There's a zoo in Atascadero? Yes. Next to Atascadero Lake. There's a lake in Atascadero? Yes. Just about a mile west of intersection of Highways 101 and 41. The Charles Paddock Zoo is a quaint, intimate little zoo featuring many exotic birds and animals. It's accredited by the AZA (the only zoo so recognized between San Jose and Santa Barbara). It's part of the Atascadero Lake complex, including the lake itself, a ball field, the county's Veterans Memorial Center and lush, rolling lawns. Atascadero Lake features a kiddie swimming pool in the summer along with fishing and paddle-boating. The Lake Pavilion is perfect for business meetings, weddings and conferences. Lots of communities boast of "hidden jewels" and "undiscovered destinations." Atascader Lake and the Charles Paddock Zoo certainly qualify in these categories. Whether you'rea long-time county resident looking for something a little different, or a vacationing family in need of a place for the kids to burn off a little energy, you might check into it. Start at www.VisitAtascadero.com.