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Living a Beach Lifestyle in San Luis Obispo, California

Beaches, waterfalls, natural and cultural preserves are all part of the Central Coast State Parks, including San Luis Obispo, California. In this breathtaking region, redwoods march down to the sea, wildlife thrives along the rugged coastline, and sand dunes protect endangered plants and animals as part of this natural treasure. There are 255,000 people in the greater metro area.

San Luis Obispo was founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1772. Its carefully restored historic district is centered around the 18th century Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (Mission Plaza). The mission is one of the best preserved examples of Spanish Mission architecture as well as being one of the oldest buildings in California. Many interesting shops and boutiques make the downtown a popular destination. People like living here because it has history, a vital and prosperous downtown, and an economic base anchored by the University

Where to Retire in San Luis Obispo and Home Prices

You can choose to live in a house downtown, or you can choose an apartment or free-standing house farther out in a development. There are a number of active adult communties in the area (see link at right).
Average home prices are on the high side, reflecting its coastal California environment. Zillow reports the median home value to be $985,971, in mid-2022.

What Is Special about San Luis Obispo

• Plenty of employment possibilities • Edna Valley vineyards • Historic and lively historic downtown District • Proximity to beaches and mountains • Cal Poly and a vital student population • Mission Plaza • Thursday Night Farmer’s Market • Bike-friendly

What Is Not Special about San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly student activities, such as Mardi Gras, can be extremely rowdy. Living here can be expensive

Climate and Physical Environment

San Luis Obispo is located on the Pacific in central California, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Rolling hills give way to the Sierra Madres mountains to the east. Some of the longest beaches in the country are here. On average it rains about 29 days a year(mostly in the winter and spring); the climate is Mediterranean.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Cal Poly provides considerable cultural possibilities, as does the area around Mission Plaza. The Fremont Theatre is a grand building in the Art Deco design, and rare commercial building by Frank Lloyd Wright is downtown. The former Carnegie Library is home to the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum, and the San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center offers cultural events.


Crime here is about the national average.

Medical Facilities

There are 3 hospitals in San Luis Obispo


San Luis County Regional Airport is 4 miles away, and Paso Robles Muni is 28 miles. Amtrak also offers service from San Luis Obispo. The City has been declared bike-friendly by the League of American Bicyclists; Every 1st Thursday, in the evening after farmer's market, bicyclists of all ages get together for Bike Happening, the SLO night ride and a popular event since 2000, and open to anyone with a pair of wheels. San Luis Obispo is also a walkable community.

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