Introduction to Lompoc, California
Lompoc, California, in Santa Barbara county, is 21 miles S of Santa Maria, California (center to center) and 132 miles W of Los Angeles, California. It's situated in a beautiful valley in the scenic central coast of California. Tourism, seed flowers, wine production, vegetables, a Federal Correctional Institute and a diatomaceous earth mine are significant factors for the economy. The Vandenberg Air Force Base is a major employer.
The area was originally inhabited by the Chumash Indians. Mission La Purisima Concepcion was founded in 1787. Over time, the mission gradually became ruins. The government of Mexico gave land grants in the Lompoc area known as "ranchos" to settlers. Lompoc was founded as a temperance colony. The city was incorporated in 1888.
During the Great Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the Mission La Purisima Concepcion at a nearby site. Beginning in 1958 the area experienced substantial growth due to the plans of the U.S. Air Force to construct the Vandenberg Air Force Base. A large number of houses were built to accommodate the people working at the base.
- The Santa Barbara County Vintners Festival is a popular event.
- The historic old town is home to a large number of beautiful murals.
- La Purisima Mission attracts a large number of visitors.
- The annual Flower Festival is a popular event.
- Fabing-McKay-Spanne House is a noteworthy historic structure. A Blacksmith Shop and a carriage house are also on the property.
- Lompoc Museum focuses on the archeology and history of the region.
- The beautiful flower fields are in bloom during the summer.
- South "H" Street is home to the largest collection of Italian Stone Pines located outside of the Mediterranean area.
- The Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary is a large, beautiful acreage and is home to a vast number of wild horses and burros and is open for visitors during specific times of the year.
- Olde Towne Market offers local entertainment and arts and crafts.
- The Cypress Art Gallery showcases the work of local artists.
- Artesia School House is a notable historic structure.
Wine tasting is popular at the "Wine Ghetto" area and other locations in the city. The Santa Rita Hills is internationally known for quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. River Park is popular for camping, picnicking and other outdoor activities. Cachuma Lake is known for its natural beauty and provides opportunities for fishing, hiking, camping and nature cruises. Gaviota State Park is available for swimming, camping, boating and kayaking.
The scenic Santa Rosa Park features a rural valley landscape and is a great place for picnicking. The Beattie Park is popular with families. Lompoc is located in the Pacific Flyway and offers habitat to a variety of migratory and resident birds. It's a great place for bird watching. The region is regarded as one of the best bicycle riding locations in California.
Lompoc features a top-notch indoor aquatic center. The La Purisima Golf Course has hosted tournaments for the PGA and the LPGA and is enjoyed by golf enthusiasts. The scenic Pacific Ocean is nearby. It should be noted that some of the beach areas have dangerous rip tides.