Top San Luis Obispo Attractions

February 25, 2021

San Luis Obispo (SLO) is one of the premier gems on California’s Central Coast. In part because of its year-round warm temperatures, millions of people visit this area. When they do, they realize it’s filled with many attractions that are both fun and historic. Here are some of the most popular destinations for SLO visitors to check out.

Morro Rock

Located in the center of nearby Morro Bay, Morro Rock is actually a volcanic plug with an estimated age of 23 million years. Accessible via a causeway, the rock is considered a sacred site by the Native American tribes that once populated the area. Visitors aren’t allowed to climb Morro Rock, but they can visit the beach underneath it.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the fifth-oldest such structure in California, is still a thriving church. It’s open every day, and visitors are welcome to explore the mission’s buildings, museum, and beautiful gardens. Tours are also available for those who want more information.

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is the former home of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Along with his architect, Julia Morgan, Hearst spent several decades building this iconic San Mateo mansion. Now a National Historic Landmark, Hearst Castle is open for tours during normal operating times. After taking a day trip to enjoy this fascinating treasure, you’ll be ready to return to your hotel near San Luis Obispo for some rest and relaxation by the pool or spa.

The Central Coast

SLO County boasts 80 miles of coastline and beach towns, each with its own unique character. Visitors can stop at Pismo Beach (made famous by classic Bugs Bunny cartoons) for swimming, hiking, horseback riding, or strolling along its boardwalk and pier. They can also kayak past the cliffs, seals, and sea lions of the Dinosaur Caves. Another popular coastal destination is Avila Beach. Warmer than other beaches because it’s protected from winds by surrounding cliffs, the area is the destination of choice for swimmers, surfers, and people who want to shop and dine along its boardwalk. 

Downtown San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is one of the oldest European-settled areas in California. Before the American westward migration in the mid-1800s, it was home to Spanish and Mexican missionaries. The downtown area features many historic structures that have been meticulously restored. 

Bubblegum Alley

This space in SLO is both fascinating and a little gross. Both sides of the alley feature chewed bubblegum stuck to the walls by tens of thousands of previous visitors. 

Bishop Peak

East of the ocean is a series of mountains known as the Nine Sisters. The tallest, and one of the most popular, is Bishop Peak, another volcanic plug. When hikers reach the 1,546-foot peak, they’re rewarded with amazing views of San Luis Obispo and the Pacific Ocean. 

When you visit San Luis Obispo, there’s so much to do and see you won’t be able to enjoy everything on your list in just one day, so reserve a room for several days at Sands Inn & Suites, a premier San Luis Obispo boutique hotel. Bring the whole family to our pet-friendly inn and enjoy our on-site gym, heated outdoor pool and spa, and free WiFi. Our staff is dedicated to making your stay a memorable one, so call us to reserve your room today at (800) 441-4657.

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