Odd & Interesting Things to Do in SLO

While we love the famous beaches, well-known attractions, and top restaurants that SLO has to offer, it's always fun to divert attention to the obscure and interesting parts of the city.

If you're looking to veer off the beaten path, here are some places to check out in San Luis Obispo.



When you were a kid did you ever get in trouble for sticking your chewed-up flavorless gum on places where it shouldn't have been? I know I did. What I didn't know at the time, and what would have been an excellent rebuttal, was San Luis Obispo's world-famous Bubblegum Alley! Located at the 700th block of Higuera Street in downtown- coating the 65' x 15' foot walls in used gum has been a tradition since the 1950's! No one really knows where the tradition started, but it has been alive and well ever since. In the 1970s the walls were completely cleaned twice, but the gum vigilantes would not be deterred and soon the city realized it was pointless to deny its residents the joy of sticking gum to things. Today, much to the chagrin of some old-timers I'm sure, the alley is a legit tourist attraction. If you haven't already, you need to get down there and add your contribution.



Located a short distance from San Luis Obispo is the Rinconada Mercury Mine. The area is pretty popular due to a nice set of trails that run through the area, but that isn't the part that I want to talk about. What fascinates me, and possibly you if you're odd enough, is the incredible street art that adorns the magnificent canvases of dilapidated mining equipment. You couldn't ask for a more interesting setting for high-level street art if you wanted to- definitely a must see!



In the hills above Cal Poly lay one of the most unusual nine-acre stretches of land that you will find anywhere- the Cal Poly Architecture Graveyard. This land, for several decades, has been set aside for students to build large scale models of, well, whatever it is that they want to build. From sculptures to lodgings to bridges this space allowed decades of talented students to test their ideas and designs on a scale that is impossible in a classroom. Some of these structures are incredible and some of them might have been thought out a little better, but this multi-decade hodge-podge of structures is certainly a sight to behold. This area also hosts the annual Design Village, which requires that participants build crazy and unique shelters based around a chosen theme of which they live in for the weekend. If given the opportunity this area should definitely be checked out!



First opened in 1925 as the Motor Hotel on the northeast edge of town. The stories vary as to how it became the worlds first motel, some claim the owner was frugal and wanted to use less sign space and some say it was simply wordplay. Whatever the reason the sign and part of the building still exist and honestly how many opportunities do you have to snap a selfie with a "world's first"? Here is where you'll find the Motel.


San Luis Obispo is a wonderful city that is packed with culture, history and excitement. Located only minutes from the attractions listed above and much more, The Academy Chorro is the premier upscale student community in San Luis Obispo. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly and professional team members!