It seems like all the fun things to do cost money, but not necessarily in a place like SLO. San Luis Obispo offers many things to do that are either free or very inexpensive. See below for a list of starting points.
Kick off the weekend with the second largest Farmers’ Market in the western United States. Every Thursday evening from 6 to 9 Higuera Street is turned into a six-block long street fair. With so many just-harvested veggies, hot off the grill barbecue and other fresh food options, you’ll never run out of choices. If you miss the Thursday night market, there are other Farmers’ Markets spread from North to South County all throughout the weekend that you can enjoy as well.
See SLO’s local art scene come to life and browse local art galleries on the first Friday of each month during Art After Dark, when local downtown businesses hold open houses, unveil exhibits, bring in special guests and more.
One of the best things you can do without spending money in SLO is take a hike on one of the many trails. With open spaces and natural reserves, the hikes give you some of the greatest views you will find of SLO.
Check out one of San Luis Obispo’s funkiest attractions. Just off Higuera Street downtown, between Garden and Broad streets, is Bubblegum Alley. This is a fun thing to go see while you are roaming downtown, and kids will absolutely love it.
Visit the charming San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. The 3rd Thursday of every month the museum opens its doors and offers free admission from 5-8 pm.
Walk around the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, which is the fifth founded by Junipero Serra in California. You can also wander the paths around San Luis Creek after.