About The Tours

Opening Reception: Welcome to Santa Barbara County!

Meet up with other attendees during our opening reception at the Embassy Suites-Lompoc and choose from a variety of nearby restaurants for dinner.  Appetizers will be included at the reception. *Dinner tonight is on your own.

Tour Vandenberg Air Force Base

Vandenberg Air Force Base is operated by Air Force Space Command's 30th Space Wing, and is the only military installation in the United States from which unmanned government and commercial satellites are launched into polar orbit.  Vandenberg's military service began in 1941 as an Army training center called Camp Cooke. It was built as part of America's effort to strengthen its military defenses in preparation for a war that the federal government feared was coming.  In 1942, the Army acquired land in northern Santa Barbara County between the towns of Lompoc and Santa Maria.  With its flat plateau, surrounding hills, numerous canyons, ocean access, moderate weather, and relative remoteness from populated areas, the Army was convinced it had found the ideal training location for its armored and infantry forces.

The Boat House at Vandenberg Air Force Base

The USCG Rescue Station and Lookout Tower at Point Arguello, California, was established in 1936. The site was purchased by the Coast Guard in 1935, and it remained under their, jurisdiction until 1958, when it was transferred to the U.S. Navy.  This site was selected as a location for a rescue station because of the long history of maritime disasters, which have occurred on this section of the California Coast.  The two principle activities of the facility centered on three rescue boats sheltered in the Boathouse and the manning of the Flag Tower and the Lookout Tower. The three rescue boats could be quickly launched on a Marine Railroad which extended from the Boathouse to the harbor. During its brief six year period of existence the facility participated on only two occasions in rescue operations. 

Allan Hancock College Public Safety Training Center

This state-of-the-art facility serves as a premier training location for Fire, Law Enforcement, EMS, and Environmental Technology. It provides specialized and customized training that meets the needs of local, regional, state, national, and international public agencies and private industries.  The complex is designed to accommodate training related to homeland security, disaster preparedness, and emergency response.

La Purisima Mission

The establishment of La Purisima Mission in 1787 marked the earliest European settlement in the Lompoc Valley. The original mission, located at what is now the foot of F Street in downtown Lompoc, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. Remnants of the mission can be seen at this site which has been preserved as a State Historical Landmark. The mission was rebuilt over several years beginning in 1813 at its current location on the north side of the Valley.

Downtown Lompoc and the Mural Walk

The Lompoc Mural Project was conceived in 1988 when Gene and Judy Stevens visited Chemainus, British Columbia. They were impressed that a small community of only 3,500 people, which was literally dying because its major industry had shut down, was using art as the major economic rebuilding tool. The town had been developing tourism with the help of murals.  Gene and Judy brought the idea back to Lompoc.  In August of 1988 about 80 people attended a town meeting called to discuss the possibility of using the same concept to help Lompoc’s declining “Old Town.” The response from the group was enthusiastic and a Board of Directors was formed.  Lompoc’s first mural was of the “Flower Industry” painted in 1990 by Santa Monica artist, Art Mortimer. Today, Lompoc has close to 30 major commissioned murals in its inventory. They all depict a part of Lompoc’s history and are located primarily in the old downtown area.

Lompoc Historical Society Shares the Fabing-McKay-Spanne House

The Fabing-McKay-Spanne House is the headquarters for the Lompoc Valley Historical Society.  The home is fully furnished in the style of the early 1900's.  Entering the home is like taking a step back in time!  Most furnishings have been donated over the years by local families who wished their belongings to be kept and preserved in an attractive safe atmosphere and many pieces of furniture are original to the house.

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Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.