Things to Do in San Luis Obispo

Tucked in a valley ringed by picturesque peaks, ten minutes from the Pacific Ocean, the mission town of San Luis Obispo basks in a perfect California climate. Consistently rated one of the best places to live in the United States, San Luis Obispo could be full of self-importance, but where else does the bus service call itself "SLO Transit"? And where else can you sit on the curb downtown to eat a plate of barbecue ribs at the Farmers Market?

Join Us for an Amazing Time

Stay at one of the friendliest hotels in town and enjoy its beauty. The same creek that runs past Apple Farm Inn meanders through downtown San Luis Obispo, under Higuera Street, and surfaces again by Mission Plaza, home to some of the top things to do in San Luis Obispo. Eat a leisurely ice cream cone in the shade of massive sycamores and eucalyptus and tour the beautifully restored Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa to learn about the padres who shaped this city way back in 1751.

SLO Attractions

More recently, San Luis Obispo County became a haven for artists, and you can see their work on display at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. The recently updated Creamery Marketplace is a former dairy converted to shops, restaurants, and a yoga studio. Younger audiences will love a visit to the interactive Children's Museum on your weekend getaway, also perched above the creek.

Be sure to catch the SLO Trolley on its loop around downtown. Jump off to explore the many shops, boutiques, and cafés, or catch a movie or a concert at the historic Art Deco Fremont Theatre. If it's Thursday afternoon, you're in luck: Higuera Street is transformed to host the famous farmers market, where you can find fresh local produce, as well as live bands and performers. Afterwards, journey back to Apple Farm Inn and sip a glass of wine on our garden patio.

Along San Luis Obispo's quiet tree-lined streets, you'll find dozens of vintage Victorian homes, many built over 100 years ago by city notables, their names memorialized on plaques by the front door. San Luis Obispo is also home to two colleges: Cuesta Community College and the jewel of the California State University system, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, consistently honored as one of the best universities in the nation. The 21,000-plus students provide youthful energy, vitality, and diversity to the city. On the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus, you'll also find the best arts venue on the entire Central Coast, the spectacular Performing Arts Center of San Luis Obispo, bringing world-renowned artists year-round.

Consult the Front Desk at Apple Farm Inn for information on San Luis Obispo activities. They range from Festival Mozaic, the SLO International Film Festival, City to the Sea Half Marathon, and the SLO Wine Country Harvest Celebration in November.

So Many Fun Places to Explore

Our beautiful Edna Valley and Paso Robles wine country rolls out before your eyes a short drive from the hotel, with a plethora of world-class wineries open for wine tasting. Must-see Hearst Castle rises majestically from the rolling hills to the north, directly off historic Highway 1. On the way to the Castle, visit the towns of Morro Bay, Cayucos, and Cambria for art, outstanding crafts, and excellent food. The hamlet of Harmony (population 18) is easy to overlook, but well worth a stop. Once the site of an old creamery, today the historic structures have been artfully repurposed to house a glassblowing studio, blacksmith's gallery, garden shop, pottery store, music studio, and café.

Don't forget to check out Sensorio in Paso Robles during your visit! This stunning art installation is located approximately 30 minutes north on Highway 101, and offers a unique experience that blends art, technology, and nature. Created by acclaimed artist Bruce Munro, Sensorio features over 58,000 colorful, glowing spheres arranged in a vast, interactive landscape. Visitors can explore the installation on foot and have the opportunity to add an extra level of fun to the experience by booking the Terrace Experience. It's a must-see attraction that's perfect for all ages. Ask our front desk ambassadors about how to get discounted tickets through our preferred partner program.

San Luis Obispo Downtown Trolley Schedule

The trolley loops from North Monterey Street to Downtown every 15 to 20 minutes. You can catch the trolley at the stop next door to us. The cost to ride is just 50 cents each way. The Trolley does not run on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, but it runs on the following days and times:

  • Thursdays (Year-Round)—5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Fridays (June-Labor Day)—5 9p.m.
  • Sundays (April-October)—5 p.m. to 9 p.m.