San Luis Obispo is a beautiful city with so much to offer. This includes miles of pristine beaches, a vibrant culture, delicious food, abundant shopping opportunities, and access to some of the most beautiful places in California. But a trip to the city can be quite an educational experience as well. Here are five must-visit places in San Luis Obispo where you’ll definitely learn a little something.
Located downtown along Mission Plaza, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art should be your first stop. It’s not a huge place, but it’s packed with paintings, photos, drawings, sculptures, and all sorts of artwork created by local California artists. In addition to the museum’s permanent collection, you’ll also find revolving exhibits throughout the year. After you visit this museum, you can head across the street to check out the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum.
If you’re interested in learning about plants and nature, head on over to the five-acre Leaning Pine Arboretum, which is located on the Cal Poly campus. It’s free to visit and open year-round (with the exception of Sundays and academic holidays), and it offers some amazing views of the mountains in the area. As you explore the gardens, you’ll learn about plants native to the area as well as plants from around the world. There’s even a primitive garden that will take you back in time with its prehistoric plants. After spending a day at the arboretum in the fresh air and sunshine, you’ll be ready to return to your boutique hotel near San Luis Obispo ready for some rest and relaxation by the pool or spa.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is one of the city’s top attractions, and it’s a must-stop for history buffs. The 18th-century mission is thought to be one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in California. Not only can you tour it, but there’s also a museum on the premises that focuses on the mission’s history as well as the history of the area’s European settlers and the Native American tribes who lived there. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop, which is open when the museum is open.
If you’re visiting San Luis Obispo with little ones who are 10 and under, you can’t go wrong with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. Your kids can play and learn from the interactive exhibits that promote creativity and curiosity. They’ll let their imaginations run wild and not even realize they’re learning while they play. The museum has a permanent collection of exhibits as well as revolving exhibits.
Kids and grownups alike will enjoy a trip to the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. You’ll learn all about the history of California’s railroads along with a few other topics, including the Pacific Coast Highway, surfing, and the Santa Maria Valley in general. There’s even a 1,200-square-foot model railroad. You can also tour historic boxcars.
When you visit San Luis Obispo, there’s so much to enjoy you won’t be able to do and see everything on your list in just one day, so reserve a room for a night or two at Sands Inn & Suites, a premier San Luis Obispo hotel. Bring the whole family to our pet-friendly inn and enjoy our complimentary breakfast buffet, 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.