If you’re searching for an affordable Californian vacation, complete with beautiful beaches, good food, parks to visit, historical sites to see, and weekend activities, we suggest you visit San Luis Obispo County! From downtown to the beach, SLO has plenty of events and restaurants to keep you entertained, including the famous Bubble Gum Alley. San Luis Obispo County offers all the highlights of California on a budget without compromise.
Things to Do in San Luis Obispo
In an effort to evangelize the Native Americans, Spanish missionaries built 21 outposts (called “missions”) along the California coast in the mid-18th century. This California Mission Trail now draws thousands of tourists every year to see this preserved part of California history.
One such mission is in San Luis Obispo. Concerts are held in Mission Plaza every Friday night during the summer. Get a taste of the local music scene in the middle of downtown SLO!
Bubble Gum Alley
Leave your mark in San Luis Obispo with some chewed gum! It’s not the most sanitary work of art, but it’s still cool to see. Contribute if you dare…
San Luis Obispo may not have their own professional sports teams, but anyone can catch a Cal Poly game! And shout out to the Cal Poly basketball coach for sharing his championship trophy with our audience.
San Luis Obispo Beaches
Morro Bay, Pismo, Avila…you really can’t go wrong with any beach on this coast line. All you need is a towel and a cooler full of provisions to enjoy yourself.
Sunset Drive-In Movie Theater
Enjoy the beautiful weather while watching a movie – for cheap! Drive-in movies have a lower ticket price than indoor movie screenings, so save a couple bucks and catch the latest blockbuster.
What to Eat in San Luis Obispo
Novo offers great Californian cuisine, from seafood to nachos to charcuterie. When the weather is nice (which is almost always), you can enjoy dining on the patio.
Loaded with cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, red onion, and more, these nachos are not meant to be shared! You can also occasionally catch live music on the patio.
Cowboy Cookie and Ice Cream
This is not your typical bakery – just cookies and ice cream! Cowboy Cookie and Ice Cream has been a staple of Downtown San Luis Obispo for over 30 years, using the same recipes and freshest ingredients around. You can get an ice cream sandwich or a scoop in a cookie cup, made with local brand San Luis Obispo Maid Ice Cream.
Dishing up late night pies, my locals and I devoured the SLO Classic: pepperoni, sausage, black olives, mushrooms and onion slices. And while you wait for your food, enjoy shuffleboard, beer pong, or any game in the arcade. This local pizza joint is great for groups!
If you love shellfish, don’t leave California without trying dungeness crab! You can get a dungeness crab cocktail at Dorn’s for $16.50, as well as a bowl of their award-winning clam chowder for $6.50.
San Luis Obispo Bars
They’re mixing up great cocktails, like a daiquiri with a splash of rosé. It’s a favorite spot for San Luis Obispo locals, so be sure to arrive early (they don’t accept reservations)!
The Frog n’ Peach Pub
Frog n’ Peach Pub is your destination for live music! You can find reggae, psycho-billy, rock, or anything in-between on any given night.
Barrelhouse Brewing Company
Underneath Mike’s Barber Shop, Barrelhouse Brewing Company is brewing small-batch beers that are only available in their taproom. They do, however, offer a limited variety of beers in grocery stores.