Santa Maria, California

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Santa Maria is a city in Santa Barbara County, on the Central Coast of California. Santa Maria's estimated population in November 2008 was 91,972 and has surpassed that of Santa Barbara, making it the largest city in the county. The estimated population of the area is about 161,227, which includes the Santa Maria Valley, the city of Guadalupe and the unincorporated township of Orcutt. The city is notable for its wine industry and Santa Maria Style Barbecue.



The Santa Maria Valley, stretching from the Santa Lucia Mountains toward the Pacific Ocean, was the homeland of the Chumash people for thousands of years. These Native Americans made their homes on the slopes of the surrounding hills among the Oaks, the banks of the Santa Maria river among the Sycamores, and along the beach areas. They had plank-built boats, called Tomol, for ocean fishing.

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