The vast ranch lands and open spaces largely consisting of Nipomo are nestled between the majestic foothills and sand dunes bordering the Pacific Ocean. Stemming from a Chumash Indian Word "Nepomah," it translates to "the foot of the hills" and has all the necessities of a smaller, thriving community.
Almanac Accolades Located in the southern end of San Luis Obispo County, Nipomo is 7 miles south of Arroyo Grande and 7 miles north of Santa Maria. Its coastal weather offers ocean breezes and mild temperatures year round. Agriculture thrives here due to its moderate climate. Having received a perfect score of 100 in the Places Rated Almanac, it is known for having the best weather in the country.
Shops, restaurants, a senior center, and a variety of clubs and activities are all available to Nipomo residents. As a part of the Lucia Mar Unified School District, it offers grammar, middle and high schools in the community. Many families live on one acre or larger parcels which allows for the lifestyle known well for this area. Horse and cattle ranches, lemon and avocado orchards and Evergreen Christmas trees are all grown and harvested within the Nipomo area.
Steaking it’s Claim One of Nipomo’s claims to fame is Jocko’s, a restaurant repeatedly voted in the top 10 steaks on the west coast. The California Beef Council named Jocko's Steak House as the recipient of the 2009 California Beef Backer Award. This award recognizes restaurants that excel in promoting the beef industry through the use of unique marketing and menu ideas. Dating back to 1886, the current Jocko's opened in 1957.
Another well-known area, the Guadalupe - Nipomo Dunes, is the largest remaining dune area south of San Francisco and among the largest in California. Covering 18 miles of precious coastline between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, it's a National Natural Landmark. Another portion of the dunes is utilized for camping and vehicle use.
Egyptian Enigma Back in 1923, the epic movie The Ten Commandments, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, was filmed on the Nipomo Dunes. When production was completed, the immense Egyptian sets were buried on the site. Still buried there today, some artifacts have been recovered and historically preserved while others are seen occasionally when the dune sands shift.
Another historic landmark in Nipomo is The Dana Adobe, a 13-room adobe residence, whose construction began in 1839 and was completed in 1851. It is distinguished as the most historic private residence in the County of San Luis Obispo. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a California State Historic Landmark.
Food for Thought In 1935 a never-to-be-forgotten photo titled "Migrant Mother" was published by the San Francisco News. It was taken of a migrant farm worker named Florence Thompson and her children in Nipomo. This powerful image caused 20,000 pounds of emergency food to be sent to the area by viewers. The History Channel occasionally runs a documentary called "The Great Depression" which tells the story of this young widow and life in Nipomo in 1935.
Nipomo is proud of its historic heritage and the generations that have lived here throughout the years. While it has grown as the population has steadily increased, it has managed to retain its historic, old-world California charm.