San Luis Obispo is a city in San Luis Obispo County in the Central Coast region of California.
About half way between Los Angeles (200 miles to the south) and San Francisco (230 miles to the north), nine small but impressive volcanic peaks march down a valley of the Santa Lucia range to the Pacific Ocean. Nestled around two of these peaks is San Luis Obispo ("SLO", "slow", or "San Luis" to locals), a small college town that also is one of California's oldest communities. San Luis and its neighboring communities boast extraordinary resources for hiking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, swimming and surfing; outstanding natural beauty; a carefully preserved and thriving 19th-century downtown centered around a meticulously restored 18th century mission; a small but thriving art gallery scene; and a large and growing collection of top-quality wineries.
San Luis Obispo is bounded by the imposing line of Cuesta Ridge to the northeast, the Irish Hills to the southwest, dramatic Bishop Peak to the northwest and Islay Hill to the southeast. The town clusters around the feet of the 1000 foot Cerro San Luis, notably marked with a big white "M" (for Mission High School). Cal Poly sits hard against Cuesta Ridge (with its big white "P") and the downtown area runs from Cerro San Luis roughly toward campus around two parallel streets, Higuera and Monterey. Most restaurants, bars and shops are located on Higuera Street, nearer the Mission and Cerro San Luis; hotels are mostly located on Monterey Street, nearer the university but still within a mile of the central downtown. A few restaurants are located in the charming Railroad District, about 5 blocks east of Higuera via Santa Rosa Street, near the train station and youth hostel. Read more