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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Nipomo, CA

Written by Leigh Cooper

Nipomo is a lovely city on California’s Central Coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The city of Nipomo got its name from the Hebrew word “Nepomah,” which means “the foot of the hills.” This name explains the city’s geological position. 

The iconic “Migrant Mother” photo from the Great Depression era was also shot in Nipomo. Even now, many people use this famous photo to bring attention to the hardships that Americans endured during that era. Nipomo has some of the nicest weather in the nation, which is why a lot of people want to live there. The city is a wonderful place to settle down because it is home to many families and retirees.

Here are eight things to know before moving to Nipomo, CA.

1. Nipomo’s cost of living is 50% higher than the national average

The cost of living in Nipomo is comparable to other parts of California – about 50% higher than the national average. Housing is expensive, with the average home costing around $864,416. Rentals in Nipomo average $1,857 per month. 

Though housing costs are high, some other living expenses in Nipomo are more affordable than the national average. Healthcare and utilities cost less than typical US rates, with healthcare 4% cheaper and utilities 8% cheaper. Transportation costs are similar to national averages, with groceries 7% pricier. So while housing is pricey, Nipomo’s relatively affordable healthcare, utilities, and groceries help offset some of those housing costs for residents.

2. A higher-than-average crime rate

With 2,665 crimes per 100,000 people, Nipomo has a high crime rate. This is 14% greater than the U.S. average and 2% greater than the average in California. There are 456 cases of violent crime for every 100,000 individuals and 2,209 cases of property crime. 

However, while Nipomo’s overall crime rate is greater than the state and national averages, it tends to cluster in neighborhoods with a history of gang violence or extreme poverty.

3. The weather is mostly pleasant

Regardless of the season, Nipomo has mild and pleasant weather. The summers are warm and muggy, with highs of 76 degrees and lows of 55 degrees. Nipomo experiences mild winters, with highs of 63 °F and lows of 40 °F. 

The city doesn’t receive much precipitation due to its desert climate. Only about half of the United States’ annual rainfall falls in Nipomo, at 17 inches. In fact, a significant amount of Nipomo’s population moves there because of the pleasant weather.

4. The construction, healthcare, and retail sectors are the major employers

The average pay in Nipomo is $74,282, and there are 8,315 people employed there. Construction, healthcare, and retail make up the bulk of Nipomo’s workforce. Other major employers in the area include California Polytechnic State University, the County of San Luis Obispo, and Pacific Gas and Electric,

People living in Nipomo typically spend 22.5 minutes commuting to work. San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria are two of the larger neighboring cities that attract many people who drive there for employment. 

5. The Lucia Mar Unified School District serves the city

The Lucia Mar Unified School District educates the children in Nipomo. There are 10,700 kids served by this district, which spans 550 square miles. The excellent educational opportunities in Nipomo are a major draw for many families. Among Nipomo’s schools, Dana Elementary School, Lange Elementary School, Central Coast New Tech High School, and Nipomo High School stand out as top choices. 

Nepomah, Dayspring Preschool, St. Andrew’s Academy, and Nipomo Head Start are just a few of the several private schools in the area. Various schools provide unique advantages, such as class size and diversity, so it’s up to you to choose the right one for your children!

6. Check out outdoor spots like Pismo Beach or nearby Los Padres National Forest

Anyone looking to relocate to Nipomo would have easy access to a plethora of outdoor attractions. Pismo Beach is popular, but if you’re looking for a less crowded beach in California, Avila Beach isn’t far away either.

The massive Los Padres National Forest begins in San Luis Obispo and stretches all the way to the southern tip of California. The Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve and Guadalupe Dunes are both within a twenty-minute drive. 

7. Live in Nipomo West, Downtown Nipomo, or Black Lake Village

Nipomo West, Downtown Nipomo, and Black Lake Village are among the best neighborhoods in Nipomo.

Take a look at Nipomo West if you and your family are considering relocating to Nipomo. There are several lovely homes in Nipomo West, and the popular Dana Elementary School is just a short stroll away. Nipomo Regional Park is right here, so you can go fishing, hiking, or camping without ever leaving this area.

Downtown Nipomo is the place for you if you like a livelier atmosphere. If you choose to make your home in Downtown Nipomo, you’ll be able to stroll to some of the greatest restaurants and shops in the neighborhood. Commuters will love living here because of the easy access to the freeway.

Black Lake Village is a great spot for seniors preferring a quiet community because the majority of its people are in their golden years. The Blacklake Golf Resort is located in Black Lake Village and offers a stunning golf course, golf lessons, a bar and restaurant, and more.

8. Eat at Nipomo restaurants such as Jocko’s or Las Cazuelas Restaurant

Even though it’s on the smaller side, Nipomo has a plethora of delicious restaurants. If you happen to be a Nipomo resident, here are several eateries you would like.

Among Nipomo’s eateries, Jocko’s is among the most famous. You won’t find better-grilled meat in all of California than at this casual steakhouse.

The Cowgirl Cafe is open daily from 7 AM to 1:30 PM and offers classic American diner fare. Pancakes and chicken-fried steak are on the menu at this Western-themed eatery. Las Cazuelas Restaurant serves you some of Nipomo’s finest Mexican cuisine. Save for Mondays, this bustling eatery is open all week.

To Sum it All Up

Nipomo offers residents a high quality of life with its pleasant weather, good schools, outdoor recreation opportunities, and dining options. However, its high cost of living and elevated crime rate are factors to weigh when considering a move there. 

Overall, Nipomo provides a charming small-town atmosphere on California’s picturesque Central Coast that appeals to many families and retirees despite its considerations.  

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