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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

Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove

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

Top activities in San Luis Obispo

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All about San Luis Obispo

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A local’s pocket guide to San Luis Obispo

Andrea Manokian

Andrea, a Ventura County local, loves to visit neighboring cities along the California coast. Her frequent stops in San Luis Obispo have sold her on its quaint beachside appeal.

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

ocean cave kayaking to see the dinosaur caves that are made from hardened volcanic ash.

A perfect Saturday in San Luis Obispo...

starts with breakfast at Cowgirl Café, and then it's on to wine tasting (cabernet sauvignon is the region’s speciality) at DAOU Vineyards, and dinner and a sunset stroll in Morro Bay. It ends with 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 the hotel and resort's café for a slice of its famous pink Champagne cake.

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

dine at Old San Luis BBQ Company (its tri-tip is a must) for a taste of traditional Santa Maria style barbecue, which originated from Mexican caballeros who ranched 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 of San Luis Obispo as an underdeveloped city. Instead, the areas that are free from modernization add to the city’s old-school charm and natural beauty.

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