San Luis Obispo, the adorable gem on California's Central Coast, is filled with a plethora of incredible eats, a comfortable neighborhood vibe and amazing weather year round. Because it's situated between San Francisco and LA, it makes for a perfect stop on a coastal road trip, but just as ideal as a destination spot on its own.
Here's what you need to know before you go:
- Lodging ranges in the area from cottage-style hotels to plush resorts with oceanfront rooms just outside of town (a quick and easy drive). Travelzoo Tip: Stays Sundays-Thursdays through July 24 at the Victorian-style Apple Farm Inn near downtown have been discounted to $99 per night. Guests will receive a glass of wine upon arrival, $10 nightly dining credit and tastings for two at two wineries. Weekends are $70 more per night.
- The Thursday night Farmers’ Market is a must, bustling with vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables and hot street grills topped with slabs of meat.
- Plan your trip so you can be around on a Friday for Art After Dark, when a number of downtown businesses and galleries stay open late to hold open houses, host special guests and show off artwork made locally.
- Bishop's Peak is one of the most well-known hiking areas with a view that is most definitely worth it. Typically two hours roundtrip, this hike is pretty moderate with a few challenging stretches. When near the top, take a load off while soaking in the amazing views or do a bit more climbing -- which includes some strategic rock maneuvering -- to get to the tip top where the 360-degree views are breathtaking.
- Head to the coast, bring your camera and take in the beautiful views. Travelzoo Tip: To see the sights from another vantage point, take a Segway tour of Pismo Beach, one of California's best beaches according to Frommer's for $29 per person. This hourlong self-guided tour is more than half off.
- Come hungry: the offerings here range from incredible (and affordable) rolls at Sumo Sushi, killer BBQ at Firestone Grill, healthy and fresh dishes Big Sky Cafe and many more.