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13 Fun Things To Do in San Luis Obispo

13 Fun Things To Do in San Luis Obispo

Museums, the great outdoors, unique accommodations, and fun activities are among these 13 fun things to do in San Luis Obispo.

Roubina Al Abashian


4 min read

March 14, 2022

Pristine nature, fun outdoor activities, total relaxation—is there anything San Luis Obispo isn’t good at? No matter what your interests are or your age group, SLO caters to anyone and everyone. Not sure how to make the best out of your time in San Luis Obispo? We’ve got you covered.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is still the center of the busy downtown area, and functions as a Roman Catholic parish church.

1. Visit Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Mission San Luis Obispo De Tolosa is a testament to the city’s persisting history. Father Junipero Serra built the mission in 1772 and named it after Saint Louis, the Bishop of Toulouse, France. Pay a visit to this grand L-shaped landmark, admire the architecture and spectacular interior, and tour the church grounds and gardens to learn more about San Luis Obispo, California

2. Leave Your Mark At Bubblegum Alley

You can't really say you've been to SLO if you don’t go to Bubblegum Alley? This 70-foot-long alley lined and layered with chewed gum is one of the weirdest places to visit in California and is a must-stop in Downtown, San Luis Obispo. Like many people have in the past, you too should leave your mark on the alley. Don’t forget to have a piece of gum in hand and your camera ready for the stop

3. Visit The San Luis Obispo Art Museum

The San Luis Obispo Art Museum is a creative space where you’ll come across paintings, sculptures, and photography exhibits. As a vital link to the local cultural life, this free museum in San Luis Obispo provides art classes for enthusiasts of all ages, as well as lectures, movie nights, concerts, and similar events. We highly recommend attending one of the classes held by the museum—you’ll be sure to get a much-needed art fix.  

One hundred ten unique rooms now exist at the Madonna Inn, each decorated differently to suit many individual tastes.

4. Stay At The Madonna Inn

For the ultimate San Luis Obispo experience, book a stay at the Madonna Inn. Here, you’ll find luxury and peculiarity in every room. Spend your morning lounging by the pool, relax and unwind at the on-site spa, and show off your skills on the tennis court when staying here. Don’t forget to dine at Alex Madonna’s Gold Rush Steak House, where the food will leave you speechless—especially if you order the shrimp cocktail. 

5. Hike Towards Bishop Peak

If you enjoy a good sunrise hike, you’ll be happy to know that San Luis Obispo County has a favorite. This 3.4-mile hike towards Bishop Peak—the tallest volcano of the Nine Sisters—is an absolute must-try. Not only will you get to see striking views of the peak, which many say resembles a bishop’s miter, but you’ll also have uninterrupted views of the city.

6. Tour Downtown San Luis Obispo

Downtown SLO is where it all happens. Fine dining, retail therapy, an awesome nightlife scene, and the coolest attractions are located in this spot. Stroll around alone or opt for a guided walking tour and marvel at the Spanish-style buildings dotting the streets of Downtown San Luis Obispo.

The San Luis Obispo Children's Museum features a range of temporary and permanent interactive exhibits designed to inspire learning through play.

7. Satisfy Your Curiosity at The San Luis Obispo Children's Museum

The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum has long been known as one of the top attractions for families in California. This fun museum invites children to discover, learn, and explore through hands-on activities. Exciting educational events and programs await your little ones every week as well. 

8. Attend An Event At The Mission Plaza

The Mission Plaza in downtown is where the San Luis Obispo, CA community gathers for events and concerts. If your itineraries align, you’ll be able to attend one of the charming festivals held here. But if you’re not too keen on the idea of attending crowded concerts, a stroll in this area is just as pleasant.

9. Pitch a tent At El Chorro Regional Park

Prefer roughing it out ? Consider camping in San Luis Obispo, CA. El Chorro Regional Park is an uber-cool camping destination in the state with over 61 accessible sites. And if you’re traveling with your RV on the Central Coast, you’ll be glad to know that the campground accommodates vehicles. Prepare a camping playlist beforehand and bask in the beautiful nature around you. 

10. Admire Nature At the Dallidet Adobe And Gardens

Originally the property of Pierre Hyppolite Dallidet, the Dallidet Adobe and Gardens is a California Historic Landmark that you must include in your itinerary. The California historic landmark is adorned with rustic paths and brick walkways that snake through verdant and fragrant gardens. If you have a special event coming up, consider planning it here—the Dallidet Adobe and Gardens is quite popular among newlyweds. 

11. Buy Fresh Produce At The Downtown SLO Farmers Market

On Thursday nights we go shopping. The Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers Market is open every Thursday, in the evenings. Here, you’ll find the freshest produce, and indulge in delicious street food while enjoying live music. Head to Higuera Street between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 pm to experience San Luis Obispo at its best. 

12. Spend A Day At Sinsheimer Park

Not sure what to do with the family on a quiet afternoon? Take them to Sinsheimer Park. This sport and recreation hotspot houses the SLO Blues baseball stadium, swimming center, and a fun playground for kids. Sit down and relax as the little ones make new friends on the playground. 

There are several trails on Cerro San Luis Obispo that are used for hiking, jogging, and mountain biking.

13. Explore Cerro San Luis Obispo

The 1,292-foot mountain, Cerro San Luis Obispo, welcomes visitors with all sorts of challenges. One of the Nine Sisters, the mountain features plenty of trails that are used for hiking, mountain biking, and jogging. The elevation makes hiking a bit strenuous, so do prepare beforehand if you’ve never done this before. But good exercise is not all that this mountain offers. Cerro San Luis Obispo also serves stunning, sweeping views of the city and region. 

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