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Santa Maria area museums beginning to reopen

Santa Maria Historical Museum
The Santa Maria Valley Society Historical Museum is now able to welcome back visitors inside. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- The doors are back open at the Santa Maria Valley Society Historical Museum.

"We have reopened officially, as of last Friday when we got the all clear from our governor," said Cindy Ransick, Santa Maria Valley Historical Society Executive Director. "We are now keeping regular hours."

The 46-year-old museum has been closed on-and-off throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and until last week, was unavailable to visitors due to restrictions on indoor operations.

However, it was allowed reopen last week when Santa Barbara County moved into the less-restrictive red tier in the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

"That was a great relief because even though we are here, we're not able to sustain ourselves monetarily in any way shape or form if we can't be functioning efficiently," said Ransick. "Reopening means it's a chance to get back out in the community and have a chance to sustain ourselves."

Currently, the red tier limits museums to operate at 25% capacity.

While not ideal, it does allow the facilities to resume many of their activities that are not allowed in the more restrictive purple tier.

To enter the museum, visitors must wear a face covering and observe all of the usual COVID-19 safety protocols.

"Everybody is calling to see if we are open, are we going to available?" said Ransick. "What the requirements are to come in. Do they need a mask? Do they not need a mask? Under what provisions can come back to the museum."

Like the Historical Museum, the Santa Maria Museum of Flight at the Santa Maria Public Airport also reopened to visitors last Friday.

It currently has operating hours on Friday through Sunday.

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, located near the Historical Museum on McClelland Street, remains closed.

It's unknown when the popular children's museum will reopen.

Another nearby point of interest, The Natural History Museum of Santa Maria, has not updated its social media or website to indicate its current status.

The Santa Maria Valley Society Historical Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.

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