SLO film festival enjoyed a banner 2018 with record-breaking attendance

Spring rain storms failed to dampen the 2018 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, which saw record attendance and a huge boost in festival pass sales. About 12,500 people attended the 2018 festival, which celebrated its 24th year in March, festival director Wendy Eidson said, up nearly 9 percent from 11,500 in 2017.

50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2018

Armed with its almost entirely volunteer-run organization, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival has managed to mine fervent local support and a perennially happy alumni network.

Roadside motels unsung heroes of road trips

The world’s first motel was the Milestone Mo-Tel in San Luis Obispo, California, built in 1925.

The Most Scenic Motorbike Rides Around the World

From Santa Cruz’s Monterey Bay to San Luis Obispo’s art galleries to Santa Barbara that is the “American Riviera,” there’s something for everyone.

CA: SLO Airport Adds Another Flight to Denver — and Bigger Planes

United Airlines launched a second daily flight last week from San Luis Obispo to Denver International Airport, part of the airline’s push to expand the number of Central Coast travelers it serves.

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Offers Spring Savings for Train Travel to Top Coastal Destinations

113 outlets including Travel Pulse cover Pacific Surfliner deal to Ventura, Santa Barbara and SLO.

California Road Trip Itinerary Part 1 (LA To San Luis Obispo)

SLO just had a very cool vibe, very relaxed with tons of great food and shopping, beautiful homes, etc.

Golden State Grub: The Best Things to Eat in California

Food Network includes a stop in SLO for Firestone tri-tip in their annual round up of best things to eat in California.

SLO county recognized as one of the world’s 10 best wine regions

San Luis Obispo was recently recognized as one of the world’s 10 best Wine regions by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Top 25 Record Stores In Canada & The U.S.

Yelp includes Boo Boo Records in their round up of the top 25 record stores in Canada and the US saying “Independent record stores remain musical meccas and gathering spaces for the true music fans, many who are on lifelong scavenger hunts for specific vinyl treasures.”

San Luis Obispo, California is a Perfect Destination for Couples to Enjoy Hiking, Theater, and Wineries

Some travel destinations are known for the outdoors, food, and drink scene. Others are known for their arts and culture. But few cities offer travelers a taste of all of the above. San Luis Obispo, California, is one of those rare places that has a little bit of everything, making it a preferred destination for couples who enjoy a variety of activities.

10 Funkiest Motels for Families

Set in the golden hills along California’s central coast near the town of San Luis Obispo, the Madonna Inn is a landmark hotel that has been the backdrop for television shows, movies, and music videos.

5 Places in SLO to Take Your Family

Whether you’re a Central Coast native or from out of state, San Luis Obispo is now your “SLOme”! Finding the perfect SLO activity to do when friends and family come to visit can be difficult due to the vast amount of options.

San Luis Obispo County California Travel Guide

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway that’ll make you want to put away your phone and soak in nature, SLO is the place.

SLO film festival enjoyed a banner 2018 with record-breaking attendance

Spring rain storms failed to dampen the 2018 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, which saw record attendance and a huge boost in festival pass sales.

Wine Flies Free

If you’re flying out of San Luis Obispo on Alaskan Air a full case of wine flies with you free with —making it easy to transport your post–wine country loot back home with you.

Drink rosé all day in this 1969 Airstream tasting room

Based in San Luis Obispo, Malene Wines first launched its small-batch, Provençal-style rosé in May 2016. Now, to celebrate the 2017 vintage, the winery is taking its tasting room on the road in style—in a 1969 Airstream Overlander trailer.

Rosé craze makes its way to cider, beer, vodka

Try 2017 Malene Rosé on tap at Malene’s mobile tasting room. The 1969 Airstream Overlander Trailer will open Friday to Sunday in San Luis Obispo, Calif., adjacent to Chamisal Vineyards, in May.

San Luis Obispo 360 Magazine

San Luis Obispo plays host to endless opportunities to shop, play, eat, drink and learn.

Sights and Bites from the Central Coast Veg Fest

On February 17th, 2018, the Central Coast Vegans held the first ever Central Coast Veg Fest at the SLO Veteran’s Hall on Grand Avenue, just minutes away from the Cal Poly campus.

A Beautiful Breakfast at Big Sky Café

I’ve shared often lately about my love for this “SLO” (get it?) college town. Their tree-lined main drags are filled with divine restaurants, cafes and bars and Big Sky Cafe is one of the Central Coast city’s highlights

Happiness Advice from the World’s Happiest Places

If you’re unhappy and living in a place where overall happiness is reportedly low, moving to a place like San Luis Obispo in California will stack your happiness deck.

Is This California Town the Happiest Place in America?

Forget Disneyland. If you’re looking for the true happiest place on Earth, you need to visit San Luis Obispo (or SLO, as it’s called), a charming town located along the Central Coast halfway between the Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Hotels booked up with South Coast storm evacuees

Many evacuees are expected to head north, and several hotels in San Luis Obispo are offering special rates.

8 Hotel Suites That Bring Your Favorite Fairy Tale to Life

The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland would feel right at home in the Hearts & Flowers room at Central Coast gem the Madonna Inn. With carpet, chairs and couch drenched in red and “painting the roses red” velvet wallpaper, it is truly fit for the red queen.

19 Great Small Places to Stay

Santa Barbara Seasons features Petit Soleil, Granada Hotel and Bistro and Garden Street Inn in their round up of best boutique hotels in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Quirky Weekend Getaways Near LA

Serenade your Juliet in the “Old Fashion Honeymoon” semi-suite at the world famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.

Top-rated pit stops along popular road-trip highways

Travelers recommended stopping at the Shell gas station on Santa Rosa St, San Luis Obispo for its location, as it’s the closest gas station to the 101 freeway.

Road Trip

South of Hearst is Scout Coffee, a homegrown roaster from the folks behind HoneyCo located in two eye-catching San Luis Obispo locations.

How to Have the Best Spring Break While Staying in SLO

SLO is actually a great place to spend your break because you’ll have a chance to try out these seven activities you probably don’t have time for when you’re in school

Planning a Short California Road Trip

Lots of craft beer houses and music, we took in a tap house along the way.

Wine Wanderlust Guide: March 2018

As the weather warms, California wine country comes alive with events.

West Coast Travel for Families

Hiking is a popular activity in San Luis Obispo and there are numerous trails that are family friendly. Some of those trails lead directly to the shops on Higuera Street, so that everyone can take a break and do some shopping.

Only True Californians Know About These Golden State Adventures

Go south on the 1 freeway and indulge your penchant for being “pretty in pink” at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.

9 Incredible Long Weekend Getaways

In less than 3 hours, find yourself eating BBQ and drinking fresh-pressed juice underneath that Central California sunshine.

San Luis Obispo, California is a Perfect Destination for Couples

San Luis Obispo, California, is one of those rare places that has a little bit of everything, making it a preferred destination for couples who enjoy a variety of activities.

72 Hours in San Luis Obispo County, California

Though not on the coast, an overnight stay in San Luis Obispo is a treat for those looking for something to do once the sun goes down.

25 Best Small US Cities to Spend the Weekend

In San Luis Obispo, the weekend starts on Thursday, when thousands of visitors and locals roam the Downtown Farmers’ Market eating barbecue, corn on the cob, and other local delicacies.

The Girl’s Guide to a California Coast Road Trip

Next up, it’s San Luis Obispo—dreamy, eclectic, trendy SLO. Stop here for the night at Madonna Inn, a whimsical resort with a fairy-tale exterior and modern furnishings, such as a hilltop terrace, heated infinity pool, spa, and 45-foot waterfall.

These are the Wine Trips You Should Absolutely Take this Year

When wine-tripping on Highway 1 along the California coast, most head north. But the Central Coast, right around San Luis Obispo County and specifically the Edna Valley wine region, are worth a stop and stay.

9 Best Farmers’ Markets on the West Coast

The San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market offers major meal potential on top of the amazing local produce. Be sure to check out the pulled pork while you’re there and enjoy the musicians.  

10 Best Small College Towns

Located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the town of San Luis Obispo features an architecturally interesting and pedestrian-friendly downtown area, where travelers, residents and students at California Polytechnic State University gather to shop, dine or enjoy a glass of wine from a nearby Edna Valley winery.

Road Trip: Seeking Beer on the California Coast

It’s time to head back south for the return trip on day 2, starting at Libertine Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo for a pour from the all-wild-ale lineup and then Tap It Brewing Co.

The 6 Best Places to See Along California’s Central Coast

Consistently praised as one of the United States’ best college towns—not to mention the happiest, according to Oprah—SLO is easily the central coast’s most unmissable destination.

19 of the world’s weirdest tourist attractions

Since the 1970s, people have stuck wads of chewed gum on this wall in San Luis Obispo, California.

10 Top Farmers’ Markets

Plan to visit this sunny Central Coast college town on a Thursday—stick around until evening and you’ll see why that’s the best day of the week. 

California Dream Eater visits Sidecar in San Luis Obispo

California Dream Eater gets fired up in San Luis Obispo about the unique flavors of Sidecar’s artistic cocktails.

The Most Fitness-Friendly Cities for 2016

Located 11 miles from the Pacific Ocean in hilly central California, San Luis Obispo ranks as the fifth best place to get in shape in 2016.

America’s Best Wine Destinations

The Edna Valley has emerged as one of America’s top wine regions for both the quality of its offering and the beauty of its scenery.

Here’s the pizza capital of every state

San Luis Obispo is the pizza capital of California with 5.7 pizza restaurants per 10,000 people.

The Lazy Man’s Road Trip: A Scenic Drive From L.A. to San Fran

Every once in a while, a woman just has to hit the road. You know, like in a teeny weeny trailer. My plan? To drive along the Central Coast of California, a 350-mile stretch that bills itself as the “Original Road Trip.” 

Deal: $100 gift card with a hotel stay in San Luis Obispo? Yes, please!

San Luis Obispo wants you to come stay. Really. The city is offering hotel guests a $100 gift card just for visiting — and you can spend it any way you like.

Top 10 Large Cities Slideshow

San Luis Obispo continues to make the “best of” lists! This year, SLO has moved up 14 spots to #10 on Milken Institute’s Top 10 Large Cities in 2015.

Glide through the holidays with ice skating in SLO

For many of us, holiday memories include the unique pleasure of ice skating. Relive some of those memories with a trip to the Winter Wonder SLO Ice Rink at the Ales Madonna Expo Center, 100 Madonna Rd., San Luis Obispo.

14 Restaurants Not to Miss on your Trip from LA to San Fran

This establishment has been a welcoming atmosphere in San Luis Obispo since 1927. Its history is deeply rooted in a “friendly corner market” tradition and maintains it by embracing its inherent vintage charm.

20 Best Under-the-Radar Film Festivals in 2016

Plan a weekend getaway to one of these amazing destinations and attend some of the best film festivals in 2016. The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival is a six-day annual event that showcases classic and contemporary films in a number of venues such as the city’s classic Art Deco Fremont Theatre and the independent Palm Theatre.

Visiting San Luis Obispo — the ‘Happiest City in America’

Naturally, the erstwhile cranky New Yorker in me was skeptical when I heard that, only a few hours away, there exists a town widely known as one of the Happiest Places in America: San Luis Obispo, Calif. Here are seven reasons why San Luis Obispo really may be the Happiest Place in America.

Daily Eats: Seriously Falling In Love with SLO

Guys, I’m falling in love with my little town. I can honestly tell you that two months ago I was doubting that I’d ever be able to say this with that true, all encompassing “I love this place” feeling.

Driving the CA Coast + Apple Farm Inn

I took some time off this last weekend to drive the coast with my friend Mariah. We stayed at the adorable Apple Farm Inn, which I discovered via my friend Emi’s blog. And if you’re in the SLO area, please don’t miss the Madonna Inn. It’s like Vegas in a hotel. You just must see it. 

The California Adventure Club: Bubblegum Alley

No one can be certain how the tradition of putting gum in the alley started. Was it after WWII as a San Luis Obispo High School graduating class event? Or did it start in the late 1950s, as rivalry between San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly students? Either way, it’s fun and colorful and pretty gross. 

Wine Enthusiast Ranks 2 SLO County Restaurants among Best for Wine Lovers

Ember in Arroyo Grande and Foremost Wine Co. in San Luis Obispo were included in Wine Enthusiast magazine’s list of 100 Best Wine Restaurants 2015. 

Date Days

But oh my goodness. Date days. My parents live in San Luis Obispo and my brother has a tandem bicycle. This is such a wonderful combination. 

Meet two unique skateboard parks: One is a work of art, the other is… nirvana

It’s true in San Luis Obispo, where the planners behind the city’s skate park looked for fresh ways to give skaters not just a great playground but a lovely thing to look at too.

America’s Beeriest Beach Towns 2015

Is it any wonder a city dubbed “the happiest place in America” also happens to be soaked in craft beer? Perhaps it’s no coincidence that SLO earned that moniker—from none other than Oprah—right around the start of the central California coast’s brewing boom.

Traveling to SLO then rushing back to SF

More than half my week was spent in San Luis Obispo, where I checked out 17 restaurants in four days for an upcoming special destination section. The culinary scene is definitely looking up there.

America’s Happiest Town: Wining and Dining in San Luis Obispo

How does a visit to a quaint college town nestled between the rolling hills and beaches of California sound? A place where average winter temperatures are in the 60s and boutique shops, wineries, and restaurants are plentiful?

San Luis Obispo – California’s Hidden Wine Country

Bucolic and small scale, SLO is both interesting in its long winemaking history and highly forward-thinking and modern. The 30 or so wineries in the region are turning out a lot of excellent beverages.

36 Hours in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Occupying a dramatic stretch of coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo County is nothing if not well-positioned. It has the Pacific to the west, the fertile San Joaquin Valley to the east and a delicious Mediterranean climate.

Raise a Glass to “Green” for California Wines Down To Earth Month

Who would bring an owl to a party? San Luis Obispo County wineries, that’s who! The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival on April 18 offers a fun, casual experience with more than 200 growers, vintners and chefs serving local wines and foods with music, dancing and more.

A Weekend of Relaxation in San Luis Obispo

My sister and I were on a road trip to San Luis Obispo to seek some rest and recovery from our stress at home and work. Upon our arrival, we met with my sister’s friend who provided us with the warmest hospitality we could have hoped for.

Three Spring Wine Events: Paso Zins, STARS of Napa Valley, SLO Wine

Vines are breaking bud and wine events are busting out too. Starting April 1, SLO Wine in San Luis Obispo celebrates 25 years with Roll Out the Barrels, a monthlong series of events in wine country there.

The Madonna Inn

Hey, friends! Last month, Jeremy and I took a trip to San Luis Obispo to visit close friends as well as stay at the famous Madonna Inn. It was such a strange and surreal hotel experience that I thought I would share it with you here!

Road Trips for Families

Coastal Highway 1 follows the Pacific coastline from Baja, Mexico to the top of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. The most scenic stretch is the 139 miles south through California from Monterey to Morro Bay near San Luis Obispo.

SLO Sip Springtime: Roll Out the Barrels

Make that San Luis Obispo, to be exact, which is known for its area wineries and its relaxed approach to all things, including big anniversaries (it doesn’t go by SLO just for kicks — it is a local philosophy that’s very much observed).

Awesome Things You Should Do in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo County, about three hours north of LA and one hour from Santa Barbara, is a rambling place – the state’s 17th largest county by total area – dotted with adorable getaways.

The 40 Best Commuter Cities in California

Offering nearly ideal weather, lush vineyards, abundant recreation and eclectic restaurants, it’s no wonder tourists flock to the cozy community of San Luis Obispo. San Luis Obispo is also the place roughly 45,000 residents call home sweet home.

25 Most Amazing Campus Arts Centers

The campus of California Polytechnic State University or Cal Poly is located in San Luis Obispo, California. Its Performing Arts Center is comprised of four specific areas, a classroom, two smaller performance spaces, and the piece of resistance, the breathtaking Sidney Harman Hall.

Best College Towns in America

The vibrant center of this college town, just a few miles inland from the Pacific, is Higuera Street, which closes off traffic every Thursday evening (except Thanksgiving) for its popular farmers’ market—featuring organic produce, fresh-cut flowers, entertainment, and some of the best tri-tip BBQ on the West Coast.

Five Cool California Food Festivals to visit in September

Gourmet food and wine from San Luis Obispo and surrounding towns are showcased each year at the Sunset Savor the Central Coast, which is Sept. 25-28.

Book Now: Where to Go for Thanksgiving 2014

If there’s one responsible thing you do over Labor Day weekend, let it be solidifying your Thanksgiving plans. We know it’s difficult to think ahead to the next big holiday while you’re still working on taking advantage of the current one, but we hear from our friends at Hipmunk that airfare is expected to rise significantly after the holiday.

THE ROAD TO HAPPINESS: A summer trip to the happiest city in America

We drove slowly through the dense fog that enveloped the city overlooking the ocean. Houses disappeared in the early-morning mist as sun tried to slice through the sky.

Despite its size, San Luis Obispo wine country offers variety

Grape varieties from all over the world are produced in a remarkable single area of California, the beautiful and delicious San Luis Obispo appellation in California’s central coast. There you can sample an Albarino, native to northern Spain; pop open a Gruner Vetliner, the classic grape of Austria; move into reds like a Pinot Noir, home region Burgundy, France.

Keep it close with these LGBT-friendly weekend getaways

September is upon us, which means time is running out for any last-minute summer getaways to escape the L.A. commotion.. Explore a pair of LGBT-friendly destinations within a three-hour drive of Los Angeles offering a swath of nature, culture and nightlife worth getting on the freeway for.

California’s Central Coast, overflowing with attractions

Remember that killer blonde in high school? Sure you do — every school had one. Tall, aloof, didn’t give you a second look — or a first. The less enlightened among us might have described her as “smokin’ hot to look at but way too chilly to touch.” Well, if she ended up in Avila Beach, Calif., then she’s in the right place.

San Luis Obispo continues to ride wave of “best places” lists

The City of San Luis Obispo continues to grow in popularity as a travel destination, which could in part be attributed to its impressive rankings on several national “best” lists this year. Most recently, the city was named one of the top swimming communities by USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport.

California Staycation in San Luis Obispo (SLO)

I have called San Luis Obispo my home for the past 18 years. It is a beautiful place, once called “The happiest place in America” by Oprah Winfrey. Located on the Central Coast of California, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

America’s Best Small Cities on the Rise

Somewhere between quiet villages and metropolises that never sleep are these perfect up-and-coming American cities. With their revitalized downtowns, they’re savvy enough to brew smooth craft beers, land touring Broadway shows, and attract Food Network-caliber chefs. Here are 10 terrific little cities, from Chattanooga to Yakima, and plenty of reasons why each one is worth a visit.

Top 8 Farmers Markets to Visit This Summer

Looking for the juiciest watermelon or a crisp selection of veggies? You’re probably not going to find it at your local supermarket. A farmers market is a great alternative. These markets feature local farmers who sell freshly picked produce and other artisanal goods, usually at prices lower than the supermarket.

Winemakers of SLO Wine Country on Terroir

The wineries are just five miles on average from the ocean, so the prevailing marine conditions are very pronounced, giving the fruit a lot of time to develop rich, full flavors while maintaining structure, complexity, and balance.

The Perfect Weekend Getaway in San Luis Obispo

Halfway between L.A. and San Francisco, San Luis Obispo is still a relatively hidden gem along California’s Central Coast. Spend the weekend walking the tree-lined downtown, where boutiques abound, wine flows, and farm-to-fork cuisine is fueled by SLO’s close proximity to California’s agricultural epicenter. It’s been called “America’s happiest city” for a reason.

Cheap and Chic: 15 Affordable Hotels in California Wine Country

Tasting California’s most famous wines on a beer budget may be easier than you think—you just need to be a little flexible. First, avoid that four-letter word: Napa. You can taste there all you want, but real estate is expensive in that stretch of California—and the room prices reflect it.

3 Perfect Days in San Luis Obispo

We always enjoy sharing a local’s perspective on California getaways. As seasoned travelers well know, a local’s insight is always the best. This one, written by our Guest Guru and longtime San Luis Obispo resident Kathleen Forster, is sure to inspire a visit to this Central Coast gem.

Family travel: It’s time to find your happy place

From catchy Oscar-nominated tunes to lists with various measurement criteria, “happy” is hip. Here are five cheery destinations to consider.

America’s Most Romantic Towns

With mild year-round weather, fewer crowds, and affordable prices (at least compared to L.A. and San Francisco), this central-coast college town embodies California mellow, making for easy romance. It also offers easy access to great wine country (think Sideways), laid-back Pismo Beach, and the grandeur of Hearst Castle.

These Are America’s 10 Friendliest Small Cities

When was the last time a stranger wished you a nice day, or a shop owner greeted you with a smile? Have you only seen a whole town come together to celebrate or help those less fortunate on TV or in movies? Depending on where you live, these sorts of things might seem like fantasy—we’re looking at you, Manhattan and Los Angeles—but what if we told you there are real places where this stuff still happens?

What are the best places to visit in 2014?

CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” with travel ideas for the new year – including some often overlooked hot destinations.

San Luis Obispo attractions: Slow is the way to go

This is not the kind of place you can get hostile with someone for driving too slow. That’s one of the first things my sister told me when she moved here nearly 20 years ago.

8 Great Summer Birding Trails

Halfway between bustling Los Angeles and San Francisco, California’s stunning central coast is tranquil and filled with birds. This trail, sketched by Audubon California, highlights 83 top sites in four coastal counties.

California: Savor Restaurant Month in San Luis Obispo County

Travelers heading to the Central Coast next month should pack their appetites as well as their bags in anticipation of San Luis Obispo County’s annual Restaurant Month, which takes place Jan 1.-Jan.31.

Holiday volunteer vacation at Hearst Castle

Looking for a way to give back this holiday season and explore the Central Coast at the same time? As part of Nature Corps’ volunteer vacation tour Dec. 13-16, participants will spend a morning helping to ready the gardens at Hearst Castle.

A Very Obispo 2012

How’s that lists of wont’s and cant’s coming along? Wait. What did you say? You’re only including the things you will do and must try and can enjoy? That’s the spirit. After all, a new year isn’t about prohibiting but about pushing forward and growing and trying new things.

SLO Club: Itinerary for a Perfect Weekend in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, or SLO as the locals like to call it, has multiple personalities: meeting point between SF and LA, outdoorsy collegiate town, oenophile getaway perched 30 miles from Paso Robles. They all converge into an ideal and easy-to-do weekend for anyone who loves food, wine, mountains, and ocean—which is to say, most of us.

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