Santa Barbara County takes pride in its extraordinary number of acclaimed artistic and cultural attractions. With numerous museums and galleries and a year-round selection of internationally recognized performing arts, dance, music, visual arts and theater, Santa Barbara County is emerging as a coastal cultural empire.
Santa Maria Museum of Flight
Wander through this large museum featuring World War II and present-day displays of aircraft and artifacts. The museum is open Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 adults; $4 seniors; $3 kids 12-18; $1 kids 6-12. Group tours available, call to schedule. (805) 922-8758.
The Natural History Museum, 412 S. McClelland St., Santa Maria (805) 614-0806
Families and kids of all ages will enjoy the Natural History Museum in Santa Maria "Where natural history comes to life"! See interesting displays of natural history artifacts from our area. You’ll find rock and fossil exhibits, native bird displays, a life-size T-Rex skull and even a real bat room. Watch a short video on the geologic history of the Santa Maria Valley from Prehistoric times to modern times. Work with the interactive plate tectonics kiosk which demonstrates global sea levels and temperatures through time as well. On the first Saturday of each the month visit with "live" animals. Call for info on Nature Babies Storytime, where children hear a story and receive a free book, courtesy of Altrusa Central Coast. Museum Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11 am to 4 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm. Admission is free. (805) 614-0806.
Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum
For a glimpse into the history of Santa Maria and the people who settled here, visit the Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum. The museum preserves the history and nostalgia of the city with pictures, artifacts, and valley memorabilia. Ask about the Historic Walking Tours. Admission is free. 616 South Broadway, Santa Maria. (805) 922-3130.
Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum
Families will take pleasure in this newly built museum that offers hands-on exhibits for children to learn while they play. This hands-on museum offers a chance for children to learn while they play. Enjoy exhibits such as Enclose Yourself in a Bubble, Rocket Launch Pad, Tar Pit and much more. For current hours of operation please call (805) 928-8414. 705 S. McClelland, Santa Maria.
Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum
The Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum, founded as a non-profit, educational museum, is dedicated to the preservation of the railroad heritage of California, the Central Coast, and the Santa Maria Valley. Admission is free. The Museum is located in the Santa Maria Town Center, corner of East Main Street and Broadway, on the upper level across from Robinsons May. (805) 937-5438.
The Dunes Center is located in the historical 1910 Craftsman style house at 1055 Guadalupe Street in Guadalupe. Adults and children will enjoy the hands-on, interactive exhibits, kids educational programs on the computer, an exhibit featuring artifacts and photographs of the Cecil B. DeMille film, The Ten Commandments and much more! The Center sponsors free docent-led guided walks into the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes area where you’ll learn about the birds, plants and creatures that live in the area. The Center is open Tuesday - Sunday 10-4. Call (805) 343-2455.
Guadalupe Cultural Arts and Education Center
The center is home to four galleries, each holding different local and traveling exhibits that displays the city’s cultural diversity. 1065 Guadalupe St. (Highway 1), Guadalupe. (805) 343-2939.
Photoworks Frame Gallery
Local art gallery, portrait photography and custom framing studio. 1157 E. Clark Ave., Suite I, Santa Maria. (805) 937-8114.
Allan Hancock College Art Gallery
Enjoy monthly exhibits by local and national artists, as well as annual shows by the college's fine arts faculty and students. The exhibits reflect many types of art, including photography, painting (oil, acrylic, watercolor), drawing, sculpture, pottery, and more. 800 South College Drive, Building L, Santa Maria. (805) 922-6966 ext. 3252.
Town Center Gallery
This community art gallery officially opened in 1983 and provides a place where local artists of many mediums can display their work for the enrichment of the entire community. Upper level of the Town Center Mall in Santa Maria. Gallery open Daily from 11am -5pm and on Fridays until 8pm. (805) 349-7788.
PCPA Theaterfest The nationally acclaimed Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts has been staging the finest classic and contemporary plays in a professional environment since 1964. World-class performances year-round. 800 South College, Santa Maria. (805) 922-8313
Santa Maria Civic Theater
Live performances staged by the oldest theater group in the region. 1660 North McClelland, Santa Maria. (805) 922-4442.
The Great American Melodrama
The Great American Melodrama & Vaudeville is one of the country's most illustrious theaters, staging authentic turn-of-the-century style melodramas, comedies, musicals and thrillers. Included in all shows are wonderful vaudeville revues with dazzling song, dance and comedy. Located 18 miles north on Highway 1 in Oceano. (805) 489-2499.
Santa Maria Philharmonic Orchestra
Enjoy orchestral gems from the standard repertoire to a wonderful array of talented soloists. (805) 925-0412.
Offering beautiful concerts throughout the year. Esther H. Moon, President, 4052 Cherry Hill Road, Santa Maria, CA 93455, phone contact information is (805) 934-2494/(805) 714-3084 our email address is Coastalvoices@aol.com
ARTS & CULURAL RESOURCES
The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau provides a wide range of information on cultural offerings throughout the county. For more information on our special events check out our calendar of events online.
The Santa Maria Sun is a free weekly newspaper with current arts and events information and is available at numerous locations around town. (805) 347-1968.
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