Santa Margarita Community Information

Colleges near Santa Margarita, CA

Residents have quick and easy access to two of the county's most renowned colleges: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Cuesta College. California Polytechnic State University, also known as Cal Poly, features six colleges, 70 undergraduate programs, 26 graduate programs, and six teaching credentials/certificates. Cal Poly was recently recognized in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best College" report for 2011, citing its Public Master's University as the top of its class in the Western United States for the 18th consecutive year. Currently, over 19,000 students are enrolled at Cal Poly.

Cuesta College was established in 1963 and is a public community college that offers 76 Associate's degree programs and 96 certificate programs. A satellite campus referred to as "North County Campus" is located in Paso Robles. Many students who start at Cuesta College immediately transfer to Cal Poly, as well as a number of other colleges in the California State University and University of California educational systems. Currently, over 11,100 students are enrolled at Cuesta College.

Economy of San Luis Obispo County, CA

Residents of Santa Margarita are part of San Luis Obispo County's service economy, which includes such industries as real estate, finance, insurance, retail, tourism, and county jobs. Agricultural industries and wineries also make up a major part of the county's economy. A list of the top 20 employers in San Luis Obispo County includes Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo County, Pacific Gas & Electric, Cuesta College, Tenet Healthcare, and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

Parks & Recreation

The Santa Margarita Lake Natural Area provides residents with plenty of recreational activities and camping sites that will keep residents busy for a long weekend or just a day-long excursion filled with peace and quiet. Several thousands of acres of open space are available and accessible to equestrians, hikers, and bicyclists. And if ocean recreation is more to your liking, there are many public beaches just 30 minutes away. Famed Hearst Castle is also one of the major attractions of the area with daily public tours.

The lake was a result of the construction of the Salinas Dam in 1941 and was originally designed to route water to Camp San Luis Obispo, a historic California Post and the original homes of the California Army National Guard. While visitors may not swim in the lake, they may go fishing, sailing, kayaking, or camp, picnic, and horseback ride along the shores. The Santa Margarita Lake Natural Area is also a terrific place to go bird watching or observing wildlife.

San Luis Obispo County also has an excellent network of trails, most notably at the Cuesta Mountain Ridge. West Cuesta Ridge includes a small fire road that is easily accessible to bikers. The trails at East Cuesta Ridge are steeper, but promises spectacular views for those who are brave enough to traverse these trails. For an even more challenging hike, Bishop Peak Natural Reserve offers both family-friendly hiking trails as well as trails for the more experienced hiker. Bicycling is prohibited on the trails. Bishop Peak Natural Reserve is located just outside Cal Poly toward the west.

Golf Courses in San Luis Obispo County

Residents have a number of golf courses to choose from here in San Luis Obispo County, including those at the San Luis Obispo County Golf and Country Club, Dairy Creek Golf Course, Hunter Ranch Golf Course, Laguna Lake Golf Course, Chalk Mountain Golf Course, and Morro Bay Golf Course.

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