San Luis Obispo, California

BACKSTORY: From the Visit SLO website: Simply called "SLO" or "San Luis" by locals, the city is the cultural, commercial and entertainment hub of California’s scenic Central Coast. It's anchored by one of California's historic missions, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, one of the best-preserved examples of 18th century Spanish architecture. SLO has long been recognized as one of the best stops of the “one-tank trips” between Los Angeles (200 miles south) and San Francisco (230 miles north).

Home to California Polytechnic State University, known locally as Cal Poly, and Cuesta College, the city enjoys a youthful vigor and intellectually fertile climate thanks to their presence. Respected speakers and big-name entertainers often appear on the two campuses. Students and permanent residents alike enjoy the combination of high-end styles and intimate boutiques. San Luis Obispo is a vibrant city with a relaxed style.

A major lure for tourists in San Luis Obispo (or SLO) is its award-winning, yet still lesser-known, wine region.

Just south of the city, people can spend an afternoon wine tasting at several wineries within a very short drive of each other. They can also stay in SLO and enjoy the entire Central Coast Wine Region, which extends north beyond Paso Robles (30 miles north) and south to Santa Ynez (70 miles south). So sip a little, or a lot, but be sure to stop and enjoy the fruits of our county.

MAY 2010