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Nipomo, California
—  CDP  —
The Capt. Dana Tree at the Dana Adobe. Part of the town can be seen in the background.
Location in San Luis Obispo County and the state of California
Coordinates: 35°1′48″N 120°29′24″W / 35.03°N 120.49°W / 35.03; -120.49
Country United States
State California
County San Luis Obispo
 - Total 11.4 sq mi (29.6 km2)
 - Land 11.4 sq mi (29.6 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 331 ft (101 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 12,626
 - Density 1,107.5/sq mi (426.6/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 93444
Area code(s) 805
FIPS code 06-51476
GNIS feature ID 1652759

Nipomo is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States. The population was 12,626 at the 2000 census.



Nipomo is located at 35°1′48″N 120°29′24″W / 35.03°N 120.49°W / 35.03; -120.49 (35.030027, -120.490032)[1].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 11.4 square miles (29.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 12,626 people, 4,035 households, and 3,316 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,106.1 people per square mile (427.3/km²). There were 4,146 housing units at an average density of 363.2/sq mi (140.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 75.89% White, 0.60% African American, 1.32% Native American, 1.44% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 16.01% from other races, and 4.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.55% of the population.

There were 4,035 households out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.9% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. 13.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.13 and the average family size was 3.42.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 30.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.2 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $49,852, and the median income for a family was $54,338. Males had a median income of $41,288 versus $25,509 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $18,824. About 5.6% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Nipomo is located in the 15th Senate District, represented by Republican Abel Maldonado, and in the 33rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Sam Blakeslee. Federally, Nipomo is located in California's 23rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +9[3] and is represented by Democrat Lois Capps.


The entrance to Nipomo High School
  • Elementary
    • Nipomo Elementary (K-6) 190 E Price, Nipomo. Attended primarily by students living east of US 101.
    • Dana Elementary (K-6) 920 W. Tefft St., Nipomo. For students west of US 101 living nearby.
    • Dorothea Lange Elementary (K-6) 1661 Via Alta Mesa, Nipomo. Attended by other Nipomo area students living west of US 101.
  • Middle School
    • Mesa Middle School (7th-8th) 2555 Halcyon Road, Arroyo Grande. Located within original Rancho Nipomo boundaries. Stresses character education, and competes in basketball, volleyball, wrestling, track, and soccer. Also known for drama and music programs.
  • High School
    • Nipomo High School (9th-12th) 525 N. Thompson Road, Nipomo. It was opened in 2002. Before that students attended Arroyo Grande High School. NHS has become known for high scholastic standards, outstanding drama and musical productions, strong girl's volleyball and boy's wrestling teams, golf and swim teams, and its agriculture department. The enthusiastic boosters organization promotes both academics and athletics simultaneously. The community has created scholarships for college-bound graduates.

Interesting facts

  • "Nipomo is on a scenic stretch of US 101" - AAA Tourbook
  • It is located in an area designated by the "Places Rated Almanac" as having the best climate in the nation, with a perfect score of 100.
  • Commercial nurseries deliver cut flowers to florists around the world. Other agriculture includes citrus farms, strawberry and vegetable fields, vineyards, and cattle ranches.
  • It is home to one of the more famous Santa Maria style steakhouses, Jocko's Restaurant.
  • The circa 1886 Barber Shop, complete with hitching post in front, is still open for business.
  • The Kaleidoscope Inn(130 E. Dana), a Bed and Beakfast Inn, was also originally built (as a residence) in 1886.
  • The Olde Towne Nipomo Association works to create a quaint village of shops and eateries in the original center of town. It has accomplished infrastructure improvements and the installation of old-fashioned street lights so far.
  • The Cypress Ridge golf course was rated 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest (only Pebble Beach rates higher in California). There are two other 27-hole golf resorts, Blacklake and Monarch Dunes.
  • Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Preserve is part of the 18-mile stretch of coastal dunes. The dunes complex has been designated as part of a National Natural Landmark (NNL) by the Department of Interior (National Park Service).
  • The Dana Adobe is a California State Historic Landmark and is currently being restored by the Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos (DANA).
  • A majority of the population of Nipomo is located on the Nipomo Mesa.


Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, depicts destitute pea pickers in California, centering on a mother of seven children, age 32, in Nipomo, California, March 1936.
  • The original settlers of Nipomo were the Chumash Indians, who have lived in this area for over 9,000 years.
  • The founder of present day Nipomo, William G. Dana of Boston, was a sea captain. Dana's travels led him to California where he married Maria Josefa Carrillo of Santa Barbara.
  • Rancho Nipomo (the Indian word ne-po-mah meant "foot of the hill") was one of the first and largest of the Mexican land grants in San Luis Obispo County. In 1837, the 38,000-acre Rancho Nipomo was granted to Captain Dana by the Mexican Governor.
  • The Dana Adobe, which was started in 1839 by Captain Dana, served as an important stop for travelers on El Camino Real, "The Kings' Highway," between missions San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. It was the exchange point for mail going between north and south in the first regular mail route in California, and a stage coach stop. <>
  • The Danas had children, of which 13 reached adulthood. They learned both English and Spanish, as well as the language of the Chumash natives. The Danas celebrated fiestas that brought people together.
  • U.S. Army Captain John C. Fremont and his soldiers stopped at the rancho on their way south to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles in 1846. Captain Dana hosted a barbecue and gave Fremont’s men 30 fresh horses.
  • By the 1880s the Dana descendants had built homes on the rancho and formed a town. Streets were laid out and lots were sold to the general public.
  • The Pacific Coast Railway (narrow gauge) came to town in 1882. Trains stopped running through Nipomo in the depression of the 1930s. By the end of 1942, the tracks were removed for the war effort.
  • Thousands of Blue Gum Eucalyptuss were planted on the Nipomo Mesa in 1908 by two men who formed the Los Berros Forest Company with the idea of selling the trees as hardwood.
  • Nipomo is the location of one of the most famous photographs of the American Depression, "Migrant Mother" [1], taken by Dorothea Lange.
  • Thompson Road was originally US highway 101, on which Dorothea Lange no doubt traveled. The current US 101 freeway was constructed in the late 1950s.

Notable residents

Horace Grant - NBA Basketball player

See also

External links



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