An Insider’s Guide to Country Living in Atascadero

10/11/22  |  Hertha Wolff-Arend

Thinking about life in the country? Read this must-have guide to rural living in Atascadero.

An Insider’s Guide to Country Living in Atascadero

One of the most charming and diverse cities in San Luis Obispo County, Atascadero offers true down-home rural living without asking homeowners to give up any of the familiar pleasures and necessities that come with city living. Country homes in Atascadero have been attracting urban dwellers for generations, and not only because it’s located just between San Francisco and Los Angeles. There’s so much to learn about rural life in Atascadero. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Explore local parks and architecture

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It’s no wonder that the area now called Atascadero (Spanish for “bog” or “mire” and tsɨskikiye,  or “place of much water,” by the local Northern Chumash tribes) is so popular with residents. Its inland location means it’s not only a site of plenty of water and greenery, it also experiences warmer summers and colder winters than nearby cities.

The numerous parks and historic architecture reflect back on the area’s distinctive country charm. Come to Atascadero and visit Lake Park and nearby Charles Paddock Zoo to get a feel for the Central Coast and its local flair. Take a short trip to Colony Park, Heilmann Park, or Paloma Creek Park to soak up the sun in style and truly experience the serenity that locals enjoy.

The beautiful Atascadero City Hall and Sunken Gardens are two architectural highlights that are worth a day of exploration if you’re a lover of early 20th century, Renaissance-style buildings.

You don’t have to look far for high-end dining and entertainment

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Many people considering a move to the country may think that they’ll have to give up access to some of the city’s more modern amenities. This couldn’t be further from the truth for Atascaderans. The city’s ideal placement midway between the hubs of San Francisco and Los Angeles means that there’s plenty of traffic to keep up with local dining and entertainment centers.

If you’re a lover of fine baked goods, look no further than family-run Hush-Harbor Artisan Bakery for a full-service café dining experience. Check out Kochi Korean BBQ & Shabu Shabu for Korean fusion fare, then cap off the day at Cowgirl Cafe or Country Touch Cafe for a legendary end to an inspired tour of Atascadero.

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For a more exciting experience of Atascadero country living and culture, don’t miss Colony Cinemas, Glasshead Studio, or The ARTery. Here, you can take in big-city culture and art classes and demonstrations in the comfort of a small town.

Big-city breweries, small-town charm

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Atascadero is renowned for the uniqueness of its local beer and wine cultures. No wonder, since inland San Luis Obispo County has been a hotbed for brewmasters and wine connoisseurs for decades. In fact, the 21st century craft beer renaissance has Atascadero to cite as one of its central hubs.

Head over to Tent City Beer, the Street Side Ale House, or the Santa Maria Brewing Co. for an introduction to local beer-making processes. The owners are some of the most welcoming and knowledgeable in the business.

Atascadero’s laid-back country way of life ensures that you’ll have unprecedented access to some of the industry’s most talented beer makers. Don’t miss out on the Brews and Burgers Trail, which originates in Atascadero, to experience an all-inclusive dining and drinking tour of local gastro pubs and nightlife.

Convenient commute times and quality transportation

Located at the intersection of U.S. 101 and State Route 41, Atascadero is a commuter’s dream. Commute times to and from the city center are reliable and short, while the Union Pacific Coast Line runs straight through the city, ensuring that travel to Burbank and San Jose remains swift year-round. Amtrak also provides a connecting line of the Thruway Motorcoach with stations in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County just minutes away. If you think that country living means having to forego being close to all of your favorite cultural sites, think again.

Photo courtesy of San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport

Air transportation in rural Atascadero is also convenient. The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport serves the entire county and consistently ranks as one of the nation’s best small airfields for general aviation and commercial trips.

One of the country’s most-coveted local climates

Located farther inland than many cities in San Luis Obispo County, Atascadero provides visitors and residents with an exciting blend of California climates. On a whole, its summers are warmer than the local average, with summer highs remaining near 90 degrees. Winters in Atascadero are—in a departure from many California cities—quite cool, with average lows falling to just above freezing from December to February.

The city’s sizable temperature variation means that local residents get to experience the full spectrum of California’s climates and weather patterns, including relatively high rainfall through late March. Check out Lake Nacimiento, a nearby landmark water source located about 20 miles to the northwest, if you want to cash in on the area’s stunning regional landscapes. This lake features low entrance fees and a legendary marina with full-service, drop-in spots for boaters, fishers, and campers of all stripes. The nearby resort offers one of the best views of San Luis Obispo County with a number of well-equipped lodges that are perfect for those who want to test the waters in Atascadero and get a feel for the good life that the country holds.

Contact a local real estate agent today

Do you have any questions about country living in Atascadero? Or want to learn more about Paso Robles homes or Templeton real estate? Reach out to Hertha Wolff-Arend today!

*Header Photo courtesy of Shutterstock