By Gabby Mahmood

Take a plunge at the water park, camp lakeside, explore a children’s museum or play in the sand and investigate the tide pools at the beach. It could start with a well thought-out plan or a simple game-time decision. Elephant seals, horseback rides or groves of butterflies, its all up to you.

This is the third of four posts in a series of ideas of how to spend your summer in San Luis Obispo.

Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach, California

Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach, California

Central Coast Aquarium

Located in Avila Beach, the Central Coast Aquarium is the perfect place to beat the heat. Your kids will have a blast interacting with the animals and, if you want to keep them entertained, sign them up for the aquarium’s marine science summer camp. After your visit, you can stroll along the seaside store-fronts of Avila while enjoying a delicious ice cream cone, or take a refreshing dip in the ocean.

SLO Botanical Garden

What’s more enjoyable than walking through rows upon rows of vibrant, colorful flowers? Not having to travel to an exotic locale to do it. Quietly hidden between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden this secret little garden is one of SLO’s hidden gems. Did someone say annual family photo?

Concerts in the Plaza

Concerts in the Plaza

Concerts in the Plaza

On Friday evenings from June to September Mission Plaza converts from community hub to one of the best open-air venues in California for Concerts in the Plaza. Downtown San Luis Obispo plays host to a variety of talented performers each week and every concert is free of charge.  Grab your picnic blanket, grab some food, maybe grab your kids and enjoy an evening of fun music in a social atmosphere.

Vista Lago Adventure Park

San Luis Obispo Zipline

Ziplining at Vista Lago Adventure Park at Lopez Lake

Located just south of SLO at Lopez Lake, Vista Lago Adventure Park is the perfect destination for you and your little ones. A classic waterpark complete with a variety of slides, ziplining and activities will keep your kids entertained, while you soak up the sun. It’s a win-win.


Gabby Mahmood is a business administration student at Cal Poly and former SLO Chamber communications intern who went above and beyond while researching for the Summer in SLO blog post series.