Page 68 - SLO Visitors Guide Summer 2024
P. 68

68 SUMMER 2024
Outdoor activities abound
The city of Atascadero, originally
founded by E.G. Lewis in the early
1900s as a utopian community, is a
popular location for shopping, dining
and strolls along the lake shore. Home
to the Charles Paddock Zoo, the town
has a large selection of restaurants
offering a range of cuisine from
rib-sticking American style to Asian,
Mediterranean and more. Breweries,
wine tasting, bakeries, antique stores,
specialty shops, boutiques and art
galleries are tucked away in locations
along the main El Camino Real and
on side streets around the Sunken
Gardens. Popular area wineries are
only a short drive from downtown and
any of the town’s several hotels.
Atascadero Lake Park
A 1.3-mile easy walk path circles
the lake in the park providing views
of the lake, the many varieties of
birds that frequent the lake and other
visiting wildlife. Bring binoculars;
more than 48 species of birds
have been sighted at the lake and
recorded on Leashed
dogs are allowed and the path is
also a favorite place for cyclists. The
park has restrooms, small barbecue
and recreation areas. The Faces of
Freedom Veterans Memorial occupies
the edge of the park facing Morro
Road and is well worth a visit. The
park is located at 9305 Pismo Ave,
Atascadero just off of Morro Road
(Highway 41).
Charles Paddock Zoo
The zoo is one of only 211 zoos
accredited by the American Zoo and
Aquarium Association, this zoo was
founded in 1955 by Charles Paddock,
a county park ranger who nursed
injured wild animals back to health.
Today, the zoo covers more than
five acres. Many of the zoo residents
are part of a world-wide program to
preserve animals and their habitats.
Some of these rare and endangered
animals include the American
Alligator and endangered owls and
the Greater Roadrunner native to
California. The zoo is located at 9100
Morro Rd, Atascadero. For hours and
more information call (805) 461-5080
or visit
Atascadero and North San
Luis Obispo County has several
challenging golf courses. Contact any
of these golf courses directly for tee
times and more information: Chalk
Mountain Golf Course, Links Golf
Course of Paso Robles, Paso Robles
Golf Club, Hunter Ranch Golf Course
and River Oaks Golf Course.
Historic City Hall
Atascadero’s historic city hall
is probably the city’s best known
historic building. Located at 6500
Palma Ave. and gracing the back of
the Sunken Gardens, the double-
domed Italian Renaissance building
was originally constructed in 1914
as the Atascadero Administration
Building. After founder E.G. Lewis
declared bankruptcy the building
was purchased in 1927 and, over
the years, served as three different
private schools and a bank. It became
the Veterans Memorial Building
when acquired by the County of San
Luis Obispo in 1954, and served as
a community building. When the
City of Atascadero incorporated in
1979, government offices occupied
the building until it suffered
major damage in the 2003 San
Simeon Earthquake. After years
of reconstruction and restoration,
Historic City Hall opened again in

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