Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley, San Luis Obispo (must see)

Bubblegum Alley is a unique and quirky local landmark that has become a popular tourist attraction. This unusual alley is renowned for its walls covered in layers upon layers of used bubble gum. Stretching 15 feet high and 70 feet long, the alleyway located between 733 and 734 Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo has become a colorful and sticky testament to a peculiar tradition.

While the idea of an alley adorned with decades-old, over-chewed bubble gum might sound unappealing, Bubblegum Alley has taken on a life of its own, capturing the curiosity and imagination of visitors from around the world. It has become a must-see spot for those seeking a unique and offbeat experience.

One of the intriguing aspects of Bubblegum Alley is the variety of traditions and contributions left by visitors. Fraternity and sorority members often leave their Greek letters as a symbol of their affiliation, adding a touch of personalized decoration to the already vibrant walls. Another tradition that may puzzle those unfamiliar with the area is the presence of numbers scattered throughout the gum-covered surface. These numbers actually hold significance for students from California Polytechnic State University, also known as Cal Poly. They represent the "Week of Welcome" (WOW) numbers assigned to different groups of incoming freshmen. During this special week before the start of the school year, WOW leaders guide their groups to Bubblegum Alley, where each student leaves their mark by placing their gum on the walls, sometimes even shaping it into their assigned group number.

Visitors to Bubblegum Alley will encounter a captivating blend of colors, textures, and shapes, as well as a fascinating mix of artistic and personal expressions created by countless individuals. The alley continues to evolve as new layers of gum are added by visitors, further cementing its status as a beloved and talked-about local landmark.

While Bubblegum Alley may not be everyone's cup of tea, it represents a distinct aspect of San Luis Obispo's cultural identity. It serves as a reminder that art and creativity can emerge from unexpected places, capturing the imagination and creating a sense of community. Whether seen as a quirky attraction or a testament to the human desire for self-expression, Bubblegum Alley has carved its place in the city's history and has become an intriguing and memorable destination for locals and tourists alike.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Luis Obispo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Bubblegum Alley on Map

Sight Name: Bubblegum Alley
Sight Location: San Luis Obispo, USA (See walking tours in San Luis Obispo)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Luis Obispo, California

Create Your Own Walk in San Luis Obispo

Create Your Own Walk in San Luis Obispo

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Luis Obispo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour

San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour

San Luis Obispo, or SLO for short, is a lovely Californian city with a strong Spanish heritage. Situated in the heart of the state's central coast, this hidden gem is known for its ability to “captivate the soul with its allure of beautiful natural setting, vibrant downtown area, and cultural scene.”

The region's history dates back thousands of years to the Chumash Native American...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
San Luis Obispo Historical Buildings Walk

San Luis Obispo Historical Buildings Walk

Architecture – the thoughtful making of space. One of the timeless values of historical buildings is that they continue to shape people long after the people shaped them originally. In the context of San Luis Obispo's historic architecture, it reminds us of the thoughtful design and craftsmanship that went into creating the buildings that still stand as symbols of the city's enduring...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles