$55 Car Rentals in Santa Maria, CA

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Santa Maria is an unassuming city positioned near the spectacular coastline outside Los Angeles. In one direction you can find glorious beaches and the rolling Guadalupe-Nipomo Sand Dunes. In the other, you’ll find a valley lined with vineyards offering delectable Californian reds. Public transportation here is limited, so having access to your own vehicle is essential for a stay in the town. Rent a car through Orbitz to explore central Santa Maria, stopping to enjoy the interactive and educational exhibits at the popular Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, then drive out to see the countless treasures of the surrounding region.

Santa Maria and beyond: Cruising the California coast

Staying in Santa Maria gives you the perfect opportunity to drive along some of the most scenic stretches of California’s coastline, which is beautiful in both directions. Here’s where to drive in your rental car.

Santa Barbara

There’s something enticingly old-world about Santa Barbara. Maybe it’s the red roofs, recalling the Mediterranean coast of Europe, or it could be the historic boardwalk of Stearns Wharf. Either way, this cool coastal town tempts visitors to slow down, relax on the beach, and smell the flowers. While you’re here, don’t miss the vineyards of the Santa Ynez Valley.

Journey time: Around 1 hour 10 minutes

Distance: Approximately 65 miles

Big Sur

The landscapes of Big Sur are almost mythical: waterfalls cascade onto beaches; gravity defying bridges cross between cliffs; waves crash against deserted pockets of paradise. The area is full of hiking trails and hidden corners, but it’s joyous just to drive along Coastal Highway 1 between the charming towns that lie along the edge of the region.

Journey time: Around two hours

Distance: Approximately 100 miles

Santa Monica

Los Angeles features several oceanfront neighborhoods, and one of the trendiest is Santa Monica. There’s a buzzing pier that lights up with fun fairground rides, streets lined with independent shops, and a vast beach where everyone seems to be friendly. The spacious, pedestrian-friendly downtown is a particular highlight of this LA district.

Journey time: Around 2 hours 45 minutes

Distance: Approximately 155 miles