San Luis Obispo : California


What It Is Like to Retire in San Luis Obispo

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 47,000 on the central California coast is the educational, cultural, and commercial center of the region. There are 282,000 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.


Where to Retire in San Luis Obispo and Home Prices

You can choose to live in a house downtown, or you can choose an apartment or free-standing house farther out in a development. There are a number of active adult communties in the area (see link at right).
Average home prices are on the high side, reflecting its coastal California environment. Zillow reports the median home value to be $985,971, in mid-2022.


What Is Special about San Luis Obispo

• Plenty of employment possibilities • Edna Valley vineyards • Historic and lively historic downtown District • Proximity to beaches and mountains • Cal Poly and a vital student population • Mission Plaza • Thursday Night Farmer’s Market • Bike-friendly

What Is Not Special about San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly student activities, such as Mardi Gras, can be extremely rowdy. Living here can be expensive


Who Will Like Retirement in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo attracts a community of who would like to live in a university town that also has history, the California coast, and great natural beauty.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Education and tourism. San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce

Climate and Physical Environment

San Luis Obispo is located on the Pacific in central California, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Rolling hills give way to the Sierra Madres mountains to the east. Some of the longest beaches in the country are here. On average it rains about 29 days a year(mostly in the winter and spring); the climate is Mediterranean.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Cal Poly provides considerable cultural possibilities, as does the area around Mission Plaza; The Fremont Theatre is a grand building in the Art Deco design;  A rare commercial building by Frank Lloyd Wright is downtown; The former Carnegie Library is home to the San Luis Obispo County Historical Museum; San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center.



Crime here is about the national average.

Medical Facilities

There are 3 hospitals in San Luis Obispo


San Luis County Regional Airport is 4 miles away; Paso Robles Muni is 28 miles; Amtrak has service from San Luis Obispo; The City has been declared bike-friendly by the League of American Bicyclists; Every 1st Thursday, in the evening after farmer's market, bicyclists of all ages get together for the SLO night ride; San Luis Obispo is a walkable community.


Valuable Links

City of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo on Wikipedia


What people are saying about San Luis Obispo

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Posted by testuser on June 25, 2012
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