If you'll be exploring the Central California Coast, our selection of San Luis Obispo vacation rentals offer short drives to the shore, the vineyards, and much more!
This charming city is centrally located near US 101, about halfway between San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles and only 10 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Home to California Polytechnic State University and near the world-famous Paso Robles wine country, the town was established way back in 1772.
With roughly 13 square miles of verdant valleys, hardy Mediterranean flora, and easily accessible urban attractions, San Luis Obispo is a great home base for your Central Coast vacation. Start your day off with a Cali breakfast of avocados and eggs at one of many cafes in the pedestrian-friendly downtown. Dive into the city's past at the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum and the nearly 250-year-old, still-functioning Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. For a more offbeat experience, stroll by Bubblegum Alley...which is exactly as it sounds!
A few minutes' drive from downtown, you'll find the eccentric Madonna Inn, a baroque-inspired resort founded in 1958 that will please aspiring and professional photographers alike. If Art Deco and mid-century modern are more your style, catch a current release at the Fremont Theater or the retro-inspired Sunset Drive-In.
For both visitors and residents of Golden State, a road trip on Highway One is a must! Pick up the shoreline road near our San Luis Obispo vacation rentals and meet the Pacific at Morro Bay. On your way, you'll find El Chorro Regional Park for short hikes, birdwatching, and fishing. Once you reach the bay, grab local a seafood or fresh Mexican lunch for a beach picnic and take a moment to admire Morro Rock's peregrine falcons.
From Morro Bay, you could head north to San Simeon for the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, or a visit to the Hearst Castle on the publishing tycoon's La Cuesta Encantada estate. If you swing south, you'll find Montana de Oro State Park where you can windsurf, ride horses on the beach, or just take a stroll alongside grazing sandpipers. Part of your day-long adventure is, in fact, the scenic drive on top of seaside bluffs adorned with orange poppies and feathery pampas grass. It's a trip you'll never forget!
If you're visiting this area, chances are you came for the wines! Paso Robles (about 30 minutes away from downtown San Luis Obispo), thrives on 26,000 acres of vines and is known for its quintessentially California Zinfandels and Rhône-style vintages.
Don't know where to start? Book a guided tour so that everyone in your group can partake in tastings. If you have a designated driver, you could plan a fast and loose itinerary on the suggestions of friendly locals. Don't overlook the region's olive oils and honey from bees that pollinate its almond groves. Then, finish your day with dinner at one of the top-notch restaurants in downtown Paso Robles.
While California is known for its world-class metropolises, it also holds a wealth of small urban gems like this one. When you choose to make your home base here, you'll find lovely San Luis Obispo vacation rentals you won't want to leave!
Photo credit: Sean Andersohn via Shutterstock