Coastal California Hideaway for Fall Escapes

Photo: © Debra Tosca |

By - September 4, 2018

California’s winding, picturesque Pacific Coast Highway leads to the lush valley landscape of Lompoc, rimmed with vineyards and green hillsides that beckon visitors to head out to walk, hike, cycle and explore. Autumn is the perfect time to make the scenic, 155-mile drive northwest of Los Angeles. Here’s a quick sampling of what’s on the horizon.

Mural in a Weekend, Oct. 6–7, is presented by the Lompoc Mural Society and Explore Lompoc. Join the locals to create a mural on the rear side of a local building. Led by artist Art Mortimer, the new mural will join 30 others in Old Town Lompoc. The subject of this year’s work is “Chautauqua,” and will celebrate 19th-century traveling shows. The event takes place 8 a.m.–5 p.m., both days, with a dedication ceremony Oct. 7, 5 p.m.

Enjoy more participatory art on the weekend of Oct. 12–14 during Lompoc Chalks. This outdoor festival features chalk artists, performing artists, art vendors, food trucks, wine, beer and live entertainment, presented by The Lompoc Theatre Project.

Tour the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, an area that includes more than 20 urban boutique wine tasting rooms positioned within an industrial park inside the city limits. Chat with artisan winemakers while sampling local, award-winning, small batch wines. The Lompoc Wine Alliance hosts Harvest in the Ghetto Oct. 6–7 with live music, scavenger hunts, grape stomping and glass blowing demonstrations.

The annual Celebration of the Harvest takes place Oct. 12–14 at various locations throughout Santa Barbara County, with wine dinners, vineyard tours, tasting room events and open houses at wineries. Many are located along Route 246, including Babcock Winery & Vineyards, Foley Estates and Melville Vineyards & Winery.

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