So many things to do and discover around SLO
The city of San Luis Obispo has much to see and do. It is the seat of county government, a popular dining and shopping destination and a traditional college town reflecting eclectic choices in art, entertainment, food and activities.
The San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Mission
The San Luis Obispo de Tolosa mission is one of the best-known historical sites in town. Founded by Father Junipero Serra in September 1772, the mission was the fifth of the California missions and was named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France. For information about tours and the gardens or attending mass visit missionsanluisobispo.org.
Other historical buildings, many featuring unique architecture, include the Sinsheimer store with an iron front built in 1884 at 849 Monterey St., the Jack House at 536 Marsh Street, which was built in 1875, the State Historical Landmark Dallidet Adobe at 1185 Pacific St and the 1884 Ah Louis Store at 800 Palm St, originally a supply station for the Chinese laborers who built the railroad tunnels through the mountains of the Cuesta Grade.
The Madonna Inn, known worldwide for its elegant and quirky decor, has been a stop for visitors since first built in 1958. The inn, restaurant and over 100 rooms occupy 1000 acres of the scenic Central Coast.
The historic Carnegie Library on Monterey Street is home to the History Center of San Luis Obispo. Built in 1905, the library is one in a chain of over 1600 libraries funded by the United States by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. The SLO Carnegie Museum is one of three still standing and in use on the Central Coast. The other two are located in Lompoc and Paso Robles.
San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens
Gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts are not left out. The San Luis Obispo Botanical gardens, on Highway 1 near Dairy Creek Road is the only garden in the United States exclusively featuring plants and ecosystems from the five Mediterranean climates in the world. The design includes miles of paved trails and shady resting spots and a variety of other activities.
Hiking and cycling
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department operates several parks that span 7000 acres of breathtaking views and hiking trails. Visit the website for the City of San Luis Obispo for park maps and details about the ease or difficulty of the trails.
The city has over 75 miles of bike paths and what better way for cycling enthusiasts to enjoy a vacation. San Luis Obispo was designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists in 2007. Visit bikeslocounty.org for cycling maps for the City of San Luis Obispo, wine trails and other locations in San Luis Obispo County.
Sidecar Tours, Inc.
The World’s First and Only Tandem Sidecar Experience combines the freedom of the open road with a one-of-a-kind thrilling adventure. 6238 Orcutt Rd., San Luis Obispo, sidecartoursinc.com, 951-840-0931
In a region famous for its farmers’ markets, San Luis Obispo is host to three. Downtown SLO is home to the well-known Thursday night farmers market. This market is famous for the fresh, quality locally grown produce as well as a wide assortment of vendors, food and live entertainment. Visit every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. in downtown SLO between Higuera, Osos and Chorro streets.
Two more popular markets fill out the week. The Saturday morning market is held from 8-10:45 a.m. at 325 Madonna Road. The Tuesday afternoon farmers market is from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at 224 Tank Farm Road.
There’s no reason to miss out on fresh, locally grown produce and other choice items when you are in SLO!
Food & drink
Big Sky Cafe
Big Sky Cafe sources their organic fruits and vegetables and farmstead cheeses, olive oils, and vintage vinegar from local farmers and ranchers to create fresh market dishes daily. It’s no wonder that they appeal to food lovers! 1121 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, bigskycafe.com, (805) 545-5401
Voted the county’s “Best Breakfast” over 15 times. Open every day from 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Serving up a huge selection of classic breakfast and lunch items as well as vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options. We’ll see you there! Located at 964 Higuera St. in Downtown SLO, louisasplace.com, (805) 541-0227
Mistura & Mama’s Meatballs
Each creation at Mistura treasures traditional elements of Peruvian cuisine by using Andean Native ingredients and locally sourced natural free-range meats, sustainable seafood, and fresh organic produce. The food respects our land and seeks to transcend culinary aspects while providing high nutritional value. 570 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo, misturarestaurants.com, (805) 439-3292
Splash Cafe & Artisan Bakery
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Comfortable, affordable & delicious. Full-service bakery. Open daily 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m. 1491 Monterey St., splashcafe.com, (805) 544-7567
The Broad Street Giant Grinder
East Coast flavor on the Central Coast! In addition to 18” hot and cold sandwiches, they have salads, pickles, chips, homemade cookies, and drinks, including beer and wine. Enjoy on their dog-friendly patio or take your Grinder on adventures. 1901 Broad St, SLO, giantgrinderslo.com, 805) 543–6700
Antipasti, handcrafted pasta, generous main courses and truly inspired desserts, such as Chef Varia’s famous tiramisu. 1037 Monterey St. Open for lunch 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Open for dinner 5:30pm to 9:30pm. btslo.com, (805) 545-8000.
Eureka! Gourmet Burgers & Craft Beer
A burger-centric gastro pub with a cult following. Known for unique burger and salad creations and sought-after craft beer and whisky selections. Open 7 days a week. 1141 Chorro St., Downtown San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. (805) 903-1141.
Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates
Handmade organic fair trade chocolates at two locations in SLO! An excellent choice of holiday gifts for friends, family and for yourself! Enjoy a delicious truffle, a cup of hot chocolate or a chocolate shake while you shop. Locations are 1445 Monterey Street open Mon–Fri 10-6 / 3845 S. Higuera St., Suite 122, SLO Open Tue-Sun 11-7. Visit mamaganache.com or call (805) 782-9868.
Powell’s Sweet Shop
Walk down memory lane. Powell’s offers nostalgia with candy, flavored popcorn, gelato, novelty items, and sodas. Open Sun-Wed 10-9 and Thur-Sat 10-10. Stop by and sample their daily offerings! 1020 Court St, (805) 543-7933
Popolo Catering is a family-owned and operated event catering business managed by Leon and Kathleen Castillo and specializing in unique fusion cuisine. With 25 years in the restaurant and event planning business, the Castillo family is ready to both cater and help plan your wedding and other events. Visit popolocatering.com or call (805) 543-9543.
Dairy Creek Golf Course SLO
Dairy Creek Golf Course and Event Center is located 10 minutes North of San Luis Obispo. This 9-hole links-style course has the best practice facility in SLO County with a driving range, short game areas, putting greens, and a new Toptracer Range. 2990 Dairy Creek Rd., SLO, dairycreekslo.com, (805) 782-8060
Megan’s Organic Market
Megan’s Organic Market is SLO’s #1 adult-use cannabis retail shop. They carry the widest selection of high-quality products in the county, from customer favorites to unique and hard-to-find gems. Check out their shop today! 280 S. Higuera St., SLO, megansorganicmarket.com, (805) 592-1420
Finders Keepers Consignments
Fabulous casual-to-elegant designer fashions at incredible prices. Browse through gently used fashions from Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton and more. Located at 1124 Garden St. between Marsh & Higuera. Visit finderskeepersconsignment1.com or call (805) 545-9879.
Out-of-this-world toys and activities for kids on topics such as science & nature, Lego, music, arts & crafts, music, games, books, and much more. Located at 3979 Higuera St. Mon- Sat 10-5 805) 547-1733
Real Estate & finance
Gabe Davis Real Estate – Compass
He is a confident and well-experienced Realtor helping clients get top dollar for their listing and teaching buyers how to create the winning offer. He even covers the cost of photography and staging! 444 Higuera St., gabedavisre.com, (805) 316-1108
Contact the Loan Depot today to discuss how you can build and finance the home you truly want. (661) 330-2995
More to see and do in San Luis Obispo
- Go wine tasting in San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley
- Dairy Creek Golf Course is the place to learn, practice, and play
- Take an exhilarating ride with Sidecar Tours
- Visit Megan’s Organic Market for high-quality cannabis products
- Great hiking around San Luis Obispo
- Visit San Luis Obispo’s unique museums