The Most Popular Places to Visit in San Luis Obispo

November 15, 2021

The inviting, laid-back ambience of San Luis Obispo makes this small California community a popular destination for anyone looking to relax and unwind. If you’re like most visitors to SLO, you’ll likely gravitate toward some of the local popular sites. Because of the many options for things to do and see, a valid case can be made for considering the city’s downtown area the most visited spot located directly in San Luis Obispo. Below, the welcoming staff at Sands Inn & Suites, a premier San Luis Obispo boutique hotel you can rely on for exceptional service and comfort, offer a few suggestions for where to go when you’re in SLO, particularly in the downtown area

Downtown SLO

The downtown area of San Luis Obispo is fairly expansive and a perfect mix of charming, casual atmosphere and an assortment of dining, shopping, and cultural options. Plus, it’s easily accessible and walkable, with spacious streets and sidewalks. Downtown SLO is also where the popular Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market takes place every Thursday evening on Higuera Street. What’s more, it’s open year-round thanks to the generally mild temperatures and pleasant weather common here. From March through October, the market runs from 6 to 9 p.m. From November through February, times shift from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Highlights of the farmers’ market include:

• Five blocks of fresh fruits, veggies, and other local goodies
• Locally famous BBQ offerings
• Multiple tasty meal options
• Live entertainment that includes local bands

With shopping, San Luis Obispo’s downtown area is just as inviting. As you stroll along the tree-lined streets here, you’ll discover a mix of popular chain stores and more unique boutique shops like Hep Kat Clothing, Apple Farm Gift Shop, and Avanti.


Downtown SLO dining is equally appealing and absolutely appetizing. Firestone Grill and Goshi are among the many top-rated dining destinations in the downtown area. It’s also possible to find some great coffee spots and other quick-bite locations within this area. Because San Luis Obispo Creek runs right through the downtown area, it’s also possible to get a perfect view of the creek and the trees around it at any of the creekside restaurants here. Novo is one that’s highly recommended.


Once you’re done dining by the creek, feel free to take a casual walk beside this small waterway. If you do, you’ll end up at the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum, which features permanent and interactive exhibits. Speaking of museums, downtown SLO is also home to many museums you can conveniently visit when not dining, shopping, or checking out the happenings at the farmers’ market. In addition to the Children’s Museum, popular downtown-area museums include:

• San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
• San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum
• San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum

Bubblegum Alley

Bubblegum Alley is worthy of a mention, too. It’s a popular downtown SLO alleyway that has gained fame in its own right because of the massive amount of used gum found here. According to some sources, the tradition of leaving gum behind in this particular spot could date back to the 1950s. You’ll find it in the 700 block of Higuera Street.

Visitors to San Luis Obispo will find so much to enjoy they’ll want to stay for several days. If you’re looking for high-quality service at an exceptionally comfortable boutique hotel near San Luis Obispo, reach out to the friendly staff at Sands Inn & Suites. We have everything our guests need for a relaxing stay. Our wide array of amenities include refrigerators, microwave ovens, flat-screen TVs with digital cable, and complimentary high-speed WiFi. To learn more about our exceptional accommodations, call us today at (800) 441-4657.

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