Lompoc California: City of Murals in the Valley of Flowers

  • Flower Power

    There's no more dramatic harbinger of spring than an endless field of colorful flower blossoms. Lompoc's Valley of Flowers bursts into bloom in late April and nature's show continues through August. Lompoc was once famous as the flower seed capital of the world. Today Lompoc's flower fields are no longer grown for seeds, but for cut flowers. While you can view these magnificent fields on your own, you might want to celebrate with locals at the Lompoc Valley Flower Festival, celebrated each June in honor of the community's historic and prized crop.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Explore Lompoc

  • Mural, Mural On the Wall

    Old Town Lompoc is colored with artistic splendor thanks to the approximately 35 commissioned and community murals painted on building walls and in key locations throughout town. Almost every mural is tied to Lompoc's history and heritage, whether celebrating the agricultural community, its famous Mission, the native Chumash Indians, or an historical event that took place in the valley. This mural on the side of the 1924 Lompoc Chamber of Commerce building celebrates the local diatomaceous earth industry, which has fueled the Lompoc economy for more than a century.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Explore Lompoc

  • Wine Tasting with a Twist

    Sip some award-winning, internationally-acclaimed wines in the ultra-hip Lompoc Wine Ghetto. Twenty tasting rooms invite the oenophile to an extraordinary tasting adventure in a compact, two-block industrial complex (which it shares with an automotive shop called Hot Rod Alley!) This is the go-to place in Lompoc to taste top Santa Barbara County wines in a decidedly cool setting.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona/Lompoc Wine Ghetto

  • The Verdant Lompoc Valley: Source of Award-Winning Wines

    Lompoc's bountiful wine region is the gateway to the Sta.Rita Hills, a destination for visitors looking for distinctive Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and other cool climate wines. The Pacific Ocean's marine layer and afternoon ocean breezes traverse this coastal valley to create the perfect environment for growing exceptional grapes that produce award-winning wines.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona: Sta. Rita Hills

  • Pinot, No?

    You can sip till your heart's content along Lompoc's popular Wine Trail. Here at the Babcock Winery, located in the rolling hills of Lompoc Valley, guests are invited to try some outstanding Pinot wines in the spacious tasting room. The James Beard Foundation in New York City rates Babcock Vineyard as one of the ten best small production wineries in the world....the other nine are all in Europe!

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Babcock Winery

  • Surf's Up

    Just a few miles outside of Lompoc you can enjoy the wild beauty of Surf Beach, part of the Vandenberg State Marine Preserve. Pack a picnic lunch, marvel at the churning surf, walk miles along the beach, and soak in nature at its finest, all part of the magnificent Central California Coast. AMTRAK offers service to Surf Beach (with bus connection to Lompoc) for the adventurous traveler who would like to explore this region by train.  

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Surf Beach Lompoc California

  • An Alley for Art

    Lompoc's murals can be found everywhere in town, and sometimes in the most tucked away-places. Art Alley is just alley filled with whimsical, decorative and historical mural works of art. It's a "don't miss" when visiting downtown Lompoc.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Lompoc Mural Society

  • From Surf & Farm to Lompoc's Restaurants

    Lompoc's many restaurants have embraced the popular "Farm-to-Table" concept. And no wonder. Blessed with lush vineyards producing award-winning wines, verdant fields teeming with fresh fruits and vegetables, sustainable farms, and the rich bounty of the sea at its doorstep, it's not a struggle for Lompoc's restaurateurs to produce sublime culinary creations with fresh ingredients at such close reach.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona/Sage Restaurant

  • Monarch Magic

    This Lompoc park attracts swarms of Monarch butterflies during the season. The colorful mural on the expansive building wall reflects the magical experience of children delighting in the butterfly swarms as they flit from flower to flower.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Lompoc Mural Society

  • La Purisima Mission: A Place In Time Along California's Mission Trail

    The moment you step into the vast grounds of La Purisima Mission, you'll get a feel for how life was like for the first Spanish settlers to the Lompoc Valley.  Touted as California's most fully and accurately restored mission along the state's famous Mission Trail, the 1787 Mission houses ten of the original buildings that have been fully restored and furnished, including the church, shops, living quarters, and blacksmith shop.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/La Purisima Mission

  • Living History

    On select weekends, visitors to La Purisima Mission can watch reenactments by docents that bring to life the daily activities that were a part of the daily chores of the Mission residents back in the late 18th Century.  In this scene, a family works together to produce wool thread from the fleece of the resident sheep.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona/La Purisima Mission

  • Wine Tasting at Every Bend of the Road

    With a region so rich in quality wines, it stands to reason that wine tasting is a favorite visitor activity. Start out at the Lompoc Wine Ghetto in town, then head on out to the Sta. Rita Hills where you'll discover several charming wineries--from funky, to rustic, to classically elegant.

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona/Lompoc Wine Trail

  • Choose from a Variety of Accommodations

    The colorful lobby of the Embassy Suites Lompoc reflects the heritage and history of the city. Visitors to Lompoc will find an interesting mix of accommodations to choose from, with each hotel offering various guest amenities and affordable rates. With a home base in Lompoc, visitors can easily explore neighboring towns and attractions including the Danish Village of Solvang, historic Los Alamos, the artsy enclave of Los Olivos, and nearby Santa Barbara.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Embassy Suites Lompoc

  • Every Lompoc Street has a Story to Tell

    Lompoc is filled with buildings that reflect its rich history. These include the Grace Temple Church which was built in the 1870's. Italian Stone Pines line the street near the church, and they, too, have a unique history.  The trees were planted in 1940 and are now valued at over 3 million dollars! They've been featured in several journals on famous trees of the world and have been revered because of their health and beauty.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Explore Lompoc

  • Sample the Space Age

    Lompoc is home to Vandenberg Air Force Base, one of the nation's most important military and space installations. From here the Air Force launches unmanned test missiles towards the South Pacific, traversing 4,200 miles in a mere 25 minutes. All launches are spectacular to watch, and some are announced in advance. Private tours of the base are also available upon request. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/Explore Lompoc

  • Pie In The Sky

    If you love pies, make your way to Sissy's Uptown Cafe, which boasts a wide variety of made-from-scratch pies. Locals will tell you Sissy's coconut cream pie is the best you will ever taste--and we agree! The family-owned restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and offers a creative menu featuring local ingredients. The wine cellar boasts over 300 different labels of difficult-to-find local wines. Sissy's wine store, adjacent to the restaurant, is the perfect place to find that custom wine-themed gift for your favorite oenophile. 

    Photo courtesy of Tony DiBona/Sissy's Uptown Cafe

  • A Photographer's Delight

    Lompoc is a favorite destination for both amateur and professional photographers. The spectacular flower fields, the colorful murals that enliven every street and corner of town, and the 18th Century Purisima Mission are just some of the photo ops that await the visitor to this picturesque, but relatively undiscovered, region of California's Central Coast. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona/10 Best Travel Photography Tips