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San Luis ObispoUnited States of America

San Luis Obispo, with its small-town, Californian charm, offers heritage sites, outdoor adventure and a thriving arts scene.

San Luis Obispo, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, impresses visitors with its scenic setting. Here, the natural beauty of California is visible in vineyards, mountains and the nearby Pacific Coast. The town was raised around the mission of Father Junípero Serra, which was established in 1772. Today the downtown area presents a well-preserved collection of Victorian homes and historic landmarks.

All the main attractions of San Luis Obispo are closely grouped around downtown, so it’s easy to get around on foot. Set out to discover centuries-old landmarks, such as the house of Pierre Hyppolite Dallidet, the town’s first winemaker.

Learn about the town’s modern history at the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. This active church also has a museum that illustrates the history of Native Americans and Californian missionaries. Surrounding the site is Mission Plaza. In summer, this is one of the venues of the Festival Mozaic, a popular chamber music festival. While in this area, visit San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Free events, such as the I Madonnari chalk art and Art After Dark open-house festivals, take place here.

To the north of town is Leaning Pine Arboretum, part of California Polytechnic State University. Here you can see displays of regional plants as well as Australian, Chilean, Mediterranean and South African varieties. Check out the views from the nearby Bishop Peak Trail.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking and biking trails of Montana Oro State Park to the west of town. To the east, Lopez Lake has trails for all fitness levels.

Be sure to visit the pier and restaurants at San Luis Obispo Bay and Avila Beach, which are just a 15-minute drive from the town center.

San Luis Obispo’s food and drink scene promotes homegrown produce, and a farmer’s market takes place every Thursday on Higuera Street, the main shopping area in town. Sample barbecued tri-tip beef, a traditional Californian dish, while you watch street performers and local bands. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the wineries in nearby Edna Valley, just 10 minutes from the town center.

Top hotels in San Luis Obispo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Inn at the Pier
Inn at the Pier
4 out of 5
The price is RM663 per night from 4 Oct to 5 Oct

Located in Downtown, this beach hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of North Beach Campground, Pismo Beach Pier and Monarch Butterfly Grove. Price Anniversary House ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,147 reviews)

"There is a box in the room that you have to insert your room key for the electricity to work. The air conditioner sounds like a plane taking off. Otherwise, beautiful room and steps to the pier, beach and many restaurants. Staff is very helpful and friendly."…"

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2020

Inn at the Pier
Madonna Inn
Madonna Inn
3.5 out of 5
The price is RM455 per night from 28 Sep to 29 Sep

Situated in San Luis Obispo, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Laguna Lake Park and Cerro San Luis Obispo. Emerson Park and San Luis Obispo Children's ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,311 reviews)

"I love the Madonna in so much and it was my first time staying after wanting to! Everything was great, the only thing was there was some stains on the walls and trash behind the fridge"…"

Reviewed on 22 Sep 2020

Madonna Inn
Spyglass Inn
Spyglass Inn
3 out of 5
The price is RM537 per night from 25 Oct to 26 Oct

Situated on the waterfront, this motel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Avila Hot Springs, Margo Dodd Park and Pirates Cove. Pismo Beach Pier and Monarch Butterfly ...

4.2/5Excellent! (907 reviews)

"The staff was excellent and couldn’t be more helpful. Only improvement to suggest is to upgrade wi-fi reception for guests."…"

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2020

Spyglass Inn

Vacation Rentals in San Luis Obispo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Pacific Plaza Hotel
Pacific Plaza Hotel
3.5 out of 5
The price is RM484 per night from 1 Oct to 2 Oct

Situated in Oceano, this condo is within 1 mi (2 km) of Oceano Park and The Great American Melodrama & Vaudeville. Pismo Beach Golf Course and Monarch Butterfly ...

4.1/5Very Good! (322 reviews)

"Great location. Our condo interior was really clean and fresh. When we checked in our reserved king condo was given to someone else by mistake, but they gave us a 2 queen one. That was fine with us. The patio for our condo was dirty with beer bottle caps and really dusty. Unable to use the table ..."…"

Reviewed on 18 Sep 2020

Pacific Plaza Hotel
SLO Brew Lofts
SLO Brew Lofts
4 out of 5

Located in Downtown, this condo is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Bubblegum Alley and within 3 miles (5 km) of California Polytechnic State University and Morro Bay State ...

4.3/5Excellent! (31 reviews)

"Great location, great decor, and super friendly staff!"…"

Reviewed on 21 Sep 2020

SLO Brew Lofts
Cava Robles RV Resort
Cava Robles RV Resort
3 out of 5

Situated in Paso Robles, this cottage is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Paso Robles Event Center and 3 mi (4.9 km) from Paso Robles Pioneer Museum. Sensorio and Vina Robles ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (5 reviews)

"This place is so much fun! It is an rv resort so it has amenities that you won't find elsewhere. The spaces are large so noise was not an issue. We were staying there because we had family staying there with their rv and we were able to walk to their site which worked really well for us."…"

Reviewed on 28 Nov 2019

Cava Robles RV Resort

Popular places to visit in San Luis Obispo

Pismo Beach Pier
Image for Pismo Beach Pier

Pismo Beach Pier

4.5/5(17 reviews)

Watch whales from the benches that flank this long pier offering unobstructed vistas of the ocean and the hilly environs.

Cayucos State Beach
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Cayucos State Beach

4.5/5(13 reviews)

Known for its old wooden fishing pier, this lovely beach is the heart of the traditional town.  Come here for a delightful family day out.

Top things to do in San Luis Obispo

Beach Dune Buggy Rental
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Beach Dune Buggy Rental

RM928
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of California
Image for Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of California

Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of California

RM84
Per adult
Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of California
Image for Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of California

Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of California

RM42
Per adult
City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California

RM42
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)
Image for Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

RM170
Per adult
Paso Robles Wine Adventure with pickup from Cambria, CA
Image for Paso Robles Wine Adventure with pickup from Cambria, CA

Paso Robles Wine Adventure with pickup from Cambria, CA

RM1,107
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of San Luis Obispo

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
9
5 - Excellent 56.25%
4 - Good
7
4 - Good 43.75%
3 - Okay
0
3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

6 Dec 2019

The Downtown very good to walk around and the Mission is worth a visit with it's museum and church.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

20 Aug 2019

A good place to stay to access Pismo Beach etc.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

19 Feb 2019

Very nice town - def worth a stay if you are driving down or up Highway One. Lovely people, friendly and felt safe. Try the SLOtip beef!

Bakersfield featuring a house and heritage architecture

Bakersfield

Cambria

Cambria