on either a guided or self-guided tour.

If you visit during one of the mission’s special Living History events you will see costumed guides demonstrating old skills like candle and soap making, spinning, weaving and leather work. The 2000 acre estate has a modern Visitor’s Center and over 25 miles of hiking trails. Browse our California weekend getaways guide for more ideas.

La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, 2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-733-3713

2. Jalama Beach County Park

Jalama Beach County Park
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Conveniently located about 45 minutes from Lompoc and an hour from Santa Barbara, the Jalama Beach County Park is a secluded beach park which offers numerous facilities for day trippers or vacationers. People come to the park to enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, whale-watching and spectacular coastal views. (There are lifeguards on duty in summer but due to the rough surf you swim at your own risk). You can pack a picnic to enjoy at the picnic area or bring your tent or RV and spend a few days soaking up the California sun. The park has a well-stocked convenience store/grill and you can book a campsite or self-catering cabin in advance.

Jalama Beach County Park, 9999 Jalama Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-568-2460

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3. Ocean Beach Park

Ocean Beach Park
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You will find Ocean Beach Park at the mouth of the Santa Ynez River, where it forms part of the Vandenberg State Marine Preserve. At the river mouth there is an estuary lagoon which attracts many birds and birding enthusiasts, but the bad news is that the entire beach park is closed to the public from March to September to protect Snowy Plover breeding sites. If you do plan a winter visit you will find restrooms, a picnic area with grills and a good beach for walking and beachcombing. Surfers should think twice before venturing into the ocean here - there have been two fatal shark attacks on this beach and all swimming is at your own risk.

Ocean Beach Park, Ocean Park Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436

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4. Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve

Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve
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Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts can visit one of the last remaining stands of maritime chaparral at the Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve located close to Lompoc. The reserve covers over 5,000 acres between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Purisima Hills, where visitors can uncover a large variety of rare and unique coastal scrub species and the wildlife which have made the reserve their home. You are welcome to come and explore the trails on foot (leashed dogs are also welcome) – bring your binoculars and camera to be prepared for some good bird and other wildlife sightings. You may visit the reserve from sunrise to sunset daily.

Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve, Burton Mesa Blvd, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 858-467-4201, (website link)

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5. Return to Freedom – American Wild Horse Sanctuary

Return to Freedom – American Wild Horse Sanctuary
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Most people have no idea that by the late 1970’s America’s free-ranging herds of wild horses and donkeys had been almost completely wiped out by man. On 1500 acres of land on California’s Central Coast Return to Freedom endeavors to provide a place where 400 wild horses and burros can live out their lives in a free and natural way. Besides providing a sanctuary for the often traumatized horses, Return to Freedom operates an education center where the public can learn more about how horses live in the wild and how to become activists on their behalf. You can help by joining a Sanctuary Tour (where you can to meet some of the four-legged ambassadors), offering your time as a volunteer or joining one of their Photographic Safaris.

Return to Freedom, 4115 Jalama Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-737-9246

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6. Lompoc Wine Ghetto

Lompoc Wine Ghetto
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The Lompoc area has dozens of wineries to explore and in the case of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto you don’t even need to leave town to find a tasting room. If you can imagine a collection of small-batch wineries and tasting rooms located in the middle of an urban industrial complex, you will have a fair idea of what to expect at the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. The artisan vintners who have set up shop in the ghetto are producing some sensational award-winning wines which you can taste at a few of the 20 boutique tasting rooms. Most are open from Thursdays to Sundays.

Lompoc Wine Ghetto, 200 North 9th Street, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-735-8937

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7. Melville Winery

Melville Winery
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Celebrated for its organic farming and stupendous bottles of wine made exclusively from their self-grown vines, the Melville Winery is an undeniable treat for wine enthusiasts and aficionados who want to sample Lompoc’s best offerings. The Melville Winery is nestled within the breathtaking Sta. Rita Hills promises a great tasting experience with spacious and breezy outdoor seating being the winery’s recommended space to enjoy a tasting flight. Sample your choice of the vineyard's wide range of bottles while enjoying Lompoc’s fresh air and glorious vineyard views. Guests can also learn more about the Melville Winery, their farming practices, and more through Melville’s estate and winery tours.

5185 East Highway 246, Lompoc, California 93436, Phone: 805-735-7030

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8. Babcock Winery and Vineyards

Babcock Winery and Vineyards
© Babcock Winery and Vineyards

Babcock Winery and Vineyards invite you to come and experience a wine-tasting with a difference in their eclectic Vineyard Tasting Room where you will be surrounded by an interesting mix of mid-century props and 70’s music. The winery produces a fine range of wines with an emphasis on micro-vineyard Pinot Noirs which showcase the remarkable Terrior of the Estate. Other varietals which you can try include some complex barrel-fermented Chardonnays as well as all the popular classics like Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Gris. Winemaker Bryan Babcock is not shy to experiment and also produces his Identity Crisis wine, which is a white wine made from Syrah grapes.

Babcock Winery and Vineyards, 5175 E. Highway 246, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-736-1455, (website link)

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9. The Lompoc Valley Historical Society

The Lompoc Valley Historical Society
© The Lompoc Valley Historical Society

You will find the Lompoc Valley Historical Society headquarters in the first two-story home built in Lompoc back in 1875. The historic home has been fully renovated and restored and is now home to furnishings and décor in keeping with its Victorian heritage. You can tour the home at your own pace before moving on to visit the Carriage House where buggies, saddles and everything required for a horse and carriage is displayed. The Blacksmith Shop includes displays of all the tools and equipment needed for a blacksmith to ply his trade. Last but not least you can visit the Museum Room which displays all the “modern” kitchen equipment used back in the day. Entry to the museum is free (but donations are gratefully accepted).

The Lompoc Valley Historical Society, 207 N. L Street, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-735-4626

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10. Things to Do in Lompoc: Sanford Winery

Things to Do in Lompoc: Sanford Winery
© Sanford Winery

Sanford Winery was the first vineyard to plant Pinot Noir vines in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA in 1971. Today the winery is owned and run by the Terlato family who also own premium vineyards in the Napa Valley. You can learn all about the vineyards and Sanford wines when you book one of their All-Terrain Vineyard Experience tours which take you out into the heart of the vineyards in a comfortable ATV accompanied by a knowledgeable wine educator. You will taste both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the vineyards where they were grown and enjoy an optional gourmet picnic. If you are short of time just pop into their tasting room to sample their latest wines.

Sanford Winery, 5010 Santa Rosa Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-735-5900

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11. Foley Estates Vineyards and Winery

Foley Estates Vineyards and Winery
© Foley Estates Vineyards and Winery

Formerly a horse ranch called Rancho Santa Rosa, Foley Estates Vineyards boasts steep south-facing hillsides and the perfect limestone soils required to grow wonderful Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. The vines were planted in the late 1990’s and the original horse stables were laboriously converted into the current winery which produced its first vintage in 2002. Since then Foley Estates has gone from strength to strength and invites visitors to come and learn about their world-class wines by visiting their tasting room. You can enjoy either a standard 5-wine tasting or opt for the Cheese and Wine Pairing, which includes local artisanal cheeses and breads.

Foley Estates Vineyards and Winery, 6121 E. Highway 246, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-737-6222

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12. The Murals of Lompoc

The Murals of Lompoc
© The Murals of Lompoc

The Murals of Lompoc came about as a 1980’s initiative to revitalize Lompoc’s declining Old Town and stimulate more tourism. Today visitors and art enthusiasts can enjoy discovering over 30 major artworks (mainly in the Old Town), each of which tells the story of a part of the city’s history. In addition, you will also come across dozens of smaller murals dotted around the town; some of these have been privately added while others are the result of various art competitions. Although most of the larger murals were commissioned art works the town hosts regular events when the public are invited to come and help create a new city mural. You can download a mural map and set off to explore at your own pace.

The Murals of Lompoc, Old Town Lompoc, (website link)

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13. Dierberg Vineyard

Dierberg Vineyard
© Dierberg Vineyard

The Dierberg Vineyard is owned and operated by the combined Dierberg family who moved their winemaking operation from Missouri to the cool coastal Santa Barbara area in 1996 to fulfill their dream of producing perfect cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnays. The family established two vineyards - the Dierberg Vineyard and the Drum Canyon Vineyard, both of which are now producing marvelous grapes. You can come and taste their complex and delicious wines, all of which showcase their ideal growing conditions at their tasting room located at the Drum Canyon Vineyard.

Dierberg Vineyard, 1280 Drum Canyon Rd, Sta. Rita Hills, CA 93436, Phone: 805-697-1466

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14. Cabrillo High School Aquarium

Cabrillo High School Aquarium
© Cabrillo High School Aquarium

Learn all about the beauty and wonder of marine life at the Cabrillo High School Aquarium. Known for their dedication to the cross-curricular education of students about global marine awareness, the aquarium is unique for being a student-run educational facility. Finding its beginnings as just a school club with a couple of tanks, the community has grown into a large facility that regular husbandry happenings, like their shark hatchery and jellyfish strobilation, and hand-on experiences of marine life like starfish, and other smaller marine creatures. A great stop for field trips or group tours, there’s a lot of knowledge and fun waiting at the Cabrillo High School Aquarium.

4350 Constellation Road, Lompoc, California 93436, Phone: 805-742-2888

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15. Lompoc Museum

Lompoc Museum
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The Lompoc Museum was established in 1969 in a former historic Carnegie Library Building where it protects and showcases a large collection of North American artifacts which shed light on the daily life and culture of the Chumash Indians, who formerly occupied the land for over 13,000 years. The artifacts you will see were collected from a wide terrain including beaches, canyons and forests and include some of the best examples of rock art in the world. You can also learn about daily life during the Mission and Rancho Periods as you tour the museum which is open from Tuesday to Sunday.

Lompoc Museum, 200 S. “H” Street, CA 93436, Phone: 805-736-3888

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16. Things to Do in Lompoc: Moretti Wines

Things to Do in Lompoc: Moretti Wines
© Moretti Wines

Wine experts Antonio and Jeni Moretti have been helping wine enthusiasts learn more about wonderful wines at their Taste of Sta. Rita Hills Tasting Room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto for several years. Recently the couple has turned to wine-making themselves, and buy in excellent local grapes to make their own distinctive “Old World” style of wines which remind them of Italy and are perfect for enjoying with food. Their wines are produced in very small quantities and are only available for tasting (and food pairing) at their tasting room. You can look forward to tasting a delightful Moretti Prosecco (made in Italy) as well as a Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc made from locally sourced grapes.

Moretti Wines, 1595 East Chestnut Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-735-4400

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17. Vandenberg Air Force Base

Vandenberg Air Force Base
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Visitors to the Lompoc area who are interested in all things to do with space exploration, satellite launching and missile testing can join a tour of the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc. The tours are only offered once a month, on the third Tuesday at 1pm and you will need to book your place at least 15 days in advance (30 days if you are a non-U.S. citizen). On the tour you will learn about the essential part played by the Vandenberg AFB in providing a launch and support area for satellite launches and missile testing but since this is a high-security facility you can expect certain parts of the base to be off-limits. Visit their website to see when the next launch is scheduled.

Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, California, (website link)

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18. Surf Beach

Surf Beach
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Surf Beach forms part of the Vandenberg State Marine Preserve and although it is situated on the Vandenberg Air Force Base the beach is open to the public. You can access the beach from the parking area along West Ocean Avenue. Surf Beach is popular with surfers and body-boarders as well as walkers and bird watchers. At certain times of the year when there is a particularly low tide you can access some colorful sea caves on foot at the southern end of the beach. It is important to know that areas both to the north and south of Surf Beach are closed to the public from the beginning of March to the end of September to protect Snowy Plover nesting spots.

Surf Beach, West Ocean Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436

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19. Ampelos Cellars

Ampelos Cellars
© Ampelos Cellars

Ampelos Vineyards and Cellars was established in 1999 and set out to produce the finest wines possible, using minimally invasive hands-on farming methods. The vineyard was the first in the US to be certified Organic, Sustainable and Biodynamic and the owners believe that their non-invasive farming methods shine through every sip of each of their wines. You can decide for yourself when you visit their tasting room located in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. As you sip a glass or two of their wonderful natural wines you can learn about their sustainable business plan from one of the tasting room team.

Ampelos Cellars, 312 North Ninth Street, Lompoc, CA, Phone: 805-736-9957

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20. Lompoc Flower Fields

Lompoc Flower Fields
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When in Lompoc, there’s nothing more breathtaking than sitting at the center of fields upon fields of gorgeous wildflowers. At the Lompoc Flower Fields, this is the exact treatment that visitors are in for as the hills of west Lompoc truly come alive with the kaleidoscopic colors of various flowers. From California poppies to rows upon rows of morning glory, the Lompoc Flower Fields is an incredible sight to behold. Featuring both commercially grown flowers, 80% of commercial growth in the US takes place in Lompoc, and seasonal wildflowers, guests can time their visit to the fields based on the flowers that they want to see care of Lompoc’s Bloom Tracker.

3314-3568 W. Central Avenue, Lompoc, California 93436

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21. Things to Do in Lompoc: Fiddlehead Cellars

Things to Do in Lompoc: Fiddlehead Cellars
© Fiddlehead Cellars

Winemaker Kathy Joseph established her Fiddlehead Cellars and vineyards in 1989 to fulfill her desire to produce wonderful Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines. She hoped to add old-world charm to these varietals by growing the vines in the best possible locations and treating the grapes with the utmost respect through the winemaking process. Kathy has more than succeeded in her mission and is widely recognized as a pioneering female winemaker in the Lompoc Valley. You can come and taste her delectable wines at her tasting room in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, where her 5,000 annual cases of wine are made on site. The Tasting Room is open Friday to Sunday (or by appointment on weekdays).

Fiddlehead Cellars, 1597 E. Chestnut Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-735-7728

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22. Transcendence Winery

Transcendence Winery
© Transcendence Winery

Trancendence Winery is owned and operated by an enthusiastic husband and wife team of winemakers who are dedicated to showcasing cool-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah wines from the Santa Barbara region. Kenneth and Sara Gummere source their grapes from a handful of fine Santa Barbara county vineyards and their small-batch artisanal wines are produced at their winery in North Street Lompoc – you are welcome to visit the winery by appointment only, but their tasting room is open from Thursday to Sunday. If you enjoy their wines it makes good sense to join the Transcendence Winery Wine Club which offers members several perks and discounts.

Transcendence Winery, 300 North 12th Street, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-455-9589

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23. La Purisima Golf Course

La Purisima Golf Course
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The La Purisima Golf Course of Lompoc is the home of 309 acres worth of oak-laden, softly rolling playing greens. Designed by the renowned Robert Muir Graves, La Purisima Golf Course has hosted grand events like the PGA Tour Final Stage Qualifiers. What many golfers love about this course is how it has been kept free of local and commercial developments in the surrounding areas. As such, a trim to this course means guests are getting nothing but golfing, which is how La Purisima’s regulars prefer it. Look forward to a challenging course with surprises like ancient sand hills and more that will force every golfer to bring their “A” game to tee time.

3455 E Highway 246, Lompoc, California 93436, Phone: 805-735-8395

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24. Things to Do in Lompoc: La Botte Italian Restaurant

Things to Do in Lompoc: La Botte Italian Restaurant
© La Botte Italian Restaurant

Family owned and operated, La Botte Italian Restaurant has been pleasing Lompoc palates since 1981 and has become something of a legend in the city. La Botte is the perfect place to meet friends for a delicious genuine Italian meal served in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. The menu features all your favorite Italian dishes including soups, salads and anti-pasta starters, followed by a wide selection of pastas, pizzas and entrees. Gluten-free options are available and there are daily posted specials making use of fresh seasonal ingredients. Remember to leave some space for one of their delectable desserts. The restaurant offers a wide selection of local and imported wines to enjoy alongside your meal and you can even order a delicious cake (in advance) if you are celebrating a special event.

825 N H St, Lompoc, CA 93436, Phone: 805-736 8525 or 805-735-4400

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