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San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach

San Luis Obispo and Avila Beach Vacations

San Luis Obispo lies roughly midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and has been dubbed the “Happiest City in America.” Nearby Avila Beach is a hidden gem tucked away on San Luis Obispo Bay.

Region: Central Coast


Best known as a college town, being the location of popular California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo is also home to Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, founded in 1772 by Father Junipero Serra. San Luis Obispo is also renowned for the Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market, which occurs every Thursday on Higuera Street and boasts five blocks featuring more than 100 vendors, and Spanish architecture in its historic downtown. Avila Beach is a small and picturesque classic California beach town. Its quaint palm-lined, pedestrian-only promenade overlooks the beach and is the perfect place for dining, shopping, strolling, or just watching the waves. 

What to See

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa – Established in the 18th century by Father Junipero Serra, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was the fifth of the 21 Spanish missions in California. This California Historical Landmark is still an active church and features a museum and gift shop. 

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art – SLOMA, located in downtown San Luis Obispo, features art by renowned California, national, and international artists. It boasts three public galleries of fine arts and crafts.

Avila Beach – Relax on picture-postcard Avila Beach, which features a 1,685-foot-long pier. The town’s pedestrian-only promenade, which runs along the beach, features a cornucopia of restaurants and shops and is where you will find the entrance to the pier. Other must-see sights in Avila include the Central Coast Aquarium and Avila Hot Springs.