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Experience the SLO Life

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Experience the SLO Life

You’ll never run out of things to do in San Luis Obispo. Head to the Downtown SLO Thursday Farmers’ Market or hike (or bike) your way up a local mountain. Eat farm-to-table freshness or sip local craft beer and sustainable wines. In San Luis Obispo, it’s more than things to do – it’s things to eat, drink, explore and experience.

Only in San Luis Obispo

There’s only one place in the world where you can leave your mark in Bubblegum Alley, drop into a Mission Plaza yoga sesh, then climb a mountain all in the same day.

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Not sure where to start? Downtown SLO is our cultural center, home to historic sites, boutique shops and charming restaurants. Explore work by contemporary artists at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, take a selfie in Bubblegum Alley and grab an ice cream cone at The Creamery Marketplace.

While you’re here, don’t miss touring Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, founded in 1772 and still standing today. Explore, learn and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for seasonal pop-ups and free summer concerts in the plaza.

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Young woman experiencing one of the unique things to do in san luis obispo and blows bubblegum in bubblegum alley

Create Your Own SLO Experience

If you’re still not sure what to do in San Luis Obispo, just remember there are endless ways to live the SLO life. Indulge in a spa day at Madonna Inn or kick-start your morning with extreme adventure. Or, plan a day trip from San Luis Obispo to nearby destinations: Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles and more.

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Things To Do FAQ

  • Start your day with a delicious breakfast at a local cafe before exploring the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. For adventure seekers, a hike up Bishop Peak offers breathtaking views. Spend your afternoon strolling through downtown, discovering unique shops, art galleries, and the quirky Bubblegum Alley. Art lovers can visit the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art to admire contemporary works. Savor dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant showcasing locally grown So-Cal ingredients. If you’re up for it, catch a live performance at the Fremont Theater or the Performing Arts Center. Alternatively, end your day with a relaxing stargazing experience at a local vineyard. San Luis Obispo offers a diverse array of activities, blending outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, and culinary delights for an unforgettable visit.

  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo hosts a vibrant college town atmosphere that blends seamlessly with the natural beauty and cultural richness of the Central Coast. Just steps from campus, students and visitors can dive into many activities. Explore the extensive network of hiking and biking trails that showcase the area’s stunning landscapes, such as the serene Reservoir Canyon Trail or the challenging Bishop Peak. With its weekly Farmers’ Market, the downtown area offers a taste of local life, featuring fresh produce, hand-made goods, and live entertainment. For those interested in history and architecture, the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa provides a glimpse into California’s mission era, while the nearby San Luis Obispo Museum of Art celebrates contemporary art from the region. Culinary enthusiasts can enjoy the many farm-to-table restaurants and cafés that dot the city, highlighting the best local cuisine. And for a truly unique experience, a visit to the legendary Bubblegum Alley adds a quirky, colorful twist to any visit. Cal Poly SLO is a gateway to a diverse array of experiences, from outdoor adventures and cultural exploration to culinary delights, all set against the backdrop of California’s breathtaking Central Coast.

  • Getting around San Luis Obispo without a car is both easy and enjoyable, thanks to a variety of transportation options. The city’s compact, bike-friendly layout is perfect for cycling, with numerous bike lanes and paths connecting key areas. SLO also features a wide array of public transportation, with SLO Transit offering extensive bus services throughout the city and to surrounding areas, including Cal Poly SLO campus. Walking is a great option for shorter distances, especially in the pedestrian-friendly downtown area and along the scenic San Luis Creek path. Additionally, ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are readily available, providing quick and efficient transportation. Whether you’re a student, resident, or visitor, San Luis Obispo’s array of car-free transportation options makes it easy to enjoy everything the city offers.

  • San Luis Obispo enjoys a prime location that’s just about a 15-minute drive to the nearest beach, making seaside escapes both quick and convenient. Avila Beach and the charming town of Pismo Beach are the closest, offering a variety of coastal experiences, from relaxing on the sandy shores to exploring the vibrant boardwalks. For those without a car, the regional bus service, SLO RTA, provides routes that connect San Luis Obispo to these coastal destinations, making beach trips accessible for everyone. Additionally, biking to the beach is a popular option for the more adventurous, with scenic routes that offer stunning views along the way.