One of the strangest, yet most popular landmark attractions in San Luis Obispo is Bubblegum Alley. This anomaly is set in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo, known for its scenic babbling creek, tree-lined streets, boutiques, unique cafes and family-friendly attractions like Thursday night Farmers’ Market or Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.
Yet there it stands, a hidden gem tucked away in a small alley right off Higuera Street, between Broad and Garden Street. This narrow alleyway invites visitors to partake in an unusual rite of passage: creating chewed bubblegum graffiti.
Although the origin story of Bubblegum Alley is a little “sticky,” this landmark attraction became well established by the early 1970s. Since there is no stopping its organic growth, you may as well participate in this slightly gross movement. Grab a gumball at local Powell’s Sweet Shoppe and create your mark on Bubblegum Alley. Appreciate the communal art form for what it is and stick your unique stamp on San Luis Obispo.
Take a selfie in front of the wall to document this socially accepted form of vandalism. But don’t get too close, or you may make the unfortunate mistake of swiping your cheek along the wall, letting it leave its mark on you!
After surviving Bubblegum Alley, reward yourself with a pizza and pint of craft beer from Blast 825 or a double scoop from Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab. No matter what you do, we know the memories you make in San Luis Obispo will be sure to stick.
Between 733 and 737 Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo
Bubblegum Alley in the News
- Los Angeles Times | Inside the Great Gum Wall Standoff Between Seattle and San Luis Obispo
- Lonely Planet | San Luis Obispo: The Perfect Pitstop on your California Road Trip
- Sweet | 48 Hours in San Luis Obispo, Sweet-Style
- MSN.com | 19 of the World’s Weirdest Tourist Attractions
- Atlas Obscura | San Luis Obispo’s Bubblegum Alley
- Los Angeles Times | Enjoy Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo, But Don’t Get Attached
- KSBY | Bubblegum Alley is a Popular Tourist Stop for Visitors to the Central Coast
- Hidden California | Bubblegum Alley
- The Mercury News | California’s Own Gum Wall, Bubblegum Alley in San Luis Obispo