San Luis Obispo offers some of the best and most varied museums in the area for history, art, local culture, events and activities for all ages. Each museum provides a special view of the region’s history, and culture. In San Luis Obispo, there’s a museum for every interest.
The museums are requiring face coverings and 6’ social distancing and following San Luis Obispo County and State of California guidelines.
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) celebrated reopening on May 29 with two new exhibits:
- Atmospheres Deep is a multimedia group exhibition presented by 15 artists and scientists using film, soundscapes, biomaterials, artificial intelligence, modular painting, and collaborative weaving to communicate the resilience of marine biodiversity in the face of our ecological impact. The exhibit runs until August 1.
- Objectifying is an exhibition of contemporary sculpture by Elisa Ortega Montilla, a Spanish artist currently living in Goleta. Her work explores the objectification of women’s bodies and mixes fine woodworking with repurposed textiles, mostly women’s undergarments. Montilla’s work explores three fundamental parts of who she is: her experience of being a woman and her feminist values; her feelings of acculturation from living in the US while maintaining her Spanish identity; and her opposition to consumerism and commitment to environmental sustainability. This exhibit runs until June 27.
Every experience at SLOMA delivers a unique view of the artistic and creative side of the region’s lifestyle and interests. Exhibits include all manner of artwork, paintings, sculpture, photography, fine crafts and a permanent collection that defines the roles of artists that are important to the local region and to California. Along with the exhibits, community programs include films, concerts, art talks, and educational programs. Admission is free to the museum but there may be an admission fee for some of the events and activities.
The Art Museum is located at 1010 Broad St, San Luis Obispo. For more hours and more information about current events and programs call (805) 543-8562 or visit www.sloma.org.
History Center of San Luis Obispo County
The History Center of San Luis Obispo County, reopen as of July 1, has been a favorite place for historians for more than 60 years. A vast collection of correspondence, newspapers, directories, maps, and photographs is a resource for historical and genealogical research in San Luis Obispo County. The exhibits are opportunities to explore the history of the area as it leads to today’s lifestyles and cultures.
The museum is located at 696 Monterey Street. Hours are Wed-Mon 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more about ongoing lectures, events and exhibits at historycenterslo.org or by calling (805) 543-0638.
Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum
The Veteran’s Museum honors all veterans or all generations, with emphasis on those from the Central Coast. The collections and displays include military artifacts from WWI to today, historical memorabilia, and a research library. The Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum is the only Central Coast site certified by the Library of Congress for recording interviews for the Veterans History Project.
Located at 801 Grand Avenue, the museum is open Wed-Sat from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information visit vetmuseum.org or call (805) 543-1763.
The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum
For families with young children, check out the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. From miniature sets to inspire imaginations, to the hands-on activities, there is no shortage of fun learning here. Many of the exhibits are more than what they seem and children and adults alike will delight in new discoveries.
Located at 1010 Nipomo St. For days, hours, admission prices and more information call (805) 544-5437 or visit www.slocm.org.
San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum
The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum has it all, from the first narrow-gauge Pacific Coast Railway that carried people and goods from Avila to San Luis Obispo, through the arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad in around 22 years later in 1896, to modern times. The exhibits include a variety of railroad cars and railroad equipment, including a 1926 Pullman observation car. The museum presents a variety of displays and artifacts that cover railroads and railroad topics such as Surf, Santa Maria Valley, Southern Pacific, Amtrak, Port San Luis, the Pacific Coast Railway, Orchard Express, Union Pacific, and more. A variety of community events are hosted throughout the year.
The museum, located at 1940 Santa Barbara Avenue, is open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children, with kids under 3 admitted for free. For more information, see slorrm.com or call (805) 548-1894.