Mission and Bear

The best place to start is at the beginning. Or you could just skip to the 1900s. Using the map on the following page, you can experience the deep historic character of SLO.

Mission walkwayIn 1772, Spaniards decided to make a home in what we now consider downtown San Luis Obispo. The rich soil and temperate weather in the lush, green valley nestled in the rolling foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range offered ideal growing conditions.

They came and built a mission that is still standing today in the center of town. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa remains a working parish church. San Luis Creek, the original water source for the mission and later the city, winds through Mission Plaza which remains a central meeting place and host of festivals, fairs, and other celebrations throughout the year. The Mission is the root of San Luis Obispo’s history and an ideal spot to begin your tour of historic SLO.

History Center of SLO County, 1905 – One of the roughly 3,000 public libraries built worldwide by steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, this building became the County Historical Museum in 1956.

San Luis Obispo County Veterans’ Hall

View and download the 2015 SLO walking tour