Welcome to San Luis Obispo
Walkable residential community that is safe, friendly, and relaxed.
Almost equally in distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo
is often referred to as California less “traveled.” Relaxed and laid-back, this 12.93 square mile city goes by the moniker SLO CAL—a witty reference to both its initials and its pace. The climate here is legendary; there are only 50 days of measurable rain recorded annually, and the city’s proximity to cool ocean waters allows for comfortable temperatures year-round.
There are 180 historic buildings located throughout and five designated historic districts: Downtown, Chinatown, Old Town, Mill Street, and Railroad. A mix of residential and commercial structures, they all add a bevy of character to the San Luis Obispo landscape.
With miles of hiking and biking trails, SLO maintains a very health-conscious population. In 2016, it was ranked in a Gallup-Sharecare
poll as one of the nation’s top five exercise communities. It has a lively downtown filled with coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, and concert halls, while world-class wine is only 15 minutes away in nearby Edna Valley
—designated as one of California’s best wine regions. There’s also easy access to the ocean, little traffic, and a population of only 47,000 residents.
What to Love
- Relaxed pace of life
- Fantastic food culture
- Variety of breathtaking landscapes
- Engaging arts scene
People & Lifestyle
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Nearby farms and miles of coastline provide fresh ingredients for San Luis Obispo’s varied farm-to-table restaurants. Novo Restaurant
serves global cuisine accompanied by craft cocktails and award-winning vintages. Giuseppe’s Restaurant
on Monterey Street offers Italian specialties from the Pugliese region. There’s also Firestone Grill
, which serves some of the best barbecue in Central California, and La Locanda
, a snug Italian restaurant serving classic dishes and wine in a white tablecloth space with an outdoor patio.
Things to Do
Good food, wine, and plenty of athletic activity are the basic definition of the San Luis Obispo lifestyle, but there is so much more for residents and visitors to take in. The world-renowned Madonna Inn
, which opened for business in 1958, is a Central California landmark. With its pseudo-Swiss Alps exterior and 110 whimsical rooms, this motel houses a bakery and several eateries. SLO visitors may also want to check out the Thursday Night Farmers' Market
, concerts in the Mission Plaza
, as well as Bubblegum Alley
, a 70-foot-long downtown attraction lined with the chewed gum of passers-by.
The K-12 schools here are highly ranked, and the city is also home to California Polytechnic State University
, which is known for its well respected School of Agriculture. Nearby Cuesta College
, a public community college, features campuses in both North and South San Luis Obispo. SLO has been rated one of the top 10 best college towns by Forbes.