Arroyo Grande, CA is an affluent city located about 3 hours northwest of Los Angeles and 4 hours southeast of San Francisco in San Luis Obispo County. The Spanish name loosely translates into multiple meanings, including “Big Creek,” “Big Ditch,” and “Muddy Creek.” Early Portuguese settlers living in Arroyo Grande in the 1700s discovered the valley to have fertile ground that supported a rich produce supply, which continues to this day. The city was incorporated in July of 1911.
The city is known for being full of historical charm, with a highly walkable downtown area, giving you time to enjoy the antique and specialty shops, Victorian buildings, and fine boutiques.
There are roosters and chickens living near City Hall, where they roost on the fence posts and near the creek with the only swinging bridge in California. They birds roam free in Arroyo Grande, although some people have built small huts for the chickens to sleep in along the upper banks of the creek. This small coastal town is one of the Central Coast cities known as the “Five Cities”.
Several celebrities and notable people have called Arroyo Grande their home at some point, including the actor, Zac Efron, and Robert Hunter a singer-songwriter best known for his collaboration with the Grateful Dead. The made-for-television movie, Return to Mayberry, was partially filmed in Arroyo Grande.
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Arroyo Grande Population & Demographics
The population of Arroyo Grande is 18,033 with over 3,037 people living per square mile and a median age of about 45 years. Residents have an $80,833 median household income.
The demographics of Arroyo Grande’s population is split almost equally between male and females, with 52% females and 48% males.
The population is 80.5% White (72% non-Hispanic), 0.6% Black or African American, 3.8% Asian, and 17.6% Hispanic or Latino. Nearly everyone in the city completes high school with a 94.3% high school graduation rate, and 34% go on to complete bachelor’s degrees or higher college educations.
The Arroyo Grande crime rate is among the lowest in the state with 1,660 crimes per 100,000 people and only a 1 in 674 chance of being a victim of violent crime, making Arroyo Grande a safe place to live. California as a whole has 2,772 crimes per 100,000 residents. To keep residents and visitors safe, there are 29 full-time dedicated employees of the Arroyo Grande Police Department, and seven part-time employees. The police department also has 10 police volunteers.
Cost of Living in Arroyo Grande
The cost of living in Arroyo Grande is a bit on the high side, especially if you’re looking to buy a home on the median household income of $80,833. The median home price in Arroyo Grande is $935,000. The average price for apartment rentals ranges between $1500-2500.
Everyday Expenses in Arroyo Grande
- Gasoline – $4.59 per gallon
- Dozen eggs – $1.90
- Meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant – $75 for three courses
- Cappuccino – $4.80
- Utilities (electric, heat, water, garbage) – $260 per month
Arroyo Grande Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Arroyo Grande
You can pick any neighborhood in Arroyo Grande – they’re all great! The neighborhoods are safe, the school districts throughout the area are excellent, they’re all in close proximity to grocery stores, restaurants, and shops, and under 10 minutes to the beaches.
Arroyo Grande to Pismo Beach is just 4 miles and 7 minutes on US-101! Also, if you want to visit a larger city with nightlife, you can drive from Arroyo Grande to San Luis Obispo on US-101 which is 17 miles and about 17 minutes.
Arroyo Grande Village – Downtown, Walkable Neighborhood
The downtown district of Arroyo Grande, the “Village” is a two-block section of the city where the locals go for one-of-a-kind shops, dining, and antiques. A nice change of pace from the beach towns and coastal views along Highway 1, the village is beautifully preserved with historical buildings like Harvest Church and the Arroyo Grande Meat Co which has been the neighborhood butcher since 1897.
Despite being a small neighborhood, the village includes two public parks, Heritage Square Park and Centennial Park.
Berry Gardens – Luxury Homes Ideal for Families
Located between Arroyo Grande Village and Pismo Beach, the Berry Gardens neighborhood features luxury homes in various styles and sizes. Kingo Park sits in the center of the neighborhood on Courtland Street features a playground and picnic area in walking distance.
Fair Oaks – Easy Access to the Business District
Northeast of Berry Gardens is the neighborhood of Fair Oaks. East Grand Ave runs horizontally through the neighborhood and is the location of several fast-food restaurants, coffee houses, gas stations, and banks.
If you choose to live in the downtown area, or in the Village, you can walk everywhere – no need for a vehicle.
Take a look at some Arroyo Grande, CA homes for sale to find your dream home.
Arroyo Grande Weather & Climate
The winter season is short. The low temperature averages about 40 degrees in December and January. The colder months are considered the rainy season, so you might wear your raincoat and rubber boots a little more than usual as it rains 25% of the winter.
The highest temperatures are in July and August, but it’s an extremely comfortable 77 degrees with low humidity. The downside of Central Coast California weather is there is very little precipitation during the warm months which can cause droughts and water restrictions.
You should consider moving to Arroyo Grande for perfect weather if you’re retired and want to golf every day – or if you’re anyone else who just wants to spend as much time outdoors as possible!
Things to Do in Arroyo Grande
If you’re wondering what there is to do in Arroyo Grande for fun or activities to keep the kids busy, you won’t be disappointed. No reason for boredom here!
In addition to the city-maintained parks and amenities across Arroyo Grande, check out the following for sightseeing and activities:
Visit the tasting room overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Highway 101 for the daily wine flight or campfire and s’mores on the coast. Wine flights include four Central Coast wines while the campfire tasting experience includes a selection of wine for up to six of your friends.
453 Laetitia Vineyard Drive, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 481-1772
A beautiful award-winning golf course with several elevation changes and breathtaking ocean views, Cypress Ridge Gold Course should be on the top 10 things to do in Arroyo Grande.
780 Cypress Ridge Parkway, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 474-7979
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For fun things to do with kids that get them off their electronic devices, visit Vista Lago for an exciting ropes challenge course and zipline park. If you’re brave, try the 45’ free fall Quick Jump!
6820 Lopez Drive, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 710-7970
Clark Center offers regular events bringing global performers and artists to a stage practically in your backyard. Check out tribute bands, musicals, plays, comedians, and more in the two theaters.
487 Fair Oaks Ave, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 489-9444
Other Major Arroyo Grande Attractions
Arroyo Grande offers convenient shopping, including:
There are many events in Arroyo Grande, click here for a calendar of events.
Arroyo Grande State Map
Explore even more things to do, restaurants, and more with this map of Arroyo Grande, CA.
Arroyo Grande Restaurants
There is no shortage of places to eat in Arroyo Grande! Try a different restaurant every week for months without eating at the same place twice.
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Arroyo Grande’s best restaurant for authentic hand-crafted, wood-fire prepared farm-to-table meals. Watch the chef’s in the open kitchen work with local ingredients and enjoy Central Coast wines and craft cocktails.
1200 E Grand Avenue, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 474-7700
An American bar where the food matters just as much as the drinks. Rooster Creek offers live music and friendly atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor seating and mood lighting on the patio.
200 E. Branch Street, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 489-2509
The most romantic restaurant just outside Arroyo Grande in Pismo Beach, make reservations to experience fancy waterfront dining on the patio or inside with sparkling views of Pismo Beach.
101 Pomeroy Ave, Pismo Beach, CA 93449 (805) 295-5104
One of the top restaurants for family dining in Arroyo Grande, the Village Cafe is a casual eatery serving breakfast and lunch. The cafe offers large portion sizes and indoor and outdoor seating.
112 West Branch Street, Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 (805) 473-1655
Jobs in Arroyo Grande
Many people in Arroyo Grande are business owners, providing services like gardening, plumbing, and computer support to people living and working in nearby, larger cities.
If self-employment isn’t your thing, the biggest employers in Arroyo Grande include:
- The city of San Luis Obispo
- Lucia Mar School District
- Arroyo Grande Community Hospital
Click here for job listings in Arroyo Grande.
Arroyo Grande Schools
The Lucia Mar School District is the largest district in San Luis Obispo County and serves students from Kindergarten through 12th grade in Arroyo Grande and the adjoining communities of Grover Beach, Oceano, Nipomo, and Shell Beach.
When actual books are desired for research and reading instead of the internet and e-readers, students and residents living in Arroyo Grande visit the free Public Library.
Arroyo Grande Statistics
- County: San Luis Obispo
- Zip codes: 93420 and 93421
- Elevation: 118 feet
- Area: 5.94 square miles
- Time zone: Pacific Standard Time (GMT-8)
Tips for Moving to Arroyo Grande
- It’s possible you don’t even need a vehicle
- Reduce your cold-weather wardrobe as you’ll only need it for a couple months!
- Drive slow past the City Hall so you can stop for chickens crossing the road
When you’re ready to move to Arroyo Grande, CA, call our Arroyo Grande movers at 805-779-3844 for an efficient and stress free relocation! Free, no-obligation quotes provided by phone or our online form.