Welcome to San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo tourism | San Luis Obispo guide

You're Going to Love San Luis Obispo

It's almost impossible not to fall in love with a city as beautiful as San Luis Obispo. Located around halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo couldn't be more different from its larger cousins.

The first thing that draws visitors in is the sheer beauty of their surroundings. San Luis Obispo is situated at the base of the Santa Lucia Mountains, which reach down to the Pacific, just a few miles away.

Explore the hiking paths or mountain biking trails of the mountains, rent kayaks and cruise the coast of the Montana de Oro State Park or stay in town and wander arm in arm through the city's Botanical Garden in El Churro. Take wine tasting tours with the guidance of local wine experts, dine at bistros like Novo and round off your day with a drive-in movie in the warm California evening.

With a mixture of natural beauty, classy wineries, great food and entertainment, it's easy to fall in love with this charming Californian destination.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit San Luis Obispo

What to do in San Luis Obispo

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Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tour from San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach
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When to Visit San Luis Obispo

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The climate in San Luis Obispo is mild almost all year-round (although the town experiences more rain from November through March). A good time to go is late spring, in May or early June, when the temperatures average around 75 degrees, and the crowds won't be too large.Summer is also great as it sees the area hosting most of its food and wine festivals, which can be a big draw as well. Book ahead if you plan a summer vacation, as accommodation can be snapped up quickly.

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How to Get to San Luis Obispo

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Where to Stay in San Luis Obispo

The various communities that make up San Luis Obispo offer a dizzying variety of accommodation options, with budget, midrange and luxury hotels to choose from. At the higher end of the scale, the Petit Soleil Bed & Breakfast offers comfortable rooms and a superb breakfast. The Madonna Inn has exotically furnished boutique rooms, while Apple Farm is a rural retreat-style resort just outside the city. Popular, cheaper alternatives include the Avenue Inn Downtown and the family-oriented La Cuesta Inn.

Popular Neighborhoods in San Luis Obispo

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How to Get Around San Luis Obispo

The Cost of Living in San Luis Obispo

Shopping Streets

Higuera Street in Downtown San Luis Obispo is the city's main shopping street. This pedestrianized precinct is full of apparel stores like Fanny Wrappers and Finders Keepers, jewelry stores like Kevin Main and vintage stores like Ruby Rose (as well as major chains like Apple and Gap). Slightly to the south, you might also check out Madonna Plaza, which hosts stores like Sears, Men's Warehouse and Applebee's.

Groceries and Other

San Luis Obispo offers plenty of grocery shopping options, including Trader Joe's, Ralph's, Vons, Whole Foods and Food 4 Less, as well as smaller delis like Sidewalk Market. The cost of living is around average for the USA, with a gallon of milk costing $3.80 and 12 eggs about $3.50.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
$20.77
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
$59.69
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket
$2.77
Cappuccino
Cappuccino
$5.96

Where to Eat in San Luis Obispo

Dining in San Luis Obispo tends to be two things: high-quality and relatively expensive. If you love gourmet bistros, you've come to the right place, with local favorites including Novo, Luna Red, and Koberl. However, you can get a good honest burger at Eureka Burger, healthy salads at Jaffa's Cafe and excellent Asian dishes at Thai Classic, so the city offers plenty of choice for diners. Expect to pay $15-20 for a midrange burger or salad, and over $40 at higher end restaurants.