Sunset at the bay near Hotel Buena Vista San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo Attractions

Explore a Diverse Array of Things to Do

Hotel Buena Vista offers easy access to a diverse array of attractions and things to do in San Luis Obispo, from the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center and Cerro San Luis Obispo Loop Trail to the iconic Sunset Drive-In, one of the last remaining drive-in theaters in California. Leisure travelers can enjoy a day trip to the magnificent Hearst Castle, a National Historic Landmark mansion featuring 56 bedrooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a private zoo. A fully functioning Catholic church in which visitors are welcome to wander through its sanctuary and courtyard gardens, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa offers a humbling contrast to the grandeur of Hearst Castle. Enjoy the fresh air while teeing off at 10-hole Laguna Lake Golf Course, about four miles from our hotel, then head out into nearby San Luis Obispo wine country for tastings and tours.

Need help planning your San Luis Obispo adventure? Our 24-hour concierge is available to recommend attractions and things to do and assist with tour arrangements, tickets, transportation and anything else you may need.

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Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a Spanish mission founded September 1, 1772 by Father Junípero Serra in San Luis Obispo, California. Named after Saint Louis of Anjou, the bishop of Toulouse, the mission is the namesake of San Luis Obispo. 

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Bishops Peak

Bishop Peak is a 1,546-foot volcanic plug in San Luis Obispo, California. It is the tallest of the Morros or "Nine Sisters", a chain of similar peaks stretching to Morro Bay. Often said to take its name from its resemblance to a bishop's miter, it is named in homage to the town's name.

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Sunset Drive-in

One of the last remaining drive-in theaters in California, the Sunset Drive-In shows double-header flicks at a family-friendly price of just $8.00 per person for 12 and up, $3.00 for 5 – 11, and free for the little ones under 4.

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Cerro San Luis Obispo Loop Trail

Cerro San Luis Obispo Loop Trail is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near San Luis Obispo, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

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Bubble Gum Alley

Bubblegum Alley is a tourist attraction in downtown San Luis Obispo, California, known for its accumulation of used bubble gum on the walls of an alley. It is a 15-foot high and 70-foot long alley lined with chewed gum left by passers-by

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101 Wine Tours

At 101 Wine Tours, we pride ourselves on creating custom experiences that are tailored to the needs and preferences of our clients. Whether you know what you want to see and who you want to visit or you are going with our recommendations, we go the extra mile to make sure your time with us is comfortable, memorable, and fun! From our preferences questionnaire that you complete prior to your tour to our knowledgeable guides and comfortable vans, your experience with 101 Wine Tours is one that you’ll not soon forget!

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Central Coast Veteran's Memorial

A museum of military artifacts of all U.S. wars with special emphasis on local, central coast veterans. The board and committee members are all veterans are  also members of several local veteran organizations.

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Dallidet Adobe & Gardens -

Built in the 1830s by pioneer French settler and the county’s first commercial vintner, Pierre Hypolite Dallidet, the Dallidet Adobe and Gardens offer an eloquent living museum for visitors to tour for free or rent for wedding receptions and other special events.

Admission is free.

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History Center of San Luis Obispo County

The History Center Museum of San Luis Obispo County houses three rotating exhibits featuring information on local history and a bookstore. Visitors are invited to come explore the museum themselves, however, docents are available to provide guided tours for adult and student groups upon prior reservation.

ADMISSION

Free

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Farmer's Market

A trip to San Luis Obispo would not be complete without a stop at the world-famous Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market, happening every Thursday night, or the Saturday morning market at Madonna Plaza Shopping Center. Food is something to celebrate in San Luis Obispo, where local farms and agriculture thrive and grow fresh, flavorful produce all year-round.

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Performing Arts Center

PAC Outreach Services exists to increase accessibility of the Performing Arts Center to local K-12 students, the Cal Poly campus and the Central Coast community, as well as to provide arts education opportunities to the public.

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Hearst Castle

Marvel at the grand vision of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst with a tour of Hearst Castle, his luxurious estate turned museum, one of the world’s greatest showplaces. Just 45 minutes north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1, you can explore the magnificent Hearst Castle, a California State Park.

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Point San Luis Light house

The Point San Luis Lighthouse is a hidden gem on the Central Coast, located on the north side of Port San Luis Harbor near Avila Beach. The 30-acre nature preserve can be reached by a docent-led hike of the Pecho Coast Trail, a classic trolley ride, or by kayak.

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SLO Botanical Garden

Built to display the diverse native plants and flowers of Mediterranean climates, the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden are a serene and relaxing spot for the whole family. With opportunities for education, recreation, conservation and research, the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden offers docent-led nature tours, activities for kids, a garden shop, educational gardening classes, a concert series and many other events for San Luis Obispo visitors to enjoy for free.

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Charles Paddock Zoo

With acres of nature preserves, parks, beaches, and hills teeming with animal life, a vacation to San Luis Obispo is always an adventure. Within a short drive from San Luis Obispo, your family can visit the elephant seals at San Simeon, the zebras and other private zoo animals roaming freely at Hearst Castle, the butterflies at Monarch Grove in Pismo Beach, and the sea otters in Morro Bay.

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Palm Theatre

The Palm Theatre has been around since March of 1988. In the summer of 2004, the owners installed 98 solar panels on the roof of the Palm, becoming the first movie theatre in the United States to become solar powered. If you want to catch a movie, check out current movie listings. Continue down Chorro Street and you will run into the entrance of the San Luis Obispo Mission.

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San Luis Obispo Children's Museum

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly museum in San Luis Obispo, you’ll see that the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum was created to provide a fun place for children and families to explore, discover and learn through hands-on exhibits and interactive programs. Featuring three floors and an outside playscape, this San Luis Obispo museum is jam-packed with unique exhibits, educational programs, and activities for children ages 1-10. Museum staff host a new themed-program each week, complete with a craft to go along with the season. The museum also is available for birthday parties, offering fun for all ages.

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The San Luis Obispo Of Art Museum

Founded in the 1950s, the San Luis Obispo Art Association evolved into the San Luis Obispo Art Center, which transformed into today’s San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, locally known as SLOMA. Admission to the museum is free, and docent-led tours can be scheduled at your convenience. If you have kids along for the walking tour, be sure to check out the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum.

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The Monday Club of San Luis Obispo

The Monday Club, designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, the first licensed woman architect in California, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Established as a meeting place for a dedicated women’s group in the community, the Monday Club of San Luis Obispo offers free guided tours to the public every Monday in addition to being available to rent for events. Member docents share Monday Club’s history while taking visitors through the historic clubhouse’s architecture.

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