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Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Asian Restaurant
$$
“Voted best restaurant in SLO! Enjoy delicious tapas and world famous wine with creekside views. Located in the iconic Cigar Factory building in downtown SLO, Novo’s bar, lounge offers award wining innovative cuisine. Tandoori chicken and Novo lettuce wraps are our favorites! ”
  • 74 locals recommend
Church
“Beautiful views if theMission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa located in the heart of downtown. This Spanish mission was founded in 1772 by Father Junípero Serra in San Luis Obispo, California. Named after Saint Louis of Anjou, the bishop of Toulouse, the mission is the namesake of San Luis Obispo.”
  • 53 locals recommend
Inn
“The Madonna Inn & Steakhouse opened in 1958 and serves as an iconic landmark for the central coast. Tour the grounds for beautiful photo ops and don’t forget to try a slice of their famous pink champagne cake!”
  • 52 locals recommend
Natural Feature
“This hike is out of San Luis Obispo. Offers a fantastic view of the county with views panning all the way to the ocean on a clear day! ”
  • 43 locals recommend
Farmers Market
“Open-air market held every Thursday evening, with local farm stands, street food & live music.”
  • 46 locals recommend
BBQ Joint
$
“The best Tri-Tip sandwiches in town! A basket of fries feeds 3-4 people just remember to order ranch. Try the Firestone or Asian Chicken salad if you would like a lighter option. ”
  • 42 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“Stylish eatery with regular live music & lounge serving globally inspired tapas, wine & cocktails.”
  • 39 locals recommend
New American Restaurant
$$
“Eatery with blue, star-studded ceiling showcasing healthful, modern fare, wine & local art.”
  • 35 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“This is a restaurant and brewery and they often have live bands. Very fun atmosphere!”
  • 20 locals recommend
Cafe
“The combination of scratch made pastries, craft roasted coffee, and curated goods in a creative space makes stepping into Scout a memorable and magical experience. ”
  • 26 locals recommend
Cocktail Bar
$$
“Best place for drinks and apps in SLO County. Craft cocktails, unique mixes and tasty bites. ”
  • 28 locals recommend
Shopping Plaza
“Downtown SLO is a must destination for all visitors. There is so much to do and places to eat. Farmers Market on Thursday Evenings is also a lot of fun!”
  • 18 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
$$
“This is my FAVORITE Sushi restaurant of all time! There are some great ones here, but this place to me is the best of the best!”
  • 22 locals recommend
Monument / Landmark
“ Share Tweet San Luis Obispo is a beautiful place to spend a weekend, right near the central coast. It has hiking, wineries, shopping, breweries, and a charming downtown shopping area where Bubblegum Alley is located. This small alley is almost always full of people, and its gum wall is like an ever-changing, living organism with new pieces of gum added hundreds of times a day. While the sheer amount of gum is pretty gross, this wall has a fun history and is a great place to take pictures with the kids. The History Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo is a 15-foot high and 70-foot long alley lined with chewed gum left by passers-by. The locally created, “most-talked-about landmark” covers a stretch of 20 meters between 733 and 734 Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. Some historians believe that the tradition of the Alley started after WWII as a San Luis Obispo High School graduating class event. Others think it started in the late 1950s as a rivalry between San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly students. As soon as the Poly students suspected that the high school was trying to out-do them on the gum walls, the college students stepped up their game and immediately became more creative, thus launching Bubblegum Alley.”
  • 25 locals recommend
Bar
$$
“Another local favorite, Giuseppi's offers award-winning pizza, pasta, sandwiches, wings, garden fresh salads, and a full bar with over 16 beers on tap. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday 4-6pm.”
  • 23 locals recommend
Bar
“Love their menu and prices. Great for tasting a bit of everything or sharing. ”
  • 13 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Asian Restaurant
“Voted best restaurant in SLO! Enjoy delicious tapas and world famous wine with creekside views. Located in the iconic Cigar Factory building in downtown SLO, Novo’s bar, lounge offers award wining innovative cuisine. Tandoori chicken and Novo lettuce wraps are our favorites! ”
  • 74 locals recommend
Inn
“The Madonna Inn & Steakhouse opened in 1958 and serves as an iconic landmark for the central coast. Tour the grounds for beautiful photo ops and don’t forget to try a slice of their famous pink champagne cake!”
  • 52 locals recommend
BBQ Joint
“The best Tri-Tip sandwiches in town! A basket of fries feeds 3-4 people just remember to order ranch. Try the Firestone or Asian Chicken salad if you would like a lighter option. ”
  • 42 locals recommend
Bar
“Stylish eatery with regular live music & lounge serving globally inspired tapas, wine & cocktails.”
  • 39 locals recommend
New American Restaurant
“Eatery with blue, star-studded ceiling showcasing healthful, modern fare, wine & local art.”
  • 35 locals recommend
Bar
“This is a restaurant and brewery and they often have live bands. Very fun atmosphere!”
  • 20 locals recommend
Cocktail Bar
“Best place for drinks and apps in SLO County. Craft cocktails, unique mixes and tasty bites. ”
  • 28 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
“This is my FAVORITE Sushi restaurant of all time! There are some great ones here, but this place to me is the best of the best!”
  • 22 locals recommend

Get to know San Luis Obispo

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