Discover San Luis Obispo

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Discover San Luis Obispo

There are many things to discover around SLO

The city of San Luis Obispo has many faces. It is the seat of county government, a business and shopping center, and a traditional college town.

To sample the SLO life, as locals refer to their environment, put on your walking shoes and start at the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa mission, the fifth in the mission chain in California.

San Luis Obispo is alive with history and a walk around down- town will expose you to many structures from the early days.

Some must sees are the Ah Louis Store at 800 Palm Street. Constructed in 1874, it was the supply station for Chinese labor- ers who built the railroad tunnels through the mountains of the Cuesta Grade. Sinsheimer store with an iron front, built in 1884,
is at 849 Monterey Street. The Jack House at 536 Marsh Street was built in 1875 and is often open for tours.

10 FALL 2013

State Historical Landmark Dallidet Adobe at 1185 Pacific Street is open Fridays from 10am-1 pm

Visit the San Luis Obispo County Historical Society Museum on Monterey Street where an exten- sive collection of area artifacts are displayed.

The museum is housed in the original Carnegie Library built
in 1905 with granite from Bishop Peak, one of the legendary seven sisters. The sisters are a chain of volcanic peaks stretching from the city to the ocean at Morro Bay along Highway 1.

Drive across town to visit an architectural wonder, the Madonna Inn. Built by the late rancher, Alex Madonna and his wife, Phyllis, it sits in pink splendor by the side of Highway 101, exit Madonna Road.

Horses graze in the white-fenced fields on the property. A quality restaurant is on site and touring the public rooms is a must. You can see

the dining room, the wine cellar and be sure not to miss the men’s restroom. Even women should take a peek to see the waterfall urinal.

The Inn has 109 theme-based rooms and a stay here might have you sleeping in the Safari Room, or the Caveman Chamber, or even the Old Mill Room with its own water- fall. A new addition to the property is the convention center where many special events take place.

After touring the Madonna Inn drive over to the largest open space in the city, Laguna Lake Park at
504 Madonna Road. Here there are picnic tables and barbecues, large grassy areas, and of course, the lake. Feeding the many domestic and wild ducks and geese is a popular pastime.

There is a nice walking trail along the lakeshore and a launch- ing ramp for kayaks and canoes. Boating on the lake is fun, but best done in the morning hours before the winds come up.

A visit to California Polytechnic University’s agricultural center makes for an interesting time.
Here there is a full-scale working dairy with Jersey and Holstein cows. There is also the swine unit, horse unit, and chicken house as well as the CalPoly farm. Students in the agricultural division supply produce and dairy products to many local families as well as local supermarkets.

Plant aficionados will enjoy seeing the San Luis Obispo Botani- cal Garden on Highway 1 at Dairy Creek Road in El Chorro Regional Park. The gardens are a lovely quiet place to stroll or sit and meditate. Mediterranean plantings as well as California Natives are part of the landscape and a new educational facility is on site where a variety
of programs take place. For more information, call SLO County Parks at (805) 781-5930.

— Ruth Ann Angus

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