San Luis Obispo Travel Guide

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James Saunders

San Luis Obispo is conveniently located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles making it a convenient place to break up a journey between the two – whatever your mode of transport.

Served by Highway 101, Greyhound and Amtrak it isn’t difficult to get to and/or from here.

And many people do make it for one night.

Established in 1772 with the construction of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa the city has grown to a population of just over fifty-thousand.

Today, the city is also home to world-class California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo (not to be confused with Cal Poly-Pomona, its sister school), a thriving downtown, fine restaurants, decent nightlife and the Thursday Night Farmers Market.

As for being more for the visitor past a day, with Hearse Castle a few miles north and a number of world class beaches (some of which have Elephant Seals lying out on them) “SLO” is accommodating.

It does make a good base from which to explore the immediate area.

Farmers Market is a weekly event on Thursdays that includes not only farmers selling their vegetables, fruits and flowers, but also street side BBQs, restaurant kiosks, and entertainment that ranges from jugglers to favourite local bands.

Offbeat and quirky, SLO’s “Bubblegum Alley” has had gum stuck on its walls since the 1960s. How it started no one seems to know. But it’s ok. Chew some gum and add it to the thousands already there.

Be sure not to miss the creek that meanders near to the mission. At night illuminated with fairy lights, couples sit on the benches dotted along the way. It is rather romantic, if not a little cliché for the college students.

There are a range of restaurants and bars from cheap student haunts up to fine dining among the middle aged white collar workers. Award winning ribs restaurants too.

The city is also home to a fantastic comic book, CD, record and video game store.

The average temperature in SLO is in the 70s, but bring a jacket, shorts and sunscreen as temperatures can vary tremendously on any given day. (Local kids quickly learn to wear shorts and a warm coat to school, thereby covering all the bases.)

Downtown parking can be difficult if you're looking to park directly in front of any given store or restaurant. Instead, head to the parking structures at the corner of Marsh and Chorro streets or another on Palm Street between Chorro and Morro streets. Structure parking is less expensive and SLO is a very walkable town.

SLO is a city with a high quality of life. Love it, like it. It’s a place to raise the kids. It’s a place to raise yourself.


March 01, 2007 change by jimshady (4 points)

January 08, 2005 new by jpbmommy

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