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 best part about this small town is the friendly residents! Cheers to the SLOcals.
Reviewed by AnikaBriner
on May 16, 2012
Small town atmosphere with the friendliest people anywhere
Reviewed by judibun
on May 16, 2012
SLO is the friendliest small town I have ever been!!!! Love love love the SLO life.
Reviewed by natypardo
on May 16, 2012
This is one of those places where strangers say hi when you pass them downtown or on the hiking trails. There are many community events that further draw people of all ages together. I first visited San Luis Obispo (SLO) when I was 15 and on the hunt for a good college. I was amazed by the beauty and friendliness of the city then, and now 12 years have gone by and my husband and I are blessed enough to live and work in SLO and enjoy those qualities daily. SLO is a beautiful town but it's the people that make it so special!
Reviewed by jmorgan
on May 16, 2012
Whenever I visit San Luis Obispo (or SLO-town, as I call it) I am embraced by an atmosphere of calm and friendliness. People look at you and smile (and say "hi") when you walk by. Nobody rushes you to cross the street; in fact, I have seen drivers each wave eachother on to take a parking place or go first at an intersection. Now THAT'S friendly.
Reviewed by bnash
on May 16, 2012
Showing 36 through 40 of 205 reviews



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