What would E.G. Lewis, who founded Atascadero Colony in 1913 as a utopian community, think of the town today? The City of Atascadero, sometimes referred to as “A-town” by locals, has matured to include a population of professionals, families, ranchers and retirees, like many other towns along the Central Coast. But the comparisons stop there—Atascadero today is as unique as it was at its birth nearly 100 years ago.
After all, what other Central Coast community can boast of:
Whatever motivates you to get outside, Atascadero can oblige. There are hiking trails in every corner of town and hundreds of miles of backcountry roads just made for biking. Horse lovers can enjoy shows of all kinds and ride some of the most beautiful trails in San Luis Obispo County.
You’ll need lots of room on your calendar to accommodate the many occasions for socializing and having fun in Atascadero. Citizens turn out in hot summer weather and on frosty winter days to enjoy events like Hot Camino Cruise Night in August and Winter Wonderland—complete with snow—in December. A wildly-popular recent addition to the winter scene is the skating rink set up in the Sunken Gardens park during the holiday season, attracting thousands of the young and young-at-heart for a turn on the ice.
Long-established traditions enrich life in Atascadero. At free summer concerts in the Atascadero Lake Park on Saturdays residents enjoy the music of local bands.
The Farmer’s Market every Wednesday afternoon downtown provides a chance to purchase locally grown produce and run into friends for a chat.
There’s no shortage of wine tasting opportunities on the Central Coast, but one of the most enjoyable, relaxed wine festivals is held at the lake in Atascadero each June. The event is large enough to feature hundreds of local wines and small enough for lounging and enjoying the day.
When you’re ready for nightlife in Atascadero, choose an elegant evening at the historic Carlton Hotel or casual dining at one of many smaller restaurants and grills. Reserve some Wednesdays and Thursdays to belt out a few favorites at Karaoke Night at Hoover’s101 Café, or visit the Century Cinemas in the heart of town for a movie.
GreatSchools, an organization that helps parents support their children to succeed in school, gives Atascadero schools an 8 out of 10 rating based on test scores. The City of Atascadero boasts a Fine Arts Academy that rates even higher, and several private schools including Christian academies and a Montessori school.
At the Atascadero Library on Morro Road you can jumpstart a child’s love of learning with story time for young ones on weekday mornings. The Library also welcomes volunteers to help with check out, shelving, events and more.
Citizens of Atascadero often contribute their time and enthusiasm to the community. Atascadero is home to an active Main Street Association—made up chiefly of volunteers—that organizes events downtown. Chamber of Commerce volunteers help pull together events to promote local businesses.
Other opportunities to meet fellow citizens and make a difference include:
Many families in and around Atascadero have lived in the area for years, but there are thousands newcomers as well. Made up of both conservatives and progressives, the community is currently working to come to agreement on a direction for future growth that makes sense for all.
No matter what their individual political leanings may be, Atascaderans are a friendly, welcoming group, ready to embrace others who value family, community and the unique spot on the Central Coast they call home.