Moving to San Luis Obispo

Archived Responses: 

March 2003

My husband and I are considering relocating to the central coast because it meets our criteria of great weather, no allergies and natural beauty coupled with a slower pace of life and lower cost of living. I'd love to hear from people who have lived there as adult professionals (I know lots of Cal Poly graduates who loved it!). Was it too boring? Enough culture? Good place to raise kids? Thank you so much!
ready for some sanity

I grew up in the SLO area -- so my impressions are from 20 plus years ago. I don't really know how much has changed since then. I have fond memories of growing up in the area. As you mentioned, the natural beauty is overwhelming -- and my parents felt safe allowing my brother and I to canoe, hike, build forts, etc... out in the wilds on our own. However, while not exactly culturally void, it is rather isolated -- four hours from any major city. It seems that my parents made a HUGE effort to have the family travel as much as possible -- weekend trips to Santa Barbara, LA and SF, plus vacations abroad and throughout the US. I don't remember attending too many cultural events in the city itself, but many on our weekends away. Good Luck!

I grew up in San Luis Obispo, and have a lot of family there, and it's a great place to bring up kids. As far as cultural stuff goes, well, it's not a big urban center, but it is a college town, and that helps. As for no allergies, however, you are sadly misinformed. If you are talking about pollen, you should know that the situation is MUCH WORSE in SLO than it is around here (by which I also include at least western Contra Costa county). It is, after all, a fairly rural area with a significant amount of agriculture going on. My hay fever is much much more severe there than it is in Oakland, Berkeley, SF, or Walnut Creek. Wendy

I grew up in San Luis Obispo. It is a great place for the weather, the beauty, the safety and it it certainly slow! (SLO town being the motto) The issues I have with it are number one the real lack of diversity. Espeically if you in in the town of San Luis Obispo and not in town around it. There is the new PAC theater at Cal Poly that brings big name entertainment if that is something you like, other than that there isn't a lot going on.

It is a college town and there will be a lot of college parties. That needs to be a really serious consideration when you think about what neighborhood to live in. It is pretty middle/upper middle class which has it's ups and downs. It's primarily conservative although there is a small but strong contingent of open-minded liberal thinkers, it's very republican.

Lately it has gotten itself into hot water with education. There has been a serious slash of funds that wasn't planned for and I have heard they are going to increase class size to 35 kids in K-8. That is a serious consideration for me. The town continues to loose it's young student population because the cost of living is so high and there aren't many jobs to support it. The housing cost is the last issue. My best friend just sold her 1000 square foot house with NO YARD for $425,000. Housing is not cheaper there. What you don't have to deal with is bad neighborhoods relative to here. I think daily about moving closer to may parents who live there but I'm not ready. Other considerations could be Arroyo Grande and Atascadero. Both are cheaper, better school districts and slow as well. Good luck! Chelsea