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.

I love SLO! Many of the shop owners take the time to learn your name and greet you when you come in. I've got multiple places that just ask me if I want my "usual." Can't get friendlier than that.
Reviewed by DaveLouw
on May 3, 2012
SLO is a fabulous town in so many ways - the beautiful countryside that surrounds it and the wonderful people that inhabit it, with a great university and community college to support it. San Luis Obispo is amazing. Weather is almost always perfect, and no traffic!
Reviewed by roxannecarr
on May 3, 2012
I can't decide what I love most about Slo County. The numerous hikes and trails for exploring? Or could it be the beautifully scenic countryside which produces some of the best Pinot Noir grapes in the world? Or perhaps it's the fun street fairs like the famous Thursday night Farmer's Market....Whether you are here going to school, visiting from out of town or just a San Luis Local, I'm sure you would agree that we are a definite contender for the best of the best!
Most friendliest!
I <3 SLO
Reviewed by missbethmc
on May 3, 2012
Town is beautiful, people are friendly!
Reviewed by leesing
on May 3, 2012
Trying too much to be like Malibu or Santa Barbara. Too many nay sayers and politicians.
Reviewed by oldslotowngone
on May 3, 2012
Showing 116 through 120 of 205 reviews



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