Things to Do

Things to Do in San Luis Obispo, California

There are lots of things to do in San Luis Obispo, also known as the happiest city in America by both National Geographic and Oprah. The abundant nature trails, delicious restaurants, walkable downtown, proximity to the beach, and thriving local culture will all put a smile on your face. In addition to everything there is in our hometown, San Luis Obispo is the county seat of the larger SLO County, an area known for its temperate climate and fertile farmlands.

Situated on the Central Coast, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, our hotel is the perfect destination for road trippers of all ages.

Nature hiking trails

A chain of volcanic hills, called The Nine Sisters or the Morros run through San Luis Obispo. Ranging from easier walks to challenging but manageable hikes, the views from the top of the Morros around our hotel and the area are a must-see. Our hotel is at the foot of Cerro San Luis, and it is about an hour long walk from our hotel’s front door to its peak overlooking downtown.

For a more challenging but rewarding hike, Bishop Peak is an excellent day hike and one of the most popular things to do in San Luis Obispo. Start at the trailhead on Highland Drive for this 3.5 mile round-trip up the tallest of the Nine Sisters. For a slightly easier time, the Felsman Loop Trail starting at Patricia Drive will give you a similar view.

Pedestrian friendly downtown

Our walkable downtown has a blocked off corridor for foot traffic only. Starting at the Mission San Luis Obsipo de Tolosa, our downtown is home to independent boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. Come here on a Thursday or Saturday for the Farmer’s Market, where nearby farmers and artisans sell their goods. Buy fresh produce year round, pick up some local crafts, or just stop and listen to live music.

In between poking around the shops and eating farm-to-fork food, some stops to make in our downtown include:

  • Fremont Theatre – A historic movie theater turned performing arts venue
  • SLO Museum of Art – A gallery focused on contemporary Californian art
  • Bubblegum Alley – Not for germaphobes, people have been filling this alley with gum since the 1970s!

Road trip Destinations

Is SLO a destination in your coastal road trip? Stop for all the things to do in San Luis Obispo itself, with close access to the beauty and history nearby as well. Our hotel puts you perfectly between the charming historic downtown, the ocean, and the rest of the county! If you’re planning your itinerary, make Best Western Royal Oak Hotel your home base for discovering:

  • Avila Beach – a charming beach town with sandy shores and bubbling hot spring day spas
  • Hearst Castle – William Randolph Hearst’s former home is a surreal American castle which blends sweeping grounds and views with a zoo and truly surreal architecture
  • Morro Bay – A tourist-friendly town built facing the Morro closest to the ocean, an enormous volcanic rock that begs to be photographed