Downtown SLO Visitor Guide

Our list of things to do and must-see spots here in Downtown San Luis Obispo.

Download the map.

Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market

Higuera Street

The famous Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market happens every Thursday starting at 6 PM. Experience a farmers’ market like no other: enjoy five blocks of fresh produce, famous BBQ, delicious meals, live music, entertainment, and more!

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa & Gardens

751 Palm Street

For more than two centuries, Mission San Luis Obispo has greeted travelers, pilgrims, and guests with open doors and a place to rest. At the crossroads of the central California coast, the Mission lends heart and spirit to its vibrant surrounding community. Tours happen every day year-round.

The gardens at the Mission have grown and evolved over centuries. Explore the grape arbor,  cacti, succulents, roses, oaks, and citrus that have been added by pastors and guests alike.

Bubblegum Alley

Between 733 & 734 Higuera Street

This famous 70-foot long gum-lined alley is one of the most talked-about (and grossest!) landmarks in San Luis Obispo. While some historians believe it started after WWII as a San Luis Obispo High School graduation event, others suspect that Cal Poly students started it in the late 1950s. Either way, Bubblegum Alley has been a San Luis Obispo staple for decades. Make your mark Downtown and stick your own gum to the wall; some people write notes, create art, or leave messages.

Creamery Marketplace

570 Higuera Street

This open-air public market might just be Downtown San Luis Obispo’s best-kept local secret. Enjoy murals and public art centered around the Central Coast’s dairy history along with eateries, boutiques, and more, all hidden in plain sight.

Built in 1910, this building housed the Golden State Creamery which contributed significantly to the growth and development of the dairy industry in San Luis Obispo.

Public Art

Stunning murals, whimsical sculptures, intricate mosaics — find it all on your stroll downtown.

Theatres

Enjoy a movie, a concert, a play, or simply explore the history of Downtown SLO’s theatres.

The Fremont

1035 Monterey Street

The historic Fremont Theater has brought entertainment to Downtown SLO for over 75 years! Full of rich, art deco charm, this theater has served as both a moving picture theatre and a live entertainment venue for decades.

The Palm Theatre

819 Palm Street

Located in Downtown SLO’s Chinatown district, the Palm Theatre is an independently-owned and operated movie theatre which showcases a variety of independent, foreign, arthouse, and mainstream cinema. In the summer of 2004, 98 solar panels were installed on the roof of the Palm, making it the first movie theatre in the United States to become solar-powered.

San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre

842 Palm Street

Enjoy a live professional theatre production at San Luis Obispo’s only non-profit, regional theatre. Formerly known as “The Little Theatre”, this organization has been running since 1948, producing shows in various locations around town. Check out the theatre and the quirky public art out front!

The Movie Experience — Downtown Centre Cinema

888 Marsh Street

The Movie Experience Downtown Centre Cinema features 7 screens and reclining seats, showing new and vintage movies throughout the year. The Sanborn family business that owns the theater has been in business since 1918 and is the oldest existing theatre company in the Western US.

Museums

Celebrate the arts, history, and fun of San Luis Obispo at one of Downtown’s acclaimed museums.

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

1010 Broad Street

The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is the heart of the California Central Coast art community and a vital link to the cultural life of the region. This free museum emphasizes exhibits by contemporary California artists. No matter who you are or what you do – whether you’re a recent graduate or a grandparent, a visitor or lifelong resident, a student or business owner, a mom or a dad, an accomplished artist or a beginner – the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art has something for you.

San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum

1010 Nipomo Street

Have you played today? The San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum provides a fun place for children and families to explore, discover, and learn through hands-on exhibits and programs. Three floors and an outside playscape are jam-packed with exhibits for children ages 1-10. Unique, educational programs and activities are scheduled throughout each week.

History Center of San Luis Obispo

696 Monterey Street

History Center of SLO is housed in one of California's Carnegie Library buildings and includes a gallery, research room, gift shop, tours, and more. The History Center of SLO serves as the historical society for all of San Luis Obispo County.

Historic Buildings

Downtown SLO is home to countless historical landmarks that have shaped our city over the years. For a complete list of historic properties, click here.

Ah Louis Store

800 Palm Street

The Ah Louis Store is historically significant not only as a surviving building from the historic Chinese-American community in San Luis Obispo, but also through its identification with the Chinese-American pioneer Ah Louis, or On Wong. Now home to Karson Butler Events, this store was the center of Chinatown in San Luis Obispo from 1874 to 1930 and the house of Ah Louis and his family of eight children from 1885 to 1936.

Jack House & Gardens

536 Marsh Street

The Jack House is a unique piece of California's elegant and colorful past which will transport visitors back to the Victorian era. The Jack family holds history with some of the most prominent players in the drama of Central California development.

Guided tours of the Jack House interior and gardens are conducted by volunteer docents, specially trained in the history of the Jack Family and the turn-of-the-century estate.

Wineman Hotel

853 Higuera Street

Look up while you’re walking down Higuera Street and you’ll spot the iconic neon sign of the Wineman Hotel. This 50-room complex was built in 1930 by George Wineman, and has been occupied by all kinds of San Luis Obispo over the years — professors, artists, truck-drivers, and gangsters alike.

The hotel operated until 2007 when the building was renovated and restored. The Wineman now houses apartments.

Sinsheimer Building

849 Monterey Street

The Sinsheimer Bros. Store was built in 1876 and served early ranchers and farmers of San Luis Obispo County. The Sinsheimers were very successful pioneer merchants and engaged in a variety of businesses, from dry goods to cattle. This is the only known building in the county with a cast-iron front facade and is now home to Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant.

Sauer-Adams Adobe

964 Chorro Street

The Sauer-Adams Adobe was built in 1820 and used as boarding for Franciscan monks in the 1830s. Its smaller, single-story sister is located next door, and together they are known as the Sauer Adobes. Together they are the oldest commercial buildings in San Luis Obispo.