San Luis Obispo, or “SLO” as it is known locally, is located in Central California. Located roughly halfway between Los Angeles and The Bay Area, SLO is the perfect gathering place for your next athletic vacation.

The city was founded by the Spanish in 1772. It is known for its historic architecture, stunning vineyards, and spectacular natural views. It lies a few miles east of the Pacific Ocean and just west of the Santa Lucia Mountains. San Luis Obispo offers the right amount of relaxation and exciting activities. Here are some of the things you can do when you visit.

Best Mountain Biking in SLO

There are several mountain biking trails in the city worth exploring. You can take it easy on the South Hills Trail or give yourself more of a challenge by exploring the path that runs from Morning Glory to Botanical to Shooters Loop. You will see some great scenery while getting in a good workout.

mountain biking in san luis obispo
Morning Mountain Bike Ride in SLO Foothills

Running Trails in SLO

San Luis Obispo offers several running trails that provide awe-inspiring nature views and various levels of walkability ranging from easy to hard. To start off your athletic vacation in SLO, check out some of the river paths downtown. These scenic trails are the perfect way to warm up in the morning or do a shake-out run in the evening.

Downtown River Trails in San Luis Obispo
Downtown River Trails in San Luis Obispo

Check out the Reservoir Canyon Loop Trail to enjoy 5.4 miles of uninterrupted mountain views. Or head to Flesman Loop Trail for a moderate run and bird-watching opportunities.

Best Standup Paddleboarding in SLO

Stand-up paddle boarding is a water activity that is excellent for improving core strength. San Luis Obispo offers two prime spots for the activity. You can skim along on Avila Beach’s sparkling blue water or paddle in front of Morro Bay’s mountain backdrop. Both have equipment rental shops nearby.

SUP spots in San Luis Obispo
Calm waters at Avila Beach are perfect for SUP

Healthy Resturants in San Luis Obispo

All that physical activity is sure to work up an appetite. Fortunately, the city offers plenty of restaurants that serve a variety of healthy dishes. Here are a few to check out:

  • Veg on the Edge: This restaurant offers unique vegan dishes with a South African twist.
  • Bliss Café: Bliss is a kitchen market and catering company that serves locally sourced, organic, plant-based foods.
  • Seeds: This brunch eatery offers smoothies, bowls, froze, mimosas, and more.

Best Hotels near downtown SLO

After a day of activities, you’ll want a comfy place to rest your head. San Luis Obispo has plenty of great lodging options. These include:

  • Granada Hotel & Bistro: This historic boutique has just 17 rooms providing an intimate environment. Its downtown location is within walking distance of the city’s many shops and restaurants.
  • Heritage Inn Bed & Breakfast: The Heritage Inn was built around the turn of the century and originally served as a single-family residence. Its charming rooms and outdoor and indoor areas show signs of its unique history.
  • Madonna Inn: The Madonna Inn offers over 100 uniquely themed guestrooms and suites. Browse their site to find the one best suited to your vacation needs.

San Luis Obispo offers so many exciting things to see and do. You can walk its nature trails, glide on its waters, eat at its tasty eateries, and enjoy the amenities of its lodging options. What will you be planning when you come to town?

Running Races in San Luis Obispo

Castle to Coast Race (8.2 miles)

Hosted by the Cuesta College track and field team, the Castle to Coast race takes you down highway one from Cambria along the coastline. The $40 entry fee supports the Cuesta college team and also gets you an awesome tee shirt. House of Bread provides runners with freshly baked bread, and FLUID provides water and recovery drinks post-run.

La Cuesta Ranch Trail Run (10K, 25K, 50K)