Travel back in time circa 1772 and tour Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, located in the heart of Downtown SLO. Mission San Luis Obispo is a must-see for tourists and locals alike, standing as the fifth California mission founded by Father Junípero Serra.
Located on the corner of Chorro and Monterey Street, the mission marks the center of the city. Adjacent to the mission and San Luis Creek lies Mission Plaza, an expansive community gathering place which perfectly showcases the roots and vibrant culture of San Luis Obispo. Recently, Mission Plaza was awarded for being one of the top 3 places in California by American Planning Association for its exquisite design and for exemplifying the community’s character.
Today, Mission San Luis Obispo offers visitors an extensive, free museum, with a strong focus on the Chumash Indians, a gift shop, and flourishing gardens to explore. The mission also acts as the central parish church with daily masses at this historic landmark.
It’s safe to say Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is the perfect attraction for history buffs and families alike, located less than a block from shops, restaurants and more.
Fun Facts about Mission San Luis Obispo
- When discovered, many grizzly bears roamed the valley, giving its name La Cañada de los Osos, or the Canyon of the Bears.
- Today’s iconic statue of the grizzly bear in Mission Plaza celebrates the exploration of the Canyon of the Bears.
- Most of the mission was built between 1793 and 1794, although there have been renovations and restorations over the years.
- Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France, who stands as its patron saint.
- Known for its thriving livestock and starting winemaking roots along the Central Coast, the mission was active for over 60 years.
When visiting Downtown San Luis Obispo, I highly suggest stopping by and touring Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. You and your crew can even join a free docent-led tour, which takes place at 1:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday and at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays, or if you prefer, enjoy a self-guided experience. Looking to tour with your school or organization? Schedule a private tour by filling out the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa’s tour application form.
After travelling back in time, stick around and enjoy endless activities in Downtown San Luis Obispo, all within a few short blocks of each other. From making your mark on Bubblegum Alley and shopping at local boutiques to enjoying a mouthwatering meal, you won’t want to miss out on Downtown SLO. Discover the top 5 things to do in Downtown San Luis Obispo today!
I hope you enjoy this historical gem next time you’re visiting San Luis Obispo!
Hours of Operation
Open 7 days each week
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.