Atwater residents are proud of their small town atmosphere. Locals speak positively about the small, safe and friendly town; the local businesses have seen rapid growth over the last years and Atwater is a small town expected to see big changes over the next year. Centrally located in Merced County, Atwater is home to Castle Air Force... Show all »
Atwater residents are proud of their small town atmosphere. Locals speak positively about the small, safe and friendly town; the local businesses have seen rapid growth over the last years and Atwater is a small town expected to see big changes over the next year. Centrally located in Merced County, Atwater is home to Castle Air Force Base. The base is now inactive, but once served as a strategic air command base until 1995; the base is now home to the Castle Air Museum which hosts a collection of aircraft for the public’s viewing pleasure.
Employment opportunities are rampant, mostly due to the area’s prosperous businesses and availability of governmental jobs, (the construction of a federal prison in the area created a number of employment options for locals). Another major employer is Joseph Farms, cheese maker and local dairy. Once just a small, family business the business has prospered greatly and is now, sold in twenty states and internationally. The area’s most well known business is not unlike the city: small, family-focused, still capable of maintaining the positive attributes associated with an intimate size, despite rapid growth.
The city and its residents are strong supporters of the local businesses scattered throughout the city. With numerous business parks and an active downtown corridor, locations for a new or relocating business are endless. Despite having only 20,000 residents, Atwater has eighteen parks within the city boundaries lending plenty of green space and entertainment opportunities to the area.
Just a mere six miles north of Merced and sixty-five miles north of Fresno, Atwater is in close proximity to the area’s larger cities. Low housing costs and short commute time have fostered substantive growth in the small city over the last years. Atwater is only minutes from University of California, Merced, the only school in the UC-level system for roughly two hundred miles.
Every year, the city hosts a wine tasting festival at Castle Air Museum; locals gather to converse and enjoy the warm summer evening. Locals and tourists alike, wander the paths of the historic Castle Air Force base, viewing the collection of over fifty aircraft; music from the 1940s wafts over the event patrons as they enjoy hors d’oeuvres, fine art and samples from over a dozen wineries.
Ranch houses, farmhouses, and historic homes balance the modern subdivision offerings of recent construction. School officials report active support from parents and community members.