Nipomo is the most populated unincorporated area in San Luis Obispo County. It is the first town in San Luis Obispo County those traveling from Southern to Northern California on Highway 101 encounter and the residents of Nipomo proudly proclaim “The Central Coast Starts Here!” Nipomo is sprawling and diverse with a quaint Olde Towne representing the origins of the community and housing the world famous Jocko’s Steak House. The soil in Olde Towne is primarily clay which literally became the building blocks for the historic Dana Adobe at the extreme southern end of Nipomo.
The Dana Adobe is named for Captain William Goodwin Dana, a sea captain from Boston who was granted 38,000 acres in 1837 and went on to build the structure. The site fell into disrepair for decades until a local group set its sites on preserving the important historical monument to early California history. On June 9, 2001 the Dana Adobe became California Registered Historical Landmark No. 1033. Restoration of the structure is complete and the group is moving forward with the plan to make the site a complete cultural center. Olde Towne Nipomo is also where one of the most famous photographs in all of history was taken, Dorothea Lange’s iconic Migrant Mother. The shot of a pensive, worried mother surrounded by her young children huddled in a sparse shelter became the defining image of the Great Depression and the victims of the dust bowl.
While Olde Towne Nipomo is historical, moving west onto the mesa showcases the effervescence of the area. The Nipomo Mesa is home to three major golf courses just a short drive apart. Blacklake Golf Resort, Monarch Dunes and Cypress Ridge are all world class courses each with their own unique flavor. The prevalence of golf has lead some to refer to Nipomo as a mini Pebble Beach, only with better weather. Places Rated Almanac rated the area as having the best overall climate in the nation. Agriculture continues to be the dominant business in Nipomo with dozens of greenhouses providing cut flowers nationwide, orchards filled with citrus and avocados and fields of strawberries and vegetables.
The main business and tourism advocate for the area is the Nipomo Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is volunteer-based including the president and board. The Chamber hosts events throughout the year to promote business and the community. Luncheons and business mixers are conducted monthly while events including Monte Carlo Night, Holiday Street Faire and Nipomo’s Best Octoberfest are annual. The Chamber has hosted the Octoberfest for thirty-four consecutive years. Nipomo places a high priority on education and in August of 2012 became just the twelfth location in the entire state to open a New Tech High School. New Tech is a project based curriculum with enormous success preparing students to excel in the workplace.