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.

The scenery is great, the weather fabulous and the location suburb, but it's the people that make San Luis Obispo so special. It really is the friendliest town in America where people still care about their neighbors and welcome travelers with open hospitality. I fell in love with this town 43 years ago and I never left.
Reviewed by davidgarth
on May 3, 2012
Everyone is so friendly in the town, from the colloge students to the long time residents
Reviewed by Chris246
on May 3, 2012
San Luis Obispo is beautiful little town that offers Thursday night farmers market, hiking, exploring , great food and friendly people.
Reviewed by JillB66
on May 3, 2012
Very Friendly community and excellent customer service.
Reviewed by Joejoe1220
on May 3, 2012
I would love to move to SLO one day! Perfect little town in a great location!
Reviewed by maggieisherwood
on May 3, 2012
Showing 121 through 125 of 205 reviews



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