Attractions

 

You'll find the best of San Luis Obispo County's abundant opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and experience its unique beauty, history, arts and culture. Our mild, sunny climate, pristine beaches, world-class surf, stunning peaks and lakes, and quiet country roads offer something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors. You'll find popular attractions such as the famous Hearst Castle, historic missions, museums, wineries, performing arts, art galleries, antiques, boutiques, estuaries, wildlife and other points of interest at every turn. It is always a perfect time to visit the California Central Coast, conveniently located along Highway 101 half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

HEARST CASTLE

Located just north of San Luis Obispo in San Simion, the Magnificent Hearst Castle offers daily tours of the historic 127-acre estate built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The castle consists of unique artifacts, Renaissance art, ornate swimming pools, fanciful gardens and over 165 rooms.

Website http://www.hearstcastle.org/

MISSION SAN LUIS OBISPO DE TOLOSA

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is considered the city center of the historic Downtown District of San Luis Obispo. The historic landmark was founded in 1772, and has sculped much of the cities history. Mission Plaza surrounds the building, creating a venue for outdoor festivals, concerts, wine tastings, live music, and many other special events.

Website http://www.missionsanluisobispo.org/

FACTS ABOUT THE MISSION...

  • The fifth California mission founded by Father Junipero Serra, Sept. 1, 1772.
  • Named after Saint Louis, Bishop of Toulouse, France.
  • Present building built 1793-1794.
  • Front portico added: 1794, torn down in 1877, restored in 1933.
  • Wooden siding added in the late 1870's; removed between 1920 to 1934.

Join the locals in the beautiful Mission hall for a morning service any day of the week.

Sundays at 7:00AM, 9:00AM, 11:00AM, 6:00PM, and a Spanish service at 7:30PM.

Weekdays at 7:00AM and 12:10PM

Saturdays at 7:00AM and 5:30PM

DOWNTOWN AND THURSDAY NIGHT FARMERS MARKET

From Farmers' Markets to antiques and unique gift shops, San Luis Obispo County has big shopping experiences in a small, intimate setting. Farmers Markets and quaint antique stores can be found in almost every city on the Central Coast.

Website http://www.downtownslo.com/farmers.html

Wineries & Vineyards

San Luis Obispo

National acclaim has been bestowed upon the prize winning wines and premium vineyards in San Luis Obispo County. Over 80 wineries welcome visitors to sample prize-winning selections and current releases.

You know you are in the heart of wine country. Back country roads lined with vineyards, rolling hills, a light breeze, and blue, blue skies. A feeling of peace sets in. From the people who greet you, to the laid back setting of San Luis Obispo, an un-crowded, un-hurried and un-pretentious wine tasting getaway awaits.

Midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the SLO (that's what we locals call it) wine region is comprised of three pristine viticulture areas: the Edna Valley, Arroyo Grande Valley and Avila Valley. Our small, mostly family-owned wineries are well known for their hand-crafted bottlings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Zinfandel and more.

The marine influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean provides a mild summer and warm fall, resulting in an unusually long growing season. Combined with the region's rocky volcanic soils, these growing conditions produce fruit with intense varietal character and complex flavors that are typically found in the world's greatest wine regions. The SLO life. Wine tasting with family and friends. Exploring the sidestreets and byways of our many small towns. Playing on white sandy beaches, savoring the outstanding cuisine of our local restaurants, or just hanging out. It's how we live. And you're welcome to join us.

Website http://www.slowine.com

Oceano Dunes

Oceano

The dunes in Grover Beach and Oceano are one of the few places where you can drive your vehicle on the sand. The dunes adjoin the Oso Flaco nature preserve with rare plants and animals.

Website http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=406

This off road area is among the most popular and unique of California State Parks. The 5 ½ miles of beach open for vehicle use and the sand dunes available for off highway motor vehicle recreation are attractions for visitors from throughout the United States.

Oceano Dunes is the only California State Park where vehicles may be driven on the beach. Passenger cars can easily drive on the northern portion of the beach.

Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving to the camping and off highway vehicle use areas in the park.

Beach wheelchairs are available for loan at the Pier and Grand Avenue entrances to the beach.

Surfing, swimming, surf fishing, horseback riding and bird watching are popular activities.

Location/Directions
The recreation area is located in Oceano, three miles south of Pismo Beach off Highway 1.

One mile south of the Pier Avenue beach ramp is Post 2, a post on the beach which marks the beginning of the off-highway vehicle riding and camping area.

OHV's must be transported to this point before unloading. Any areas on the beach or in the dunes that are fenced or signed are closed to vehicular use because they either contain sensitive plant and animal life or are private property.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended clothing

Summer temperatures – Highs: 60's and 70's; Lows: 50's; Dense morning fog

Winter temperatures – Highs: 50's and 60's; Lows: 40's; high winds in Spring

The weather is often quite changeable, layered clothing is recommended.

Pismo Beach/Shell Beach

Pismo Beach

Pismo and Shell Beach offer long white beaches, rocky cliffs and spectacular sunsets. This classic California beach town offers superb dining and shopping, golf, the dunes, horseback riding, surfing, body boarding, or fishing from a 1200-foot pier.

Website http://www.classiccalifornia.com/

Village of Arroyo Grande

Arroyo Grande

Explore the Historic Village of Arroyo Grande, the Central Coast's unique turn-of-the-century downtown village. Here you'll find a unique array of antiques, specialty shops and fine dining, all nestled within the scenic atmosphere of historic buildings, natural beauty, and timeless treasures.

Baywood Park/Los Osos

Baywood Park

Baywood Park is a small town located next to Los Osos, and has incredible beaches, sunsets, nature preserves and dunes. Relax here, or use as a base to visit other parts of this very scenic county.

Cayucos

Cayucos

Downtown Cayucos still has the small town charm, while being located just steps from a great beach for swimming, surfing and fishing. Enjoy the pier, great restaurants and antique stores in this charming old town.

Elephant Seals

San Simeon

Elephant seals can be observed along small coves just south of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. Populations have grown from a few dozen in 1990 to current estimates of nearly 10,000.

Montana de Oro State Park

Baywood Park

A beautiful nature preserve on the coast in Los Osos. Great hiking and sightseeing opportunities. Tidepools. Make sure to visit beautiful Spooners Cove inside the park, which also offers a small natural history museum of local teasures.

Morro Bay Estuary/Morro Rock

Morro Bay

Morro Rock, the near by dunes, harbor and estuary are beautiful to look at and a year-round attraction to visitors. You'll find wonderful stores, art galleries and boutiques right next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Paso Robles

Paso Robles

Paso Robles is in wine country and is known for its relaxed ambience and beautiful drives. The scenery is as delicious as the wines they produce. Enjoy wine tasting, historic downtown shopping, and annual wine festivals and car shows.

Town of Harmony

Harmony

Harmony is one of the smallest towns in the USA, with just 14 inhabitants. It offers historic buildings with small boutiques, pottery shop, glass maker, several crafters and artisans, and a charming winery overlooking the tiny town below.

Village of Cambria

Cambria

The quaint Village of Cambria is host to many boutiques, local artists and quality art galleries with paintings of the natural beauty of the area. Moonstone Beach in Cambria provides dramatic views of the ocean.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
(Mission Plaza in downtown SLO) This is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all California missions. Founded in 1772 and still an active church.

Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo
The state-of-the-art, 91,500 square foot center located on the Cal Poly campus is the result of a partnership between the city, Cal Poly and the Foundation for the Performing Arts. The 1,350 seat Harmon Concert Hall is acoustically one of the best halls in the world and has been JBL Professional's exclusive North American test and demonstration site.

Downtown
Bustling with activity, downtown offers great shopping, outdoor and indoor dining, night life, and its famous Thursday Night Farmer's Market where you can buy locally grown fresh produce and enjoy an outdoor barbecue.

California Polytechnic State University
Cal Poly is known throughout the world for its excellence in learn-by-doing education. Largest schools of engineering and architecture in the west. Visitors welcome. Walking campus tours are offered each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. & 2 p.m., except major holidays. Self-guided tours can be taken anytime; call tour hotline 756-5734 for the latest update. Don't miss the Shakespeare Press Museum, Poly Canyon, horse and dairy units, and the ornamental horticulture greenhouses.

Railroad Depot
(South end of Santa Rosa Street) This restored depot brings back memories of the time when railroads were America's lifeline.

Jack House
(536 Marsh Street) Built in the late 1870s and deeded to the city by the Jack family in 1974, this historic Victorian home has been fully restored into a “living museum,” giving visitors a glimpse of life at the turn of the century. Admission $2. Call 781-7308 for recorded information about docent guided tours.

San Luis Obispo Art Center
(1010 Broad St.) San Luis Obispo's community art center in Mission Plaza features the works of many of SLO's most talented amateur and professional artists. Admission is free. Open to the public 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

County Historical Museum
(696 Monterey St., next to the Mission) Tells the story of San Luis Obispo's colorful history via changing displays of old photographs and artifacts. Open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission.

Cuesta College
(5 mi. west of SLO on Highway 1 north) Known statewide for its dedication to lifelong learning, this scenic 150 acre campus, bordered by Hollister Peak and Cerro Romaldo, is open to visitors.

San Luis Obispo's Children's Museum
(1010 Nipomo St.) A museum just for children and others who like to explore and learn. Kids can race to the scene of a fire on the back of a fire engine, watch themselves on television or zip down a dinosaur slide. Admission $4. Call 544-KIDS or visit the website www.kids.fix.net for more information.

Website http://www.slocm.org/

Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center
(1039 Chorro St.) Not to brag, but our center has received rave reviews from more than one travel writer. Open daily, Sunday and Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Maps and complete information on San Luis Obispo and points north and south. Information on Hearst Castle and tickets. National Forest Adventure passes, special event tickets, books, postcards, and other souvenir items also available. Complete calendar of events going on throughout the city and county.

Golf Courses–Public
Cypress Ridge Golf Course El Campo & Halcyon Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 489-2781

Laguna Lake Municipal Golf Course
11175 Los Osos Valley Rd. San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 781-7309

Morro Bay Golf Course
201 State Park Road Morro Bay, CA 93442 771-4341 reservations


Sunday Special
Start your stay on Sunday and get 20% off. 15% off on additional weekdays and higher rates on weekends.

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