Best places to run in San Luis Obispo

Poly Canyon

Poly Canyon

With a climate that sees 300 days of sunshine, average temps that hang around the mid 70’s and too many incredible running trails to count, running on a treadmill should be a rare occurrence in San Luis Obispo.

Cal Poly’s recreation center may be very nice, but why would you choose to run on a treadmill when you have the option to run outside and enjoy some fresh air? Whether you are looking for an easy jog, or a longer, more challenging run, you can be sure to find a route to fit what you’re looking for.

The Poly Canyon Trail, behind the Cal Poly campus, is a wide dirt trail with a canopy of trees providing shade for the first mile. If you are looking for a short run, you can turn around at any point.  The trail is comprised of a 10-mile loop that connects with the agriculture fields on the north side of campus.  If you like running on rolling hills, this loop is perfect.  You might want to bring a phone or camera to snap a shot of the golden hills you will see a couple miles out.

Montana De Oro

Montana De Oro

Montana De Oro is one of the most beautiful places to visit while in SLO, and is definitely a must for all runners to experience. If you are an adventurous type, MDO is the place to be.  With more than 8,000 acres of cliffs, secluded beaches and canyons, you are guaranteed to stumble upon an adventure while visiting.  Of course, you can stay on the trail and simply enjoy the spectacular views, or adventure down into some of the beaches and do some exploring.  With miles of trails, you can go for as long as you want.  MDO is paradise for any running lover, and is 100 percent worth a visit.

The Bob Jones Trail in Avila Beach is another great running trail. Running right along the San Luis Creek, this trail has incredible views as you jog along.  It is 2.5 miles in one direction, so a total of 5 if you want to do an out and back.  Since it is right near Avila Beach, take a refreshing dip in the ocean afterwards, or grab a drink at one of the local restaurants.

San Luis Obispo is covered in trails perfect for any type of runner to experience. These are just a few of the most popular trails here, and are all worth going for a quick jog, if not a longer, adventure packed run.  Get off that treadmill, get outside and experience the one of a kind views and running trails here along the Central Coast.

Author, Annie Whitford has been running since she was 18 months old. She started running competitively in eighth grade and currently launches herself off of barriers and over pools of water during steeplechase events as a member of the Cal Poly track team. She has burned up all of these trails training for the cross country season. 

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Lace up your running shoes and get ready to savor your run in San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo might be most well-known for exceptionally great tasting wines, remarkable farm to fork cuisine and a charming downtown. With some of the most beautiful vistas and rolling country roads in California, San Luis Obispo is also often recognized as a premier running destination.

Created on the heels of the sold-out spring San Luis Obispo Marathon and as the newest component of the popular Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast event, the SAVOR Run has been created to add a wellness element to the four-day food and wine festival.

Fitness lovers should get ready to race, taste and indulge at the new SAVOR Run on Sunday, September 29 on the final day of Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast

The event will feature a 5K or 10K walk/run and a fastest mile challenge through the streets of downtown San Luis Obispo. The 5K and 10K start and end near the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The fast mile challenge is a point to point race ending near the mission. Runners will be rewarded at the end with a gourmet pancake breakfast fixed with all the trimmings.

As a special package being offered by the San Luis Obispo hotels, by booking your stay in San Luis Obispo you will receive $10 off the SAVOR Run registration fees as well as a complimentary ticket to Sunday’s Main Event at Santa Margarita Ranch.

A portion of ticket sales for the race will directly benefit the local Cancer Well Fit Program.

For more information including event times, fees and to sign up please visit

For more information about Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast, please visit

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SLO gets ready to celebrate 17th annual Pride

San Luis Obispo is set to celebrate 17 years of Pride through a series of events under the coordination of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA). July 11-14, GALA organizes a week of activities including a special headliner performance from pop icon and star of the show “Glee” Alex Newell which will take place during Sunday’s Pride in the Plaza festival at Mission Plaza.

Leading off the week of Pride activities is a Pride Art Reception & Silent Auction at the GALA Center, 1060 Palm St., on Friday, July 5 6-9 p.m.

Drag Divas Live will be hosted Friday, July 12 with both the show and dance party being held at SLO Brewing Company. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets will be $20. The dance party will directly follow the drag show and is free to all drag show attendees. Tickets for just the dance party will be available for $5.

A Pride Party will be held on Saturday, July 13 from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. at Pappy McGregor’s, 965 Monterey St. A $5 cover charge will be taken at the door.

On Sunday, July 14, the 17th Annual Pride in the Plaza Celebration will take place in Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo from noon to 5:30 p.m. Pride in the Plaza is a free event with activities for the whole family.

On the main stage during Pride in the Plaza will be a performance from the fierce, dynamic and wildly talented Alex Newell, well-known for his role on Fox television’s GLEE. Alex will be joined by a variety of performers throughout the day, ending with his performance at 5 p.m.

Pride in the Plaza is full of family activities including a bounce house, obstacle course, face painting and games.

For more information and tickets visit

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San Luis Obispo needs your help to become the ‘friendliest’ town in America

Rand McNally is at it again. For the third year in a row the national map publisher is searching for the best small towns in America as part of their 2013 ‘Best of the Road’ competition.

Last year San Luis Obispo made it to the top six for ‘friendliest town’ in America. This year we hope to win!
We need your help! The competition is based on online voting that will be open until September 3. Although there are multiple categories, including most beautiful, best food, friendliest, most patriotic, and most fun, San Luis Obispo is hoping to win the ‘friendliest’ category. After all we are the ‘happiest town’ in the US according to National Geographic and Oprah Winfrey.

To vote logon to and enter San Luis Obispo, Ca.

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San Luis Obispo Wine Country’s Summer Festival Weekend

The 23rd annual Roll Out the Barrels is coming up June 20-23 and is the perfect way to officially kickoff summer in SLO! Twenty-eight San Luis Obispo wineries will be participating in this four-day SLO Wine Country event. The long weekend includes Barrels in the Plaza, Winemaker Dinners, and the popular 2-day Passport to Wine Country.

Barrels in the Plaza
Thursday, June 20, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
The festivities begin with a Thursday evening “Barrels in The Plaza” grand tasting adjacent to the historic Mission in downtown San Luis Obispo. Here, the wines of SLO Wine Country are served with artfully paired treats prepared by local chefs. This is the ultimate way to experience the local culinary scene and the perfect opening act for an amazing weekend!
Tickets start at $40 each.

Winemaker Dinners
Friday, June 21, various times
Enjoy a very special culinary experience with the winemakers and enjoy a delicious way to meet the people who shaped the region. Participating wineries will team up with area restaurants to offer a selection of winemaker’s dinners to fit every taste.
More details on these dinners can be found at

Roll Out the Barrels Passport Weekend
Saturday, June 22 & Sunday, June 23, 11-4 p.m.
The annual two day passport portion of the weekend will allow visitors entry to over 20 participating wineries to experience wine and food pairings, reserve barrel tastings, entertainment and special discounts. Saturday is typically the grand affair, while Sunday is primarily focused on the wines and special discounts.

“This is a perfect way to portray the beautiful place that we live, and the bounty it provides for us,” said Heather Muran, SLO Wine Country’s executive director. “Not only is it a great educational weekend, but it is ‘over the top’ when it comes to the food and wine presented at all the events. The perfect four days, for both locals as well as for out of town tourists longing for a small town escape.”


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Alumni Weekend is coming back to Cal Poly

From July 18 to the 21 alumni are invited to return to days past, experience new things, relive past glories and learn a few of the important things that they may have missed out on during the first go-round, like the science of jam making or how to compost. You know, the stuff you’ll actually put to use.

For the second consecutive year Cal Poly is hosting the four-day family event to help reconnect alumni with the campus and old friends, and introduce a new generation to campus life.

The long weekend starts on Thursday with a Farmers’ Market welcome and includes an assortment of hands-on classes sans midterms, family activities at the fresh-out-of -the-box rec center an alumni and family barbecue amongst many other happenings around campus.

Attendees are invited to live on campus and experience Poly Canyon Summer Village first hand. The new facility will not only serve as a comfortable home base and give any young family members and prospective Poly students a glimpse at how nice the student living setup on campus is, but will also help enhance the stories of despair and suffering that said student’s parents had to live with while in the red bricks.

“We had to hike at least a quarter mile in 70 degree heat to get to Julian’s. We didn’t have a Noah’s Bagels and Pete’s Coffee steps away from our dorm.”

For more information and to register visit

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Hobbiton, Monticello, Bubble Gum Alley. Yeah, that sounds about right.

San Luis Obispo could soon be home to the 8th Wonder of the World.

Bubble Gum Alley, the 70 foot long hallway of Hubba Bubba that currently serves as the final resting place for millions (1.7 at last estimate) of pieces of chewed bubble gum, has been selected as a finalist (one of 316) by for its 8th Wonder of the World competition.

Lining up against the likes of Badlands National Park, the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, the Empire State Building, the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand, London and the whole of Bora Bora (the white sand beaches and over-water bungalows don’t stand a chance against a back street-O-Bubblicious), just to name a few, means that the walkway of Wrigley has some stiff competition.

The incredible drawing power of the Bazooka Joe byway will soon be felt by the 1.3 million people that make up the online travel community at The international travel website, part of the TripAdvisor Media Group, offers travel tips on more than 63,000 destinations.

While, undoubtedly, the Matterhorn in Switzerland, Mount Rushmore, the Azores, Monticello, the Galapagos Islands and the Golden Gate Bridge will prove to be worthy adversaries to the Big League Chew corridor, SLO’s unofficial landmark definitely has a valid chance to stay in the ballgame if locals and the hundreds of thousands of tourists who have been attracted to the catwalk-O-Chiclets over the years share their affection and vote at .

If not, the honor just may go to Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, the Wisconsin Cheese Trail, the World’s Littlest Skyscraper, Lake Barkley Kentucky, Institute of Texan Culture or the Iowa 80 Truckstop. And really, no one wants that.

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The perfect find

If you are a treasure hunter and love the ‘one-of-a-kind’ finds, this is the place for you. Remnants of the Past Vintage Show is an event unlike any other. Artwork, handmade items along with vintage and antique treasures from across the country and around the world are all brought together under the Alex Madonna Expo Center roof in San Luis Obispo, California.


This year’s event, Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, will feature a show full of vintage, artful objects and décor from across the nation along with three special guests. Joining the over 70 vendors, Jen O’Connor and four artists from Earth Angels will add to the handmade artful décor and accessories found at the show. Earth Angels will present a special exhibit of their work and offer a chance to meet the artisans. In addition to the antique and vintage goodies you are sure to discover, Jo Packham of Where Women Create magazine and Ben Ashby of Folk magazine will be on hand with their publications and available to sign autographs.

What better place to find ‘one-of-a-kind’ treasures then in San Luis Obispo, a treasure of a destination. After a day spent ‘hunting’ for riches, San Luis Obispo provides a variety of activities for filling your evening hours.

You might find yourself sipping wine at one of the many world-class wineries just minutes away from town or enjoying the view at one of the picturesque beaches nearby. If you are more adventurous, you could head out on a biking tour or hike up one of the many trails that surround the city. San Luis Obispo County is also home to the legendary Hearst Castle, definitely a treasure to be discovered.

For more about Remnants of the Past Vintage Show and how to get tickets, check out

For more information about events, attractions and visitor services in San Luis Obispo, phone at 877-SLO-TOWN or visit the City’s website at

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New ways to fly

Everyone is gearing up for summer on the Central Coast and Margarita Adventures is no exception. This summer they will be increasing the number of daily zipline tours as well as adding tours that showcase the scenic views of San Luis Obispo County.


Sunset Tours

Watch the sun set over the peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains, then zip into the darkening dusk with the new Sunset Tours every Friday this summer starting on June 7. The tour starts at 7:30 p.m. and arrives at the top of the renegade departure around 8 p.m. Here, you will enjoy sweeping 360-degree views of valleys, vineyards and mountains all bathed in the magnificent glow of sunset. From there, you will soar a along all four of our ziplines spanning including a 1,300 foot valley crossing. The thrills are sure to be amplified by the diminishing light.

Daytime Tours

Prefer to do your thrill seeking in the light of day? Margarita Adventures will be increasing the number of daytime tours to five per day on June 1st making it easy to book a tour at a time that is perfect for you. Zipping across a combined 3,000 feet of lines over one of California’s oldest continuously operated cattle ranches, you will learn about the ranch’s sustainable wine growing practices and role as part of California’s famed Mission Trail while experiencing the historical and diverse wildlife habitat.

Photo Tours

Aspiring and accomplished photographers alike will love the new Margarita Adventures Photo Tours led by local fine art photographer and master printer A.J. ‘Jim’ Vincolisi. Starting in June, these tours will take place on land that is otherwise unavailable to the public and offers views of massive legacy oaks, towering peaks, historic buildings, rolling meadows, stunning vistas, abundant wildlife and eccentric rock outcroppings. With Jim on hand to give professional advice and assistance, even novice photographers are sure to capture the natural beauty of the ranch.

Sip, Stay and Zip

If you’re planning to join a zipline canopy tour while staying in the county, there are several local hotels that offer Zip and Stay packages including Apple Farm and Madonna Inn, both of which are located in San Luis. Margarita Adventures has also partnered with Ancient Peaks Winery to offer a unique Sip and Zip experience. Guests will enjoy a 20% savings on wine purchases, and a waived tasting fee with the purchase of one or more bottles. As sunset Magazine notes, “The tours zoom you down four ziplines with views of vineyards and the Santa Lucia Mountains. The first ride is a bit of a heart stopper, but after zipping 1,300 feet across a lush valley, you’ll appreciate that first sip of wine even more.”

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Pair wine with your run at this year’s SLO Marathon

As part of this year’s SLO Marathon, April 5-7, you can experience the San Luis Obispo Wine Country through a unique tour. From ocean to earth, explore SLO Wine Country’s distinctive terroir. Five winemakers will lead you through a line-up of the wine varieties, all of which the region is best known for. Held at Tolosa Winery, you will be immersed into the past, present and future of the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley wine regions. In addition you will find out the advantages and diversity of this cool-climate region. Following the seminar, a perfectly paired lunch will highlight additional wines from this area. Special thanks to the City of San Luis Obispo for bringing this Adventure Tour to life. Adventure Tours are on Saturday, April 6, 2013 and run from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. For more information or to register, check out

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