Atwater has a small town feel but you still have access to stores, restaurants, and shopping centers. Many people feel the need to go to Merced or Modesto for clothes shopping because the selection is quite small since there is no Atwater Mall. Safety is decent but there are spurts of gang violence with the teenagers. The two high schools - Buhach Colony and Atwater High - create a fun rivalry, although it did escalate to the tagging of both high schools in the 2015-2016 school year. At night there is not much to do because it is a small town. Most things close at approximately 9 pm. This seems to be the most common complaint among young adults.