Will I Need a Car when I Visit San Luis Obispo?

February 21, 2022

The happy, charming city of San Luis Obispo is a sun-kissed destination where relaxation and tranquility are part of daily life. When it comes to absorbing yourself in this laid-back culture, there are several options for transportation to consider, so you don’t necessarily need a vehicle. Here’s what you need to know about your options and what to consider with regard to bringing your own vehicle or renting one locally when you’re staying at a hotel near San Luis Obispo.

The Downtown Area Is Extremely Walkable

Visiting San Luis Obispo without a vehicle is totally doable if you’ll primarily be hanging out in the downtown area. In this one spot alone, there are many top-rated restaurants and lots of shopping opportunities. You can also walk through this area and enjoy any of the following options:

• Sampling wine at one of the tasting rooms
• Enjoying a visit to Higuera Street to sample the goodies at the weekly farmers’ market
• Taking some pics or selfies in Bubblegum Alley
• Checking out at the creative treasures at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
• Walking by the downtown creek, which also has restaurants perched next to it

Some Nearby Areas Are Accessible without a Vehicle

If you’re up for some spectacular views and natural wonders during your visit, there are nearby locations you can technically get to without a vehicle. For instance, Bishop Peak is about four miles from San Luis Obispo, and you can actually get here if you’re up for some fresh air and physical activity. After a hike in this gorgeous location, you’ll be ready to head back to your San Luis Obispo boutique hotel for a relaxing evening by the pool.

Car Rental Is Worth Considering if You Want Some Beach Time

If you want to squeeze some beach time into your visit to San Luis Obispo, there are beaches in the area you’ll absolutely love. As for getting to nearby places like Morro Bay, Cayucos, Pismo Beach, or Avila Beach, the most convenient option is to rent a car locally. This also applies if you want to take some day trips to places like Montaña de Oro State Park.

SLO Transportation Options

Before you make a decision about bringing your own vehicle or renting one during your stay in San Luis Obispo, it can be helpful to know what additional transportation possibilities are available here. In addition to car rentals, options include:

• Bike – For more than a decade now, SLO has been an official bicycle-friendly community thanks to the 60-plus miles of bike paths here. Within the city, there are more than 100 bike parking spots for your added convenience.

• Bus – The city has reliable bus service that goes throughout the city. There’s also a handy app you can use to stay on top of arrival times and bus schedules.

• Train – There’s an Amtrak railroad station in San Luis Obispo outside the downtown area, and the train service runs throughout the region. This is an option to consider if you want to plan some day trips anywhere along the train’s route. 

When you visit San Luis Obispo, you’ll find so much to enjoy you won’t be able to do everything on your list in just one day, so make sure to reserve a room at Sands Inn & Suites, a premier hotel near San Luis Obispo. Bring the whole family to our pet-friendly inn and enjoy our wide variety of amenities, including an on-site gym, heated outdoor pool and spa, and free WiFi. Our staff is dedicated to making your stay unforgettable, so call us to reserve your room today at (800) 441-4657.

Subscribe Now For Our Latest Offers

Receive updates on our latest hotel offers and deals.