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Affordable Weekend Getaway

San Luis Obispo is the perfect, affordable weekend getaway for those searching for budget travel options. Find things to do in SLO and make memories that will last a lifetime for less than $15. SLO’s affordable hotels, restaurants, and activities make it the perfect place to maximize your vacation dollars.


In addition to the wide variety of outdoor activities that San Luis Obispo has to offer, including hiking, kayaking, and biking, this California weekend getaway provides travelers one-of-a-kind, yet budget-friendly attractions for all tastes and preferences. Explore these affordable vacation ideas for every type of traveler listed below.


If you are passionate about art in all forms, San Luis Obispo is the perfect place to visit. SLO offers a wealth of affordable and free art museums and galleries from the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art to Art After Dark. If you’re looking for other forms of art, the summer Concerts in the Plaza series or weekly Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market feature a variety of free and lively music and dance performances. Don’t miss out on the infamous Bubblegum Alleyboasting over 50 years of chewed up bubblegum, too.


Do you have a taste for fine food, but an eye on your wallet? No need to fret, San Luis Obispo is overflowing with delicious restaurants that won’t break the bank. A few local favorites include Breakfast Buzz, Firestone Grill, Frank’s Famous Hot Dogs, Splash Café, and Woodstock’s Pizza. If you’re into pairing your meals, consider visiting the market and following it up with a visit to a local winery tasting room or venture over to a craft brewery.


San Luis Obispo offers all sorts of animal activities for visitors looking for a low-cost experience. The Charles Paddock Zoo is a short drive away from SLO and is perfect for a family seeking adventure with tickets ranging from $4-5 for ages 2 and older and free for children under 2. Love aquatic creatures? Consider stopping by the Central Coast Aquarium after a free and fun afternoon visit to Avila Beach, a quaint beach town within 15-minutes from San Luis Obispo. Hoping to immerse yourself with animals? The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is free and a beautiful site to see from October to February when thousands of monarch butterflies migrate to the Central Coast. If you’d prefer to view from afar, the sea lions of San Simeon are a just quick drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.


San Luis Obispo provides countless beer and wine tastings opportunities for those on a budget. Enjoy a 5-beer flight of tastings for a mere $5 at the Central Coast Brewing Company, or check out other local craft breweries that are making a name for themselves. If you’re a beer connoisseur, check out the list of SLO craft beers worth traveling for today. If beer isn’t up your alley, enjoy a visit to Edna Valley for wine tastings, where tasting fees range from $5-$15.


Known for incredible historic sites and bucket list attractions, San Luis Obispo offers affordable options to travel back in time. Stroll through the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, located in the heart of downtown, to explore our local California mission or learn about San Luis Obispo’s past at the History Center, which is also in downtown. If you want to cover all of the historic bases on your weekend getaway, consider visiting each of the top historic sites in San Luis Obispo, where everything location is budget-friendly.

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