Explore Lompoc | Press Coverage | Lompoc, a Lodestone for ‘Space to Explore’ Adventures

Lompoc, a Lodestone for ‘Space to Explore’ Adventures

Farm fields


May 13, 2019


Media Contacts:

Susan Bejeckian, Explore Lompoc PR Rep, 626-570-1051;

Maris Somerville, Explore Lompoc PR Rep, 310-701-6872;


Lompoc, a Lodestone for ‘Space to Explore’ Adventures


LOMPOC, CA– The picturesque destination of Lompoc is endowed with extensive space to explore that bursts with outdoor recreational opportunities. There’s cycling scenic country roads, hiking bucolic trails, golfing on a championship course, skydiving, birding, surfing, and self-guiding walking tours, rich in art and historical detail.


Situated where Highway 101 where scenic Highway 1 meets Route 246, just 155 miles northwest of Los Angeles, this easy-to-reach destination is a magnet for visitors year-round. It is the closest city to Vandenberg Space Force Base, just 10 miles from the main gate, and has become a popular destination from which to witness the many thrilling West Coast rocket launches by NASA and SpaceX from VSFB (next one slated for May 16, 2019).  With 12 hotels to welcome visitors, the destination makes a great base for exploring the California Central Coast, nearby beaches and small towns. Information about all of Lompoc’s attractions and hotels is available at ExploreLompoc.


Old Town Lompoc Walking Tours – Heritage Walk & Lompoc Murals

Visitors can stroll through the center of town, taking in the highpoints on a mile-long, self-guided tour of Old Town Lompoc’s Heritage Walk. The map is easy to follow, tracing Lompoc’s founding by bold pioneers in the 1870s, to the present. Horse-hitching rings are still embedded in the curbs on West Ocean Avenue. The Lompoc Theatre, built in 1927 and now undergoing restoration, was considered one of the most technologically advanced movie theatres on the West Coast. Not-to-be-missed is the Fabing-McKay-Spanne House on North L Street, Lompoc’s first two-story residence, constructed in 1875 and now home to the Lompoc Valley Historical Society. Heritage Walk


Long famous for its collection of nearly 40 murals, Lompoc is also a great destination to explore outdoor art. On a self-guided walking tour, visitors can see murals depicting Lompoc’s history and heritage. On the route is Lompoc’s “Lost Mission” mural, located behind the Lompoc Museum, which represents the original La Purisima Mission destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1812, but since restored.  Lompoc Murals


La Purisima Mission Historic State Park – Tours & Living History Events

Many believe La Purisima to be Southern California’s most beautiful mission, for its meticulous restoration and idyllic setting. Devoted curators have organized fascinating historical programs, demonstrations and commemorative events that the entire family can enjoy. The Mission is open daily, year round; Free guided tours are offered at 1 pm, Wednesdays through Sundays, and holiday Mondays. The tour begins at the Visitor Center, where guides lead visitors through historic buildings as they reprise the era with stories of mission life and the people who once lived here. Self-guided tour maps are available for $1 at the entrance station, visitor center and gift shop. Parking is $6 per vehicle.

From March through October on select Saturdays, The Mission’s Living History Event Series offers a glimpse of what Mission life was like back in the 1820s. Costumed docents and staff provide demonstrations and hands-on activities that may include candle making, blacksmithing, corn grinding, bread baking or weaving. La Purisima Mission Tours & Events


Miles of Hiking Trails

Outdoor enthusiasts know that hiking is one of the best ways to get to know a destination, and Lompoc is no exception. La Purisima Mission State Historic State Park, home to 25 miles of hiking trails over 2,000 acres, connects to the back country. Most of the trails are sandy and lead through a mix of chaparral and oak, home to a healthy population of wildlife. The Vista Del La Cruz Trail starts behind the Visitor’s Center and leads up to the cross on the hill overlooking the Mission, about a half mile round trip. Dogs are allowed. The Mission is open daily, with a $6 parking fee. Hiking at La Purisima Mission


Jalama Beach County Park, a 30-minute drive from the center of Lompoc, features the Point Conception De Anza Trail, an 11.1 mile out and back trail that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, fishing, and surfing. Many protected California native plants, such as sand verbena, saltbush, and sea rocket, grow within park boundaries. Hiking at Jalama Beach Park


Backroad Cycling

Backroad cycling offers another delightful perspective of the destination. Visitors bring their own bikes and can cycle to the coast, past fertile farmlands or vineyards. Three popular routes include: (1) cycling from Lompoc to Jalama Road to Jalama Beach Park: Every year thousands of road bicyclists pass on by one of Pacific Coast Highway’s most coveted hidden gems, Jalama Road. It’s a cyclist’s dream with its pristine beauty, windy curves, rolling hills, wooded areas, and unparalleled solitude; (2) cycling from Old Town Lompoc west to Ocean Beach Park & Estuary and Surf Beach, past farm fields and flower growers along the way; and (3) cycling through the pastoral hills of Sta. Rita Hills wine country on Santa Rosa Road or Route 246, through gently rolling hills of vineyards, fertile agricultural fields, orchards, and farms. Cycling in Lompoc


Challenging Golf

Lompoc has two exceptional 18-hole courses. La Purisima Golf Course, designed by architect Robert Muir Graves, is one of the best and most challenging courses in California. La Purisima has attracted pro tournaments from the PGA, LPGA and Senior PGA circuits, yet players of all skill levels come to Lompoc to enjoy its natural beauty and to test their game. The Mission Club was designed by Ted Robinson, and within its spectacular natural setting is the Sage Restaurant & Bar, a perfect vantage point from which to view the sweeping course. With stately oaks and mature pine trees framing the fairways leading to undulating and terraced greens, The Mission Club features a golf course that visitors love to play. Golf Lompoc


Disc Golf

The Beattie Park Disc Golf Course, played with Frisbees, is an 18-hole course for players of all skill levels, with the front 9, grassy and open. The back 9 is moderate to heavily wooded, with a few tight tunnel shots and two long downhill “Top of the World” shots. Wind and elevation changes add to the challenge. The sprawling 50-acre Beattie Park lies against the foothills of the City and offers impressive views of the Lompoc Valley. Disc Golf



The thrilling sport of skydiving can be done solo or in tandem, and it offers unforgettable views of the Pacific Ocean, hillsides, and vineyards. Skydive Santa Barbara is fully recognized by the FAA and has operated daily for the last 15 years with an untarnished safety record. They’ve provided jumps for more than 300,000 thrill seekers since 1998, and offer three tandem jumps from which to choose: 18,000 foot, 13,000 foot, and 8,000 foot. Skydiving


Wine Tasting

Wine tasting is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful countryside and vineyards surrounding Lompoc Valley. Lompoc area wineries, of which there are about 40, are well-known for exceptional pinots, chardonnays, and other cool climate wines. Many local winemakers, who specialize in producing wines from the grapes grown in the Sta. Rita Hills, have won prestigious awards and 91+ or higher ratings from Wine Spectator Magazine.


To experience the beauty and distinctive character of Lompoc’s wine country, head to the Sta. Rita Hills, where several acclaimed wineries are located along Route 246. For the ultimate wine tasting adventure, book a Sanford Winery All-Terrain Vineyard (ATV) Experience & Tasting, where up to four guests can enjoy a tour narrated by a wine educator, see coveted estate vineyard blocks, and sample delicious Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the vineyards in which they are grown.  Wine enthusiasts will also want to check out the boutique tasting rooms in town in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto and in Midtown Lompoc where local winemakers are producing small batch wines not available elsewhere. Lompoc Wine Tasting


Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary, on the outskirts of Lompoc, is dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity, and habitat of America’s wild horses and burros through sanctuary, education, advocacy and conservation. The organization provides a safe haven to almost 400 wild horses, including 29 burros. It also provides a venue to educate the public about America’s wild horses and burros and offers public events from late spring through early fall including family events, special tours and photo safaris. Wild Horse Sanctuary.


Surfing and Kite Surfing

There’s nothing like the feeling of freedom that comes with surfing and kite surfing, and Jalama Beach is a popular spot for both surface water sports. Jalama Beach is also a popular place for bird watching, nature photography, fishing, hiking and camping. Many protected California native plants like sand verbena, saltbush, and sea rocket, grow within park boundaries. About a mile north up the beach, Beach Caves can be accessed along the sand – during low tide. Jalama Beach is famed for another reason, and that’s the Jalama Burger, served at the Jalama Beach Grill and immortalized by Sunset Magazine as “one of California’s best beach burgers.” Jalama Beach is subject to high winds and rough surf, and lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. Surfing & Kite Surfing



Ocean Beach Park & Estuary Wind-swept Ocean Beach Park & Estuary, where the Santa Ynez River meets the Pacific blue, is where visitors discover Lompoc’s most appealing shoreline. Bird-watchers and nature photographers love this destination, where many varieties of migratory sea birds can be seen. Birders have spotted such species as the Killdeer, Anna’s Hummingbird, the American Coot, Cormorants, Western Gull, Royal/Elegant Tern, and the White-Crowned Sparrow. The estuary at Ocean Beach Park is accessible all year long, but the beach part/sand is closed for nesting season from March 1 through September 30 for Snowy Plover nesting season. For a full list, visit eBird. The area is a good vantage point from which to see migrating California Grey whales, sometimes be seen off the coast, from February through April and again from September through November. Ocean Beach Park Estuary.


Rocket Launch Viewing

And finally, one of the best reasons to head to Lompoc is for one of the thrilling rocket launches that lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base. NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance, all provide spacecraft launch services from Vandenberg. Last year, NASA’s historic InSight Mission to Mars launched from the VSFB on May 5, 2018—the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast. The next launch is slated for early summer 2019 when a Falcon 9 will launch three RADARSAT earth imaging satellites for Canada (launch dates and times are subject to change).

Vandenberg SFB Launches


For more information on Lompoc and high-resolution images for media use, please view the Explore Lompoc Press Room at: Explore Lompoc Press Room

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