San Luis Obispo, CA

Travel Guide
Morro Bay
San Luis Obispo, with its small-town, Californian charm, offers heritage sites, outdoor adventure and a thriving arts scene.

San Luis Obispo, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, impresses visitors with its scenic setting. Here, the natural beauty of California is visible in vineyards, mountains and the nearby Pacific Coast. The town was raised around the mission of Father Junípero Serra, which was established in 1772. Today the downtown area presents a well-preserved collection of Victorian homes and historic landmarks.All the main attractions of San Luis Obispo are closely grouped around downtown, so it’s easy to get around on foot. Set out to discover centuries-old landmarks, such as the house of Pierre Hyppolite Dallidet, the town’s first winemaker.Learn about the town’s modern history at the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. This active church also has a museum that illustrates the history of Native Americans and Californian missionaries. Surrounding the site is Mission Plaza. In summer, this is one of the venues of the Festival Mozaic, a popular chamber music festival. While in this area, visit San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Free events, such as the I Madonnari chalk art and Art After Dark open-house festivals, take place here.To the north of town is Leaning Pine Arboretum, part of California Polytechnic State University. Here you can see displays of regional plants as well as Australian, Chilean, Mediterranean and South African varieties. Check out the views from the nearby Bishop Peak Trail.Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking and biking trails of Montana Oro State Park to the west of town. To the east, Lopez Lake has trails for all fitness levels. Be sure to visit the pier and restaurants at San Luis Obispo Bay and Avila Beach, which are just a 15-minute drive from the town center. San Luis Obispo’s food and drink scene promotes homegrown produce, and a farmer’s market takes place every Thursday on Higuera Street, the main shopping area in town. Sample barbecued tri-tip beef, a traditional Californian dish, while you watch street performers and local bands. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the wineries in nearby Edna Valley, just 10 minutes from the town center.

Where to stay in San Luis Obispo

Vagabond Inn San Luis Obispo
Vagabond Inn San Luis Obispo
2 out of 5
210 Madonna Rd, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93405
The price is $99 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 2
Stay at this business-friendly motel in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the ...
4/5 Very Good! (490 reviews)

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2022

Vagabond Inn San Luis Obispo
Apple Farm
Apple Farm
3.5 out of 5
2015 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401
The price is $120 per night from Jul 12 to Jul 13
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly hotel in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (960 reviews)
"Room was comfortable, but had a strange odor, great size! The restaurant was good, all the staff were very nice!"

Reviewed on Jul 3, 2022

Apple Farm
Madonna Inn
Madonna Inn
3.5 out of 5
100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93405
The price is $214 per night from Jul 14 to Jul 15
Stay at this 3.5-star spa hotel in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (1,393 reviews)
"Beautiful property. Very unique and well appointed rooms. Great location"

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2022

Madonna Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Lovely Tiny House Nestled in the Eucalyptus trees
Lovely Tiny House Nestled in the Eucalyptus trees
San Luis Obispo, CA
The price is $144 per night from Jul 12 to Jul 13
Stay at this property in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy free WiFi, a water park, and onsite parking. Popular attractions Avila Hot Springs and Madonna Plaza Shopping ...
Lovely Tiny House Nestled in the Eucalyptus trees
SLO Brew Lofts
SLO Brew Lofts
4 out of 5
738 Higuera, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401
Stay at this 4-star condo in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy free WiFi, a terrace, and laundry facilities. Our guests praise the comfy beds in our reviews. Popular attractions ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (45 reviews)
"SLO Brew Lofts are in an amazing location in downtown San Luis Obispo. The self check-in is incredibly convenience. We loved the stylish and spacious living area. The kitchen was clean and provided the amenities to prepare simple meals. The beds were comfy too! I would love to return!"

Reviewed on Dec 30, 2021

SLO Brew Lofts
2-Bedroom SLO bungalow house
2-Bedroom SLO bungalow house
San Luis Obispo, CA
The price is $280 per night from Jul 10 to Jul 11
Stay at this property in San Luis Obispo. Enjoy 2 bedrooms. Popular attractions Avila Hot Springs and Madonna Plaza Shopping Center are located nearby. Discover ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (2 reviews)
Surprisingly convenient location.
"Functional and suited our needs nicely. Clean, well equipped. We'll likely stay there again if we return to San Luis Obispo. We'd have preferred it WITHOUT the big screen TV, especially since we had 2 children with us one night. Other than that, no complaints."

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2022

2-Bedroom SLO bungalow house
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is great for pedestrians, with hundreds of miles of sidewalk and an easily walkable downtown. There are also a lot of cycle paths and places to lock up bikes, and plenty of opportunity to rent bikes in town. There’s also an extensive bus system covering the entire city. The Old SLO Trolley, a restored vintage trolleybus, is a very atmospheric way to get between downtown and Monterey Street. Visit the Regional Transit Authority website.Browse San Luis Obispo rental cars.

Best time to visit

San Luis Obispo sits in California’s Central Coast region, and as such you'll find mild and pleasant weather here throughout the year. In the summer, which is the busiest season, there are average highs in the mid 70s F (mid 20s C); however, like San Francisco to the north, this time of year can also see fog roll in from the coast. Winters are quite mild, with average highs of around 61 F (16 C).

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