15 Best Things To Do in San Luis Obispo, California

The city of San Luis Obispo was founded in 1772 by a Spaniard and holds the distinction of being one of California’s oldest communities. Popularly known as SLO, it lies almost in the middle of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The name San Luis Obispo is Spanish for St. Louis, The Bishop of Toulouse. It is a not jam-packed city but a sparsely populated one. With equitable Mediterranean climate the year round, it is a good place worth a visit, famous for its wines. But you don’t know much, eh? Rest assured, we’re giving you the 15 places to visit in San Luis Obispo. Gear up for the ride!

Let's explore San Luis Obispo points of interest and 15 best things to do in San Luis Obispo:

1. Visit The Farmers Market On Thursday

This is an all-the-year-round event arranged every Thursday. Farmers come to sell their wares- fresh fruits, vegetables and all organic produce. And even that’s not all. Local musicians and performers flock to this place and perform, much to the pleasure of the crowd.

2. Take a Trek To Bishop Peak

Bishop Peak -ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Want to hike? Check. Want to trek? Check. Want to enjoy the view? Check. Bishop Peak provides you with an unparalleled experience and is a viable option for many activities. A great way to spend time in SLO town. So what are you waiting for? Get ready with your hiking gear!

3. Visit The Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Almost as old as the city itself, the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded on September 1, 1722. It is considered as one of the most beautiful missions in the state of California. Despite its age, it still serves as a church. The church is maintained quite deftly. Tours are arranged every day with learned guides. 

4. Drive Through The Highway 1 Discovery Route

The beauty of this highway is legendary! Embark upon a journey where, at every step you take, nature takes two! And behold, it follows you! A scenic drive, it has ample opportunities to stop along the route for refreshments and other needs. Just be a little aware on the road and not that much on the view because you know, safety precedes everything.

5. Experience Nature with Valencia Peak Trail

It is awesome as it gets! Enjoy nature at its best and get to know how priceless some experiences are! The Valencia Peak Trail is one of the best trails in the area and it may be moderate to difficult, and moreover, that depends on the condition your body is in. With great views and hiking experience on the line, this is not something you would want to miss on. 

6. Enjoy a night at Mission Plaza

tourist attractions in San Luis ObispoImage Source: wikimedia.org

If you wish to get some life in your life, visit the Mission Plaza on a Friday eve and sit by the creek. Pure bliss, we tell you! Mission Plaza is the community’s cultural and social centre where you can find almost everything. It offers you some of the best options for a fine dine-in or dine-out experience. It is a must visit the place.

7. Sip Wine At Kelsey See Canyon Vineyard

A private family-business, there is some magic to this vineyard because not every vineyard gets rated as one of the best consistently. You’d love to go there and spend some time out with beautiful peacocks that roam the vineyard. Experience the much-praised wine and a retreat into nature’s lap. In fact, they advertise their place as family and dog-friendly. So, paying a visit is a must, right?

8. Take your Children to SLO Children’s Museum

It is a place to which no kid can say no! In fact, some parents like it too. There are many educational fun-filled activities which the kids love immensely. Creativity and enthusiasm can clearly be seen as the aura pulsing around the museum. Also, there are some food joints in the vicinity too. Perfect kids retreat!

9. Visit The History Center and Museum of SLO County

Museum of SLO CountyImage Source: wikimedia.org

Though small, the place packs quite a punch. It is a nice place to delve into the history of one of California’s oldest community. It has a show that is very informative. The building, one of the many that Carnegie donated, is beautiful both on the inside and outside. It is near the Mission Plaza and free entry, so there’s no harm in visiting it.

10. Visit The Museum of Art

If you want a small place that is easy to absorb, the Museum of Art is just the place for you. A small museum that houses a lot of artefacts produced locally, but it is interesting and informative all the same. The information plaques are updated, and there is no admission fee. Want a quaint place to be this afternoon? This is the best bet.

11. Take A Ride To History With SLO Railroad Museum

Something that interests everyone is some history of the things that people can connect with. The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum does just that! This museum is built inside a single hall but packs a wallop of information. There are model rail artefacts too and yes as always, the docents there are polite and well-informed. 

12. Watch a show at Performing Arts Centre

San Luis Obispo attractionsImage Source: wikipedia.org

Itching for some stage performance that would dispel all of your worries and transport you to some other world, albeit for a small time? Well, The Performing Arts Centre in SLO Town is just for you. With good acoustics and seating plans, this place is a must-visit for you. At least, you must see the SLO Symphony!

13. Visit The El Chorro Regional Park

There are some things that offer some things, and then there are somethings that offer almost everything. The El Chorro Regional Park is one of those places, not the former but the latter! Located right outside the downtown area of SLO, the park has a plethora of offerings for everyone. Trail Hikes, let your dog loose in the dedicated dog park, pay a visit to the Dairy Creek golf course, visit the botanical garden or set up your camp! Oh, the list is endless.

14. Enjoy Wine Tasting At Tolosa

Some vineyards have made a name for them; the Tolosa is one of them. Famous for their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Tolosa invites visitors for wonderful wine tasting experiences as they take them on a tour of their vineyard. They believe that technology and tradition go hand-in-hand. Visit them for some excellent service and exemplary experience!

15. Take a Tour at Taste of SLO

Taste of San Luis Obispo - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

If food and drinks kick you, the Taste of SLO tour is something that you need to participate! Waltz through the roads while you drink and eat from the famous local joints famous in SLO. It is a great way to socialize and make groups to go on subsequent adventures for the remainder of the journey. Besides, the tour will take you through some hidden gems which any local might’ve missed!

The city of San Luis Obispo will forever remain etched in your heart if you visit these destinations. Besides, it’s not just the beauty of a place that strikes one. The attitude with which one goes impacts it a lot! So, go out, be cheerful and you’ll see how the SLO winds will welcome you!

Author
Author: Meghana Agashe
Oscillating between reality and day-dreaming, Meghana is a journalist by education and a travel-blogger by profession. The eternal love for exploring different places and cuisines, the urge to interact with people across cultures and the thirst for a...

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in San Luis Obispo, California

Must see places in San Luis Obispo ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in San Luis Obispo and point of interests to visit.

  1. Bubblegum Alley

    # 1 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 690 times in trip plans
    Bubblegum Alley

    Tags: Landmark, Streets

    Address: 733.5 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    San Luis Obispo has an attraction which is unique, weird yet one just can’t ignore it. And the attraction is the oh so popular Bubblegum Alley! Once a landmark of rivalry between the students of...Read more

  2. Avila Valley Barn

    # 2 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 328 times in trip plans
    Avila Valley Barn

    Tags: Valley, Farm

    Address: 560 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    If you love food products, fruits and veggies and all edible things, fresh and organic, then a visit to Avila Valley Barn is mandatory. The barn was once a small stall started in 1985 and with several...Read more

  3. Downtown Slo Farmer's Market

    # 3 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 21 times in trip plans
    Downtown Slo Farmer's Market

    Tags: Market

    Address: 1108 Garden St #210, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 05:00 pm - 09:00 pm Details

    The Farmer’s Market or Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market is a place you should head right away if you adore shopping. The market is organised on selective days and is heavily crowded. The stude...Read more

  4. Bishop Peak

    # 4 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 433 times in trip plans
    Bishop Peak

    Tags: Outdoors, View Point, Peak, Nature

    Address: Bishop Peak, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    If you want to get on the most sought after summit or if you want to explore the highest point in San Luis Obispo, then a visit to Bishop Peak or Bishop’s Peak will add the necessary tinge of th...Read more

  5. Edna Valley Vineyard

    # 5 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 68 times in trip plans
    Edna Valley Vineyard

    Tags: Food And Drinks, Winery, Vineyard, Adults

    Address: 2585 Biddle Ranch Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    San Luis Obispo has a flourishing wine culture and the Edna Valley Vineyard is the testament of the same. The winery is located perfectly along the pristine coastline and is one of the scenic destinat...Read more

  6. San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

    # 6 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 166 times in trip plans
    San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

    Tags: Play Ground, Botanical Garden, Cafe, Restaurant

    Address: 3450 Dairy Creek Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 07:30 pm Details

    Want to embrace the nature in the best possible way? Want to do your bit for the environment? Then San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden, a 150 acre park will help you in participating in this noble cause....Read more

  7. History Center And Museum Of San Luis Obispo County And Dallidet Adobe & Gardens

    # 7 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 85 times in trip plans
    History Center And Museum Of San Luis Obispo County And Dallidet Adobe & Gardens

    Tags: Museum, Garden

    Address: 696 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    Another museum in San Luis Obispo, the History Center and Museum of San Luis Obispo County is a place which will tell you about the local history of San Luis Obispo. The museum which was established i...Read more

  8. El Chorro Regional Park

    # 8 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 178 times in trip plans
    El Chorro Regional Park

    Tags: Park, Camp, Nature

    Address: CA-1, San Luis Obispo, CA 93408, USA

    Want to give a thrilling twist to your San Luis Obispo trip? Want to explore the Central Coast in the truest possible manner? Then camping at the El Chorro Regional Park can be a good idea. The campsi...Read more

  9. Valencia Peak

    # 9 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 19 times in trip plans
    Valencia Peak

    Tags: Outdoors, Hiking Trail, Biking Trail, Peak

    Address: Valencia Peak Trail, Los Osos, CA 93402, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Valencia Peak in the Montana De Oro State Park is a place which should be visited who love hiking and want to please their eyes with some stunning ocean view. The 1347 foot trail is one of the scenic ...Read more

  10. Fromagerie Sophie

    # 10 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 48 times in trip plans
    Fromagerie Sophie

    Tags: Food And Drinks

    Address: 1129 Garden St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    A local couple from San Lui Obispo went to Paris to celebrate the husband’s 50th Anniversary and decided to take a part of the French capital to the county. This little part is nothing but the F...Read more

  11. San Luis Obispo County Library

    # 11 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 62 times in trip plans
    San Luis Obispo County Library

    Tags: Library

    Address: 995 Palm St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Established in 1912, the San Luis Obispo County Library is very few of those places which will be a treat for every book lover who is visiting San Luis Obispo County. The library offers services to si...Read more

  12. Poly Canyon Loop

    # 12 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 20 times in trip plans
    Poly Canyon Loop

    Tags: Museum, Walking Area, Road

    Address: 1940 Santa Barbara Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    In order to tell the future generations about the local railroad history, the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum was established in 2013. The freight house was used to load and transfer goods, way back i...Read more

  13. San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum

    # 13 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 45 times in trip plans
    San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 1940 Santa Barbara Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    In order to tell the future generations about the local railroad history, the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum was established in 2013. The freight house was used to load and transfer goods, way back i...Read more

  14. Peach Tree Inn

    # 14 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 3 times in trip plans
    Peach Tree Inn Image

    Tags: Hotel

    Address: 2001 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, United States

    The family owned and traditionally built bed & breakfast Peach Tree Inn will be a perfect accommodation to spend your holiday while soaking in the mesmerizing surroundings comprised of lush lawn a...Read more

  15. Jaffa Cafe

    # 15 of 343 Things To Do in San Luis Obispo | Added 4 times in trip plans
    Jaffa Cafe

    Tags: Cafe

    Address: 1308 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA

    Timings: 11:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    Jaffa Café is a local and very popular cafe chain that is renowned for serving delectable food items in a casual space. Here, it is believed that the food items that have been cooked to perfect...Read more

Find Your San Luis Obispo Attractions on Map

Find more places to see in San Luis Obispo

  • The Powerhouse

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • William Shipsey House

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Myron Angel House

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Pacific Coast Railway Company Grain Warehouse

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Tribune - Republic Building

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

    1010 Broad St

    Museums
  • San Luis Obispo County Historical Society Museum

    696 Monterey St

    Museums
  • Point San Luis Lighthouse

    1124 Nipomo St

    Museums
  • Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum

    801 Grand Ave

    Museums
  • San Luis Obispo Children's Museum

    1010 Nipomo St

    Museums
  • Museum of Natural History

    20 State Park Rd

    Museums
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  • Oceano County Park

    1330 Dewey Dr

    Amusement Parks
  • Mustang Waterslides

    6840 Lopez Dr

    Amusement Parks
  • Wheel Fun Rentals

    150 Hinds Ave

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Morro Bay Aquarium

    595 Embarcadero

    Amusement Parks
  • Cayucos Video & Arcade

    41 S Ocean Ave

    Amusement Parks Arcades
View On Map
  • Frog & Peach Pub

    728 Higuera St

    Bars American Music and Show Venues
  • McCarthy's Irish Pub

    600 Marsh St

    Bars Restaurants
  • Library

    723 Higuera St

    Bars Restaurants
  • Buffalo Pub & Grill

    717 Higuera St

    Bars American French
  • F Mc Lintocks Saloon & Dining

    686 Higuera St

    Steakhouses Bars American
  • Spirit of San Luis Restaurant

    925 Airport Dr

    Mexican American Bars
View On Map
  • Oceana Card Room

    1795 Front St

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Outlaws Card Parlour

    9850 E Front Rd

    Casinos and Gaming Restaurants
  • Central Coast Casino

    359 W Grand Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Gold Rush Casino & Resort

    1750 El Camino Real

    Casinos and Gaming Hotels and Motels
View On Map
  • Morro Bay Estuary

    Natural Parks
View On Map
  • El Chorro Dog Park

    Dairy Creek Rd

    Dog Parks
  • Heilmann Dog Park

    9500 El Bordo Ave

    Dog Parks
  • Vineyard Dog Park

    Semillon Ln

    Dog Parks
  • Arroyo Grande Dog Park

    1221 Ash St

    Dog Parks
  • Costa Bella Park

    Dog Parks
  • Five Cities Dog Park

    Dog Parks
View On Map
  • Old Port Beach

    Avila Beach Dr

    Beaches
  • Avila Beach Pier

    3915 Avila Beach Dr

    Beaches
  • Eldwayen Ocean Park

    1751 Ocean Blvd

    Beaches
  • Memory Park

    224 Seacliff Dr

    Beaches
  • Morro Strand State Beach

    Highway 1

    Beaches
  • Spooner's Cove

    Pecho Valley Rd

    Beaches
View On Map
  • Sycamore Crest Trail

    Avila Beach Dr

    Hiking
  • Islay Hill Park

    4301 Orcutt Rd

    Hiking
  • Islay Hill

    1398 Sweet Bay Ln

    Hiking
  • Reservoir Canyon Trail

    Reservoir Canyon Road

    Hiking
  • Architecture Graveyard

    Hiking
  • Pecho Coast Trail

    Hiking
View On Map
  • Tackle Warehouse

    747 Buckley Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Cana Video Productions

    133 Cross St

    Hunting and Fishing
  • EP Aeration

    5456 Edna Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • E P Aeration

    645 Tank Farm Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Sherry J E Co.

    635 Stanford Dr

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Central Coast Salmon Enhancement

    229 Stanley Ave

    Hunting and Fishing
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