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It’s time to find your happy place

On California’s fabled Highway 1, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, discover a town where the vibe exudes unhurried happiness and laid-back adventure.

San Luis Obispo, or SLO as it’s commonly known, offers up a charming downtown, family-friendly events, plenty of open space and miles of sandy beach nearby – all in one easy-to-get-around, traffic-free destination boasting 300 days of sunshine a year.

Take a relaxed stroll through downtown, sprinkled with cafes, treat shops and family-friendly eateries for a casual lunch or dinner. Rock-hop across the creek by the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, and explore the connecting trails and bridges. Duck into the interactive children’s museum, art center or history museum for a quick bit of culture.

The year-round Thursday Night Farmers’ Market serves up a feast for the senses, with fresh produce, fragrant flowers, artisan goods, street fare and live entertainment that delight kids of all ages. Free concerts and colorful festivals in Mission Plaza offer more options for affordable things to do in San Luis Obispo with family.

Throw on your pajamas and snuggle up for movie night at one of California’s few remaining drive-in theaters just south of downtown. Or venture a little north to find ziplining, a colony of massive elephant seals or the sprawling Hearst Castle and maybe catch a glimpse of the resident zebra grazing the pastures.

When it’s time to unleash some energy, hit one of the dozen playgrounds dotting the city. Miles of hiking and biking trails meander through the city’s open space providing recreational options from scenic strolls to strenuous climbs with spectacular views.

Lucky enough to have a four-legged family member? Dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, beaches, events and attractions are common throughout the area.

Bring your family and discover for yourself what studies have found: that people in San Luis Obispo are happier and more likely to smile than people elsewhere. Whether your ideal family vacation involves outdoor adventure, cultural experiences or simply relaxed time together, SLO is the perfect place to “SLO” down and enjoy a stress-free experience.

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