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Waller Park, Santa Maria

Santa Barbara, California, United States

Description

When you walk into Waller Park, you feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders! Even though in the middle of Santa Maria, it feels like a retreat in the woods. Huge old pines beckon you to take a deep breath and relax. Lawns stretch out before you. A tall playground with winding tunnel slides, high twisty slide, tall straight slide, bridges, and climbing arches awaits the older kids. There's a purple dinosaur bouncy, swings, small boulders to leap off, and a lower-to-the-ground toddler playground with a long tunnel. Two ponds with fountains and ducks delight your kids. To get even more into nature, follow one of the hiking trails around the park. This park gave us respite after a hectic day shopping at Santa Maria's mega-stores.
On the southern end of Waller Park near Goodwin Rd is another playground! Here kids can run under a rock arch. The playground has stepping stones and circles of various sizes to peek through. Little grassy hills lead to a fenced open space just for dogs, called Woof Pac Dog Park. Nearby is a dog cleaning station. This part of Waller Park is right next to the YMCA where your kids can use the skate park for $5. The skate park is above ground with tons of fun obstacles, such as boxes, rails, quarter pipes, half pipes, hills, and a vertical ramp. A parent must fill in forms and sign a waiver at the front desk before a child can use the supervised skatepark. See hours below. This is a handy place to come if you have both younger and older kids. The older kids can skate while the younger ones play on the playground nearby.
There are pony rides at Waller Park on weekends for $3.50, provided by Happy Trails Pony Rides.
If you're hungry, drive north on Highway 135 and then turn right on Betteravia Rd. On the right is a healthy place to eat with kids- Panera Bread.
Kids love the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, which has tons of activities to keep kids of all ages busy for an hour or two.
While in Santa Maria, check out beautiful Guadalupe Dunes where your kids leap from the dunes, or Oso Flaco Lake where a pretty boardwalk leads over a lake, past tall reeds and wildlife. Another huge pretty park is Preisker Park, with hills galore, meadows, pine trees, playground, pond with fountain, pirate ship, and manmade stream.
40 minutes south of Santa Maria is Lompoc. The town itself is dowdy but the commercial flower fields are glorious in June and the drive on open road to Surf Beach is a joy. Best of all in Lompoc is La Purisima Mission, where rooms are set up as they would have been in mission-era days.
North of Santa Maria is Oceano, which has a palm-tree playground, and Arroyo Grande Village, a cute town that is nicer to visit than sprawling Santa Maria. The Butterfly Preserve at Pismo Beach is magical with its eucalyptus grove filled with monarch butterflies, and beach with dunes.

Photo Gallery


A family goes for a walk amongst gorgeous trees at Waller Park.

Ducks at the pond at Waller Park- I have no idea why the pond and fountains seemed to be filled with blue-green dye!

A serene place to sit, by the pond at Waller Park, near Waller Lane.

The playground, with huge winding slides, backed by plenty of wonderful trees, near the Waller Lane entrance.

The toddler playground, tall trees, and some rocks to climb and jump off!

The dinosaur, toddler playground, and swings, near the Waller Lane entrance.

The newer playground, near Goodwin Rd.

Cute grassy hills galore!

The playground near Goodwin Rd where your younger kids can play while your older kids skate at the YMCA skate park.

Rock wall at the play area near Goodwin Rd.

Woof Pac Park gives doggies some free room to roam.

Fido cutting loose at Woof Pac Dog Park.

The dog cleaning station near Woof Pac Park, in Waller Park.

The skate park at the YMCA on Skyway Dr.

The YMCA Skate Park in Santa Maria, next to Waller Park on Skyway Drive.
   

Directions

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Waller Park is located at W. Waller Ln and Country Club Ln, Santa Maria CA 93455.
Exit Highway 101 at Santa Maria Way and head northwest. Waller Lane will be about the eighth street on the left. It's hard to see. It's directly across from a Baptist Church. Turn left on Waller Lane and go through a neighborhood, across a main road, and into Waller Park. Follow the signs to the parking lot.
To access the other playground and dog park, exit Highway 101 at Santa Maria Way and head northwest. Turn left on Bradley Rd, then take the first right on Lakeview Rd. Turn right on Orcutt Rd, which veers left at Goodwin Rd. Continue on Goodwin Rd where you will find plenty of parking spaces.
For the YMCA Skate Park, exit Highway 101 at Santa Maria Way and head northwest. Turn left on Bradley Rd, then take the first right on Lakeview Rd, which becomes Skyway Dr. After about 1 1/2 miles the YMCA will be on your right. Park in the lot and then pay $5 inside at the front desk to use the outdoor skate park. A parent must fill in forms and sign a waiver before a child can use the skate park. Helmets are required. Skateboard and rollerbladers allowed; no bikes. Hours are 3-6pm weekdays, 10-6 on Saturdays, and 12-6 on Sundays. Summer hours are 12-8 on weekdays.
YMCA Santa Maria Valley, 3400 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria CA 93455, call (805) 937-8521.
Panera Bread, 540 East Betteravia Road, Santa Maria CA 93454, call (805) 349-9800.
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