Atascadero Highway 101 Road Sign California Travel

Interstate Highway 101 in Atascadero, California is recognized by the rolling mountains. As you drive along California's Central Coast leaving the views of the ocean behind way back in Pismo Beach to the south, and not to be seen again till you hit San Francisco, 230 miles north of Atascadero, you are in for a drive filled with lots of rolling hills.

Yet as you pass through Atascadero, the topography and 101 offer some grades, up and down driving and a change in the climate from the ocean..  Here the temperature can rise 20+ degrees in the summer and drop 20+ degrees in the winter.   Lush farm land for growing olives, wine grapes and whatever crops will fit along the hillsides, you can stop and enjoy the local wine trails and some lovely wineries open to the public. The road sign above show Santa Margarita 8 miles north, Salinas 123 miles north and San Francisco 230 miles north from this particular highway vantage point.

Also take note that there's an IN-N-OUT Burger restaurant nearby. We also notice the tiny word and mention of "Inn." Yes, there are hotels near the freeway. When it's night and time to stop, Atascadero is an excellent choice. From a luxury Carlton Hotel that's been revamped and restored to its early 1900's glory, to new chain hotels within view of the highway, Atascadero is growing rapidly.

On a recent visit and road stop, my favorite Hoffbrau was gone. I was amazed at the rush hour and number of restaurants and shops along the busy strip that runs next to 101. For roadstops you'll find fast food galore, shopping center plazas with groceries, gas, mid-range restaurants and the beautiful civic buildings nearby. Also worth a stop is the farmers market held once a week in the village greens.