One of the first things you notice when arriving in San Luis Obispo is its unparalleled natural beauty. The winter rains often carpet the surrounding hills in pristine green during the early spring months. Many who live here thrive on the outdoors and spend much of their time kayaking, hiking, cycling and golfing.

The weather, mild most of the year, offers an added incentive for those who enjoy an abundance of sunshine, fresh air and the great outdoors. The annual temperature average is around 70 degrees and there's a casual friendliness that permeates this town.

San Luis Obispo

Recreational Retreats

Families can enjoy an impressive range of recreational pursuits within the City of San Luis Obispo which include over 500 acres of parks, sports fields, playgrounds, a lake, public swimming pool, many miles of hiking and walking trails and the nine-hole Laguna Lake Municipal Golf Course.

San Luis Obispo also prides itself with its arts with such festivals as the SLO International Film Festival, The Festival Mozaic (formally the Mozart Festival) and numerous smaller theatre, art and live music venues.

Campus Culture

For those who thrive in a more cultural environment, there's plenty of options for that, as well. Broadway plays, popular music entertainers and everything in between is available at the Christopher Cohen Performing Arts Center (PAC), located at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly).

Considered a high ranking university in many capacities, a few impressive majors include: agriculture, architecture, engineering and business. Many who attend Cal Poly have stayed to begin thriving businesses here including Meathead Movers and Jamba Juice, which in 2006 was acquired by Services Acquisition Corp. International for $265 million. Local resident, Chuck Liddell (former Light Heavyweight Champion) is a business alumnus of Cal Poly.

Other notable residents include Loren Roberts (American Professional Golfer), and Phyllis Madonna (world-famous Inn created in 1958 by her and her late husband Alex).

Downtown Browse

For the shopping enthusiast, the quaint downtown district is especially appealing with its unique charm. With a mixture of galleries, restaurants and popular retail names abounding, there's something for everyone. Additional shopping centers are located on the outskirts of town, as well.

San Luis Obispo

One of the most popular attractions in San Luis Obispo is its Thursday night Farmers Market. Held on Higuera Street, one of its quaint downtown sectors, it draws thousands of locals and tourists each week. A sea of vibrantly-colored fruits, vegetables and flowers along with restaurant BBQ booths and live entertainment all line the multi-blocked pedestrian stroll.

During the summer months, the Concerts in the Plaza music series, located in the courtyard surrounding Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (founded in 1772) has become another popular attraction. Live music and dancing accompany the leisurely, warm summer nights, featuring some of the area's multi-dimensional music talent.

There is a favorite to-do list that often circulates for those who are new to San Luis Obispo. A few of these include:

  • Hiking to the top of Cerro San Luis Mountain
  • Attending Thursday Night Farmer's Market (started in 1983)
  • Heading out for a little wine tasting in Edna Valley
  • Visiting certain rooms in the world-famous Madonna Inn
  • Enjoying a meal at the ever-popular McClintocks Steak House

Meet Your Neighbor

While a large sector of San Luis Obispo includes retirees and college students from nearby Cal Poly State University and Cuesta College, there is a strong desire to raise a family here, as well. Politically it's split between democrats (45.5%) and republicans (52.6%). Environmentalism plays a vital role due to the uniqueness of its natural beauty. Its residents attempt to maintain a delicate balance that continues to make this a desirable location to live.

For anyone just moving into San Luis Obispo, the Chamber of Commerce maintains a thriving business-oriented population. There's a San Luis Obispo Newcomers Club and volunteerism opportunities abound with the city's many non-profit organizations. You can also join numerous clubs including the Sierra Club, YMCA, Blues Society and SLO Skiers, just to name a few.