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Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Things to do in  San Luis Obispo

Welcome to San Luis Obispo

Nestled between beaches and bucolic hills, San Luis Obispo is a gem of California’s Central Coast with plenty of things to do—here, visitors can surf, swim, and hit the trails all in one day. But there’s more to SLO—as locals call it—than just the great outdoors, as this lively university town pairs hip coastal culture with a rich history, as the site of one of California’s original Spanish missions. Taste buds are sure to be treated here, too, thanks to nearby Edna Valley’s wineries, downtown craft breweries, and a famous farmer’s market.

Top 1 attractions in San Luis Obispo

#1
Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove

Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove

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Every winter, tens of thousands of monarch butterflies stop in Pismo Beach during their mass migration to a warmer climate. The bright-orange-and-black monarchs cluster together among the branches in a protected eucalyptus grove, creating a stunning natural display that attracts visitors from up and down the California coast.More
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about San Luis Obispo

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
PDT (UTC -8)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

A local’s pocket guide to San Luis Obispo

Andrea Manokian

Andrea is a Ventura County local who frequently visits neighboring cities along the California coast. Having visited the city of San Luis Obispo on multiple occasions, she understands its quaint beachside appeal.

The first thing you should do in San Luis Obispo is...

ocean cave kayaking (Central Coast Kayaks) to see the dinosaur caves which are made from hardened volcanic ash.

A perfect Saturday in San Luis Obispo...

starts with breakfast at Cowgirl Café; wine tasting (Cabernet Sauvignon is the region’s speciality) at DAOU Vineyards; dinner and a sunset stroll in Morro Bay; and ends with a vintage movie night at Sunset Drive-In Theater.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

staying at the Madonna Inn or at the very least, stopping by their café for a slice of their famous pink champagne cake.

To discover the "real" San Luis Obispo...

dine at Old San Luis BBQ Company (their tri-tip is a must) for a taste of traditional Santa Maria style barbecue that originated from Mexican caballeros that would ranch cattle along the central coast.

For the best view of the city...

hike Bishop Peak Trail and take in the cityscape.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that San Luis Obispo is a relatively underdeveloped city. The areas that have managed to remain free from modernization add to the city’s old-school charm and natural beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions
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