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Live Where You Vacation: Road Trips near Rice Ranch

An aerial view of a residential neighborhood in California, Fun Fall Activities

Living in Meadow View Townhomes at Rice Ranch in Orcutt, California gives folks many benefits: a brand new gorgeous duet home, private membership to the Summit Club, 580 across of open space for an active lifestyle, and a country feel, expansive views and a master-planned community and Road Trips near Rice Ranch. But the best thing of all may be the proximity to charming wine towns, various wine trails of great renown, and award-winning wineries, all within a 30-minute drive.

Road trips are an easy way to travel, and with the Central Coast’s temperate weather, doing things outdoors means vacations are still fun and affordable. The Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley both offer more bang for the buck than other more well-known California vacation spots. Stay in Orcutt for a perfect home base, or have a fun staycation right here in the hood.

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties both offer a wide variety of fun things to do, amazing food, wine and beer, plus tons of open space, beautiful weather and friendly people. Check out our city guide here, and get on the road!

Orcutt & Santa Maria Valley

An aerial view of a large house and golf course. Road Trips near Rice Ranch

Downtown Orcutt is known as Old Town Orcutt, and it still retains its turn-of-the-century, charming, historical character. You’ll find walkable streets and friendly faces, along with great shopping, antiques, farmers’ markets, award-winning restaurants and wineries.

Golfing, hiking, and biking are plentiful in Santa Maria Valley, as are world-class wineries known for cool-climate wines like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. You can spend an activity-packed weekend or just relax and enjoy the beauty of the area. Stay at local historic inns, new and moderns hotels or wine country vacation rentals.

Read more about outdoor activities here.

Points North Road Trips near Rice Ranch

San Luis Obispo County, to the north, is a unique collection of micro-climates and terrains that afford oak-studded hills, rolling vineyards, famous and undiscovered beaches, miles of san dunes, fields of super-bloom wildflowers, lakes, and rivers as well as cities, farms and charming towns.

Arroyo Grande

Head North to the village of Arroyo Grande, where downtown exudes a bygone era. Renowned chefs, winemakers and artisans abound, as well as farmers markets and antiques. Heading to the wineries on nearby trails, you’ll have views of the rustic California hills and the Pacific Ocean. From sparkling wine to Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc (plus a winery in a historic adobe), this wine trail is one of the most varied.

Pismo Beach

Photo by Experience Pismo Beach
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This classic California beach town is located on California’s famous central coast along Pacific Coast and 101 Highways. Pismo is knows for its funky, 50s-era boardwalk and its long white beaches, perfect for strolling, sunbathing or just hanging out. You can also go surfing, body boarding, or fishing. The famous Pismo Pier has recently been renovated, so you’ll want a photo in front of the iconic sign, plus the the spectacular views of the Pismo Beach sunset.

Avila Beach

Take a short drive along a lush, oak-lined valley off the 101 near San Luis Obispo and you’ll arrive at Avila Beach. Since it’s sheltered by south-facing bay, Avila Beach has calmer waters and warmer air than other towns on the Central Coast, which makes it one of the best places to hit the sand. About a half-mile long, the beach has soft sand, gentle waves and even some tidepools. Small restaurants, all facing the pier and ocean, dot the main drag, as well as plenty of wineries and beach shopping. Spend the day swimming, enjoying the sun, or trying your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding. Or, bike or walk along the Bob Jones trail, soak in the nearby mineral tubs, or visit the Avila Valley Barn animals.

San Luis Obispo

Known to locals as SLO, this small city has a vibrant scene, not matter what kind. With a friendly, walkable downtown full of every kind of shop and service imaginable, the city has kept its small-town charm and historic feel along with growth into more amenities. Hotels have sprung up, tastefully, some with rooftop pools or lounges, while classic establishments where you can dine on the creek are still going strong.

The city has numerous hills, hikes and bike trails, right in town, as well as miles of vineyards and wineries, a quirky historic inn and plenty of space and family parks.

Read more about San Luis Obispo here.

Head South

Los Alamos

The old west town of Los Alamos is the gateway to the Santa Ynez Valley and is only a 15-minute drive down highway 101. This neighboring spot is named after Cottonwood trees in the area, and is home to one of the most eclectic mixes of food, wine, cowboys, art, history and down-home folks in all of California.

Even though it’s only seven-blocks long, it’s bursting with burgeoning foodwinearts & antiques with a vintage feel. Historic inns, re-made classic motels that are fresh and hip, and restaurants for every type line the main street, along with wine and beer choices in the same vein.

Lompoc & Sta. Rita Hills

The Lompoc area is home to the Pino Noir growing region of Sta. Rita Hills. You can find fun tasting rooms in the “wine ghetto” of Lompoc, plus spectacular vineyards and estate wineries just outside town in the Sta. Rita Hills wine appellation. These growers are known for exceptional pinot, chardonnay, and other cool climate wines.

One of California’s best preserved missions is here, La Purisma Mission, which also lends its name to a world-class golf course. The town of Lompoc is also full of great world flavors, with a large portion of eclectic eateries from all over the world.

If you feel like venturing further, head to the lesser-visited Jalama Beach which is a popular place for surfing, kite surfing, hiking to beach caves or lighthouse, and camping. The onsite Jalama Beach Grill is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and early dinner. Be sure to try the famous Jalama Burger for a delicious picnic at the Pacific.

Los Olivos Road Trips near Rice Ranch

One of the most famous wine towns in the southern half of California, Los Olivos has more than 40 tasting rooms in this walkable town with a flagpole right in the middle. This is where Return to Mayberry was filmed, and you’ll recognize the old gas station and post office as you stroll through town. Wine tasting, fine art, and eating are top things to do, as well as renting bikes, and lounging in the main park.

Read more about Los Olivos here.

Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez

These make up the main small cities of the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Ynez is the smallest of the three, and is a wild west gem, as well as home to the area’s casino. Solvang is famous for its Danish character, pastry shops and great inns and eats. Buellton is an up-and-coming foodie spot, with industrial-area wineries, plus the area’s biggest brewery and distillery. It’s also home to one cool RV vacation spot, complete with pools, lawn games, fire pits and glamping tents.

Read more about Santa Ynez here.

Further South to Santa Barbara

The city of Santa Barbara is just 60 miles from the Meadows and the Groves at Rice Ranch in Orcutt, making it a perfect overnight road trip stay-cation destination. It’s called the American Riviera for a reason: pristine beaches and ocean-front views, fine wine and fine dining, tons of family activities, Spanish history to explore and a pretty laid-back vibe. 

Many neighborhoods have a down-home feel, full of friendly folks and interesting finds. Here are just some of the ways you can enrich yourself in Santa Barbara.

At Meadow View Townhomes at Rice Ranch, you can live where you vacation! These road trips are part of life at this Master Planned Community, with beautiful homes, oak-tree-lined streets, and private access to the Summit Club. And some of the best wine, beaches, food, golf, and hikes in California! You’ll love it here.

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