San Luis Obispo

Bounded by California mountains, some of which march right to the Pacific, “SLO” (or “slow” as the locals lovingly call it) is the perfect place to kick back.

If you’re in search of big-city bustle, San Luis Obispo is not your stop. Located at about the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the city is far more laid-back than either of its larger relations. What makes it that way? A thriving beach community helps, as does a well-preserved historical downtown drag. Or perhaps it’s the youthful vigor that comes from being home to Cal Poly University? Whatever the reason, San Luis Obispo has been named one of the happiest cities in the nation.

Wondering what to do in San Luis Obispo? Wisely wander through time in the History Center of San Luis Obispo. One of the first buildings in the area, the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa of the city’s namesake offers a beautiful look into early settlement. When hunger brings you back to the present, head downtown to enjoy a meal—paired with local Edna Valley wines, of course.

Looking for things to do in San Luis Obispo off the beaten path? Discover the city’s quirkier attractions by adding your favorite chewable flavor to Bubble Gum Alley. Admire the famous men’s bathroom waterfall (or send a male travel buddy in on a recon mission) at the Madonna Inn. Further away from a more literally beaten path, stretch your legs in the Sant Lucia Mountains’ “Nine Sisters” trails on a bike or in a sturdy pair of hiking boots.

Looking for San Luis Obispo vacation packages that won’t stretch your budget? Travelocity has enough of those to make planning your trip as laid-back as the city itself. When it comes to slowing things down, there’s no time like the present.

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Frequently Asked Questions about San Luis Obispo

Where is the Gum Wall in San Luis Obispo?

Also known as Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo's Gum Wall is located at 733 Higuera Street. Essentially, this strange attraction is a narrow walkway between two walls, made even more narrow by piece after piece of chewing gum deposited here since at least the early 1970s. The alley stretches 70 feet and rises to 15 feet high.

How old is San Luis Obispo Mission?

The mission at San Luis Obispo was founded on September 1st, 1772 and named for St. Louis of France. It was established by Father Jose Cavaller and continues to hold services in both English and Spanish today.

When is the San Luis Obispo Farmers Market?

This world-famous market happens every Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and takes over five blocks of Higuera Street in the downtown area. Other farmers markets occur in San Luis Obispo almost every other day of the week, but none rival the size of this one.