San Luis Obispo, California




Sunny Days: 287
57100 Affordability
100100 Schools
50100 Diversity
72100 Safety

Life's too beautiful to rush

The Best Thing About San Luis Obispo?

A Chill Outdoor Lifestyle

Almost every kind of outdoor lifestyle is happening here: rock climbing, bouldering, mountain climbing, mountain biking, biking, surfing, running, hiking, swimming, sea kayaking, golfing and just being on a beach if hanging out is your thing. The chill part comes in part from the beauty and in part from the distance from the mania of Los Angeles, the Bay Area or really any major city. It’s a wonderful place to be active and relax at the same time.

Here's a review from a former local who misses the city:
I really miss this town. It may seem boring to some because it's a far drive from the big cities like SJ, SF, SB, and LA. However, I love SLO for all that it has to offer.

Everybody is outdoorsy. If you're not outdoorsy, you'll become outdoorsy. Whether it's rock climbing, bouldering, mountain climbing, mountain biking, biking, surfing, skating, running, walking, or just strolling. Oh wait, like some other Quorans mentioned, there's golfing, archery, shooting, kayaking, and hiking. There's something there for you. And well, the beach is only 10 minutes away for the sunbathers. Everybody is fit here! I seldom saw overweight people. The obesity epidemic definitely does not apply to this tow

For more reviews of what living in San Luis Obispo is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About San Luis Obispo?

The Gap

The isolation of SLO (what locals call San Luis Obispo) makes it tough for young professionals who look for a more active city life. You’re a few hours from Los Angeles or the Bay Area and at times transplanters feel that gap and complain about the sleepy nature of the pace here. The college provides some lifestyle buffer for recent graduates still into the pub party scene but there is a stretch of age between 25-35 when those not in the family way will complain there isn’t enough to do.

Here's a transplant's pov on the location/opportunity struggle:
I’m from LA area and moved here to go to Cal Poly. Originally, I was really excited to move to a place where the pace of life was slower than SoCal. But 4 years later, I’m realizing that being here has really prevented me from growing in the same way that I would in a larger metropolis area like LA or Bay Area.

Lifestyle of San Luis Obispo

Life in SLO operates at a slow pace. The weather is perpetually nice and locals spend their time taking advantage of that mild climate. As noted there is an endless supply of outdoor activities to participate in and if you move here that will be a major part of your lifestyle. Locals also enjoy a major farmer’s market downtown on Thursday nights (this is the central valley, agriculture is a huge deal), and there is a big art/gallery scene here that hosts wine/food events the first Friday of each month. There are a surprising number of good restaurants in all kinds of different cuisines and you are surrounded by amazing wineries so the foodie/wine passionate will like it here. The schools are excellent and the outdoor lifestyle means families get a pretty wholesome and supportive experience.

If you want to see what's happening in SLO check out the calendar of events:

Workstyle of San Luis Obispo

For a California city the tech scene is limited, although they’re trying to change that, but do not move here expecting to find the tech or rich industry opportunities of SF or LA or San Diego or San Jose. For the most part it’s a town with medical and service jobs. You’re way too far to commute to a major city so you’ll need to work remotely to make it work.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

SLO Down

For families looking to escape the zaniness of a big city and raise their kiddos in a pure SLO outdoor culture this is an amazing choice.

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Living in San Luis Obispo

Neighborhoods in San Luis Obispo

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Young Professionals/Students

Downtown holds most of the nightlife of SLO. Lounges, bars and music venues line Higuera Street so finding an apartment here means you’ll be walking to go out at night as well as during the day when you take advantage of the SLO creek that runs through downtown. Theaters and the city museums are also here for those looking to get some culture.

The Railroad District is another good choice. Considered the “hippest” neighborhood in SLO it has an urban-ish vibe, with plenty of places to eat and drink for young professionals and college kids. It also has more converted buildings for apartments/condos for the younger folk who like the proximity to downtown but want cheaper living.

  • Downtown
  • Railroad District
  • Highland (students)
  • Monterey St/California Blvd (students)

Prefumo Canyon Road


If you’re looking for great views and big estates then check out Prefumo Canyon Road neighborhood. Much of the area has secluded rural estates with plenty of land and amazing views of the canyon. The homes are very pricey but they are huge and feature lots of fancy amenities if that’s your thing.

If you prefer being close to downtown, for work or social reasons, check out the Mill Street Historic District. It’s the oldest neighborhood in SLO and the tree-lined blocks feature beautiful old Tudors, Craftsman and Mission Revival homes. You’re within walking distance of an excellent restaurant and shopping scene along Monterey Street.

  • Prefumo Canyon Road
  • Mill Street Historic District
  • Laguna Lake
  • The Arbors
  • San Luis Obispo Country Club



SLO doesn’t have the planned communities you find in Arizona or Florida. Retirees either live independently near downtown or they live in one of the many retirement homes. A new retirement community called Villaggio,, is coming in 2024. This will be a retirement neighborhood with all the amenities of a “city” all contained within. Home choices like Villas, or apartment homes, independent living or assisted and memory care. Onsite movie theater, salon and spa, health club, restaurants and of course Pickleball!!

  • Villagio