San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo in California is about half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on the Pacific Coast Highway. With lots of places to stay, eat and drink, and things to see, it's an ideal stop-over

San Luis Obispo on the Pacific Coast Highway

San Luis Obispo
Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

It's about a 260-mile drive from San Francisco, if you take the slightly longer and slower coastal route all the way – and you should. That should be roughly a five- or six-hour drive, without stops. Driving on south to Los Angeles is about 200 miles, or four hours of driving, if you don't take a break.

In San Luis Obispo County there's a good range of over 100 lodging options, from hostels and motels to unique resorts like the Madonna Inn. There are Best Westerns, Days Inns, Holiday Inns, a Budget Inn, and Marriotts. In fact, San Luis Obispo stakes a claim to having the first motel in the United States, back in the 1920s, so it's been a popular vacation destination for quite some time.

Vineyard in San Luis Obispo on the Pacific Coast Highway

San Luis Obispo Vineyard
Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

For wine lovers, San Luis Obispo County is now the third largest wine area in California, with plenty of vineyards within easy reach of the coast. Plenty of eating options in and around the town too, whether you like fine dining, chain places, casual, smart, mom and pop, or pub grub at the Downtown Brewing Co.

In terms of things to do and see, there's not actually a lot, but it's still an attractive place to stay and be, and relax for a day or so.

Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo on the Pacific Coast Highway

Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo
Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

What to See in San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley
Higuera Street
on the 700 block north of Broad Street
Only in California could a back alley whose walls are covered in discarded chewing gum become an arty tourist attraction. But that's what Bubblegum Alley is. It began back in 1960, they say, though who would have bothered to make a note of it at the time? But the gum just kept on coming. and now covers both sides of the alley. There are some pretty creative efforts, if you can bring yourself to look up close. And if you forgot to bring your own gum with you, you can buy some at the end of Bubblegum Alley and leave your mark.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
751 Palm Street
Tel: (805) 781-8220
The SLO Mission dates back to 1772, when it was the fifth California Mission to be founded by Father Junipero Serra, though the present building was put up in 1793-94. It was named after Saint Louis, who was the Bishop of Toulouse in southwest France. It's still an active church, and quite lovely inside. The gardens are equally impressive, with grapes growing – a reminder that the first California wine was made by the Missionaries. There's also a statue to Father Serra, and the Mission is a beautiful and peaceful retreat from the streets.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in San Luis Obispo on the Pacific Coast Highway

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Photo Courtesy of San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

History Center of San Luis Obispo County
696 Monterey Street
Tel: (805) 543-0638
The handsome 1905 Carnegie Library is the home of the San Luis Obispo County Historical Society, and its Historical Museum. There are changing exhibitions about the area, and a research room where you can consult old local newspapers and see the large collection of historical photographs.

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
1010 Broad Street
Tel: (805) 543-8562
Open daily except Tuesday, the Center puts on regular changing exhibitions, including photography, featuring local and regional artists, and art from further afield. They do workshops for adults and children too, so it's well worth checking out what's happening while you're in town. 

More Information
The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

1039 Chorro Street
Tel: (805) 781-2777 


Where to Stay in San Luis Obispo

Check out The Madonna Inn, resort-style hotel with 109 uniquely-decorated rooms, in all kinds of imaginative and fun styles.








Recent Articles

  1. Pacific Coast Highway Moon Guide

    Apr 08, 17 11:58 AM

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip guide from Moon covering California, Oregon and Washington

    Read More

  2. Paso Robles Accommodation

    Apr 04, 17 10:47 AM

    If looking for Paso Robles accommodation you could stay on a vineyard at the luxury JUST Inn Bed and Breakfast, in the grounds of the JUSTIN winery with its award-winning Deborah’s Room restaurant.

    Read More

  3. Deborah's Room Review, Paso Robles Restaurant

    Apr 04, 17 10:43 AM

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews Deborah’s Room, the gourmet fine dining restaurant at the JUST Inn Bed and Breakfast, and one of the best restaurants in Paso Robles.

    Read More

The Best PCH Guide
We've read lots of guides to the Pacific Coast, and easily the best one is the Moon Handbook. You can read our review here, or buy it through the Amazon link below.


Follow Us on Twitter


Our PCH Hotels Guide

PCH Travel's 2016 guide to Pacific Coast Highway hotels

To help you in choosing your Pacific Coast Highway hotel, guesthouse, inn, bed-and-breakfast, resort, motel or other accommodations, we've prepared our Pacific Coast Highway Hotels Guide. In it we do mini-reviews of accommodations along the Highway, from Seattle to San Diego, through Washington, Oregon, and California.

In all there are over 200 hotels listed, complete with 8 pages of color maps showing the towns where our recommended hotels can be found. There are both alphabetical and geographical indexes, helping you plan your journey.

We also include color photos of all the hotels that are our Personal Favorites. Here's the link to read more about our ebook guide to Pacific Coast Highway hotels.

KINDLE EDITION
The 2016 edition of our Hotels Guide is available with maps and color photos (if you have a color reader) in the US Kindle Store for only $4.99 and in the UK Kindle Store and other Kindle stores worldwide at prices based on the US price.

PAPERBACK EDITION
If you want a paperback edition of the 2016 guide  with only black and white photos and black-and-white maps, it costs $6.99 at the US Amazon Book Store and £4.99 in the UK Amazon Store.


We've also published our PCH Hotels Guide as an app in the Apple Store.
You can buy it here and
read about it here.



Featured in Alltop

Google




Follow Me on Pinterest