Kylee Jepsen

’Tis the Season in San Luis Obispo County
Spend the Holiday Enjoying Tree Lightings, Parades, Festivals, Shopping & Special Events

San Luis Obispo County, CA (November 15, 2016) - The crisp fall air has arrived and ’tis the season of holiday happenings in San Luis Obispo County. Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on California’s iconic Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County welcomes a variety of fun and memorable events for the whole family. From festive parades and tree lightings, to craft faires and fresh snow, there is no better time to plan your getaway to San Luis Obispo County.

Explore the seasonal events below and visit one, or all, as you build your itinerary for your best holiday yet. For more information visit for a full listing of events by date, and to book your lodging today.

Illuminating the Cities… and the Trees!
Beaming with goodwill and cheer, the cities of San Luis Obispo County light their trees and illuminate their streets. At the Downtown Lighting Ceremony in Paso Robles (November 25) find Mrs. Claus and other costumed characters gathering at the Downtown City Park at 5:30 p.m. The Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony in Atascadero (December 2) is where family and friends will enjoy an evening of holiday fun and a complimentary tour of the historic City Hall. We bet you’ve never played in the snow at the beach. Pismo Beach’s Holiday Harmony & Tree Lighting Ceremony (December 2) makes dreams come true with fresh snow, bounce houses, crafts, music and cookie decorating, as well as pictures with Santa Claus for the kiddos. The small coastal town of Cayucos celebrates their Christmas Tree Lighting (December 4) with the lighting and caroling at 5 p.m. Finally, Grover Beach’s Holiday Tree Lighting (December 5) is where families can savor cocoa, coffee, cookies and caroling.

Parades & Festivals
There's nothing like a merry holiday parade for the whole family. Explore the Christmas Parade in Downtown Arroyo Grande (November 27), which will feature a Live Nativity Scene and a holiday-themed movie, while the Cambria Christmas Market (November 25-December 23, check for specific times) becomes a festive German-style celebration with local food, drink, brats and fresh-baked goodies. Enjoy the San Luis Obispo annual Holiday Parade in Downtown (December 2), one of the largest parades on the Central Coast, featuring floats, decorated vehicles, marching bands, dancers and more. The Christmas Light Parade in Downtown Paso Robles (December 3) is themed "The Magic and Music of Christmas”, and marks the arrival of Kris Kringle, who will be in residence at the Holiday House in the Downtown City Park until Christmas Eve. Catch the only daytime parade at the 50th Annual South County Holiday Parade in Grover Beach (December 3). Finally, the iconic Lighted Boat Parade (December 10) in Morro Bay will commence as the most beautifully-decorated skiffs, yachts, fishing boats, cutters, sailboats and kayaks cross the harbor and fill the bay with yuletide glow.

Shopping, Market & Craft Events
It’s that time of year to give, and to receive, local gifts and craft artisanal products from San Luis Obispo County. Find local gems at the Holiday Boutique (November 19) at the Atascadero Pavilion on the Lake and the Holiday Craft Bazaar (November 25) in the Paso Robles City Park. The Annual Winter Faire & Juried Craft Show (now until December 23) at the Art Center Morro Bay is a collective of exceptional paintings, photography and fine crafts, spanning a variety of artistic mediums from traditional to contemporary. Enjoy Holidays at Madonna Inn (November 24-December 31) where shopping, delightful decorations and holiday music will warm your spirits.

Delightfully Snowy yet Heartwarming Special Events
Be jolly by golly at the Cayucos Christmas Open House (December 10), as free trolley and carriage rides sweep the streets. Morro Bay’s Home for the Holidays Street Faire (November 27) brings the holidays to life against the background of the iconic Morro Rock. There’s snow everywhere at the Atascadero Winter Wonderland (December 9), where a massive snow slide and snow play areas create a winter playground for all ages. Deck the halls during an Elegant Christmas in the Village in Downtown Arroyo Grande (December 4), where store owners will serve food and drinks in full costume. Enjoy an Illuminating Evening at Vina Robles Winery (December 3), Holiday on the Farm at Windrose Farms with FARMstead ED (December 4) or Holidays at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo (now until December 25). Vine Street is transformed into an 18-block Christmas party in Paso Robles, complete with an appearance from Ebenezer Scrooge, during the 30th Annual Vine Street Victorian Showcase (December 10). See the Holiday Magic at Charles Paddock Zoo (December 17) as the zookeepers step in as Santa’s Elves to prepare gifts for the animals. There’s always time to enjoy the classic tale of “A Christmas Story” at the SLO Little Theatre (December 3-23) or experience Cal Poly Choirs’ ‘A Christmas Celebration’ (December 3) at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Join classical music lovers at the Festival Mozaic WinterMezzo (November 17-19) or rub elbows with classic art lovers at the Hearst Castle Holiday Twilight Tours in San Simeon.

Take the Plunge in the Outdoors!
Run, jump and splash into the new year with a chilling rush during the Polar Bear Plunge (January 1 ) in Avila Beach or the Polar Bear Dip (Jan 1) at the Cayucos Pier. For those who aren't quite so daring, but still want to enjoy the outdoors, visit the Elephant Seals in San Simeon or the Monarch Butterflies Pismo Beach Butterfly Grove (Now-March 4).

Looking for more events to attend this holiday season? See a few more below and visit our website at for more events and to book your lodging.

CowParade - San Luis Obispo County – Now until April 2017
Santa’s House in Mission Plaza – San Luis Obispo – November 24-December 24
Pink Martini Holiday Spectacular – San Luis Obispo– November 28
Holiday Musical Walk Around the Lake – Atascadero – December 3
Santa’s Holiday House – Paso Robles – December 4-24
26th Annual Victorian Teddy Bear Tea – Paso Robles – December 17
Madonna Inn New Year’s Eve Gala – San Luis Obispo – December 31
Winter Bird Festival – Morro Bay – January 13 – 16

About Visit San Luis Obispo County

Visit San Luis Obispo County is the non-profit countywide destination marketing organization. Its goal is to promote San Luis Obispo County through marketing, advertising, public relations, group sales, promotions, events and sponsorship branding the region as a choice destination for regional, national and international travelers alike. Visit San Luis Obispo County works in partnership with tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, activities, golf courses and retail stores to create a unified marketing approach that promotes the Culinary, Coastal and Cultural assets of the County. For more information, visit