chickens and roosters in Arroyo Grande


The Cute Chicks (and Roosters) of Arroyo Grande


Tourists looking for the cute chicks at the California beaches need look no further than the Village of Arroyo Grande, where you'll hear some sweet crowing from the little honeys roaming the streets.


For longer than anyone can remember (according to an employee at the Arroyo Grande City Manager's office), there have been chickens and roosters wandering loose around the quaint village on the Central California coast.


Never mind that a few miles south in Nipomo several men were arrested for cultivating roosters for cockfighting. It was no small operation, according to press reports. But in Arroyo Grande, villagers frown upon ornery birds that act like bulliesthey get "the boot" if they misbehave.


"If a rooster gets rowdy and tries to attack visitors, we have to take care of the problem," said the city employee who did not want to give her name, but was willing to discuss what she knew. She said that roosters are welcomed in town, but they have to act nice with guests. They are not allowed to terrorize, attack or challenge you to a dual for sidewalk rights.


As I wandered the village in search of roosters, I noticed them everywhere. Chicken sandwiches and dishes were on the menu at practically every restaurant on Grant Street. (Word on the street is that these menu items are shipped or trucked in--they are not the village kin.) As I stood outside a restaurant favorite where a variety of chicken wraps are sold, Branch Street Deli, I noticed several roosters crossing the street in front of City Hall. All the cars stopped and waited for the strutters to bustle their feathers and get across the busy thoroughfare. Although fowl out-of-towners don't get much respect, it's apparent that the local roosters rule!


At nearly every boutique, home furnishings or antiques store, I discovered porcelain, plastic, ceramic or cloth rooster and chicken decor. From statues to dishcloths, postcards to cookie jars, a colorful icon of Arroyo Grande was embossed, hand-painted or sewn into products ranging from kitchenware to souvenirs.


When visiting the Central Coast, take time to stop and say hello to the roosters and chickens in Arroyo Grande Village. You'll usually find them near the Village Green Swinging Bridge next to the public parking lot behind Grant Street. And while there, take time to smell the roses, too. They are located next to the bridge and are in bloom the majority of the year.


For a fantastic California chicken celebration, visit, Fair Oaks Chicken Festival