5 Historic Treasures in Lompoc
Just minutes from the coast sits a small, quaint town that’s brimming with culture and history. Lompoc, a town of 43,000 people, has preserved its local history with the intent of sharing it with others.
A trip to Lompoc gives visitors a city escape, with country wineries, flower fields, 40+ outdoor murals and many historical sites. While touring the town, be sure to add some of these stops to your itinerary!
1. La Purisima Mission
One of the most popular and authentic sites to see in Lompoc is the La Purisima Mission, which is the most extensively restored mission in California.
The mission dates back to 1787 as one of 21 Franciscan Missions built in California. The area grew into a hub of activity. At its peak, the mission was a vibrant ranching and trading outpost with shops for weaving, pottery, and leatherwork.
The mission was eventually sold, abandoned, and fell into ruin, until 1933 when the land became public. Restoration efforts started a year later and have continued to this day.
Today, visitors can see ten fully-restored buildings, a garden, and livestock that depict life as it once was on the mission.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the grounds or take a guided, 1.5 hour tour that explains the mission’s complete history. In addition, the mission hosts many events that recreate life in the olden days.
Aside from touring the property, the mission sits on a 2,000 acre park complete with picnic areas and hiking trails.
2. Lompoc Museum
As you explore Lompoc, take a few minutes to discover the town’s history at the Lompoc Museum. The museum features exhibits of Chumash Indians; the original settlers of south-central California. Visitors can also check out exhibits that showcase old Lompoc storefronts and the pioneering history of the area.
With $1 admission, the Lompoc Museum is a perfectly-priced attraction for visitors.
3. Artesia School Museum
Lompoc Valley’s first country school offers a glimpse of local history. The one-room schoolhouse, which was built in 1876, is fully restored.
Tours of the Artesia School Museum are offered on the fourth Saturday of every month from 2-4pm.
4. Fabing-McKay-Spanne House
Explore a time before cell phones, TVs, and video games by visiting the Fabing-McKay-Spanne House in Lompoc. The home, which is named for the three families that lived in the home over the years, is fully restored in the style of the early 1900s.
Without electricity, families spent time playing music and games. The home houses an old piano and instruments used during that time.
The home has two parlors, several bedrooms, a bathroom complete with a clawfoot tub and gravity fed toilet, and an ice box on the porch.
The home also has a cupola on top of the house, which served as a lookout to survey the land and watch for fires. The home’s original owner was a volunteer fireman.
Tour the house on Mondays or Thursdays from 9am-11am or the fourth Saturday of every month from 10am-1pm. Special tours can be arranged in advance by calling (805) 735-4626.
5. Lompoc Murals
Lompoc’s history is documented throughout the town on the sides of buildings and in alleyways. The outdoor gallery of murals is one of the largest in the country and offers visitors a visual way to experience Lompoc’s rich history. The collection of 40+ murals depict scenes of the Chumash Indians to Lompoc’s heritage, the flower industry, historic sights, ethnic diversity, and scenic beauty. Be sure to plan some time to take in Lompoc’s popular outdoor art gallery!
Lompoc offers visitors a quiet getaway with one-of-a-kind historic sites to see. As you plan a trip to the area, be sure to leave room in your schedule to explore Lompoc’s rich heritage.