The town of New Cuyama in Santa Barbara County is a true California gem. It’s relatively unknown which makes it quite special. It’s tucked away in a valley off of Highway 166, on the “other side” of Los Padres National Forest. This small town offers an amazing place to relax, soak up the sun, hike, and more! Here are some of the best things to do in New Cuyama, CA.
Things to do in New Cuyama, CA
The list below is broken into categories. So whether you want to be active outdoors, have a unique experience, looking to get a bike, or need somewhere to stay in New Cuyama this blog has you covered.
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Outdoors in and Around New Cuyama
Whether you’re looking for a quick hike or to explore further, the area offers miles and miles of hiking trails.
Mount Pinos is about an hour away from New Cuyama and is the perfect spot for stargazing in Southern California. There are plenty of places in and around New Cuyama to stargaze but if you’re up for the hour drive and it’s a clear night, you won’t be disappointed.
Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest is a huge area that offers hiking, camping, OHV riding, and more. Whether you’re going for the day or staying the night be sure to download a map as there is spotty cellular service in the area.
If you’re planning a spring trip to New Cuyama you’re likely going to be going to Carrizo Plain. Carrizo Plain is the best at the beginning of spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. When the winter is rainy the area experiences a California Superbloom. This is when the wildflowers are most spectacular.
Ballinger Canyon is the place to go if you’re looking for a place to ride your dirt bikes and/or ATVs or go mountain biking. There is a day-use parking fee of $10.
If you’re looking for a place to hike or ride bikes Aliso Park Campground is the area to go. The area has miles of hiking trails and biking trails. There is also camping available. This is a great place if you’re looking for New Cuyama hiking as it’s only about 20 minutes outside of town.
Looking for a cool experience and love horses? Go horseback riding at Johnston Horsecamp. The ranch offers a variety of different experiences including day rides and camping.
If you’re looking for a chill place in town then head to Richardson Park. This is an option if you want to get out but not go far. The park has BBQ grills and benches and picnic tables. There are also hiking trails and a playground. This is a great option if you’re traveling with children.
Things to See and Do in New Cuyama
If you’re looking for an activity that is a little less active but equally as fun, check out some of these amazing things to do in New Cuyama.
Condor’s Hope offers wine tastings and tours on their local dry-farm vineyard and olive farm. It’s by appointment only and you can make a reservation online.
Bitter Green Wildlife Refuge
Ever seen a California Condor? If you’re lucky and patient, you may see a California Condor soaring the skies of the Bitter Green Wildlife Refuge.
Take A Scenic Drive
The area is so vast that it’s recommended to take a scenic drive. There is a lot to see and take in in the area like check out the Cuyama Badlands. New Cuyama weather can be quite hot for most of the year but a scenic drive is a good idea if you still want to be out for the day.
Relax and Enjoy the Sunset
This is definitely a place to take it slow, so relax and be sure to enjoy the sunset. Whether you’re take in the view in the area, on a trail, or back at your accommodation, sunset can not be missed.
Where to Eat in New Cuyama
The town of New Cuyama doesn’t have an array of options when it comes to food but there’s definitely something for everyone.
The Cuyama Deli has an eclectic menu and if you’re looking for something affordable this is your place. You can dine in or take your food to-go.
The Burger Barn used to have its own building and you can still see it by the gas station (the only gas station in town). It’s now inside the Cuyama Deli. The Burger Barn offers a tasty burger for dine-in and take-away. And while I would say dining is no-frills, the burger was excellent and filling!
Sagebrush Annie’s is a family-owned wine tasting room that also offers delicious dinners. They don’t have traditional hours and a reservation is needed.
The Buckhorn Restaurant and The Buck Stop
The Buckhorn Restaurant and The Buck Stop are located at Cuyama Buckhorn and are “the places” to stop for a coffee and/or a bite to eat. The coffee is great and the food is incredible. Whether you’re just passing through and want something to grab and go or dining in, you won’t be disappointed.
Where to Stay in New Cuyama
Here are some of the best places to stay in town!
Cuyama Buckhorn is a roadside resort that has everything you need some comfy rooms, delicious food, exquisite cocktails, a pool to soak in, and more. I had the pleasure of staying and it is such a great place to relax but also has options for you to explore.
Cuyama Oaks Ranch
Cuyama Oaks Ranch offers unique farmstay experiences in their yurts. If you’re looking for an experience that’s a little more off-the-grid, but still comfortable, and where you can interact with animals, this is it.
Blue Sky Center
Blue Sky Center is an extraordinary place that hosts events and offers a variety of experiences including their Sunset Sips. You can even stay the night in one of these cool micro cabin huts if you’re looking for a New Cuyama glamping experience. It’s located right next to the New Cuyama airport, which isn’t very active. This is also an amazing place to stargaze!
I hope this helps you with planning your next trip to New Cuyama, California!
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