San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour, San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is a lovely Californian city with strong Spanish heritage. In the very heart of the city there is Mission Plaza named so after the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa founded by the Spaniards in 1700s. Not far off is another popular and somewhat weird attraction, called Bubblegum Alley, and the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art showcasing works of contemporary Californian artists. Nearby Higuera Street houses numerous top brand outlets and a Farmers’ Market. To find all these attractions and more, follow this orientation walk.
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San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: San Luis Obispo Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » San Luis Obispo (See other walking tours in San Luis Obispo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Mitchell Park
  • Grace Church
  • Dallidet Adobe and Gardens
  • Old Mission San Luis Obispo
  • History Museum
  • Mission Plaza
  • San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
  • San Luis Obispo Children's Museum
  • Bubblegum Alley
  • Puck Statue
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Higuera Street
Mitchell Park

1) Mitchell Park

Another green oasis situated in the heart of the city is Mitchell Park, a three-acre park with numerous pathways, floral compositions, children's playgrounds and picnic areas. There is also a bandstand stage that was installed in 2000, a horseshoe pit and a senior citizen club. Mitchell Park is popular with both locals and visitors thanks to its warm feel and beautiful scenery.
Grace Church

2) Grace Church

Grace Church was built at the beginning of the 1930s when a loyal servant of church pastor Leroy Persson established an independent biblical learning school. Today, the modest, yet elegant white façade of the church is a recognizable Colonial-styled landmark and a religious hub of the San Luis community. Numerous events such as Children Singing, Family Worship and others gather a large congregation under one roof.
Dallidet Adobe and Gardens

3) Dallidet Adobe and Gardens

It's an unique garden setting in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of San Luis Obispo is the Dallidet Adobe & Gardens. California Historical Landmark, the 1850’s adobe was home to Pierre Hypolite Dallidet, his wife Maria Ascension Salazar and their seven children.
Old Mission San Luis Obispo

4) Old Mission San Luis Obispo (must see)

Situated on Palm Street, Mission San Luis Obispo is a Parish church founded in 1772. Throughout the years the building underwent modifications to its structure. Thus, the mission named after Saint Louis, the Bishop of Toulouse in France, gained a new portico at the very end of the 18th century and a wooden siding was added in the 1870s. Having built mills, residences, soldiers’ barracks and farming complexes, the Mission played an important role in the development of the area. Its modest, yet charming façade is San Luis’ most celebrated historical landmark. Today, the mission is home to a congregation of more than two thousand families.
History Museum

5) History Museum (must see)

Situated since 1956 inside the beautiful red brick building, former Carnegie Library, San Luis Obispo County History Museum always attracts visitors to its exciting exhibitions and collections. Here visitors can see exciting displays of antique furniture items, colorful china, old photographs and many more. Since December 2010 the museum features new photograph collections of the San Luis Obispo fishing society acquired by Thom Halls in the 1970s. There is also a lovely gift shop with numerous attractive souvenirs. The museum is open Wednesday through Monday from 11am to 5pm.
Mission Plaza

6) Mission Plaza (must see)

Mission Plaza is the center of a green oasis settled in the heart of the city. San Luis Obispo’s most popular walking place is often home to various cultural events such as festivals and concerts. Surrounding the Plaza, San Luis Obispo Creek is packed with fountains, restored adobes, little bridges and small paths. The creek, running underneath the town, pops out here, creating a stream that in summer adds more playground options for kids. Left from the Plaza there is a street packed with shops and restaurants.
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

7) San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (must see)

San Luis Obispo Museum of Art is another cultural center situated in the heart of the city. The changing exhibitions of the museum display fascinating items of contemporary art designs such as paintings, prints, pottery, ceramics and sculptures in all colors and shapes. The workshop offers hand-on activities and educational facilities for children and all those willing to learn about the art creation process. The museum always collaborates with various cultural societies and hosts such thrilling events such as Jazz At the Museum, Movies At the Museum and many others. The museum is open from 11am to 5 pm every day except Tuesdays.
San Luis Obispo Children's Museum

8) San Luis Obispo Children's Museum (must see)

San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum is a great opportunity to have incredible family fun. The museum is situated on the central Mission Plaza and features three floors with fascinating exhibitions, numerous hands-on activities and educational games to keep the little ones happy. The first floor has an intriguing archaeological area, a volcano, exploration caves and several learning games. Plenty of exciting make-believe play areas including play Doctor, food, cash register and others on the second floor. The third floor boasts a children's book section, colorful puzzles, play trains and other activities for kids age 4 and under. The museum is open Mondays through Wednesdays 10am-3pm, Thursday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 1pm-5pm.
Bubblegum Alley

9) Bubblegum Alley (must see)

Bubblegum Alley is a local tourist landmark, known for its accumulation of used bubble gum on the walls of an alley. It is a 15-foot (4.6 m) high and 70-foot (21 m) long alley lined with chewed gum left by passers-by. The locally created, "most-talked-about landmark" covers a stretch of 20 meters between 733 and 734 Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo.

An alleyway full of over-chewed, 40-year-old bubble gum sounds unpleasant, but contrary to that belief many have started their own gummy traditions to keep this alleyway a must-see. One obvious tradition is the different fraternity and sorority letters. Another tradition that might confuse someone unfamiliar with the area is the variety of numbers lining the walls. To most people they may seem like a random assortment of numbers, but to any Cal Poly student these numbers represent Week of Welcome (or WOW) numbers. WOW is the first week before school starts in the fall for incoming freshmen; each WOW group has a different number and the leaders of each group take their students to Bubblegum Alley to leave their first mark on the city. Some just stick their gum on the overloaded walls while others get creative and leave their actual group number.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Puck Statue

10) Puck Statue

Situated outside a shopping center, Puck Statue is a playful bronze sculpture designed by Elizabeth MacQueen. The naughty smile, the moving toes and the gracious dancing body are features through which the artist portrays the mischievous character from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’. Yvan Michaud is the name of the model chosen for this project.
First Presbyterian Church

11) First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church is a historic Presbyterian church founded by Civil War veteran and San Luis Obispo county judge, McDowell Reid Venable in 1875 with eleven charter members. It was the third Protestant church founded in San Luis Obispo. Prior to the erection of its current building, property was purchased at the corner of Marsh and Morro Streets and a small, wood church building was constructed. In 1884, this small church was replaced by a slightly larger Victorian Stick-Eastlake church that seated nearly 200 people. In 1904, this building was relocated to the lot next door where it was used by the congregation and the community for two more decades.

The cornerstone for the church's present building was laid in 1904. Construction was completed in 1905 using granite quarried from nearby Bishop Peak in the English Arts and Crafts style. The Educational Unit was constructed and dedicated in February 1929. The A. G. Wilson Fellowship Hall was built in 1987 and has been the center of church fellowship activities and it is also used for many community events. In 2001 the stone sanctuary was earthquake retrofitted. In the Spring of 2008, the City of San Luis Obispo approved the construction of a Housing Project to supplement the ministry of Front Porch. This project includes approximately 40 rooms, a ministry hall, a cafe, a kitchen, and a residence for the director and her/his family. The project was schedule to be completed in mid 2010.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Higuera Street

12) Higuera Street (must see)

The street has many chain stores located along and the pedestrian developments that branch off including The Gap, Pottery Barn, Victoria's Secret, The Apple Store, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Ross, Express. Barnes and Noble, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, etc.

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 Museums and Galleries Tour

San Luis Obispo Museums and Galleries Tour

San Luis Obispo is a charming city located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Central Coast. The city has plenty of activities and things to do for its international visitors. Numerous art galleries and fascinating museum exhibitions reflect the city’s history, culture and heritage. The following waking tour will guide you to the most popular cultural venues of San Luis Obispo.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles