San Luis Obispo, California


2013 Best Small Towns in America

Contest ends:  September 3, 2013

270 Votes - "Friendliest"
37 Votes - "Most Beautiful"
5 Votes - "Most Fun"
3 Votes - "Most Patriotic"
2 Votes - "Best For Food"


Dubbed the happiest city in America in Dan Buettner’s book, Thrive, San Luis Obispo’s combination of beaches, mountains and wineries convinced Oprah the town was worthy of the title. Locals credit wide sidewalks and a town square, a ban on drive-thru’s and public smoking, and bike valets as contributors to the town’s unique happiness. An emphasis on small businesses and openness to bartering are part of the neighborly relationships between locals.

This small town offers something for every visitor from hiking, biking or golfing to spas, fine dining and wine tastings. In the Central Coast wine region, over two-dozen family-owned wineries throughout three valleys host tastings, tours and events. There’s no shortage of local events including Art After Dark, Concerts in the Park, Festival Mozaic, Open Studios Tour, and an International Film Festival. You can also browse the farmer’s market every day of the week here.

The historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a must-see and within the two-block plaza you’ll find the History Center of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, and the Children’s Museum. Additionally and Hearst Castle is just north of the town.

A trip to the Central Coast wouldn’t be complete without beach time where surfing, water sports, nature trails and state parks present a variety of options for recreation or relaxation. View photos of the breath-taking coast and read reviews here.

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Reviewed by HaroInobbY
on October 13, 2017
After living all over the country, this is the first place that really feels like home. The most wonderful people live here - I love it!
Reviewed by amyds78
on September 3, 2013
SLO does it effortlessly. A constant and a little known gem. You wouldn't understand unless you come and take in the experience. It's the way the USA was meant to be.
Reviewed by edwards2264
on September 3, 2013
Living the life in paradise!
Reviewed by tlwatson
on September 3, 2013
i have lived in many towns and this is definitely the friendliest- mainly because its such a special place to live and work, its not hard to be friendly- gretchen
Reviewed by crushedgrape
on August 15, 2013
Showing 1 through 5 of 205 reviews



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