Below is a list of communities we show listings for. I hope this information is helpful when deciding where to go for your entertainment and dining or wine tasting. Click for each community to get more detailed information about each area if these quips are not enough for your decisions.
Paso Robles is the northernmost city in San Luis Obispo County. It is at the junction of Hwy 101 and Hwy 46 stretching from the coast to the San Joaquin Valley. It is home to several restaurants, bars, wineries, and tasting rooms. It is adjacent to San Miguel and Camp Roberts.
Templeton borders the south end of Paso Robles and stretches south almost to Atascadero. There are some restaurants, Twin Cities Hospital, and wineries. It is a small community that used to have only one main street, but has grown to include a shopping center with Target, and highway service stations.
Atascadero & Santa Margarita stand between Templeton and the top of Cuesta Grade along Hwy 101 leading to San Luis Obispo. Santa Margarita still has a short main street as Hwy 58 leading to Pozo and Santa Margarita Lake. Atascadero houses a state mental hospital, a lake, zoo, several restaurants and wineries or tasting rooms.
Cambria & San Simeon top the county along the coast, just south of world famous Hearst Castle. San Simeon Acres just below San Simeon has two frontage roads populated by hotels, restaurants, and bars. Cambria sits just south and has many vineyard tasting rooms, restaurants, and bars. Just south of the terminus of Hwy 46 sits a small eclectic community of Harmony.
Cayucos is a destination for vacationers looking for that small beach town experience. There are few restaurants and bars, but it does house tasting and has vineyards just outside of town. It is just north of the city of Morro Bay. Cayucos is known for its several hotels along the main street, but not a lot of dining options.
Morro Bay surrounds Morro Rock, known as the Gibraltar of the Pacific. With its fishing industry in the bay, it is an ideal spot for seafood and tourists. There are many restaurants and a few bars with plenty of variety. It is the western end of Hwy 41 leading to Atascadero and points east.
Los Osos & Baywood Park are across the bay from Morro Bay. There are several food options and a handful of bars. After a day at Montana de Oro State Park, people look for some restful dining. This Valley of Bears has some natural preserves to visit as well. Take Los Osos Valley Road into San Luis Obispo.
San Luis Obispo, the county seat and most populated city in the county, is home to the two largest employers. The county and city as well as California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) employ so many people, but is serviced by bedroom communities outside of town. Students make up as much as up to 1/3 of the population when in session for regular school year.
Avila Beach is a thriving little town that used to be a sleepy little eclectic community known just for its beach and Harford pier to drive on. Now it does good business with a few eateries, some tourist shops, wine tasting, and hotels.
Shell Beach stretches along Hwy 101 from the Avila exit to Pismo Beach, including many restaurants, hotels, a main town center, and post office. With beach access, it is popular among locals for a place to relax to the sound of waves. This is considered part of the “5 Cities” region, but is now considered part of Pismo Beach.
Pismo Beach, second town of the 5 Cities, has been a vacation destination for decades, famous for Pismo Clams. Loaded with tourist shops, eateries, and hotels, it is a busy place in the summer with tourists, and busy in the off season with locals. It is a blend of the old with the new, being built up and growing with residents.
Grover Beach, part of the 5 Cities, used to be known as Grover City, until businesses and residents decided having beach in the name would be more appealing to tourists than a city, even though it was named after the town founder. It stretches from the beach to Oak Park Road along Grand Ave. There are many hotels, eateries, and service businesses.
Arroyo Grande is the main community of the 5 Cities. It runs along Hwy 101, crossed by Grand Avenue, with the Arroyo Grande Valley region stretching as far as Lopez Lake. The Arroyo Grande Village has antique stores and eateries, as well as chickens in the creek. There are many more restaurants and hotels between the highway and Oak Park Rd.
Oceano is an unincorporated part of the county but considered part of the 5 Cities. There is not much here in the way of businesses, but it does have an Elk’s Lodge, camping, airport, small lake park, beach ramps, and a few eateries. Most people only pass through on the way to the beach.
Nipomo is a bedroom community occupied by employees from Santa Maria to San Luis Obispo and located on Hwy 101 north from the county line. There are no hotels and very few eateries, but a few drive-thrus. It has the only dedicated swap meet for miles around and home of the Santa Maria Speedway. It is part of the Nipomo Mesa, stretching to the dunes in the west, across Hwy 1.
Santa Maria Valley is the northernmost part of Santa Barbara County adjacent to the ocean. We include Guadalupe in this area because there are not many eateries there. It is the gateway to the dunes where part of The Ten Commandments and one of the Pirates of the Caribbean, and a closing scene of Hidalgo movies were filmed. Santa Maria has a great variety of eateries, many hotels, fairgrounds, and large shopping centers and enclosed mall.