We are #SLOTogether: Week of April 3
One of the strangest, yet most popular landmark attractions in San Luis Obispo is Bubblegum Alley. This anomaly is set in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo, known for its scenic babbling creek, tree-lined streets, boutiques, unique cafes, and family-friendly attractions like Thursday night Farmers’ Market and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.
Yet there it stands, a hidden gem tucked away in a small alley right off Higuera Street, between Broad and Garden Street. This narrow, 70-foot-long alleyway invites visitors to partake in an unusual rite of passage: creating chewed bubblegum graffiti.
For the squeamish, the germophobic, and anyone haunted by the memory of finding gum under their middle school desk, consider yourselves fairly warned. Although it is unknown how much bacteria has accrued on the 15-foot-high walls of multicolored gum, Bubblegum Alley is a must-see in SLO.
Although the origin story of Bubblegum Alley is a little “sticky,” this landmark attraction became well established by the early 1970s and has survived two full cleanings. Bubblegum Alley in SLO is not the only one on the West Coast; there has been an ongoing rivalry with another gum alley in Seattle.
Since there is no stopping its organic growth, you may as well participate in this movement. Grab a gumball at local SLO Sweets or Rocket Fizz and leave your mark on Bubblegum Alley. Appreciate the communal art form for what it is and stick your unique stamp on San Luis Obispo.
Take a selfie in front of the gum to document your contribution to the wall. But don’t get too close, or you may make the unfortunate mistake of swiping your cheek along the wall, letting it leave its mark on you! After visiting this attraction, check out some of the nearby shops and restaurants on that block. No matter what you do, we know the memories you make in San Luis Obispo will be sure to stick.
733 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401