Lompoc, California, between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, is known for its stunning commercial flower fields. It is also home to Vandenberg Air Force Base. Tours of the base, including a walk through an underground missile silo, can be arranged through Vandenberg's public affairs office with two weeks' notice. Phone 805-606-3595. http://www.vandenberg.af.mil.

Also near Lompoc is La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, the state's largest and only complete mission complex. It's beautifully restored and popular with school groups: During the school year, go early or late in the day to avoid busloads of chattering children. http://www.lapurisimamission.org.

The 50-year-old Lompoc Valley Spring Arts & Flower Festival takes place each year during the last weekend in June. http://www.lompocvalleyfestivals.com.

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