Where Can I See San Luis Obispo’s Wildlife?

October 18, 2021

Whether you prefer your wildlife in the form of trees and flowers or a mix of land and aquatic animals and other living creatures, San Luis Obispo has you covered. If you have plans to visit SLO soon, take some time to discover the many places in this area where you can see wildlife for yourself. Below, we suggest some wildlife-rich locations for your consideration.

San Luis Obispo Creek

One of the much-appreciated perks of spending time in SLO is being able to enjoy wildlife in a casual, relaxed way. One way to accomplish this goal is to dine at one of the restaurants along San Luis Obispo Creek and look out the window. Running right through the downtown area, this charming little creek is lined with trees and other vegetation.

Dallidet Adobe & Gardens

Located on Pacific Street, this is another convenient place to see wildlife in San Luis Obispo. This historic site still has its original architecture, which only makes the beautiful gardens here catch the eye even more as you explore.

Central Coast Aquarium

Found in nearby Avila Beach, this aquarium is full of marine life you can see up close during your time in the SLO area. Features include:

• Hands-on exhibits
• Sea urchins, hermit crabs, sea stars, and other local species
• Sharks, jellyfish, octopi, and similar marine creatures

Charles Paddock Zoo

This cozy zoo in nearby Atascadero is another place to see wildlife in a way that’s easily accessible for the casual SLO visitor. If you take the short trip here, you’ll be able to observe hundreds of animals from around the world, including rare and exotic species. 

Pismo Beach

If you’ll be heading to this popular nearby beach, keep an eye out for local wildlife. Rent a boat or kayak and don’t be surprised to spot dolphins or even a migrating whale during certain times of year. It’s also not unusual to see peregrine falcons, herons, and California brown pelicans. After an exciting day on the water enjoying the diverse wildlife, you’ll be ready to return to your boutique hotel near San Luis Obispo for some rest and relaxation by the pool or spa.

The SLO Stretch of Highway 1

Because it’s close to the large migratory pathway for birds known as the Pacific Flyway, the San Luis Obispo section along California’s iconic Highway 1 is considered one of the top regions in the world for bird lovers. You can view this type of wildlife by taking a casual drive. There are also hiking trails tucked away in certain spots if you prefer to check out the wildlife around the highway on foot instead.

Irish Hills Natural Reserve & Vulture Peak

This large natural area is accessible from Prefumo Canyon Road and Isabella Way in SLO. It’s home to diverse local habitats you can explore at a pace that’s comfortable for you along the eight-plus miles of trails here. Vulture Peak, located in the South Hills Open Space, is another equally appealing nature preserve in the area. 

With so many interesting places to view nature and wildlife in San Luis Obispo, you won’t be able to enjoy everything on your must-see list in just a day or two, so reserve a room for several days at Sands Inn & Suites, a premier San Luis Obispo 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.

Subscribe Now For Our Latest Offers

Receive updates on our latest hotel offers and deals.