San Luis Obispo, California


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

270 Votes - "Friendliest"
37 Votes - "Most Beautiful"
5 Votes - "Most Fun"
3 Votes - "Most Patriotic"
2 Votes - "Best For Food"


Dubbed the happiest city in America in Dan Buettner’s book, Thrive, San Luis Obispo’s combination of beaches, mountains and wineries convinced Oprah the town was worthy of the title. Locals credit wide sidewalks and a town square, a ban on drive-thru’s and public smoking, and bike valets as contributors to the town’s unique happiness. An emphasis on small businesses and openness to bartering are part of the neighborly relationships between locals.

This small town offers something for every visitor from hiking, biking or golfing to spas, fine dining and wine tastings. In the Central Coast wine region, over two-dozen family-owned wineries throughout three valleys host tastings, tours and events. There’s no shortage of local events including Art After Dark, Concerts in the Park, Festival Mozaic, Open Studios Tour, and an International Film Festival. You can also browse the farmer’s market every day of the week here.

The historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a must-see and within the two-block plaza you’ll find the History Center of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, and the Children’s Museum. Additionally and Hearst Castle is just north of the town.

A trip to the Central Coast wouldn’t be complete without beach time where surfing, water sports, nature trails and state parks present a variety of options for recreation or relaxation. View photos of the breath-taking coast and read reviews here.

San Luis Obispo is so beautiful. The local farmers market is the best I have ever been too.
Reviewed by nicrey
on May 9, 2012
Visitors always feel welcomed here.
Reviewed by
on May 8, 2012
A one of a kind place, when you walk down the street people look at you, smile and say, "Hello". And people here love to give hugs!
Reviewed by crosales
on May 8, 2012
San Luis Obispo is a college town that has something for every age. It is removed from the hustle and bustle of Los Angelas yet have so much to do. They have an amazing wine country that is still somewhat secret and does not charge for wine tasting. Pismo Beach is 10 minutes down the road and is a beautiful beach.
Downtown San Luis Obispo has first class shopping and restaurants. There is history here with the old mission and the College has a performing arts center where everyone can attend events.
Great place to relax with moderately priced accomodations. We go often!
Reviewed by smackenzie
on May 8, 2012
SLO is the friendliest and happiest town.
Reviewed by bainfam
on May 8, 2012
Showing 86 through 90 of 205 reviews



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