About Atwater, California
Atwater is a city located in Merced County, California, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. It was incorporated as a city in 1922 and has an estimated population of 32,518 as of the 2024 census. Atwater is known as the “Gateway to Yosemite” due to its proximity to Yosemite National Park, which is about an hour’s drive away. The city has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Atwater’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, with crops such as almonds, tomatoes, cotton, and melons being grown in the surrounding area. Atwater is home to several parks and recreational areas, including Ralston Park, Bellevue Park, and the Castle Family Fun Center. It offers a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, boating, and camping in nearby lakes and parks, such as Lake Yosemite and McConnell State Recreation Area. Atwater has several shopping centers and retail outlets, including the Applegate Ranch Shopping Center and the Atwater Village Shopping Center. The Castle Air Museum, located in Atwater, showcases a collection of historic aircraft and artifacts from the former Castle Air Force Base. Atwater is home to the Bloss Mansion, a historic Victorian-style home built in 1914, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city has a strong community spirit and hosts events such as the Atwater Farmers Market, Fourth of July celebrations, and the Atwater FFA Field Day.