San Luis Obispo, California has much to like as an active adult retirement community. From the spicy Pinot Noir wines made here to the magnificent brown hills and long, long beaches, this town of 46,000 on the central California coast is the educational, cultural, and commercial center of the region. There are 255,000 people in the greater metro area.
San Luis Obispo was founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1772. Its carefully restored historic district is centered around the 18th century Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa (Mission Plaza). The mission is one of the best preserved examples of Spanish Mission architecture as well as being one of the oldest buildings in California. Many interesting shops and boutiques make the downtown a popular destination. Retirees will like living here because it has history, a vital and prosperous downtown, and an economic base anchored by California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). San Luis Obispo is located in San Luis Obispo County. The city of Santa Barbara is 105 miles away. Find out more about what it is like to retire in California. Photo of San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center courtesy of Wikipedia and Gregg Erickson.