Traveling to new places is one of the most exciting experiences you can take part in. But all the prep work it takes beforehand? Exhausting. Between trying to pack in tons of activities that work for you (and whomever you may be traveling with) and finding restaurants that meet everyone’s needs — while also sticking to a budget and, of course, having fun — things can get stressful really fast. That’s where we come in. Below, you’ll find all the details for a perfect four-day getaway to California for ~$1,000 with our San Luis Obispo travel itinerary.
Any getaway with your best friends is bound to be amazing, but touching down in an artsy beach oasis like San Luis Obispo, California is the ultimate destination to experience with your ride or dies. Sandy beaches, endless Instagram opportunities, vineyard hopping, pink champagne cake, and an iconic bubblegum-covered wall are just a few highlights of the itinerary of your dreams.
This isn’t a "been there, done that" kind of trip. San Luis Obispo is a unique, underrated spot you didn’t know you needed to check off your bucket list in your 20s. Who hasn’t always wanted to hike up to an Instagrammable swing and capture the perfect shot? This city combines outdoor adventure with everything you’d want in a relaxing, sunny beach vacay… and more.
In order to ensure this is the getaway of your dreams, we here at Elite Daily did the tough work for you. Alongside travel influencers, writers, and Instagrammers Amanda N. Hammond, Jenna Wohlwend, and Erin Salvetti, in addition to Visit SLO and Carmel-based lifestyle and travel blogger Christina-Lauren Pollack, below you’ll find an epic itinerary. All you have to do is make sure you pack your sunnies, swimsuits, and extra sunscreen. Get ready, get set, and go… to San Luis Obispo.
Destination: San Luis Obispo, California
When: May/early June
Budget: $1,000 USD/per person
Duration: 4 days
Flights: ~$360 USD/per person
Accommodations: ~$75 USD/night, per person: ~$225 USD
DAY 1, THURSDAY
9 a.m. — Touch down in San Luis Obispo and arrive at your accommodations. We recommend hopping on an early-morning flight and staying at this cozy two-bedroom Airbnb. It has a private backyard, Insta-worthy decor, and is about a 10-minute walk from downtown.
11 a.m. — Fuel up by grabbing some caffeinated beverages and egg sandwiches at Kreuzberg California. Use the opportunity to relax, and make sure your iPhone is fully charged. You’re going to need a full battery for all your BFF pics. ~$20
Noon — Spend Day 1 at Avila Beach with your day ones (you can get there by Uber, ~$5-$7, depending on how many friends you’re with), soaking in the sun and the swim at this postcard-worthy oasis. You’ll take the perfect sun-drenched pics with your crew.
4 p.m. — After spending the day on the sand, spend the afternoon exploring downtown San Luis Obispo before heading back to freshen up for dinner. Snack on an ice cream sandwich at Batch (starts at 75 cents), and make sure you stick around for the farmers’ market on Higuera Street — which happens every Thursday from 6-9 p.m. — and live entertainment.
7 p.m. — When you’re done stocking up on fresh fruit for the house, head back to your Airbnb (about a 10-minute walk).
8:30 p.m. — Enjoy paella, tapas, and drinks at Luna Red. The outdoor patio and bar is flooded with string lights and makes the space the prime place for pics. Order a round of fun cocktails (we recommend the grand royal or a pitcher of the sangría rosita to split) and cheers with a plandid at the fire pit. ~$50
DAY 2, FRIDAY
9 a.m. — Did someone say beignets? Bring your crew and appetite along to breakfast at Big Sky Cafe (about a 10-minute walk) for a spread that’ll make your mouth water. ~$20
11 a.m. — Grab your camera for an Insta-worthy afternoon. First stop: Bubblegum Alley. Strike a pose in front of the iconic wall that’s covered with bubblegum.
11:30 a.m. — Next, order an Uber (~$5-$7) and hike up to the Serenity Swing in Poly Canyon for some seriously cool views. Make sure to wear a good pair of hiking shoes — you’ll need them.
2:30 p.m. — Stop in for a snack and coffee at Linnaea’s Cafe, best known as "San Luis Obispo’s first coffeehouse." From rosemary shortbreads with sea salt to sea salt chocolate chip cookies, there’s something sweet for everyone. ~$10
3 p.m. — Take a leisurely stroll back to your accommodations to chill and get ready for dinner.
6 p.m. — Dinner at Novo Restaurant & Lounge is a must (about a 15-minute walk). Pro tip: The Forager In The Mist cocktail comes in a "fishbowl spaceship" and it’s perfect for sharing. ~$50
8 p.m. — Grab an Uber (~$5-$7 total, to and from cocktail lounge) and stop by the Madonna Inn Silver Bar Cocktail Lounge for sips and more pics in front of the perfectly pink decor. While you’re there, pick up a pink champagne cake ($35) to enjoy with your besties back at your Airbnb. (Be sure to call ahead — at least 24 hours — to reserve the delectable treat.) ~$60
DAY 3, SATURDAY
10 a.m. — Walk to get your morning caffeine fix in the most aesthetically pleasing space, Scout Coffee Co. Order up some pastries on the side — like the apple chai scone or super-grain muffin — and snap some pics for your Instagram story. ~$10
11 a.m. — Hope you’re ready for a day of vineyard hopping, because vines and good times await. Grab an Uber (~$5-$7) to head to your first stop: a tasting at Baileyana Winery ($15, waived with $50+ wine purchase). This quaint vineyard has views for days, and you’ll want to snag a spot outside — so pack your sunnies and sun hat. ~$35
1 p.m. — Next, take an Uber (~$5) to Chamisal Vineyards, which is known for its "sustainably produced" chardonnay and pinot noir. Make sure you leave some time to check out the tasting room at Malene Wines ($25 per person), which is conveniently down the road and in a vintage Airstream. ~$30
3 p.m. — Plan a picnic lunch at Biddle Ranch, which is a four-minute Uber (~$5) from Chamisal. Order up a couple of cheese plates — each comes with an assortment of hard cheeses, cured meats, and dried fruits — to enjoy with your wine ($20 per plate). ~$25
5 p.m. — Grab an Uber (~$5) and head back to your accommodations to wash up and get ready for dinner.
7:30 p.m. — Order an Uber (~$20 total, to and from restaurant) and toast to your last night in SLO with dinner at Oyster Loft. You can’t go wrong ordering a half-dozen of the fresh oysters. If oysters aren’t your jam, the menu boasts other delectable seafood, meat, and poultry options. ~$70
DAY 4, SUNDAY
11 a.m. — Leave town with a bang by attending the Bellini brunch at Giuseppe’s Restaurant (about a 15-minute walk). The Bellini brunch takes place on Sundays until 3 p.m. and includes live music. ~$40
1 p.m. — Shop for some tea to take home at The Secret Garden, where they boast herbal blends like Bliss, Berry Delight, Citrus Ginger, and more.
2 p.m. — Get your things together and grab an Uber to the airport. ~$5-$7
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