The proud owner of the title “Happiest City in America”, SLO has many gifts to offer.
Some of the things I love about San Luis Obispo are how close-knit the communities are, how close together everything is (biking distance), and how unique the city is.
Here are some of my favorite places to visit around SLO that many people may not have heard about.
1. Architectural Graveyard
The “graveyard” is a set of engineering projects created over the years by students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, one of two colleges in SLO. You can hike to the many random but neat pieces of architecture along the way. These odd structures are what make this hike so unique and popular. It is located in Poly Canyon — the hills behind the Cal Poly campus, and throughout the hike there are about 10 different structures, perfect for kids to explore. This hike is 2.5 miles long with a 300 ft. elevation gain.
2. SLO Skate Park
The SLO Skate Park was opened in February 28, 2015. It was an immediate hit with the locals for both skateboard, bikes and scooters. Skate competitions are also often held here, which are fun to take part in, or just watch. One unique feature about the park is what’s know as the ‘Concrete Jungle’. The name pretty much tells it all, but it is a group of metal and concrete trees. You can get a glimpse of it in both pictures. If you are into skating, then I strongly recommend giving this state-of-the-art skate park a chance.
3. Sinsheimer Pool and Park
This is the perfect destination for tourists because it has many unique locations all right next to one another. There is the Sinshiemer pool, Sinshiemer park, and lastly the Blues (SLO’s baseball team) stadium. The name ‘Sinshiemer’ is derived from the Sinshiemer Brothers, who founded Sinshiemer (the elementary school right next to these locations). The pool is open several hours each day for lap swimming, and during the summer extended hours for recreational swimming and diving. Admission to the pool is just $3 for adults, and $2 for kids. The park next door is not just a regular park. It contains two massive play structures, a zip-line, and a cardboard sledding hill, making this a perfect attraction for families with children. If you happen to visit on a day when the Blues are playing baseball, make sure to stop by and watch and get some BBQ, since it is a unique, small-town experience.
4. Avila Beach
This beach is a classic, well-known place by the locals and is the perfect tourist location as well, but usually remarkably uncrowded. With its own uniquely sunny and warm climate, Avila Beach is a breath of fresh salt air, with many luxurious hotels, oceanfront restaurants, local wineries, with shopping and activities for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Because it’s in a curved bay, the waves are smaller than other beaches, great for younger kids to play, and there are lifeguards on duty during the summer. But watch out, parking can be hard to find on the weekends.
5. Ravine Waterpark
Containing six slides, this fairly small but fun waterpark is sure to engage you or your kids for at least a whole day. There are cabanas that you can rent out for a day, providing a nice and shady place to relax. There are attractions for all ages, such as the tad-pool for children, and the Vertigo (also called ‘toilet bowl’) for those who are a little more daring. The Ravine is usually open only during the summer time, however, with a few exceptions on holidays. My favorite part of The Ravine is the lazy river and wave pool.
I hope that this list was exactly what you were looking for! If you have any other ideas for to add or any further questions/comments, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .