San Luis Obispo County, located along the Central Coast of California, is a region celebrated for its stunning landscapes, vibrant communities, and rich history. Within this diverse county, the North County area stands out for its unique blend of natural beauty, agricultural heritage, and burgeoning wine industry.

About North SLO County

San Luis Obispo’s North County is a region of remarkable diversity and beauty, encompassing a range of landscapes from rolling hills and vineyards to historic towns and vibrant communities. Each city within North County contributes its unique flavor to the tapestry of the region, united by a shared appreciation for the natural environment, a commitment to preserving history, and a thriving agricultural and viticultural industry.

The area’s mild climate and fertile soils have made it a hub for wine production, attracting visitors from around the world to its world-class wineries and vineyards. Beyond wine, North County is a place where the spirit of California’s frontier history is still alive, with rodeos, missions, and historic ranches offering a glimpse into the past.

As a whole, North County stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of California’s Central Coast. Its communities are bound by a love for the land, a dedication to community, and a passion for celebrating the unique qualities that make each city special. Whether one is drawn to the area by the allure of its natural beauty, the warmth of its communities, or the excellence of its wines, North County offers a rich and rewarding experience for all who visit or call it home.

The Cities of North SLO County


Atascadero, nestled in the rolling hills of California’s Central Coast, is a city that harmoniously blends natural beauty with a rich historical tapestry.

Founded by E.G. Lewis in the early 20th century as a planned community, Atascadero boasts a charming mix of architectural styles, with the iconic Atascadero City Hall being a prime example of its historical significance.

The city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an array of activities from hiking and biking in the Atascadero Lake Park to wildlife watching in the many surrounding natural areas.

Atascadero’s vibrant community life is complemented by its growing wine industry, with numerous local wineries and tasting rooms that invite visitors to savor the flavors of the region. The city also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the Atascadero Wine Festival, which celebrates the area’s viticultural excellence.


Creston, though smaller and less known than some of its North County neighbors, is a gem worth discovering.

The town is also gaining recognition for its contribution to the local wine scene, with boutique wineries and vineyards dotting the landscape.

Creston’s tight-knit community spirit is best experienced during the annual Creston Classic Rodeo, an event that not only showcases the town’s rich cowboy heritage but also brings together residents and visitors for a celebration of rural American culture.

This quaint community exudes a rustic charm, with its roots deeply embedded in ranching and agriculture. The rolling hills and open spaces surrounding Creston provide a picturesque backdrop for horseback riding, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits.


Lake Nacimiento, a stunning reservoir located west of Paso Robles, is a paradise for water enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Known locally as “The Dragon” due to its serpentine shape, the lake offers an extensive array of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, water skiing, and camping.

The surrounding areas are a haven for wildlife, making it an ideal spot for bird watching and nature photography.

Lake Nacimiento is not just a recreational destination; it also plays a crucial role in water management and conservation in the region. The lake’s scenic beauty and tranquil surroundings make it a popular getaway for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.


Paso Robles, arguably the heart of North County’s wine country, is a city that seamlessly blends rustic charm with sophisticated elegance.

Renowned for its world-class wineries, Paso Robles invites connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts alike to explore its vast vineyards and sample an exquisite variety of wines.

The city’s rich history is reflected in its vibrant downtown area, characterized by beautifully restored buildings that house galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Paso Robles is also famous for its hot springs, which have been a source of relaxation and healing for centuries. The annual Paso Robles Wine Festival and the California Mid-State Fair are just two of the many events that reflect the city’s dynamic community spirit and its deep agricultural roots.


San Miguel is a small town with a big history, most notably marked by the Mission San Miguel Arcángel, a beautifully preserved Spanish mission founded in 1797.

San Miguel

The mission’s architecture and historical significance draw visitors from all over, offering a glimpse into California’s early history.

Beyond the mission, San Miguel’s rural landscape is dotted with vineyards and olive groves, contributing to the area’s growing reputation for agricultural and viticultural excellence.

The town’s sense of community is strong, with local events like the San Miguel Sagebrush Days celebrating its heritage and tight-knit nature.


Santa Margarita is a charming small town that serves as a gateway to the adventures and natural beauty of North County.

Santa Margarita

Known for its historic main street and the Santa Margarita Ranch, the town offers a mix of outdoor activities, from zip-lining over vineyards to hiking in the nearby Santa Lucia Mountains.

Santa Margarita’s artistic community thrives, with local artisans and crafters contributing to a vibrant cultural scene.

The town’s proximity to both the coast and the inland wineries makes it a perfect base for exploring the broader region.


Shandon, located at the northeastern edge of San Luis Obispo County, is characterized by its rolling hills and agricultural lands.

This community is deeply rooted in farming and ranching, with a landscape dominated by vineyards and almond orchards.

The Shandon Chapel on the Hill, an iconic landmark, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. T

he town’s annual Harvest Festival celebrates Shandon’s agricultural heritage, bringing together the community for a day of family-friendly activities, local food, and entertainment.


Templeton is a quaint town that prides itself on its community-oriented atmosphere and high quality of life.


With its historic downtown area, Templeton offers a glimpse into the past while supporting a thriving local economy of shops, restaurants, and services.

The town is surrounded by some of the most prestigious wineries in the Paso Robles AVA, making it a favorite spot for those looking to enjoy the region’s renowned wines.

The annual Templeton Farmers Market is a testament to the town’s commitment to local agriculture, offering fresh produce, artisanal goods, and a chance to connect with local farmers.