SLO residents flock to the beach to take advantage of SLO’s warm winter weather.
Photo by Allison Turner / Cuestonian Opinion Editor
By Allison Turner
San Luis Obispo, the city Oprah Winfrey once deemed the “happiest city in America,” finds itself in an interesting situation.
Situated on the central coast, nearly equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles, this city offers a unique blend of the laid back yet technological “NorCal” and the bustling and often avant-garde “SoCal”.
Yet despite getting to experience the best of both worlds, “slocals” and millennials like myself routinely find ourselves always wanting more – more sun, more rain, more choices of trendy restaurants – we’re insatiable.
We’re spoiled, there’s no doubt about it. San Luis Obispo’s residents live relatively charmed lives, compared to other parts of the country.
San Luis Obispo has an abundance of health-oriented dining options, an average daytime temperature of 71 degrees in May, and about 4 state beaches within a 15 minute drive.
Lately, I’ve found myself a victim of what I refer to as the San Luis Bubble crisis – an incident where SLO natives, like myself, start to take the above-mentioned benefits of this city for granted.
I’ve been increasingly aware of this as I look forward to graduation and moving to a new city. I was looking for new people to meet, even warmer weather, and a bigger city with more activities to fill the time between work and school.
What I hadn’t realized is that I’ve had all of those things for the past 20 years and I had just become blind to them all.
San Luis Obispo has a population of roughly 45,500 permanent residents, according to the SLO Chamber of Commerce. When adding in around 21,000 Cal Poly students the number jumps to 66,500 people.
If you talked to one stranger everyday it would take you about 182 years to meet everyone in San Luis Obispo.
For “slocals” like me who only talk to the same handful of people everyday and complain that this town is too small, maybe we need to adjust our perspective and leave our comfort zones more often.
Speaking of comfort zones, residents here are consistently spoiled by our moderate year-round weather. The average yearly daytime temperature for San Luis Obispo is 70 degrees.
Our neighbors in Oregon have an average daytime temperature of 62 degrees, and those living in Arizona face an average of 87 degrees, according to U.S. Climate Data.
Maybe instead of complaining that it’s not as warm as we would like it to be for visiting the beach in April we should be grateful we can still comfortably visit one of the many beaches near us in December.
And if residents are looking for a way to enjoy the overall beautiful weather, San Luis Obispo offers numerous activities.
The city has a something for all ages – a thriving downtown nightlife, museums and galleries, restaurants that span nearly every type of cuisine, movie theaters and countless venues hosting live entertainment, and plenty of hiking trails – many of which have a coastal view.
The Chamber of commerce uses all of the things we complain about and more to market the city as an ideal place to live, work, and play stating “San Luis Obispo offers a sunny and mild climate all year long, great educational systems, easy access to an active lifestyle, a vibrant cultural scene, clean air, low crime rates, no traffic headaches, a bike and pedestrian friendly community and exceptional healthcare.”