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11 fun things to do in San Luis Obispo

Laidback vibes, surfing, scenic beauty and local artistry pepper our list of best things to do in San Luis Obispo

By Stephanie Breijo

Wedged between Big Sur and Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo is the unofficial center of the Central Coast, a mix of beach culture, metropolitan sensibilities and some of the country's best farmland. You might catch Cal Poly students trading books for a board and some waves at the start or end of their day, or local artists setting up an easel on a streetcorner in SLO's charming downtown. With a long history of laidback vibes and scenic beauty, this is one of the oldest communities in the state—but there's always something new going on. Want to make sure you're ahead of it all? Just follow our handy guide to the most amazing things to do in San Luis Obispo.

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Best things to do in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Sarah P.

11. San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

Museums Art and design

What is it: This small but well-curated museum focuses on contemporary pieces, often shining a spotlight on locally made works. Whether you're looking to take in some paintings, sculptures, printmaking, film or photography, chances are you'll find it here.

Why go: Get to know California through its artists. The museum likes to highlight living and contemporary makers from across the state. Make the most of your visit with one of the museum's phone-audio or docent-led tours, the monthly donation-based documentary screenings, and the "ArtWays" series, a free, monthly talk through the museum's exhibits and history. 


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