The Nature Lover’s Guide to Fall in Lompoc, California
Looking for a fall getaway? Look no further than Lompoc, California. This picturesque city along the Central Coast is the perfect place to visit during fall. With miles of hiking trails, breathtaking beaches, sports parks and an outdoor art scene, Lompoc is a fun retreat for nature lovers.
To help plan a trip to Lompoc, here are four activities that should top your itinerary this season:
1. Hike at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park
The grounds of La Purisima Mission State Historic Park offer a historic look at the life and culture of the Chumash people and Spanish settlers. While guided tours through fully restored buildings bring the park to life, there are also 25 miles of trails to explore around the park.
There are six noteworthy trails to pick from. Vista de La Cruz is a short (one-third mile) uphill climb to the landmark cross that overlooks the mission and Lompoc Valley. It’s a must-see for any nature lover.
For something a bit longer, try Las Zanjas / El Camino Real Trail. Poplar with hikers and horseback riders, this 2.5-mile trail runs along the mission’s old aqueduct system. For joggers, Cuclillo de Tierra, a 2.7-mile trek that makes an upper loop around the park, is a good pick.
2. Walk along Jalama Beach
From Lompoc, hop in the car and take a scenic 30-minute drive to Jalama Beach Park. The ride is just as enjoyable as the beach, with ocean views and landscapes filled with ranches and vineyards. For city dwellers, the trip is comparable to a nice country drive.
Take a walk along the beach, play a little Frisbee and enjoy the calm ocean scenery. Since it’s the off-season, the beach won’t be crowded but the weather will still be enjoyable with temperatures hovering around 70 in the daytime.
Plan to eat lunch or an early dinner at Jalama Beach Grill, which is home to the famed “Jalama Burger.” Bring your appetite – the burger is huge. Locals love this spot and say the burger has always been a staple.
3. Bring Frisbees to Beattie Park
Whether you’re an avid Frisbee golfer with a bag full of specialized discs like Drivers and Hyzers, or just a nature lover looking for an entertaining way to enjoy a local park, the Disc Golf Course at Beattie Park is for you.
Scattered across 50 acres is an 18-hole disc course. The front nine meanders through a grassy, open area and the back nine twists and turns through the forest. Locals call two of the holes “Top of the World” shots, as you throw downhill while overlooking the mountains.
The park also has picnic areas, a playground, a fitness trail and Lookout Point, where a small gazebo offers a panoramic view.
4. Take a Lompoc Mural Walking Tour
Grab a map and plot a course to see Lompoc’s 40 outdoor murals. Painted in alleyways and on local buildings including a bank, fire department and a local restaurant, you’ll find vibrant, hand-painted murals dotting the landscape throughout the city.
Several of the murals can be found on Art Alley, an area between E. Ocean Avenue and E. Cypress Avenue. Download a Mural Map before you go and plan to head out around lunch or dinnertime so you can grab a bite to eat in downtown while you’re out. Sissy’s Uptown Café, for example, has The Boatman painted on its north wall. Snap a picture of the mural then head inside for a meal and a slice of pie, which the café is known for.
Whether you’re planning a weekend retreat or a mid-week escape, Lompoc has a list of unique outdoor amenities that will please any nature lover. For more help creating an itinerary, download the Explore Lompoc Visitor’s Guide.
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