Santa Maria, Calif. (near San Luis Obispo)
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Mar 27, 2013 10:14 PM Last Post By: mhousel
Mar 24, 2013 5:15 AM
Santa Maria, Calif. (near San Luis Obispo)New home community in Santa Maria
Although we're learning more towards Oregon or Washington, we are possibly interested in looking here in Santa Maria./ Homes are small but prices within our budget. And it's gated, which my wife wants due to projected prolonged absences (yes, I know the arguments against such communities, but so does she and at least for now it's her preference). May visit there, as well as other areas, in June. I was a little surprised to read on City-data.com stats showing fairly high crime levels in Santa Maria. Of course, those are overall stats and not area-specific. A little concerned about this (and I know my wife would wonder about pesticide spraying on the fields near the development). But to be at least within a few miles of the ocean is a plus. Not the easiest place to reach from afar, with SLO, the nearest airport, not having many flights, but it may still be worth considering. I don't think I've ever stopped in SM, though have driven through a few times. Any views on the communithy?
Mar 24, 2013 7:51 AM
1Bubba, I have relatives in Santa Maria and have visited many times. It would not be my first choice. It has become a bit of a bedroom community for people priced out of Santa Barbara. Yes, it's near the ocean, but what that tends to mean is an annoying afternoon wind. It is a place that you can't get to from here. When my brother visits me, he takes the train.
Good wineries in the area, though.
I'm going to hit up my brother for more information.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Mar 24, 2013 8:13 AM
Mar 24, 2013 9:40 AM
3Way down my list. I have friends who live in the hills behind SM and I have visited a few times. It is a pretty conservative, even red-necky sort of place. SLO, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Ojai, Morro Bay even Pismo Beach would be better. Their are good places in OR and WA also but the winters are different.
Mar 24, 2013 3:41 PM
4While there are certainly much worse places than Santa Maria, it's really just a big, ugly, sprawling city. IMO, most of the cites south of San Luis are significantly overgrown.
Suggest you consider Baywood Park / Los Osos, Morro Bay, Cambria (a bit of a zoo during the height of tourist season), Cayucos, Santa Margarita, Templeton. Of the lot, I like Baywood / Los Osos the best, having lived there for several years. Margarita and Templeton are 'North County' and therefore rather redneckish.
Mar 24, 2013 5:10 PM
5My brother says:
Crime is more prevalent in the north part of the city. I think I've mentioned to you that the worst crime in my neighborhood was a brutal front yard lawn job.
Santa Maria has scant culture. But, San Luis Obispo is 30 miles away, and Santa Barbara is 70. Both have symphony and chamber orchestra, Santa Barbara has an opera company, and there's plenty of jazz, folk and so forth. Just not much in Santa Maria. It's California. Prepare to drive everywhere.
Main Street Beach will be a horror to anyone from [where Bubba lives half of the year]. Usually cold, very windy, and the water? Surfers wear wetsuits. The water is COLD.
In the 29 years I've been here, the lowest temperature was 28°F/-2°C and the highest 108°F/42°C. More usually, 35°F/2°C to 85°F/30°C.
The wind and fog/overcast here is something to consider. Since they'll be here in summer- a summer day starts out overcast and cold. Eventually, the sun burns off the clouds, but just as things begin to get warm, the wind picks up. By mid-afternoon, the overcast blows back in. Around sunset (which you can't see thanks to the clouds), the wind dies down. And the whole thing starts over again.
(If you have more questions, I'll relay them.)
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Mar 25, 2013 2:58 AM
Mar 25, 2013 5:54 AM
7In defense of "gated communities". I feel that I am fortunate to have chosen to live in a gated community with security cameras at the gate, since I have noticed that neighboring areas with new subdivisions are now putting bars on their windows! This is Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a generous mix of wealthy celebrities plus street gangs.
Carpinteria was not included in your list of towns along the California coast. If I recall correctly, the Vandenberg Air Force base is very close to Santa Maria, so the city is also a close commute for soldiers and their families.
Mar 27, 2013 10:14 PM
8Best things about Santa Maria:
Great Museums including Airplane, Local History, Natural History, Children's, and beautiful library complete with cafe, bookstore, and art gallery. The local theater at Hancock College, PCPA, is superb. Lots of good hiking in the area. Google Old Town Orcutt, lots of fabulous restaurants. The downtown mall is making a comeback after the economic downturn. Down to earth, friendly people, and sunny, moderate weather year round. Oh, there is a Santa Maria Philharmonic. Airport in SM has longest runway in the area which means potential for more route.
Down side: gang activity in the northwest part of town (but find me a city of 100,000 without gangs in CA).
Come and check it out for yourself!
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