San Luis ObispoUnited States of America

4.5/5Top Destination

San Luis Obispo is calling! Discover its beaches, wineries, oceanfront and more.

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.

Known for

Beaches, Wineries and Sea

Explore map

Where to stay in San Luis Obispo

Downtown
Pismo Beach

Downtown

4/5(13 reviews)

While Downtown isn't home to many top sights, Pismo Beach Pier and North Beach Campground are some notable places to visit nearby.

Shell Beach
Shell Beach, Pismo Beach, California, United States of America
trover photo by Ann Sair

Shell Beach

Known for Beaches, Sea, Sunsets

Visitors to Shell Beach enjoy its beaches, and if you want to do some exploring, Margo Dodd Park is worth a stop.

Downtown
San Luis Obispo

Downtown

4.5/5(2 reviews)

If you're spending some time in Downtown, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and Bubblegum Alley are top sights worth seeing.

Pismo Heights
Pismo Heights, Pismo Beach, California, United States of America
trover photo by Marc Platt

Pismo Heights

If you're looking for some top things to see and do in Pismo Heights and surrounding area, you can visit Pismo Beach Pier and Pismo Beach Prime Outlets.

Motel District
Motel District, Pismo Beach, California, United States of America
trover photo by Kate R

Motel District

4.5/5(17 reviews)

While Motel District may not have many sights to explore, venturing just a little farther will lead you to top things to see and do like Pismo Beach Pier and Margo Dodd Park.

Baywood Park
Baywood Park, Los Osos, California, United States of America

Baywood Park

Known for Romantic, Family-friendly, Beaches

Visitors to Baywood Park appreciate its restaurants. A visit to Morro Bay State Park and Elfin Forest Preserve might round out your trip if you're looking to see more of the area.

Top hotels in San Luis Obispo

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Madonna Inn
Madonna Inn
3.5 out of 5
100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA
£108
per night
22 Oct-23 Oct

Situated in San Luis Obispo, this spa hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Laguna Lake Park and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Cerro San Luis ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,707 reviews)

"Love the theme rooms. Great restaurants and there is music/dancing every night."…"

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2019

Madonna Inn
SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
3.5 out of 5
2241 Price Street, Pismo Beach, CA
£115
per night
27 Oct-28 Oct

Nestled on the beach, this Motel District hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Pismo Beach Pier and Monarch Butterfly Grove. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (2,203 reviews)

"Beautiful view, good location, very nice rooms, no elevator for most rooms though"…"

Reviewed on 18 Oct 2019

SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel
Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles
Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles
4.5 out of 5
2700 Buena Vista Dr, Paso Robles, CA
£172
per night
3 Nov-4 Nov

Located in River Oaks, this luxury hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Paso Robles Event Center, Paso Robles Pioneer Museum and Barney Schwartz Park. Ravine Waterpark ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (719 reviews)

"A well managed upscale resort with nice amenities. Spacious rooms, friendly staff, good food."…"

Reviewed on 18 Oct 2019

Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles

Popular things to do in San Luis Obispo

Morro Rock
Image for Morro Rock

Morro Rock

4.5/5(24 reviews)

See the birds and sea lions and enjoy the spellbinding views of the ocean at this area known as the Gibraltar of the Pacific.

Pismo Beach Pier
Image for Pismo Beach Pier

Pismo Beach Pier

4.5/5(10 reviews)

Watch whales from the benches that flank this long pier offering unobstructed vistas of the ocean and the hilly environs.

Cayucos State Beach
Image for Cayucos State Beach

Cayucos State Beach

4.5/5(10 reviews)

Known for its old wooden fishing pier, this lovely beach is the heart of the traditional town.  Come here for a delightful family day out.

Justin Vineyards and Winery
Image for Justin Vineyards and Winery

Justin Vineyards and Winery

You can enjoy a tasting or tour at Justin Vineyards and Winery during your travels to Adelaida. Amble around this relaxing area's picturesque gardens and enjoy its lively bars.

Morro Strand State Beach
Image for Morro Strand State Beach

Morro Strand State Beach

4.5/5(18 reviews)

Bring your kids to play on the swing set and marvel at the seals that gather on this scenic expanse of sand.

Bubblegum Alley
Image for Bubblegum Alley

Bubblegum Alley

3/5(4 reviews)

Colorful pieces of chewed gum, some of which have been turned into art pieces, decorate the walls of this narrow lane.

Top activities in San Luis Obispo

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)
Image for Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

Tastings at 400+ West Coast Wineries (Priority Wine Pass)

£32

We are a winetasting pass that is partnered with 400 wineries on the West Coast and is good for 365 days from date of purchase THE WINERIES we work with: 400+ winery partners in California, Washington, & Oregon. Regions include Napa Valley, Sonoma &

“Toast Together” Group Wine Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country
Image for “Toast Together” Group Wine Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country

“Toast Together” Group Wine Tour of Paso Robles Wine Country

£97

Join us on a fun and truly memorable tour of Paso Robles wine country. You’ll be united with a small group of wine interested travelers and future best friends to visit the smaller, charming wineries of Paso Robles.

1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour
Image for 1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour

1/2 Day Paso Robles Wine Country Tour

£56

This is a social tour, so you can expect to meet other wine enthusiasts and get to know them over the course of the afternoon. Usually, we will not have more than 8 - 10 guests on board.

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from Paso Robles
Image for Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from Paso Robles

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from Paso Robles

£118

The Most Complete Full Day Experience on California’s Central Coast An exciting, fun filled full-day experience making the most of your time in California’s stunning Central Coast.

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from San Luis Obispo
Image for Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from San Luis Obispo

Hearst Castle & Wine Group Tour from San Luis Obispo

£118

The Most Complete Full Day Experience on California’s Central Coast An exciting, fun filled full-day experience making the most of your time in California’s stunning Central Coast.

Wine tasing and tours
Image for Wine tasing and tours

Wine tasing and tours

£3

We meet you at your lodging, drive you and your guests in the comfort and privacy of your car, returning you safely at the end of the day.

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