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Why San Luis Obispo, CA, Is a Best Place to Live

California’s oldest community is now one of its most unique and well-loved.

By Emily Handy on January 26, 2018

San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo / Photo courtesy Visit SLO

San Luis Obispo is nestled halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, and its laid back California lifestyle and stunning natural beauty make it an obvious choice for our Top 100 Best Places to Live.

Life is a dream in San Luis Obispo (Or SLO). The city was founded in 1772 as the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. Eventually, SLO became such a popular stop on U.S. Route 101 that the world’s very first motel, the Milestone Mo-Tel, opened up in 1925.

It’s no wonder that travelers wanted to make a pit stop in this radiant California city, which has carved out a reputation for being the happiest place in America. SLO sees on average 300 days of sunshine every year and with more than 30 miles of trails in the city limits alone, it’s a sun-soaked paradise for any outdoor lover. Plus, some of the most beautiful beaches are located in SLO, including the family-friendly Morro Bay and Cayucos with its sweeping views. Love wine? The warm and sunny climate also provides the perfect setting for more than 280 wineries.

Is This California Town the Happiest Place in America?

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