Are you visiting San Luis Obispo for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for the best things to see and do in San Luis Obipso or SLO town, as well as some other Central Coast Secrets.
If you are looking for high quality California organic cuisine, I recommend Big Sky Cafe or you might like F. McLintocks Saloon & Dining House.
Perhaps you are seeking a quiet place to escape and unplug? Check out the creek at Mission San Luis Obispo.
When you come to San Luis Obispo, get your picture taken at Bubble Gum Alley or Bishop’s Peak. You can bring your own wad of bubble gum to stick on either side of Bubble Gum Alley or pick up a pack of gum at the shop next door. BYO gum anyone?
Seeing a lot of college students in downtown San Louis Obispo? San Luis Obispo is home to Cal Poly State University. Go Mustangs!
You’ll also want to visit Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and the Thursday Night Farmers’ Market. You can tell a lot about San Luis Obispo from visiting the Farmers Market or watching Cal Poly Homecoming.
San Luis Obispo Dining
Looking for cheap food in San Luis Obispo? Go to Life of Pie in downtown SLO or Splash Cafe in nearby Pismo Beach. Beef lovers will want to stop at Firestone Grill for the famous tri-tip sandwich.
For a filling and quality meal, go to Brasserie SLO on Garden Street or Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica on Monterey Street. Higuera Street offers the best people watching on Thursday night at the Farmers Market.
If you are a night owl, Novo Restaurant and Lounge is the spot for late night dining.
San Luis Obispo Outdoors
In San Luis Obispo, outdoor enthusiasts will want to hike, bike, horseback ride, surf, kayak and walk everywhere. San Luis Obispo rocks the Central Coast for all things outdoors.
Looking for a little exercise? Walk along Bishop’s Peak Trail or Cerro San Luis Obispo trails. The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Bishop’s Peak and Madonna Mountain.
If you are a museum lover, Old Mission San Luis Obispo and San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum should be on your list.
Looking for a night out on the town? Head to the downtown area for a night of dancing at The Graduate or Mother’s Tavern, aka MO TAV.
If you are like me, and still appreciate reading newspapers and magazines, The Tribune, New Times and the Mustang Daily will keep you posted on what’s happening in San Luis Obispo.
In the spring you should attend the many wine and beer festivals.
If you like music, you’ll enjoy Concerts in the Plaza during the summertime.
Did you know that San Luis Obispo is known for wine tasting. Plan a visit to the Edna Valley wine region in the fall.
Come to San Luis Obispo for The Beach and Holiday Parades in the winter.
Insider Tip: Check out the often over-looked Upper Crust Trattoria in San Luis Obispo.
Go to Copper Café at Madonna Inn or Apple Farm Restaurant for a great breakfast treat or coffee.
Just outside of San Luis Obispo you can visit Pismo Beach, have lunch at the Cracked Crab.
The best way to see San Luis Obispo is to walk or ride a bike.
Don’t miss Sunset Drive-In, Bubble Gum Alley or the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum if you have kids traveling with you.
What are your favorite things to do in San Luis Obispo, California?
Thanks to San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau for assistance with this post. All photos and YouTube video courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown.