San Luis Obispo, California

San Luis Obispo is known for its mouthwatering delicacies, world class wines, vibrating entertainment and state of art culture. Hearst Castle, visited by all tourists, offers a complete warm and friendly surrounding.

The county is situated right in the center of the Central Coast of California. The place offers some wonderful experiences of day long excursions to white pristine beaches. You can tour around the nostalgic museums that unfold the history of victory and galore that this city has witnessed. For people adventurous in nature, a hiking or a bicycling trip along the hilly trails will certainly attract you. Many of the world's finest wineries attract thousands of tourists for a wine tasting ceremony filled with fun and extravaganza.

San Luis Obispo County is inhabited by 250,000 people. Some of the primary attractions of the place include Arroyo Grande, City of San Luis Obispo, Avila Beach, Atascadero, Cambria, Los Osos - Baywood Park, Pismo Beach, Cayucos, Grover Beach, Nipomo, San Miguel, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, San Simeon, and Templeton. Each place has its own flavor of art, culture and taste. You can unveil some of the most amazing sites within a short drive of 30 minutes from the main town.

San Luis Obispo is a great place to live in. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

San Luis Obispo History

Alta California or Upper California, a province in the Vice Royalty of New Spain later became a territory of Mexico covering parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, western Colorado and south western Wyoming. The State of California was born in 1850 following the Mexican-American war.

By 1585, the place was inhabited by people belonging to two distinct cultures. Towards the northern region of Cuesta Grade, Salinan Indians started building their township, while the southern part of Grade was inhabited by Chumash. In 1769, Mission San Diego was the first catholic mission to be established in Alta California. In the same year, Spanish Franciscan, Junipero Serra, received instructions to induce faith in Catholic Christianity to the native population with the view of unifying the whole Spanish empire under a single language and religion.

According to Juan Crespi, a member of Gaspar di Portola's expedition, this area was called The Valley of the Bears or La Cañada de Los Osos due to the abundance of grizzly bears. In the course of his journey to spread the catholic faith, Father Junipero Serra took advantage of the fertile soil and temperate climate in the valley located in the undulating foothills of Santa Lucia Mountain Range as the site of his fifth mission. With a cross erected near San Luis Creek, on September 1, 1772, he held the 1st mass before departing for San Diego from Fr. Jose Cavalier to build the mission. Cavalier, with the help of two neophytes and five soldiers, built the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, named after Saint Louis, the 13th Century Bishop around which would later develop the habitation of San Luis Obispo.

The mission consisted of the Church, residence of the Priest, the convent, storerooms, resident quarters, soldier barracks, mills and also land to do farming as well as raising livestock producing the goods that helped them in their livelihood. By the time the Mexican War of Independence broke out in 1810, the mission was virtually self-sufficient. By 1821, Mexico had won its freedom from Spain and the Mexican Government secularized all the missions. The Franciscan priests were forced to leave and the churches became ruins but the outbuildings became haciendas for the Mexicans.

During this period, the land controlled by the priests was distributed to Mexicans and brisk business in cattle hide and tallow ushered in unprecedented prosperity. During the California Gold Rush, San Luis Obispo fell into a state of utter lawlessness. A severe drought in 1860 destroyed the cow herds and Mexican ranchers sold their lands to Anglo settlers. Thus began a new chapter for the town of San Luis Obispo.

About San Luis Obispo, California

San Luis Obispo is located along the central coast of California lying between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Geographically it lies at the heart of California. On one hand, in the west the Pacific Ocean is just 11 miles away and on the other hand the Santa Lucia Mountains lie just to the east. The area is seismically active. A number of faults including St. Andreas Fault are very close to this region. The Nine Sisters, geographically volcanic plugs run through this area. The area experiences a cool Mediterranean kind of climate, summers being warm and sunny and a mild winter. Rainfall occurs mostly during the winter months and storms are a rare phenomenon.

San Luis Obispo is an incorporated charter city and also the county seat of San Luis Obispo County. In the state legislature, San Luis Obispo is located in the 15th Senate District, the 33rd Assembly District and California's 23rd congressional district.

The town boasts of a small but charming population. It has a very relaxed pace of life and combined with pristine open spaces gives the city-dwellers a much needed breath of fresh air. Dan Buettner, an author for National Geographic recently called San Luis Obispo the happiest place on earth. San Luis Obispo's unique culture is defined by its warm, welcoming and down-to-earth people right from the college community to the people living there for generations. Broad sidewalks, outdoor cafes, plazas and green spaces are hallmarks of happy towns, adds Buettner.

Apart from its inter-city public transport system, bicycling is increasing as a mode of transportation. Bicycle Boulevard gives priority to bicycle traffic while special bicycle traffic signals allow cyclists to have their own travelling pace.

One of the oldest attractions of San Luis Obispo is Bubblegum Alley, an alley downtown known for its accumulation of used bubble gum on the wall. The Madonna Inn is another famous local landmark. Established in 1958, a historic art deco theatre, Freemont Theatre, still plays first run movies. Just south of the city lies Edna Valley, an area producing a variety of wines. Every Thursday evening on Higuera Street there is a Farmer's market which is also a hugely popular tourist attraction. The street is closed to vehicle traffic and food and other products are sold amidst various visual and musical performances.

San Luis Obispo led the nation in such groundbreaking policies as banning smoking in public places and still does not allow drive through restaurants. Clean, smog free air, huge areas of open space and annual warm temperature create a beautiful and memorable town.

About San Luis Obispo County, California

San Luis Obispo was one among the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850. The founding of the San Luis Obispo Tribune by Walter Murray in 1869 pioneered the beginning of U.S consolidation within the county. Land transportations improved between the 1870 and 1872 by Captain Harford when he began construction of the Pacific Coast Railway. The county grew extensively after the Second World War with a military personnel presence in the area, who maintained the boom in the early 1950s. The county consists of seven cities.

The county's transportation consists mainly of Amtrak trains and Greyhound Line buses with the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority providing county wide service along with US 101. Commercial flights are available from the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport which is located south of San Luis Obispo city.

From the late 19th century, tourism became a part of the county's economy due to the several attractions that this place offered. To start with the Hearst castle, that preserves unique renaissance art and artifacts, built by and named after the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.

San Luis Obispo County has received National acclamation for its prize winning premium wines and world class vineyards. The county is gifted with very calm ambience and beautiful drives. They say the scenery is as delicious as the wine, and more so tourists are welcomed to taste these premium wines.

A small town in the US, Harmony in the county lives up to its name. With a low number of permanent inhabitants, this town has magnificent historic buildings and an array of craftsmen and artisans with their intricate handicraft with a small winery overlooking the tiny town below.

Shell beach and Pismo are lined with long stretches of white beaches and rocky cliffs and that offer a breathtaking view of sunsets. Alongside the age old village of Arroyo Grande, the historic downtown village of central coast offers a wide range of antiques and specialty shops. All of this is interlaced within the picturesque atmosphere of extraordinary buildings, innate beauty, authentic flavors and eternal treasures. The whole county is a calm place emanating warmth from the nature and its people.