Walking tours give you a first-hand experience of San Luis Obispo and a great way to stay active while vacationing. With San Luis Obispo’s moderate weather year round, you are sure to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Downtown San Luis Obispo has more to offer than meets the eye. If done right, you can make a day out of exploring the five or six blocks that make up Downtown SLO. While you can see some of Downtown’s charm through your car window, the real adventure starts once you get out of the car. Begin your walking tour by parking your car at the garage off of Palm Street. From there, you can head down Chorro Street toward the Palm Street Theatre.
- Palm Street Theatre: The Palm Street Theatre has been around since March of 1988. In the summer of 2004, the owners installed 98 solar panels on the roof of the Palm, becoming the first movie theatre in the United States to become solar powered. If you want to catch a movie, you can find their current movie listings here. Continue down Chorro Street and you will run into the entrance of the San Luis Obispo Mission.
- Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa: This Spanish Mission was founded in 1772 by Father Junípero Serra. Named after Saint Louis of Anjou, the Bishop of Toulouse, the Mission is the namesake of the City of San Luis Obispo. Continue through Mission Plaza and you will find a bridge that crosses over Cedar Creek. If you pass over the creek, you might just find a secret garden.
- The Secret Garden Organic Herb Shop: This SLO gem opened in the summer of 2004. Experience this unique open air shop lined with mason jars of tea and other natural herbs. From the secret garden, you can continue walking down the creek and find the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
- The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art: Founded in the 1950s, the San Luis Obispo Art Association evolved into the San Luis Obispo Art Center, which transformed into today’s San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. If you have kids along for the walking tour, be sure to check out the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum.
- The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum: This museum was created to provide a fun place for families to explore, discover and learn through hands-on exhibits and programs. With three floors and an outside playscape, SLO Children’s Museum is jam packed with exhibits for children ages 1-10. From here, you can head down Nipomo Street towards Higuera Street and walk through the many Downtown boutiques and shops. If you are in Downtown SLO on a Thursday evening, San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market will be in full swing. When looping back down Monterey towards your car, stop by Boo Boo Records.
- Boo Boo Records: This authentic record store has been in business for over forty years in San Luis Obispo County. Boo Boo Records continues to offer unique and iconic lifestyle gifts while always expanding its vast selection of new and used Vinyl, CD’s and DVD’s.
Historic San Luis Obispo Walking Tours Podcast
Listen to a free, 90-minute walking tour of historic San Luis Obispo, which combine audio narratives to lead visitors through a detailed look at San Luis Obispo’s history. Download the tour for free to your iPads, iPods, or most smart phones.