Weekend Trips from Los Angeles to SLO
Whether you’re in need of a relaxing retreat or looking to embark on a classic California road trip, San Luis Obispo is the perfect place to visit for a weekend getaway from Los Angeles. Below is our insider’s guide that will help you plan your weekend trip to San Luis Obispo from Los Angeles.
Ways to Get Here
For direct and easy access to the Central Coast, the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP) offers non-stop flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to San Luis Obispo on a daily basis. United Express recently began to offer a fourth-round trip to Los Angeles. With rental car companies on site and taxies readily available, you can easily coordinate transportation once you arrive in San Luis Obispo.
For a fun and affordable mode of transportation to San Luis Obispo, daily bus routes are available for your convenience. Greyhound offers daily buses scheduled into San Luis Obispo County, making it simple to plan a weekend trip from Los Angeles.
San Luis Obispo is easily reachable from the Pacific Coast Highway and Highway 101 for those traveling by car. The standard route from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo is to take Highway 101 North.
If you are looking for a more scenic route to SLO, start by taking Highway 1, or better known as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), from Santa Monica to Oxnard, where PCH joins Highway 101. This route passes through Malibu and Point Mugu State Park, showcasing vast views of the Pacific Ocean.
For views of the Channel Islands and Lake Cachuma, take Highway 154 once you’ve arrived in Santa Barbara and meander your way through the Santa Ynez Valley. You can even visit the small towns of Los Olivos, Solvang and Santa Ynez for wine tasting or a bite to eat.
The Amtrak Station in San Luis Obispo is served daily by the Coast Starlight train and twice daily by the Pacific Surfliner train, making it easy to travel by train into San Luis Obispo. Connecting from San Diego to San Luis Obispo, the Pacific Surfliner takes travelers on a cruise along the coast of Southern and Central California with views that overlook the majestic Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Surfliner train welcomes and accommodates bikes and boards for your convenience. Another option for a breathtaking journey is aboard the Coast Starlight train, which travels between Los Angeles and Seattle.
Top Things to Do in SLO
From the moment you arrive in San Luis Obispo, you’ll enjoy countless activities from walking through the charming downtown area to sipping your way through Edna Valley. SLO is jam-packed with superb wineries, beautiful coastlines, some of the best outdoor recreation, and remarkable landmarks such as Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and the famous Hearst Castle. Discover the best of San Luis Obispo with the following morning, mid-day, and night ideas to add to your itinerary.
- Brunch: From bottomless mimosas to family restaurants, a SLO brunch is always a good idea. Check out the top brunch spots to enjoy great food and good times.
- Biking: Explore the mountain biking trails and urban bike paths of San Luis Obispo for a rewarding morning adventure.
- Top Beaches Along the Central Coast: The Central Coast encompasses some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so a seaside excursion is a must while visiting. Take a board and head to a local surf spot or enjoy a warm California day at the beach.
- Relaxing Vacation: Detox, relax and rejuvenate with luxurious spa services from hot stone massages to a soak in natural hot springs. Day spas, hotel spas, and salons will leave you feeling refreshed during your getaway to SLO.
- Wine Tasting: The stunning panoramic views of Edna Valley’s vineyards and ultra-friendly service makes wine tasting a great choice for a romantic interlude or afternoon spent with friends.
- Horseback Riding: Saddle up and get in touch with SLO’s wild western roots on a guided trail ride. Explore SLO through horseback tours that showcase panoramic views of rolling hills and the spectacular Pacific Ocean.
- Boat Tours & Cruises: Enjoy the Central Coast aboard a cocktail cruise, day boat tour or whale watching excursion and admire gorgeuos sunsets, sea life, and the serene coastline.
- Botanical Garden: Spend the afternoon strolling through the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden and peruse the diverse native plants and flowers of Mediterranean climates. The Botanical Garden provides a fun and educational experience with endless events from bird walks, an Earth Day Fest, plant sales, and more.
- Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa: San Luis Obispo’s rich, complex history is an essential part of what makes the city such a wonderful place to visit. Tour the remarkable Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa in the heart of Downtown and explore Spanish California history.
- Rock Climbing: Add rock climbing to your itinerary for a unique SLO adventure. Outdoor and indoor rock climbing opportunities that are suitable for all levels are bound to provide you with the ultimate climbing experience.
- Downtown SLO Farmers Market: Downtown SLO shuts down Higuera Street every Thursday evening for the world-renowned farmers’ market, allowing visitors to experience organic produce, fresh flowers, specialty crafts, gourmet food, live music, and more at one of the greatest weekly events of California.
- Galleries & Art Events: San Luis Obispo offers a wide array of galleries where visitors can explore the local talent and creative culture of the area. Enjoy an evening of art and culture at the monthly Art After Dark show in Downtown SLO, happening on the first Friday of the month.
- Restaurants: Dine SLO style with a wonderful meal and dining experience that will leave your taste buds wanting more. San Luis Obispo’s restaurants serve a variety of delicious food options, whether you’re in the mood for savory BBQ, freshly-caught seafood, or comforting Italian.
- Nightlife: San Luis Obispo has a bustling nightlife scene full of bars, taprooms, and lounges along Higuera and its side streets. Be adventurous and check out specialty cocktail concoctions, a wine bar with live acoustic music, or a lively pub downtown.
Map of the California Coast
San Luis Obispo is a fairly quick drive from Los Angeles and a great way to take a classic California road trip. Below is a map of the route from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo.