Surrounded by majestic mountains, San Luis Obispo is located on California's beautiful Central Coast, eight miles from the Pacific Ocean.
The city sits midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Our historic and progressive community serves as the commercial, governmental and cultural center of the Central Coast, with a population of more than 44,000. The County Government Center, California Polytechnic State University, and Cuesta College are all located here. San Luis Obispo (called “SLO” or “San Luis” by locals) has all the charm of a small town, with clean air, low crime rates, excellent schools, and no major traffic problems. California’s Central Coast is the most diverse region in the state. We enjoy a pleasant year round climate. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 90 degrees and the winters are generally mild.
Downtown San Luis Obispo centers the carefully restored Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The downtown area also boasts many eclectic shops and boutiques. A number of companies in the high-tech industry are based in San Luis Obispo. Because of San Luis Obispo's location halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it has long been a stopping point for travelers. In fact, the word motel was coined here when the Motel Inn of San Luis Obispo was established in 1925. The famous Madonna Inn, Bubblegum Alley and the Carnegie Library at the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum are all local landmarks. The ideal weather provides numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation at state parks, lakes, golf resorts, nearby beach communities and wilderness areas including the Santa Lucia Mountains. The Central Coast is surrounding by lush rolling hillsides covered in numerous wineries and vineyards.
Looking for history and culture? In addition to Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the fifth California mission founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1772, San Luis Obispo once had a burgeoning Chinatown. Laborers were brought from China by Ah Louis in order to construct the Pacific Coast Railroad, roads connecting San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles and Paso Robles to Cambria and also the 1184 tunneling through the Cuesta Grade for the Southern Pacific Railroad. San Luis Obispo County is home to many community and professional theatre production companies and the San Luis Obispo Symphony and Mozart Festival brings friends and family together year round performances in a variety of venues.