15 Free Things to Do in Santa Maria, CA

Free Things to Do in Santa Maria, CA
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Santa Maria is a charming city in Santa Barbara County, California that offers visitors plenty of outdoor attractions.

Whether you're looking to explore its history, enjoy the great outdoors, or get a glimpse of the rich culture in the state, you'll find plenty of fun and exciting activities in Santa Maria.

As an underrated gem of California, Santa Maria is also home to numerous free attractions.

Santa Maria is known for its numerous parks, most of which are free to access.

Here are the best options for your consideration if you're looking for fun and free things to do in Santa Maria, California.

Enjoy the Atmosphere at Central Plaza Park

Central Plaza Park is a bustling and vibrant park located in the heart of Santa Maria.

It's a great welcome to the city with its beautiful fountain, multiple pathways, and numerous benches that are great for relaxing and people-watching.

The Santa Maria Central Plaza Park is the perfect spot to get a firsthand view of the city while enjoying the Mediterranean climate.

This is a great place to have a picnic, go for a walk, or relax and enjoy nature's beauty.

And if you're looking for a place to stay, Central Plaza Park also has several apartments situated within the area.

Not only can you enjoy the park for free, but you can also make your stay in Santa Maria memorable.

Central Plaza Park is a great spot to start your Santa Maria Escapade; make sure to drop by when you arrive.

Read Interesting Books at Santa Maria Public Library

A library may not be the first thing you think about when it comes to vacation.

However, the Santa Maria Public Library is a great spot to visit if you're looking for some free things to do.

This library is a great place to visit if you love books and reading, with many books and other materials waiting to be discovered.

And if you're looking for something more educational, the Santa Maria Public Library offers a range of workshops and classes open to all.

The library offers a free WiFi connection, several tables, and even a comfy lounge area where you can relax and take a break from your travels.

If you want to learn something new or spend some time with books, visit the Santa Maria Public Library.

Spend the Day at Atkinson Park

Atkinson Park at 1000 North Railroad Avenue in downtown Santa Maria is one of the premier outdoor destinations in the city.

Spanning over six acres, this beloved park stands out for its exceptional amenities, such as lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, and a first-class soccer field.

Atkinson Park is a mecca of activity in Santa Maria, boasting one of the city's most expansive playgrounds.

The kids will love the playground, while adults can enjoy a peaceful stroll or picnic.

Speaking of picnics, Atkinson Park has some designated picnic areas complete with tables, barbecue pits, benches, and a shade cover.

There are also well-maintained restrooms available and open 24/7.

If that's not enough, there's also a community hall available for rental.

The community hall hosts numerous public events and celebrations regularly, so check the park's calendar and find out what's happening during your visit.

Visit the Natural History Museum of Santa Maria

The Natural History Museum of Santa Maria is a history museum in downtown Santa Maria, California.

Located at 412 South McClelland Street, this museum aims to inspire and educate visitors through regional collections while promoting the discovery and appreciation of the natural world.

Established in September 1996 as a nonprofit organization, the Natural History Museum of Santa Maria has preserved and protected the area's natural history.

It also raises awareness of the unique and diverse plant and animal life that surrounds the region.

The exhibits are available to the public free of charge; however, the museum does accept donations of any amount to support its mission.

The museum also hosts a variety of educational programs, interactive displays, and special events.

If you want to learn about Santa Maria's natural history, check out the Natural History Museum of Santa Maria.

Watch a Baseball Game at Simas Park

Baseball fans should not miss Simas Park.

Located at 600 South McClelland Street in downtown Santa Maria, this iconic park has a baseball field that's become a staple of the Santa Maria community for decades.

Locals and visitors gather at the ballpark to watch baseball games, take in some sun and enjoy a classic American pastime.

The park hosts numerous local and even semi-professional leagues.

The games are free to attend, so check Simas Park's schedule and watch an exciting baseball game during your visit.

For an extra fun twist, you can bring your chair or blanket and have a picnic dinner while watching the game.

The park is open to the public, and you can enjoy its scenic views and other amenities, such as a picnic area, playgrounds, and restrooms.

Bond with the Family at Oakley Park

Oakley Park is yet another bustling park perfect place to bond with the family.

Located in downtown Santa Maria, this 24-acre recreational space is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.

The park is home to numerous picnic tables, walking paths, and playground structures that your kids will love.

Oakley Park also has an open area perfect for playing field sports like soccer and frisbee.

There's also a basketball court, so don't forget to bring your basketball and challenge your family or friends to a game.

You can use park amenities for free, so don't miss out on making a day trip with the family.

Visit Rotary Centennial Park and Robin Ventura Tee Ball Field

Nestled in the heart of downtown Santa Maria, Rotary Centennial Park and Robin Ventura Tee Ball Field sprawl across 2625 South College Drive.

This massive award-winning park and the adjacent ball field, named after the baseball All-Star, Robin Ventura, are a joint effort of the City of Santa Maria and its local Rotary Clubs.

The park was constructed as a celebration of two momentous occasions: the city's incorporation and Rotary International, both of which were created in 1905,

History aside, this park features a lot of outdoor attractions that will keep you and the entire family occupied.

The park features a basketball court, a trail system, drinking fountains, a play apparatus, a playground, and a large open grass area for soccer or football.

Of course, the ball field is also an excellent spot for baseball.

The park has numerous benches and tables perfect for picnics and outdoor meals.

A covered picnic area with 30 tables and a barbecue pit is also available for rental.

A beautiful park clock and a few flagpoles add nostalgia to the park's ambiance.

Visiting this serene and historical spot is free, so take a stroll in Rotary Centennial Park and Robin Ventura Tee Ball Field during your visit.

Spend a Quiet Afternoon at Maramonte Park

Not all of Santa Maria's parks are bustling with people and activities; some of the city's parks are perfect for a quiet afternoon.

Maramonte Park is a hidden treasure near the heart of downtown Santa Maria.

Located near several other parks, Maramonte Park allows you to jump from one park to another without hassle.

You can go to the busy parks whenever you feel like it, and when you don't feel like socializing, you can always come here and relax.

Miramonte Park provides an idyllic setting for reading a good book and enjoying leisurely outdoor picnics.

The playgrounds are situated a bit away from the road in residential areas, making them quiet and serene compared to other parks.

The location of the park provides a sunny atmosphere with a gentle breeze.

You can take full advantage of the great California weather to play and enjoy a picnic as a family.

Just like the other parks in Santa Maria, Miramonte Park is free of charge.

If you want to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle, don't forget to visit and spend a quiet afternoon at Miramonte Park.

Enjoy the Great Open Space at Preisker Park

Preisker Park is a scenic urban park located at the north end of downtown Santa Maria.

Bird-watchers will be delighted to discover Preisker Park's pristine landscape, where they can glimpse the stunningly beautiful Nesting Lawrence's Goldfinches.

In addition, Preisker Park offers a wealth of activities for visitors to enjoy.

Hidden away in a quiet neighborhood, just off the beaten path, lies this gigantic park boasting an impressive list of amenities.

It has a lush open field, horseshoe pits, BBQ grills, a disc golf course, and two playgrounds that feature an intricate replica of the Santa Maria ship.

There are also inclusive play areas for children to enjoy and explore a structure modeled after the Santa Maria ship.

Preisker Park is the perfect spot for your next outdoor getaway.

Visit the Veterans' Memorial Building and Park

The Veterans' Memorial Building and Park are historic landmarks near downtown Santa Maria.

The building and park commemorate the brave soldiers who served their country in various wars and serve as a lasting reminder of their courage and sacrifice.

The building contains a museum where you can view artifacts, photographs, and other memorabilia from the various wars in which U.S. troops were involved.

Constructed between 1934 and 1936, the museum was funded by a combination of federal Public Works Administration (PWA) contributions and State Emergency Relief Administration workers (SERA), primarily supported by government aid.

This Spanish Colonial Revival structure is a proud reminder of local architect Rudolph Polley's handiwork.

It boasts a beautiful bell tower and an expansive auditorium with intricate interior details that have remained intact throughout the years.

Its tranquil courtyard adds to its timeless beauty and pristine condition.

In 1982, the Veterans' Memorial Building and Park were officially passed to the City of Santa Maria, transforming it into a beacon for local veterans.

Today, this cultural center provides an exceptional space to recognize and honor those who have served our country with pride.

Apart from the museum, the park also offers a peaceful place for visitors to relax and enjoy nature.

Whether you take a stroll or sit back and take the breathtaking view, you should be captivated by this majestic landmark.

Plays Sports at Minami Community Center

The Minami Community Center is the premier destination for all sports enthusiasts.

This venue offers a variety of activities and amenities to help you get your game on!

The facility boasts a basketball court, fitness room, weight room, and an outdoor pavilion, perfect for barbecues or group gatherings.

The center also offers sports camps for children of all ages, with professional coaches available to help them hone their skills.

For those seeking a more leisurely activity, the center also offers an array of classes on subjects ranging from cooking and baking to yoga and meditation.

The Minami Community Center is the perfect place to get fit, have fun, and enjoy an active lifestyle.

See a Live Show at Santa Maria Fairpark

The Santa Maria Fairpark is a historic venue and park located in the heart of Santa Maria.

This iconic complex features an outdoor amphitheater, RV camping, facility rentals, and a full-scale fairground.

The Fairpark is home to the famous Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival and numerous other events such as concerts, rodeos, car shows, and even music festivals.

The amphitheater also hosts a variety of live performances and shows, including musicals and plays put on by local theater groups.

So, if you're looking for a fun way to spend your afternoon, check out the Santa Maria Fairpark.

Have a Picnic at Joe White Park

Joe White Park, located at 500 South Palisade Drive, is a two-acre park perfect for a calm and quiet time with the family.

The park isn't as prominent as other Santa Maria parks, but it's worth a visit if you're in the area.

It features lush greenery and a large grassy area where you can enjoy a picnic.

The park also has a playground for the children and plenty of benches and tables to accommodate your family or friends.

Joe White Park is a great place to relax and clear your mind or take in the beauty of nature.

There are also plenty of shaded benches for you to sit on while you watch the kids play.

Why not pack a picnic basket and spend the day at Joe White Park?

Visit the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum

To enrich your knowledge of Santa Maria's history, visit the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum.

This nonprofit organization is located in downtown Santa Maria and is dedicated to the "Pioneers of the Valley."

Its construction was founded by donations from local families and businesses, with the mission of preserving Santa Maria's rich cultural heritage.

The museum is free to visit and features a variety of exhibits, educational programs, lectures, and special events.

The historical displays transition chronologically, beginning with the Chumash Indians and advancing through the Missionary, Rancho, and Pioneer periods.

The Santa Maria Valley Historical Society manages the museum.

It is a nonprofit that works diligently to preserve the history of Santa Maria, California.

While access and tours around the museum are free, the society also accepts donations to support its mission.

If you want to learn about Santa Maria's past, visit the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Museum.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Nature at the Oso Flaco Lake Trail

Boardwalk at Oso Flaco Lake Trail
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Embark on a beautiful adventure to the 800-acre Oso Flaco Lake Trail, located just off Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County.

Explore this majestic day-use area within the 22,000-acre Guadalupe Nipomo Dunes Complex of the southern portion of Oceano Dunes SVRA.

This land is meant exclusively for nature experiences such as trekking, fishing, bird watching, and nature study.

Ducks at Oso Flaco Lake Trail
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Stretching two miles long, the trailhead starts at the beach overlook and runs through the dunes, providing spectacular views of the lake and its surroundings.

Bring your camera to take beautiful photos of the countryside!

Also, wear appropriate outdoor gear, as some parts of the trail are sandy and difficult to traverse.

Explore a new side of California by visiting the Oso Flaco Lake Trail in Arroyo Grande, California, 17 minutes from Santa Maria.

View of Oso Flaco Lake
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Final Thoughts

No matter your preference, there are plenty of free activities in Santa Maria, California.

The city has something to offer everyone, from historic landmarks and beautiful parks to live performances and sports venues.

If you want an affordable and fascinating getaway, then try the best things to do in Santa Maria, California!

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