Two large grizzly bears guard the roads leading into Los Osos, California at South Bay Boulevard and Los Osos Valley Roads. Back in 1769, Gaspar de Portola and his expedition ventured into a beautiful valley with an abundance of grizzlies. Today Los Osos, (Osos meaning bear in Spanish) is alive and well.
Primarily a bedroom community for San Luis Obispo, close to ten miles away, there is a small business district concentrated in a few blocks along Los Osos Valley Road. Otherwise, it's entirely residential and mixed both economically and politically.
Approximately 45.525% of those living in the area are registered as Democrats while 52.69% are registered Republicans. Famous residents include: Patrick Barrett (race car driver), Ben Furbee (pro mountain biker) and Ali Nehvi, a scientist.
With three public schools: Baywood Elementary, Monarch Grove Elementary, and Los Osos Middle School, local students later head to nearby Morro Bay High School. Many students attend nearby Cuesta College and Cal Poly State University, living at home and commuting to school for at least a few years.
The community's original school site still stands in the middle of town at the Los Osos Community Park. 1972 marked the restored school's 100th birthday and today it is readily available for event and meeting rentals.
One of Los Osos' favorite events is its Monday afternoon Farmers Market, held down in picturesque Baywood Park. It's a weekly gathering for families and friends, bringing the crowds together in this hidden cove, far back in the Morro Bay Estuary.
Another gathering spot is the South Bay Community Center, made a reality in 1986 through a state grant, local service clubs, private donations and fundraising. As a primary meeting place for the entire community, public meetings, special events, weddings, recreational programs and live music venues are held on a regular basis. There's a skate park out doors for the kids along with BBQ facilities.
The South Bay Women's Network, Kiwanis Club of Bay-Osos, Rotary Club of Los Osos and the Los Osos / Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce are all networking opportunities for those living here in Los Osos.
Several key employers in Los Osos include Sea Pines Golf Resort, several of the grocery stores in the area and a number of banks and real estate offices. There are many who work from home, as well, with privately owned businesses.
As is the norm with many areas within San Luis Obispo County, the great outdoors is enjoyed here, as well. With seasonably mild weather, people enjoy the area year-round.
With that in mind, Los Osos draws an environmentally-friendly group of both visitors and residents. The Los Osos/Morro Bay Chapter of Small Wilderness Area Preservation (SWAP) has adopted the elfin forest, a natural preserve filled with views of the estuary, boardwalk pathways and a wonderful area filled with Pygmy Oaks. Nearby Sweet Springs Nature Preserve also offers freshwater ponds, salt marshes, ducks, turtles and plenty of walking trails.
Montana de Oro State Park (Mountain of Gold), seven miles past the downtown sector, features rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and trails leading into the back country including to 1,347-foot Valencia Peak. Naturalists, backpackers, campers, mountain bikers and beach combers enjoy the park's many vistas. Equestrian and mountain biking trails are plentiful, as well.
A listing of favorite activities found here in Los Osos include: