San Luis Obispo’s the Happiest Place in California

Photo by Clayton Wolfe via Trover.com

It’s no secret that San Luis Obispo is not only the happiest place in California, but in America. It’s often ranked at the top for a laid back vibe, friendly natives, and high quality of life. This Central Coast city remains a quiet destination for a romantic retreat away from the busier stops along California’s Highway 101. For sipping on sumptuous regional wines, magnificent mountains that meet the shoreline, and spa days in solitude, San Luis Obispo is the place to go.

Savor the Fine California Wines and Decadent Dining

San Luis Obispo hosts its own set of family owned vineyards and artisan-style wineries outside the city. It takes only about 15 minutes to reach them by car and taste the various flavors of Central California wines aged to perfection. San Luis Obispo Wine Country comes complete with a wine-tasting map for optimal enjoyment at the surrounding vineyards. Dining in this city is also a treat with attention to detail, fresh organic options, and cuisines of every type.

Explore Mountain Trails and Pacific Shore Scenes

Stay cheap and stick to the trails for a budget excursion to stunning California shores. Many come to San Luis Obispo for the fresh ocean air and hiking trails that run along the beaches of Morro Bay. Trek the trails up Bishop’s Peak and the Nine Sisters for breathtaking views over San Luis Obispo. It’s also situated nearby scenic recreation areas that offer hiking, kayaking, and other options at Morro Bay and Montaña de Oro State Parks.

Relax with Spa Massages and Horseback Riding Retreats

The Madonna Inn Resort Hotel in San Luis Obispo is a historic landmark of the city. It was constructed in 1958 from large rocks of the nearby region, etched glass windows, and vintage interior decor topped with marble ornaments. A stay at this hotel promises pure relaxation with the addition of a spa day. It’s located next to the museums and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa for an easy walk to top attractions. Not to mention, Madonna Inn Resort Hotel offers horseback riding for a unique wine-tasting experience along the trails.

Find Hearst Castle Just North of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is just an hour from Hearst Castle—the luxurious estate and glorious mansion of newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst. With a close location to the masterful architecture of Hearst Castle, the hotels in San Luis Obispo seem almost a steal for the bargain price and perks. Walk amongst extravagance with a true capitalist’s vision of elegance in decorated interior rooms, landscaped gardens and grounds with fountains and pools. Only high society citizens saw these interior walls at parties during the Roaring Twenties, so add a trip to Hearst Castle with a stay in San Luis Obispo.

This Central California city’s a bit off the beaten path but makes a great escape into quieter coastal shores. A trip to San Luis Obispo is friendly for most budgets, and offers cheap accommodations, as well as luxurious resort stays. Retreat to the less-traveled shores of California for pure bliss and relaxation in the happiest place in America.

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I'm an author @The Oracle's Library and natural ginger who loves to explore local history and culture. Follow for tips, guides, and advice for more adventurous travel.

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