San Luis Obispo, renowned as America’s Happiest City, is a lovely city nestled in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. It is a little town with an astonishing 315 days of warm, lovely sunshine, a diverse choice of things to see and do in its attractions, a happy and active student population, and an all-around pleasant environment and community. With its laid-back environment and gorgeous Spanish-style architecture, San Luis Obispo offers the appealing vibe of a tiny California city. There are a few notable landmarks in and around the town, and outdoor activities keep visitors coming all year.
Visitors will enjoy wandering through the peaceful tree-lined streets, dining al fresco next to a trickling brook, and listening to crickets chirp in the evenings. The local farmers’ market adds to the appeal of San Luis Obispo as a tourist attraction.
To help you choose between them, here are the best things to do in San Luis Obispo (California).
List of Things To Do In San Luis Obispo (California)
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Going to the Mission Despite being one of several old Spanish missions distributed around the immediate area, San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is one of the best things to do in San Luis Obispo (California). It’s an accolade well-deserved, though, since it’s certainly one of California’s most beautiful missions.
Father Junipero Serra founded this mission in 1772, before the city of Toulouse was even founded, and named it after the bishop of Toulouse. In truth, the city was called after the mission rather than the other way around. Because of the pleasant temperature, closeness to fresh water, and goodwill of the Chumash tribe in the area, this location was chosen for the mission.
The Mission, which overlooks San Luis Creek, is a massive structure built in the traditional missionary adobe, Spanish style, with arcades and porticos, a bright floral theme around the inside, a high ceiling, and a simple tower.
Thursday Farmer’s Night
San Luis Obispo is known for its farmers’ market, which is regarded as one of California’s top attractions. This weekly event on Higuera Street attracts large crowds (between Chorro and Osos streets).
Out-of-town visitors appreciate the street cuisine, while locals flock to shop for fresh products. Restaurants in San Luis Obispo bring their delicacies to outdoor kiosks, where they serve anything from pizza to sushi. The celebratory atmosphere is enhanced by live music. Unless there is inclement weather or important holidays, the farmers’ market is held on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. So make sure to visit this place as this is one of the best things to do in San Luis Obispo (California).
Even though it’s in the middle of the Central Coast, the laid-back hamlet of Pismo Beach has a Southern California vibe. The main downtown area, which is supported by a busy beachside scene surrounding the Pismo Beach Pier, is densely packed with hotels, surf shops, cafés, and fish & chips restaurants.
Because of its regular waves, surfers and bodyboarders choose this 60-acre length of beach. The sandy beach is a bustling sight of sunbathers and sports enthusiasts during the summer. Beach volleyball and fishing on the Pismo Beach Pier are two popular activities.
Sailing and kayaking are additional popular activities at Pismo State Beach. During the summer, lifeguards are on duty. Scuba diving is accessible when the circumstances are good, and whale watching is popular throughout the migration season.
Avila Valley Hot Springs and Hiking Trails.
The tranquil Avila Valley, just a few miles from the beach, is known for its natural mineral-water hot springs, which are thought to provide therapeutic health advantages. The Avila Valley Barn is a popular site in the region for individuals who enjoy old-fashioned farms. This quaint tiny farm contains a bakery, an ice cream and candy shop, and a BBQ chicken shack, as well as a rustic-chic country store that offers fresh-grown fruits and vegetables. Visitors may also feed the farm animals and choose seasonal fruits and vegetables such as berries, apples, peaches, and pumpkins. This is one of the best things to do in San Luis Obispo (California).
Visitors may simply travel here before or after going to the beach because the Avila Valley is directly off the highway exit on the route to Avila Beach. It’s also possible to get there by bus, on the same trolley that runs to Avila Beach.
Bishop Peak is part of the Morros mountain range, commonly known as the Nine Sisters, and is considered one of the best vacation places. It’s on this list of sites to see since it’s the highest point on the range, standing at over 1,500 feet. This is one of the reasons it’s such a popular hiking area in San Luis Obispo, California, and if you’re a nature lover or someone who enjoys a good challenge, this is a terrific place to try.
Bishop Peak got its name from the form of the mountain, which resembles a bit of a crown of rocks, similar to a bishop’s mitre.
Bishop Peak offers a variety of routes for hikers of all experience levels. You’ll be able to reach the peak through a 3.5-mile round-trip journey that begins ascending quickly, at just 950 feet from the trailhead. It’s a difficult climb, but the breathtaking views and panoramas are well worth the effort.
California Highway One Discovery Route
The next best things to do in San Luis Obispo (California) is visiting California highway one discovery route. The California Highway One Discovery Route runs from San Francisco to Los Angeles, however San Luis Obispo County is located in the midst.
If you’re bored and searching for something to do, a road trip along this 101-mile stretch of highway filled with over 40 attractions near San Luis Obispo is a terrific choice. Boutiques, wineries, hamlets, vistas, and beaches are all great places to stop along the road to the state’s heart and soul. There will never be a shortage of things to do or ways to pass the time. Apart from the expense of gasoline, travelling through this region is one of the best free things to do in the area.
San Luis Obispo, California is a fun and interesting area to visit, with plenty of places to see and activities to do. This list should assist you in deciding what to see and do while you’re in this fun, upbeat town!