Local Area

YesI'm interested, let this school know MaybeBookmark for later NoShow me better matches What does it mean to express interest?
Oops! There was an error.

Reload the page and try again.

Saving your interest We will attempt to notify this school of your interest. This school has been saved to your schools listyour schools list. This school has been removed from your recommended schools list.
For more schools, visit your recommended schools list.

Local Area


{{ error }}
5 College Freshman

Local Area: San Luis Obispo is a great small town with many different adventures to go on, including hiking, going Downtown, and relaxing.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Area: The Farmer's Market is a fun event to go every Thursday. Most shops downtown close after 6, but they stay open later because of this event.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Local Area: SLO is truly one of the most opportunistic and beautiful places to live. Whats more to say about a place where 300 days out of the year you can be outside in the sun around beautiful people and a friendly environment.

3 College Freshman

Local Area: Small town with plenty of outdoor activities. Easy to find something to do.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Area: Known as a college town, San Luis Obispo is dominated by students who are definitely accepted by locals. There is plenty to do in SLO, from hiking and going to the beach to shopping and all kinds of events.

1 person found this useful Report

{{review.SectionLabel}} at {{review.EntityName}}:

{{review.Votes}} found this useful - Did you? Was this useful? Yes Report

Sorry, there are no reviews.

  • {{settings.pageNumber}} of {{settings.maxPages}}
  • Pages:
  • ... {{page}}

Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

View student contributors

San Luis Obispo is a small beach town on the coast of California. People are generally extremely easygoing and relaxed, and the pace of life is much slower than in San Francisco or Los Angeles. There are lots of small businesses around, and it's definitely easy to feel like a part of the community. San Luis Obispo does have a permanent population of adults and families, and the two aren't always respectful of each other's desires, though everyone seems to get along, for the most part. The only other college in the area is a community college—Cuesta College. 

There are increasing numbers of homeless people in the downtown area, but they are mostly friendly. Otherwise, San Luis Obispo is an extremely safe community. Neighbors generally watch out for each other. Whether or not students were athletic before coming to Cal Poly, they will inadvertently become more outdoorsy. It's nearly impossible not to. Nearly everyone tries kayaking, rock climbing, or surfing during their time at Cal Poly. There are always opportunities to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and great weather, either alone or with friends.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Every Thursday evening, Higuera, one of the main streets in town, closes down for one of the biggest farmers' markets in California. It includes music, produce, crafts, and barbecues.
  2. Every year from October through March, the San Luis area (especially Pismo Beach) is host to thousands of Monarch butterflies, who consider this area to have the perfect climate for wintering in.
  3. One weekend in April, parking lots, driveways, and the town square downtown are roped off for the annual I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival. Artists gather with colored chalk to paint beautiful masterpieces on concrete.
  4. San Luis is home to the elegantly quirky Madonna Inn. Each of the 108 guest rooms in this historic hotel is individually decorated with its own theme and color scheme. The men's bathroom in the lobby alone is worth the visit—for gentlemen and ladies alike!
  5. San Luis was born when Father Junipero Serra founded the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in 1772. The original mission is now the centerpiece of downtown San Luis.
Notable Natives
  • Zac Efron – actor
  • Jack Kerouac – writer
Local Slang
  • AG: Arroyo Grande
  • Farmers': The weekly farmers' market held every Thursday on Higuera Street, downtown SLO
  • The Grade: Steeply inclined, dangerous section of 101 just north of SLO that has been under construction for the past decade (and probably the next decade, as well)
  • The PAC: Cal Poly's Performing Arts Center
  • SLO: Common abbreviation of San Luis Obispo
Points of Interest
  • Avila Beach
  • Bill Roalman (Morro Street) Bicycle Boulevard
  • Bishop Peak
  • Bubblegum Alley
  • Hearst Castle
  • Madonna Inn
  • Montaña de Oro
Shopping Centers
Madonna Plaza Shopping Center
Movie Theaters
Fremont Theatre
1035 Monterey St.
San Luis Obispo
(805) 546-8600
Movie Theaters
The Movie Experience 7 at Downtown Centre
888 Marsh St.
San Luis Obispo
(805) 546-8600
Movie Theaters
Palm Theatre
817 Palm St.
San Luis Obispo
(805) 541-5161
Movie Theaters
Sunset Drive-in Theatre
255 Elks Lane
San Luis Obispo
(805) 544-4475
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Los Angeles: : 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • San Francisco: : 4 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 171 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 171 responses

  • 3% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 75% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 19% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 2% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 2% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 171 responses

  • 39% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 21% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 40% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 169 responses

  • 25% Totally.
  • 58% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 17% No way.



pageviews remaining

Non-registered users are limited to 5 school profile page views per month.

Register for free to gain full access!