SLO’s Second Largest City


Atascadero enjoys approximately 18,000 residents, Atascadero is the second largest city in San Luis Obispo County. Atascadero spans close to 23,000 acres of gently rolling hills dotted by native oaks and is midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Founded in 1913 by E. G. Lewis, Atascadero became an incorporated city in 1979 and provides governmental administration through a five-member city council. The character of the community can best be described by phrases such as “elbow room” and “rural atmosphere. ” Atascadero should be considered as a place to live by anyone looking for a quality lifestyle including clean air and single-family residences which are not stacked one atop the other. The community boasts of relatively large lots in most areas, invites the ownership of farm animals on the majority of lots and works to preserve the natural flora and fauna.

Atascadero California

Atascadero is located within driving range of many popular tourist attractions, such as Hearst Castle, about 45 minutes away; three California missions, San Antonio, San Miguel and San Luis Obispo, are all less than 45 minutes away; and three large fishing and boating lakes, Nacimiento and San Antonio, 25 miles to the north and Santa Margarita Lake, 25 miles to the south.

The city itself boasts Atascadero Lake Park, Sunken Gardens Park, South Atascadero Park, Heilmann Dog Park (Off Leash Pet Friendly :: Map), and the Charles Paddock Zoo.

The city’s elevation ranges from about 125 feet at the Salinas River to 2,436 feet at Frog Pond Mountain with City Hall being about 850 feet above sea level. Several creeks flow easterly and northerly through the city and into the Salinas River.

The average yearly rainfall for Atascadero is slightly above 17 inches, with an average temperature in January of 60 degrees during the day and 41 degrees at night. In July the daytime high averages 95 degrees with the nights dropping to 55 degrees. Even on the warmest of summer days, the ocean breeze cools the city at night. The average rainy season runs from mid-October to mid-April. Frost is common from October through April.

With the historic City Administration Building at its core, Atascadero today is an economically viable city providing social, educational and commercial services for its citizens. The growth of the city in the past decade has been due to emigration from larger metropolitan areas, the availability of economically attractive land and the attraction of the rural lifestyle.

Today Atascadero can boast of an active business community which provides goods and services not only for its local residents but for those who live in smaller communities to the north and south. A regional flair has developed in the city as factory outlet stores, supermarkets, chain drug and department stores, and new motels are locating within the boundaries of the city. Retail sales account for a major portion of the city’s income. Because of the nature of employment in Atascadero, “highs” and “lows” as the economy gets strong or weak are generally avoided.


Atascadero experiences a hot semi-arid climate. Sixties in the fall winter and spring. Low eighties to nineties in the summer. Average precipitation is six to ten inches of rain per year, most in the winter where there may be three inches in one month.

Current Conditions

Annual Events

Sweetheart Stroll – Downtown – Saturday before Valentine’s Day – February
Wildflower Bike Ride – April
Central Coast Cinco de Mayo – Saturday before May 5
Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival – Atascadero Lakeside Park – Saturday – June
Tuesday’s in the Park Community BBQ – Atascadero Lakeside Park – June to August
Saturday in the Park Summer Concert Series – Atascadero Lakeside park – June to August
Ice Cream Zoofari at the Zoo – July
Movies in the Gardens at Sunken Gardens – August

Hot El Camino Cruise Night – Huge Car Cruise on Friday evening – August
Mid-State Cruizers Car Show – Atascdero Lakeside Park – Saturday – August
Colony Days Parade & Celebration – Downtown – Third Saturday in October
Halloween ZooBoo at the Zoo – October
Holiday Boutique at the Pavilion on the Lake – Third Saturday – November
Atascadero’s Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony – First Friday December
Downtown Winter Wonderland – Downtown – Second Friday in December
Zoo Holiday Magic at the Charles Paddock Zoo – Third Saturday December