5 favorite spots in San Luis Obispo {that only the locals know about!}

Living in San Luis Obispo for the last 8 years has been such a blessing. There are so many beautiful spots around town and in the surrounding areas. I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite spots. These are spots that a tourist might not know about, but the locals, or “SLOcals” love! Here it goes…

1. Secluded beaches in Shell Beach: Okay, so I went a little nuts with the first hidden spot. It was just so dang beautiful, I had to keep snapping pictures! There are two secluded beaches that us locals love. Here’s the first one:

This the view from a cliff of this spot in Shell Beach at Spyglass Park. The locals call this surf spot “St. Ann’s.” There is a big grass area and playground behind me and a bench overlooking the ocean. It’s a great spot to take the kids or spend some quiet time of reflection.

I love being secluded in nature. Maybe it’s the feeling of discovery. This place is seriously beautiful.

Here is the second secluded beach I wanted to share. It’s right off of Shell Beach Road below the Best Western. It can be tricky to find, but if you just follow the steps through the hotel and this is what you will find:

I love this picture of a seagull soaking in the sunset. I think we had the same idea.

2. Sally Loo’s Wholesome Café: I’m in love with not only the quality of their coffee, but the people who run this place. Everything is fair trade and seriously yummy. We invited Jen & Brandon, the owners, to bring their “wholesome hut” over to the workshop for a little coffee and scone break for our team.

That’s Jen and Brandon and here is their charming shop:

It’s tucked away on Osos St. right next to the Amtrak station. It also turns into a music venue occasionally! Check out their facebook page here.

Is this not the most adorable place you’ve ever seen? The atmosphere is so warm and inviting (And their menu is out of this world!)

3. Ruby Rose: Everything in this place is to die for…Ruby Rose is more than a consignment shop, it is like walking into the memories of those who came before us. From vintage to recycled…I have found so many treasures here!

The shop is “open for biz” Wednesday through Saturday. You can find this hidden gem wedged in between a couple industrial buildings on Walker Street on the outskirts of downtown.

Check them out on facebook! They are always posting pictures of new treasures.

Aren’t these displays so creative? The women who run the shop are always challenging each other and collaborating ideas. I get so inspired every time I come here!

4. Goshi Japanese Food: This place is hidden in the Creamery off of Higuera St. It is a little bit on the expensive side, but it is so worth it. All of the fish is fresh and the sushi is amazing.

Locals say this is hands down the best place to get sushi and I agree!


5. Dallidet Adobe and Gardens:  I had to share about this secret garden. The Dallidet Adobe has been here since the 1850’s as a home to Pierre Hypolite Dallidet and is now a historical center and California landmark. It is hidden behind Rite Aid with an entrance on Pacific Street and one on Toro St. It’s only open a few select days of the month.

It’s a great venue for weddings as well. There is an adorable outside lounge area with cute mirrors and decor, I love taking a moment to relax there whenever I go.

San Luis Obispo has a lot of history. I love to discover the little parts of my town that make it beautiful. I hope some day you get to come find the local spots and enjoy them as much as I do.

Tell us about an-off-the-beaten-path-only-the-locals-know-about-it spot in your town!


  1. I’m a little late finding this site, but thanks for sharing these! I’m headed to SLO in 2 days. Can’t wait to check these places out!

  2. Thanks for the introduction to Ruby Rose. I have seen this place from a distance and wondered what it was. I have been thinking to go exploring and try to figure it out, but now I know. It looks super fun. I love all the other places on this list. Goshi’s is my husband and my favorite place to eat.

  3. Catching up on blogs tonight – and this info is perfect, Planning a trip to Santa Barbara and up to Hearst Castle in May. Will check out some of your tips.They all look fabulous! Thanks so much!

  4. Adding these to my list for our girl’s trip this summer! But you did make me think, I need to look around here and appreciate what is near. Thank you.

  5. Perfect timing! Last spring we fell in love with the central coast, camping SLO snd Big Sur. We just had to return and for this spring break we reserved 6 nights in Morro Bay so we can really soak up the area, can’t wait. Will look for these hidden gems, and Ruby Rose is on my must do list. Coming from the desert, my kids adore the ocean! And SLO is the coolest town, loved it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love Sally Loo’s! It’s my favorite coffee shop in this area. It has great atmosphere that can’t be captured in photos!!

    My father-in-law LOVES Hazard Beach, near Montana de Oro. He’s often the only one there! It is becoming more popular lately though…

    I LOVE the charm of Cambria and it’s quaint little shops! And it has a tea shop!

    1. I love those places too! I might have to do another one of these posts, there are so many more great local spots.

  7. I grew up on the Central Coast, but now live in BC, Canada. This post is making me crazy homesick 🙂 Thanks for sharing all the great photos!

  8. We try to get to Sally Loo’s every time we visit! I have to check out Goshi next time. We also love Batch ice cream sandwiches, so good. Thanks sharing.

  9. So fun! Great photos. I love that you invited the shop owners to your shop for some yummy goodies. You and Steve must be great to work for/with!

      1. Lisa, speaking of vacation spots, when is the best time to visit? Just looking for quiet little getaway for me and the hubs:)

        1. It’s gorgeous year round here! In the winter it’s between 60-70* and in the summer it’s 75-85*. Fall is gorgeous too1

  10. I live by the jersey shore and love walking the beaches in the winter when they are quiet, but the summers bring many tourists. We have many nice hidden bike paths so they become my quiet refuge in the summer. A good balance I think. Someday I want to visit ruby rose!!

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