What to Do in San Luis Obispo on Memorial Day Weekend 2023

April 14, 2023

Memorial Day weekend at San Luis Obispo is a bustling scene for couples and friends, but there are also plenty of family-friendly things to do in San Luis Obispo over the long weekend. With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant cultural scene, and laid-back vibes, you’re sure to have a grand time in this Happy Place.

Nestled in the heart of the rolling hills of the Central Coast wine country and just a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, spend your long weekend exploring the nearby beaches, and hiking scenic trails. Or maybe go on a foodtrip in some of SLO’s best restaurants and enjoy the local wine and craft beer scenes.

SLO is also home to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, and Memorial Day weekend is no exception. 

Check out our list of fun things to do in San Luis Obispo on Memorial Day weekend, where you can pay respects to our fallen heroes while making new memories with your friends and family.


Viva La Cerveza

Make this Memorial Day weekend 2023 one for the books and join beer lovers from SLO and beyond at Viva La Cerveza at Madonna Meadows on May 27th at 1pm. Get a babysitter if you have kids because it’s a 21 and over event. There’ll be music, tacos, beer, a giant beer pong table, cornhole, inflatable games, and more beers throughout the afternoon. 

Admission for “drinkers” is $55 and includes unlimited beverage tastings, souvenir taster, and access to the event. If you want to stay sober (why would you? We suggest you check out the rest of our list), “sober” admission is $10. Free shuttles will be running continuously during event hours. 


San Luis Obispo Museum of Art Exhibits

Get a glimpse into the vibrant and diverse world of contemporary art in SLO and visit the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. Check out the amazing exhibitions on display during Memorial Weekend, including: 

    • Charlie Rugg’s exhibition: Charlie Rugg is a talented abstract and portrait oil painter based in San Luis Obispo. His works often explore the nature of emergent systems and the life-like characters they create. Don’t miss the chance to see his latest works on display at the museum until May 29, 2023.
    • Marcia Harvey and Elliot Perkins: Call and Response: This is the first time Marcia Harvey and Elliot Perkins exhibit their works together. Harvey, a painter, and Perkins, a potter, influence each other’s work in mostly non-verbal ways, and their works will surely make for a thought-provoking and captivating exhibition. Be sure to check it out from April 7 to July 3, 2023.
    • Marela Zacarías: Storytelling: Marela Zacarías creates stunning painted sculptures of undulating forms, filled with movement and expressive quality. Her labor- and research-intensive process involves molding window screen and plaster to fabricate her works, and her study of the history and specifics of the site of work is reflected in the shapes and patterns of her sculptures. Don’t miss the chance to explore her colorful and elegant works on display until July 7, 2023.


Bruce Munro: Light at Sensorio

Experience the world’s largest Field of Light installation at the Sensorio exhibit, created by British artist Bruce Munro. With 100,000 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics, the exhibit illuminates the landscape in a stunning array of colors. Adjacent to the Field of Light is Light Towers, composed of 69 towers made of more than 17,000 wine bottles illuminated with glowing optic fibers.

Recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from March 16, 2023, to January 6, 2024, visitors can witness this breathtaking spectacle. Tickets range from $11 to $112 and can be purchased on the Sensorio website. The exhibit is powered entirely by solar energy, making it sustainable and eco-friendly.

Visit the Sensorio website for the most current information and event calendar for availability and hours of operation. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable sensory experience!


SLOFunny Comedy Show


See some of the funniest comedians on the Central Coast at the SLOFunny Comedy Show held at the Morro Bay Vet’s Hall on May 27th. Featuring a talented lineup of comedians, including Ellen Doyle, Cari Kabinoff, Leo Flowers, and headliner Michael Malone, get ready to roll on the floor laughing. 

Hosted by the side-splitting Jonny Loquasto, the SLOFunny Comedy Show offers two shows to choose from: an early show at 6:30pm and a “dirty” show at 9pm. While the content of the later show may be more adult-oriented and rated as Very R, both shows guarantee to provide you with a night of outrageous comedy and endless laughs.


Avila Beach Party

memorial day weekend party in avila beach

Kick off the summer season and create lasting memories with loved ones at the Avila Beach Party, located at the Avila Beach Golf Resort in San Luis Obispo. This three-day event, running from May 27th to the 29th, offers an array of activities for all ages, including live music, food and drink vendors, and stunning ocean views.

Dance the days and nights away to the beat of local and national bands and DJs while enjoying the breathtaking backdrop of the Pacific coastline. Feast on a variety of Phresh food options from over 20 local vendors while sipping on refreshing cocktails!

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, beach chairs, blankets, and your friends!


Staycation at Sands Inn and Suites



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For a more low-key and relaxing memorial weekend, bring your family, friends, and pets to Sands Inn and Suites in San Luis Obispo, for the ultimate staycation! Relax and unwind or splash around in our heated pool and spa; stay fit and active in our fitness center, or just watch NetFlix and chill in our plush and cozy rooms. 

Located within walking distance to downtown SLO, and with pristine beaches, rugged hills and an abundance of trails nearby, there are plenty of outdoor activities and fun touristy things to do in San Luis Obispo for you and your family too!


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