Visit San Luis Obispo’s unique museums

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024

Museums San Luis Obispo

The San Luis Obispo Kids Museum

—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 following San Luis Obispo County and State of California guidelines. Check the individual museum websites for more information about visiting.

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

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 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.

Current exhibits include:

Barry Goyette: Mulberry, until Jun 3, 2024. This collection of photographs by San Luis Obispo photographer, Barry Goyette, is rooted in the same location at a mulberry tree located in San Luis Obispo. Goyette invited his subjects to guide the shoot — bringing their own clothing, context, and vision. Together, in real-time, the artist and subjects walked a tightrope in creating images that look familiar yet are infused with their complex narrative and meaning, driven by the subjects’ stories.

The Art Museum is located at 1010 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, and is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Closed Tuesday, Wednesday, and major holidays. For more information about current events, exhibits, and programs call (805) 543-8562 or visit

History Center of San Luis Obispo County

The History Center of San Luis Obispo County 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. For more information about lectures, events, and exhibits visit or call (805) 543-0638.

Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum

The Veteran’s Museum honors all veterans of 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 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 imagination, to 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 discoveries.

The museum offers free hours or Moonlight Hours, the third Thursday of each month from 5 – 7 p.m.

Reservations are encouraged and can be made through the website.

Located at 1010 Nipomo St. in San Luis Obispo. For hours, admission, events, and more information visit or call (805) 544-5437.

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 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 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, and $3 for children, with kids under 3 admitted for free. For more information, see or call (805) 548-1894. Visitors are encouraged to visit the website for the most recent visitor information.


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