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Overview

Introduction to San Luis Obispo, California

The city of San Luis Obispo lies on the Central Coast of California, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles (each a little more than 200 miles away). Founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1772 and incorporated in 1856, the city was named after Saint Louis, a 13th Century Bishop of Toulouse, France (the city's name is the Spanish translation of "St. Louis, the Bishop"). Situated at the junction of U.S. Highway 101 and California State Highway 1 (the scenic Pacific Coast Highway), the city is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County.

Very much a college town, San Luis Obispo is home to California Polytechnic (Cal Poly) State University and also to Cuesta Community College. The City Council has had a college professor elected to it four times, and approximately one third of the city's population is of college age or attending college. Noted satirist and recording artist Weird Al Yankovic made his start by working as a DJ at the Cal Poly campus radio station while studying architecture at the university. His debut song, "My Bologna," was recorded in a bathroom stall on campus.

San Luis Obispo Arts & Entertainment

One of San Luis Obispo's main draws is Farmers' Market, a large outdoor festival held downtown every Thursday evening throughout the year. Created in 1983 as an outlet for the city's large collegiate population, the event features live entertainment and produce sold by local farmers and vendors. Other city events include Cinco de Mayo celebrations and a standard Christmas Parade. The city has also been a stop on the route of the Olympic Torch and the Tour of California bicycle race. Focal point of the city's downtown area is the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, originally built in the late 18th century and later carefully restored. Those attracted to the offbeat may appreciate San Luis Obispo's Bubble Gum Alley, on whose walls people have been sticking their chewed gum since 1960.

Several nearby attractions are within easy driving distance of San Luis Obispo. Just south of the city is Edna Valley, an area which has developed into a well-known wine region. Some of its wineries have won awards and acclaim for their vintages. Even more wineries can be found in the Paso Robles area, located about 30 miles north of San Luis Obispo. Located 43 miles to the north of San Luis Obispo is the very popular Hearst Castle, the spacious estate of famed publisher William Randolph Hearst. The city of Santa Maria, located 33 miles to the south, offers its own variety of local attractions, including the Museum of Flight, the Discovery Museum and the Railway Historical Museum.

Sports enthusiasts can take a two-hour drive eastward along highway 58 to the city of Bakersfield where the Bakersfield Condors (East Coast Hockey League) play their games. Another pro team in this city is the Bakersfield Blaze (a Minor League baseball team and the Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers).

Demographics

People

Total Population46,716
Male Share of the Population52%
Female Share of the Population48%
Senior Citizens11.8%
Employed Population 16+23,546
Age of the Population26

Families

% of people married30.3%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher49.4%
Median Earnings25+$39,830
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$20,046
Median Earnings With High School Degree$25,950

Wealth

Median Family Income$80,357
% Above Poverty Level67.3%
% Below Poverty Level32.7%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time15 minutes
% Working from Home4.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work15.4%
% Using Public Transportation3.9%

Housing

People Living Alone32.1%
Median Gross Rent$1,323
Median House Value$567,600

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)31.1%
German19.1%
Irish12.3%
English10.8%
Italian8.3%
French Except Basque3.6%
Portuguese2.6%
Scottish2.5%
Polish2.4%
Swedish2.1%
Dutch2.1%
Norwegian1.7%
Russian1.6%
Welsh1.2%
Danishn1%
Swiss0.9%
US/American0.8%
Canadian0.7%
African0.6%
Hungarian0.6%
Greek0.6%
Arab0.6%
Croatian0.4%
Iranian0.4%
Czech0.4%
Austrian0.3%
Slovak0.3%
Ukrainian0.3%
Finnish0.3%
Turkish0.2%
Romanian0.2%
Lithuanian0.2%
Iraqi0.1%
Icelander0.1%
Estonian0.1%
Lebanese0.1%
Syrian0.1%
Australian0.1%
Belgian0.1%
Slovene0.1%
Basque0.1%
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San Luis Obispo Almanac

CategoryValue
County San Luis Obispo County
Standard Zip Codes93401, 93405, 93410, 93407, 93402
P.O. Box Zip Codes93403, 93406, 93412
Company Zip Codes93408, 93409
Phone Area Codes805
Time ZoneAmerica/Los_Angeles
Approximate Latitude35.25
Approximate Longitude-120.62

San Luis Obispo Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationSAN LUIS OBISPO POLYTECH
Distance1.3 miles
Jan Temp42 to 65 F
Apr Temp45 to 71 F
Jul Temp53 to 80 F
Oct Temp50 to 79 F
Annual Precip24.3 inches
StationPISMO BEACH
Distance8.2 miles
Jan Temp43 to 65 F
Apr Temp46 to 69 F
Jul Temp53 to 71 F
Oct Temp51 to 73 F
Annual Precip17.7 inches
StationPASO ROBLES
Distance23.1 miles
Jan Temp33 to 61 F
Apr Temp40 to 73 F
Jul Temp52 to 91 F
Oct Temp42 to 81 F
Annual Precip14.7 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Arroyo Grande17,842$93,708
Atascadero29,516$81,426
Grover Beach13,484$60,789
Guadalupe7,252$44,071
Morro Bay10,519$70,417
Pismo Beach7,984$88,825

San Luis Obispo Public Libraries

San Luis Obispo City-county Library
995 PALM ST.
San Luis Obispo, California
(805) 781-5784

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More Information for Librarians

San Luis Obispo Hospitals

French Hospital Medical Center
(Non-profit)
1911 Johnson Avenue
San Luis Obispo Co Psychiatric Health Facility
(Government - Local)
2178 Johnson Ave
Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center
(Proprietary)
1010 Murray Street

San Luis Obispo Public Schools

Hawthorne Elementary
2125 Story St.
ZIP: 93401
Primary
Total Enrollment 310
Los Ranchos Elementary
5785 Los Ranchos Rd.
ZIP: 93401
Primary
Total Enrollment 464
Peep - De'groot - Prepare
1500 Lizzie St.
ZIP: 93401
Other
Total Enrollment 7
San Luis Obispo High
1499 San Luis Dr.
ZIP: 93401
High
Total Enrollment 1433
Sinsheimer Elementary
2755 Augusta St.
ZIP: 93401
Primary
Total Enrollment 359
Bellevue-santa Fe Charter
1401 San Luis Bay Dr.
ZIP: 93405
Primary
Total Enrollment 154
Bishop's Peak Elementary
451 Jaycee Dr.
ZIP: 93405
Primary
Total Enrollment 426
Grizzly Challenge Charter
Camp San Luis Obispo, Bldg. 942
ZIP: 93405
High
Total Enrollment 229
Laguna Middle
11050 Los Osos Valley Rd.
ZIP: 93405
Middle
Total Enrollment 688
Pacheco Elementary
261 Cuesta Dr.
ZIP: 93405
Primary
Total Enrollment 541
Pacific Beach High
11950 Los Osos Valley Rd.
ZIP: 93405
High
Total Enrollment 62
San Luis County Special Education
3350 Ed Dr.
ZIP: 93405
Other
Total Enrollment 45
San Luis Obispo County Community
3350 Ed Dr.
ZIP: 93405
Other
Total Enrollment 200
San Luis Obispo County Juvenile Court
1065 Kansas Ave.
ZIP: 93405
Other
Total Enrollment 22
Smith (c. L.) Elementary
1375 Balboa St.
ZIP: 93405
Primary
Total Enrollment 418
Teach Elementary
165 Grand Ave.
ZIP: 93405
Middle
Total Enrollment 182

San Luis Obispo Private Schools

Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School
682 Palm St
ZIP: 93401
Secondary
Total Enrollment 290
Old Mission School
761 Broad St
ZIP: 93401
Elementary
Total Enrollment 349
The Montessori Childrens School
4200 S Higuera St
ZIP: 93401
Elementary
Total Enrollment 59
San Luis Obispo Christian School
525 Cerro Romauldo Ave
ZIP: 93405
Elementary
Total Enrollment 46
Slo Christian Academy
51 W Foothill Blvd
ZIP: 93405
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 8
The Laureate School
880 Laureate Ln
ZIP: 93405
Elementary
Total Enrollment 75
Sources :
Additional Details
San Luis Obispo Careers
San Luis Obispo career and employment information.
San Luis Obispo Colleges
San Luis Obispo colleges and trade schools.
Study Online in San Luis Obispo
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