About San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo at a glance
Simply called "SLO" or "San Luis" by locals, the city is the cultural, commercial and entertainment hub of California’s scenic Central Coast. It's anchored by one of California's historic missions, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, one of the best-preserved examples of 18th century Spanish architecture. SLO has long been recognized as one of the best stops of the “one-tank trips” between Los Angeles (200 miles south) and San Francisco (230 miles north).
Though the census currently reports roughly 46,000 residents, this two-college town has a much larger, more substantive feel.
Rolling hillsides, breathtaking ocean views and spectacular beaches are all part of the scenic landscape making up the most diverse region in the state.
Home to California Polytechnic State University, known locally as Cal Poly, and Cuesta College, the city enjoys a youthful vigor and intellectually fertile climate thanks to their presence. Respected speakers and big-name entertainers often appear on the two campuses. Students and permanent residents alike enjoy the combination of high-end styles and intimate boutiques. San Luis Obispo is a vibrant city with a relaxed style.
A popular stop halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo made its mark as a city of scenic grandeur in the late 1800s. Growing up around some of the most recognized agricultural regions in the world, the region enjoys a mild, Mediterranean climate year round.
Endless acres of picturesque vineyards located only minutes from downtown supports a thriving wine industry. Natives celebrate seasonal harvests with world-class wines and innovative, cosmopolitan-inspired cuisine.
SLO's weekly Farmers' Market is among the area's most popular events. It occurs on Higuera and adjoining streets downtown. Sample a bevy of unforgettable flavors, visit local shops that stay open later, and enjoy live entertainment as the sun goes down. This event is how the locals kick off each weekend of the year (except Thanksgiving.) It runs from 6-9 p.m. Experience one of the more unconventional attractions in the area by finding the famed Bubble Gum Alley, just off Higuera Street.
A major lure for tourists in San Luis Obispo (or SLO) is its award-winning, yet still lesser-known, wine region.
Just south of the city, people can spend an afternoon wine tasting at several wineries within a very short drive of each other. They can also stay in SLO and enjoy the entire Central Coast Wine Region, which extends north beyond Paso Robles (30 miles north) and south to Santa Ynez (70 miles south). So sip a little, or a lot, but be sure to stop and enjoy the fruits of our county.
During summer months, downtown San Luis Obispo comes alive when locals and visitors congregate into the Mission Plaza for a free outdoor concert. Concerts in the Plaza takes place every Friday night from June to August.
Other events you will not want to miss include the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, Festival Mosaic, and the Plein Air Festival.
Happy Town, USA
In 2011, National Geographic named San Luis Obispo is happiest city in America. Soon after the Oprah Winfrey Show aired a segment highlighting San Luis Obispo and the city's new title. It didn't take long for the locals and tourists to start referring to the city as 'Happy Town' instead of SLO. Not a bad nickname to have.
All are Chamber members offering goods and services.
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