DSH – Atascadero: About the Area


Department of State Hospitals (DSH) - Atascadero is located in a region that encompasses 100 miles of pristine coastline, a rapidly growing wine industry, agricultural lands, ranches, and a carefully-preserved rural quality. An unpolluted environment spiced with charm and friendliness, the central coast offers the amenities of an urban area in a serene country setting.

The area is host to five state parks, part of the Los Padres National Forest, four lakes, scenic mountains, and snug hills and valleys, each contributing to a wide selection of outdoor recreational activities. Among its many activities, San Luis Obispo County boasts its own Mozart Festival and is host to the Mid-State Fair, one of the largest in the State.

The climate is as varied as the terrain with coastal moderation and inland areas experiencing four distinct seasonal changes. The county boasts first-rate educational opportunities with pleasant small communities with excellent schools, California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, and Cuesta Community College all in the area. Access to land and air transportation are all readily available.

The seaside communities of Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, and Cambria offer ocean breezes, beautiful beaches, fine dining, and entertainment. San Simeon and Hearst Castle are less than an hour's drive to the north along California's spectacular coastline winding its way north to Big Sur. Within a two-hour drive to the north are Pebble Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, and the world famous Cannery Row on the Monterey Peninsula. Two hours to the south lies Santa Barbara and its famous beaches, the Santa Barbara Zoo, and many historical landmarks.

Colleges & Schools



  • San Luis Obispo County Schools
    • Rancho El Chorro
      Highway One and Education Drive
      San Luis Obispo, California 93403-8105
      Phone: (805) 543-7732  Fax: (805) 541-1105

Local Newspapers