Atascadero is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, about equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles on U-S Highway 101. Atascadero is farther inland than most other San Luis Obispo County cities, and as a result, usually experiences warmer, drier summers and cooler winters than neighboring cities such as San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. Nearby CA Highways 41 and 46 provide easy access to the Pacific Coast and the Central Valley of California. The population was 28,310 at the 2010 census. The brainchild of mega-entrepreneur E.G. Lewis, Atascadero is the result of nearly a century of organic community evolution. It is an amalgamation of rolling hills studded with oaks; historic buildings; quaint lake park and zoo; enclaves of artists, musicians and writers; all surrounded by visitor vistas and wineries.
Atascadero is a Spanish word loosely translated as bog, from the verb "atascar" which means to become stuck or hindered.
The area was originally home to the Salinan Indians. In the half century between 1769 and 1823 the Spanish Franciscans established 21 missions along the California coast, including the nearby Mission San Miguel Arcángel, and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and California became a Mexican province. In 1833, the Mexican government secularized the mission lands. Mexican Governor Juan Alvarado granted Rancho Atascadero to Trifon Garcia in 1842, and Pio Pico granted Pedro Estrada Rancho Asuncion in 1845. Patrick Washington Murphy held ownership of 61,000 acres (25,000 ha) at one time.