arroyo grande buildings

downtown arroyo grande

Arroyo Grande Village is a distinct shopping and dining area in the historic section of Arroyo Grande, California


Arroyo Grande, California - Village of Arroyo Grande



Arroyo Grande, Calif..Shopping, dining and socializing are a few of the simple pleasures folks enjoy in the Village of Arroyo Grande. Sure, you can get stressed out over the chickens crossing the road. Several years ago someone wanted those pesky critters "gone". But a core of passionate individuals fought to maintain the easy-going lifestyle Arroyo Grande has known for over 100 years and they won. So today when you visit, don't be surprised to see roosters and a hen or two wandering around the Village Green, hanging out at City Hall or sitting on a fence post near McClintock's restaurant, hoping for handouts from the kitchen.


Arroyo Grande is a dichotomy. While the scenic village with its antique stores, historic buildings and roosters that crow is laid back and slow, surrounding it are brand new hillside homes, strip malls with chain stores and fast food restaurants, in what appears to be a totally different world. Oddly, we seldom bridge the gap when we go to shop and dine in Arroyo Grande. Either we spend time in the historic downtown district, shopping for antiques, browsing in boutiques and country crafts, then dining at one of the great sandwich shops with the tall ceiling and wood floors, before heading out the country roads to wineries such as Edna Valley Vineyard, 2585 Biddle Ranch Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Calll: (805) 544-5855.


On the fast track trip we bypass the village and head straight for the concrete lots filled with big box stores such as Marshalll's, Walmart, KMart, Trader Joe's, Albertson's, Starbucks and Sizzler.  A veteran shopper could easily take in both experiences in one trip, but why not stretch it out?


This beautiful town not far from the beaches of San Luis Obispo CountyPismo Beach, Nipomo and Grover Beachenjoys fresh ocean breezes and a convenient location on both sides of Highway 101.  Steeped in history, one of the highlights of the city is a swinging bridge. The bridge sways ever so gently as you cross over from the Village Green where Farmer's Market is held each week, to the historic Santa Manuela Schoolhouse museum built in 1901. The restored schoolhouse is open to the public on weekends, and admission is free.


Events in the Village
-Farmer's Market Every Saturday Noon to 2:30 pm
-Christmas in the Village during December, Santa strolls the streets daily. Sing along with Santa Wed. & Fri. evenings 5 to 6 pm
-Easter Egg Hunt, 4th of July Peddlers Fair with chili cook-off, Strawberry Festival-Memorial Weekend in May, Car Show last Saturday in July, Harvest Festival last weekend in September, Halloween Trick or Treat in the Village. Strawberry Festival named the place to be on Memorial Weekend by Sunset Magazine. Hotel rooms are booked six months prior.


The photo on the left below was taken in a residential neighborhood. The property sits on a bluff overlooking a valley with colorful crops in a field, a lake, sand dunes and the beautiful, blue Pacific Ocean. On the right is the historic building which is home to Taco Loco, a restaurant with big servings of burritos, tostados and other Mexican foods. The building was constructed near the turn of the 20th century. You'll find it on East Branch Street, the heart of downtown. Park behind the building in the free public lot to enjoy the Walking Bridge.


You can enter many businesses from the back side of the shops and exit on Branch, where you'll find numerous restaurants, antique and gift stores and the Walking Tour maps at the Visitor Center. It's a small, friendly town so just ask anybody working there to point you in the right direction. Continue driving on Branch and you'll head for the wineries. Or get back on the 101 Highway and stop down the road 10 minutes in Pismo Beach.


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