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San Luis Obispo – Home of the Cal Poly Mustangs

San Luis Obispo isn’t only home to a lively downtown, friendly locals and a scenic outdoor playground. It’s also home to a lauded university – California Polytechnic State University, or Cal Poly for short.


The school – part of the California State University system – brings more than 20,000 students to campus each year. It adds additional cultural offerings, performing arts, sports, enrichment opportunities and resources to the local landscape.  Whether you’re a parent of a Cal Poly student, an alumnus, a prospective freshman or just a visitor in town, here are some ways you can get a taste of what Cal Poly has to offer.


The Performing Arts Center is a world-class venue that plays host to national touring acts, comedians, the resident symphony and top student and professional musical groups. A highlight is the lofty Forbes Pipe Organ whose rich tones resonate throughout the venue.


The intimate University Art Gallery features curated exhibits as well as showcases of student work. Speaker series, club events, movie screenings, workshops and project showcases also regularly draw community members and visitors to campus.


Cheer on the Mustangs at athletics events throughout the year, including football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, tennis and more. Find schedules and more at


Take advantage of one of the largest land-holding universities in the country by exploring miles of trails weaving through Poly Canyon. Trek up to the big “P” that has stood watch over campus since the early 1900s. Or for something a little offbeat, explore the Design Village, a 2.5-mile hillside trail dotted with structures built by architecture students over the decades.


Stroll through the five-acre Leaning Pine Arboretum to see a diverse array of plants from five regions across the globe: Australia, California, Chile, the Mediterranean basin and South Africa.


For some old-fashioned fun, bowl a few games at Mustang Lanes, the only bowling alley in town.


Of course, you’ll also want to explore all the off-campus highlights that students enjoy – an energetic weekly downtown farmers market, nearby beaches and wine country, outdoor adventures and bustling shops and eateries serving fresh local produce.

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