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SLO Film Fest

The 2024 SLO Film Fest: Where to Stay, What to Do & How to Save

Posted March 29, 2024

International and local cinema meet small-town, big-time charm in San Luis Obispo, home of the famous SLO Film Festival. 2024 marks 30 years of screenings, panels, workshops and awards plus guests of honor–including you, of course! 

But the film festival isn’t the only thing returning this year – so is our See + Stay Package. This special offer bundles all the things you love about cinema with everything you love about SLO. Stay in town for two nights during the event and get two passes that unlock these awesome perks.

Once you’re here, explore the festival (and our city’s nine unique neighborhoods) like the locals do. Here’s a preview of the SLO Film Fest plus a sample itinerary to get you started.

Day 1

  • Check into your SLO stay and venture out for breakfast. (Or have breakfast for lunch – hey, we don’t judge!) Depending on where you’re lodged, you’ll find dozens of coffee and brunch options close by, ranging from classic diners to vegan/vegetarian fare. 
  • Film fest screenings start around evening, so spend your afternoon doing what you can only do here: wine tastings, visiting Hearst Castle (a piece of living film history – especially if you love Citizen Kane) and exploring nearby beaches.
  • As evening rolls around and the film fest gets closer, wander around. Explore on foot, by rented bike, or on the trolley if you’re in Downtown SLO. There’s lots to see and do around San Luis Obispo: snap a selfie in Bubblegum Alley, tour the Mission, or explore public art installations as you shop!

Day 2

  • The morning after a night of exciting film screenings, panels and workshops, you might want to take it easy. Why not treat yourself to a late breakfast or early lunch at one of SLO’s farm-to-table restaurants? With so much produce grown locally, we like to keep things fresh. Check out Novo, Mistura and SLO Provisions.
  • After your meal, you can keep things low-key with a visit to one of our art or science museums, or you can head out for a hike on dozens of gorgeous nearby trails. The SLO Museum of Art and the SLO Railroad Museum are great spots to get acquainted with local culture and history. But if you’re itching to stretch your legs, pick a park – any park!
  • Head back to town toward evening. If you’ve worked up an appetite, now’s the time to treat yourself ahead of today’s screenings. You can keep things casual, or you can try SLO’s Michelin-recognized restaurants – Ox + Anchor and Nate’s on Marsh – and give your tastebuds a performance they won’t forget.

Day 3

  • Catch your breath and take it easy today – you’ve earned it! Today is a great day to rest and recover after a marathon of sightseeing and film-watching. Sip coffee slowly in one of our charming cafes, then wander SLO’s colorful collection of shops. From art galleries and antiques to handmade souvenirs, there’s plenty to explore (and endless opportunities to find the perfect souvenir).
  • If you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped, why not treat yourself? San Luis Obispo’s wellness scene is flowing with spas, drop-in yoga classes, and easy-on-the-feet hiking trails. A little peace and quiet might be just the thing to recharge ahead of another exciting night of indie films, panels, and workshops!
  • When evening falls, SLO’s breweries and taverns come alive with good food, great drinks, and live entertainment. Cheers another great film fest day around the fire pit at SLO Brew Rock, catch a concert at Oak & Otter Brewing Co., and even grab a bite to eat with your beverage at Central Coast Brewing.

Don’t miss your chance to See + Stay in San Luis Obiso for the 30th anniversary SLO Film Festival! Learn more about the package here, reserve your rooms and be sure to share your most cinematic moments on social media with #ShareSLO.