San Luis Obispo, California is the hub of San Luis Obispo County. It is home to the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the world-famous Thursday Night Farmers' Market and America's first motor hotel, The Motel Inn.
Tree-lined streets, a charming shopping district, distinctive San Luis Obispo hotels, and historic buildings comprise the delightful downtown area with its array of stores, outdoor cafes, coffee houses, and galleries.
Every Thursday evening, an open-air Farmers Market fills four blocks of the downtown. Buy just-picked produce and sample a variety of barbecued specialties from local restaurants or stroll the many arts and crafts booths while you are entertained by local performers.
San Luis Obispo, CA: Hotels
As, downtown is the heart of San Luis Obispo, then Mission Plaza is its soul. The beautifully landscaped plaza is the background for many events and festivals throughout the year. San Luis Creek meanders through the Plaza where you'll find the Art in Public Places project on display.
Parishioners still gather daily for services at the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the fifth in a chain of Franciscan stations in California. Visit the original padres' residence, now a museum where you'll find Indian artifacts, glassware, papers, and pictures from days gone by.
- World Famous Farmers Market: Every Thursday evening
- Bubblegum Alley: Every single day
- Art after Dark: First Friday of every Month
- Cal Poly Open House: April
- California Festival of Beers: May
- Concours de Elegance: June
- Roll out the Barrels Wine Festival: June
- Friday Summer Concerts in the Plaza: June to September
- Festival Mozaic: July
- Renaissance Faire: July
- I Madonnari Chalk Art Festival: September
- Cal Poly Homecoming: October
- Plein Art Painting Festival: Late September to early October
- Annual Harvest Celebration: November
- Santa's House in Mission Plaza: Thanksgiving to Christmas
San Luis Obispo, California is a regular on lists of top ten best places to live. It is certainly one of America's most beautiful, most livable small cities, and its residents guard its quality of life with pride. It is the hub of the California Central Coast, within minutes by car of north and south county cities and San Luis Obispo County wineries and of the beautiful California beach towns on the oceanside Highway 1. You will find a San Luis Obispo hotel that will delight you and put you within easy reach of all the attractions and activities in this beautiful county.
"Experience the SLO life" is how residents entice guests with our incredible quality of life. The SLO lifestyle is infectious, and even short term visitors adopt it. You will find a smile on the face of the person who checks you out at the grocery store and a willingness to engage in conversation. You will be welcome.
San Luis Obispo CA is a university town, home to Cal Poly University and the Cal Poly Mustangs, with its enrollment of nearly 18,000 in undergraduate and graduate schools. Cuesta Community College is nearby on the California Highway 1 between SLO and Morro Bay. This youth brings energy and a market for entertainment and restaurants to San Luis Obispo, helping to support cultural and commercial resources that are beyond most cities of this size.
Older residents and visitors find plenty to do, too. There are both championship and executive golf courses and cultural events of all kinds throughout the year. Visitors mingle with residents at free music events on the Mission Plaza or strolling down Higuera Street for the Thursday farmers' market. If you take the time to go through the list of events and businesses listed under the icon above, you'll find there is a lot to do and services to meet every need.
San Luis Obispo wineries are becoming known for world class wines. Driving south along Highway 227 and beyond, you will find well over 3,000 acres planted in vines that produce superb chardonnays and pinot noirs, as well as less common varietals like Rieslings and gewürztraminers. Many of over two dozen wineries offer wine tastings in attractive wine rooms. You can plan your San Luis Obispo California wine tasting tour on your own by using our Online Travel Guide, or hire one of our wine tour limousines or coordinators. For more information, see the San Luis Obispo Vintners and Growers Association website.
San Luis Obispo hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts are scattered throughout the city, so visitors can plan to stay close to the attractions they prefer. Getting around is easy, with low to moderate traffic levels that people from LA or San Francisco dream about.
If you prefer not to drive, commercial flights to San Luis Obispo airport or via Amtrak to the spacious and attractive station near the heart of the city arrive many times a day. Car rental is easy at the San Luis Obispo airport or at other locations around the county.
Click on the links below for a list of San Luis Obispo hotels, businesses, including business such as boutiques and galleries, events and activities, including dates of events to help you plan your next visit.
And don't forget, San Luis Obispo is the city that famed Ultimate Fighter Chuck Liddel calls home!!
Population (2003): 42,497
65+ (2000): 12.1%
County seat of San Luis Obispo County.
Founded: Father Junipero Serra established the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in 1772.
San Luis Obispo California Chamber of Commerce
City of San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa