Local Area Information
Published September 13, 2006
California's Central Coast
Vandenberg is located on California's "Central Coast". Vandenberg and central California's coastal residents consider their environment mild. The 150 square mile area midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles is surrounded by the Santa Ynez Mountains, the Pacific shore, and ranches of northern Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. The land here juts further into the Pacific than any point in California, receiving moderate rainfall, daily fog and no snow. The hills are green in winter and turn a burnished gold in summer.
Larger in acreage (98,400) than the nearby cities of Lompoc, Santa Maria and Guadalupe combined, Vandenberg is the largest entity within the area. Development was stimulated in northern Santa Barbara County when Vandenberg became the West Coast space and missile hub.
Before the growth, Lompoc had 6,000 residents. Today more than 38,000 people call the small city home, and 51,000 more live within the Lompoc Valley. The largest population center is Santa Maria with approximately 53,000 people, and 30,000 live within the Santa Maria Valley area. Vandenberg, and the Lompoc and Santa Maria Valleys account for more than three-quarters of the area's 130,000 people.
- San Luis Obispo
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Maria
- Vandenberg Village
The "Five Cities" Area
The townships of Arroyo Grande, Avila Beach, Grover Beach, Pismo Beach, Oceano and Shell Beach north of Vandenberg offer shopping, touring, fishing, clamming, hiking, biking, golfing and picnicking.
Local Traffic Conditions
Vandenberg is a National Wildlife Reserve and fog poses a major traffic concern here during the summer months, which requires defensive driving skills. Drivers must be alert for wildlife at all times. Deer and other animals roam freely here.
The Safety Education Office is located in the Community Loop Area at building 10312. The office of primary responsibility for traffic safety is the 30 SW/SEEB, building 7015, Third Floor, 805-606-1842, or DSN 276-1842.
For 10 months each year the Pacific Ocean keeps our average high temperature at 60-65 degrees and the average low at 40 to 50 degrees. September and October are our warmest months with an average high of 75 degrees. Vandenberg experiences heavy fog in the summer.