San Luis Obispo’s Amazing Outdoor Adventures
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — With an almost endless supply of sunshine, rolling hills, rocky peaks and breathtaking coastal vistas, it’s hard not to find adventure in San Luis Obispo.
The city may be known as SLO, but the sense of adventure here is anything but. Possibilities abound for hiking, biking, rock climbing, water sports and more, all set against backdrops as scenic as they come.Miles of back-country roads and off-road trails beckon cyclists, hikers and runners of all levels, while the ocean calls to surfers, anglers and paddlers, along with adventuresome kiteboarders and paragliders. Rental shops dot the coast for those who didn’t bring their gear along.
Bike paths make it easy to enjoy a family ride, while road cyclists can wind their way through gorgeous coastal scenery, vineyards and farmland. Mountain bikers can tackle miles of single-track up and down SLO’s rugged peaks.
The San Luis Obispo Marathon is considered one of the top courses in California, bringing in runners from all over the world. The challenging yet beautiful route even led Runners World magazine to name SLO as one of the country’s top vacation spots.
More than 55 miles of hiking trails in the city limits alone grant panoramic view of the city and ocean beyond, wind through wild, inland canyons, crest extensive ridges and lead to hidden waterfalls or mountaintop swings.
Local favorites include the 1,292-foot Cerro San Luis, with summit views of the entire city, and the trail-laced Irish Hills Natural Reserve. Just a short dip into the 800-acre Reservoir Canyon Natural Reserve reveals a waterfall that’s stunning in winter and spring. Trails up Cuesta Ridge climb steadily before leveling off, offering unparalleled views of the area and, on particularly clear days, out to the ocean. For something a little offbeat, try Cal Poly’s Design Village, a 2.5-mile stroll through a grassy hillside dotted with structures built over the decades by architecture students.
Whatever your preferred way to enjoy the outdoors, be sure to give it a go in SLO.