Celebrate Pride in SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County) even when it’s not Pride Month by planning the perfect vacation to the California Less Traveled. SLO CAL has a host of LGBTQ+ safe spaces that remain a welcoming place for all, even when the rainbow flags aren’t in season. Consider patronizing the following businesses that authentically represent the LGBTQIA+ community at large. Whether you’re traveling to SLO CAL as a single, a double or as a unit, you can feel confident in knowing you will be safe, welcomed and stronger by paying a visit to these hidden gems.
Upcoming EventsBack to Top of List
This year, Street Side Ale House is hosting Atascadero’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Pride event on June 16 from 6-10 pm. The event is family-friendly being held on their festive, rainbow-decorated back patio where guests can order food and drinks.
Brunch in Paso Robles is also hosting Paso’s first-ever Pride event happening on June 24-25. Throughout the weekend there will be drag performances, rainbow floats, speakers, chalk art, and a special brunch menu at Brunch restaurant.
Highwater and The Gala Pride and Diversity Center are closing out this year's Pride month with a cocktail party at Highwater SLO on June 30 at 8 pm. The night will consist of cocktails, treats, and lot of dancing. Get your tickets soon as space is limited.
LodgingBack to Top of List
Cozy into 120+ Vacation Rental Options on the Coast
The Pride flag waives high at over 120 properties Coastal Vacation Rentals oversees. Find your perfect beach getaway in SLO CAL’s South County, ranging from luxury to budget properties. This Pismo Beach-stationed outpost will be your one-stop-shop for shelter while you’re in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Oceano, Pismo Beach, Shell Beach or Avila Beach.
Wine Country Lodging
Take up residence in Paso Robles Wine Country list with Asuncion Ridge’s 108-acre east Paso vineyard. Choose between the 4-bedroom/4-bath, 3,600 sq. ft. estate for nearly $600 a night. Gather ‘round the spacious living areas, chef’s kitchen and outside patio area with BBQ that overlooks sweeping vineyard views. Take the price down a notch (and the space) if you’d rather book their one-bedroom farmhouse. You’ll get the same views, but will be in their converted barn. Don’t let that scare you, you’ll get a full kitchen and separate living area for only $185 a night.
White Water Inn is a unique ocean-front stay in SLO CAL’s artsy town of Cambria. Designed to pay homage to the local artisans in the Central Coast community, the hotel is inviting and welcoming to all walks of life looking to enjoy the many jewels in SLO CAL’s crown. Other welcoming stays are at the Cambria Beach Lodge and San Luis Creek Lodge in San Luis Obispo. All three properties are supportive of the LGBTQIA+ with friendly staff members ready to help you plan your stay.
Wine and DineBack to Top of List
Keep the Wine Flowing
Whether or not you decide to stay with Asuncion Ridge, you can taste with them. Enjoy the Asuncion Ridge Winery tasting room in downtown Paso Robles for small lot pinot noirs and eclectic red blends. Buckle your seatbelts, as the owners have just purchased the old Stacked Stone Cellars winery on Peachy Canyon Road, and expect to open their doors at the second (and flagship) Asuncion Ridge tasting facility in late summer 2021.
Did Someone Call a Private [Prancing] Chef?
Take some pressure off yourself on this trip to SLO CAL by hiring a private chef for your vacation rental. Enjoy the luxury of staying out of the kitchen, or perhaps you’ll want to brush up on your own skills with cooking lessons around the kitchen. Find both with The Prancing Chef, also known as Chef Anthony Allesmith. The Morro Bay native will take your private SLO CAL party to the max, with signature main dishes like 72-hour espresso and chili short ribs or roasted salmon mi-cuit with brown butter citrus glaze. Don’t forget the dessert with options like seasonal berry pot de creme or cheesecake stuffed profiteroles.
Hop On Beer Tour
Take your crowd on a welcoming custom tour of SLO CAL’s breweries or wineries (or why not make it a wine/beer combo tour?) with Hop On Beer Tours. Travel in a 15-20 passenger limo-bus through Paso Robles Wine Country for darker reds and San Luis Obispo Wine Country for whites and lighter reds. If you’re just in need of transportation, too, custom itineraries and quotes are also available for weddings or excursions. All 'aboard—everyone's welcome!
If your tastebuds are after cider, why not try Two Broads Cider? These two married "broads" are making waves (or more aptly, small-batch cider) with their story and over 15 styles of hard beverages. Sample some of the flavors of locally grown apples in their San Luis Obispo tasting room and don’t forget to join their cider club, shipping through California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
Modern Cuisine with Fresh Ingredients
Head to downtown SLO for a meal of modern coastal cuisine with an emphasis on casual French dining. Brassie SLO at Hotel Cerro is known for its friendly feel, bright flavors and abundant farm-to-table options. In fact, Brasserie’s mainstay dishes use ingredients and produce sourced from their own on-site Edible Gardens. Visit Brasserie during Pride month to celebrate with their ‘Sprinkled with Love’ cocktail that features fresh lime, cranberry, and a rainbow sprinkle rim.
Photo provided by: Brasserie SLO
Wine Bar Downtown SLO
Head to downtown San Luis Obispo and follow the rainbow sign to Ragtag Wine Co. to sample their wine flights for some of the most flavorful reds and exotic whites. Winemaker Jeff Huskey experiments with Bordeaux, Rhone and Spanish varietals sourced from the Central Coast growing regions to present his award-winning wines to you. Drop-in for a cheese plate, glasses or bottles.
Perk Up, or Wind Down
Skipper’s Brew Coffee House is one to visit. Yes, there are two locations, one in Morro Bay and another in San Luis Obispo. Head to the latter’s shop for a welcoming embrace of the rainbow (at least during Pride Month) to find your welcoming cup of brew topped with the tastiest sweet treat. You’ll love it!
Sit down or Take Home Meals
A list of inclusivity is not complete without SLO Provisions. In San Luis Obispo, try their dine-in or takeaway options, with house-roasted rotisserie meats, baked goods, coffees, wine and beer. Proprietors Dwyne Willis and Steve Bland’s commitment to local ingredients is nearly unmatched in SLO CAL. So taste the region while supporting one of the most inclusive establishments around.
Novo Restaurant & Lounge, Luna Red, and Robin's Restaurant are three LGBTQIA-friendly spots to check out on your next trip to SLO CAL. Owned by Robin and Shanny Covey, each location is created to provide a comfortable and welcoming space. Also being some of SLO CAL’s top farm-to-table restaurants, these three spots focus on their local, quality ingredients to create the best dining experience possible.
Another inclusive space to enjoy a refreshing beverage is Whalebird Kombucha. Favoring sustainable practices and ethically sourced ingredients, their vision works to prioritize global health over profit. Try out one of their earthy, floral, herbal, or fruity-flavored kombuchas next time you’re in town at their friendly tasting room in San Luis Obispo.
Timbre Winery & Tasting Room in Arroyo Grande is a supportive space for SLO CAL’s LGBTQIA+ community. Timbre recently launched a specific rosé wine called “Dancing Queen” where 10% of the sales are donated to The GALA Center in San Luis Obispo. Along with their wine, they host events with The GALA and carry products in-store made by a local nonbinary teen. At Timbre you will always be greeted with a genuine smile- and don’t be surprised if you make new friends every time you visit.
Photo provided by: Timbre Winery
The SLO Food Co-Op isn’t just a place to purchase sustainable, locally sourced products, but to be part of a greater welcoming community. As a co-op, they’ve always been for fairness and inclusivity, and they strive to represent inclusion and representation in their store as well. With friendly faces and welcoming attitudes, the SLO Food Co-Op is your place to shop all year round.
Comforting Classics Meet Fine Dining
Nate’s on Marsh offers an eloquent dining experience with welcoming faces ready to greet you at the door. With the slogan, “Relaxed & inviting, all are welcome” they stand by this with their true hospitality and authenticity.
SLO CAL Crafted Cocktail Mixes
Yes Cocktail Co is a SLO CAL Crafted certified favorite that elevates your mixology game. Using 100% all-natural fruits, herbs, botanicals, and spices to create their mixes, they create the perfect canvas for your next craft cocktail. Cheers to LGBTQIA+ Pride with their new Pride Edition Key Lime Sour Cocktail Mixer. The mix packs a punch of lime zest, glitter, and a lot of love wrapped up in a colorful rainbow bottle. 100% of the profits from this mixer will be distributed to LGBTQ+ Charities across the nation!
Photo provided by: Yes Cocktail Co
ActivitiesBack to Top of List
See the Rainbow of the Botanical Gardens
For scenic views and a rainbow of colorful plants and gardens galore, visit the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. As a lead attraction in SLO CAL due to its natural beauty and accepting nature, they welcome all to enjoy the 150-acre garden that offers educational and cultural opportunities as well.
Shop to Your Heart's ContentBack to Top of List
Read-up in Los Osos
If you’re still on a learning binge from your cooking class, step into Carroll Leslie’s Volumes of Pleasure Bookshoppe in Los Osos. Here you’ll find not only Pride month window displays but a hefty selection of LGBTQIA+ literature, among gifts, jewelry, spiritual and holistic supplies.
Embrace art and gift-giving with Junk Girls
Junk Girls’ Jenny and Melissa are vintage journeying at their San Luis Obispo shop while also offering gift packs for any occasion, greeting cards and garden supplies. Jenny creates one-of-a-kind art from her creative past at Netflix and eBay. Instead of creating digitally, Jenny now has tactile art on display at the 49er’s Levi’s Stadium Art Collection, The Green Bay Packer’s Lambeau Field Art Collection, The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas and is available to anyone in their private homes. Melissa uses primarily silver, brass, aluminum and copper to create necklaces, key rings, wedding forks, spreaders, earrings, rings, bracelets and anything else she can think of. Go have a peek and feel the embrace of these two creators and their handiwork. Oh, and take something home if it strikes you.
Decompress with Life Elements CBD Products
Curt and Martha of Life Elements offer the most sustainable and proprietary CBD and wellness products out of their SLO CAL outpost in Atascadero. In a touching blog post, the couple details their son's journey to coming out and the impetus of their support for the LGBTQ+ community with their Equality CBD Bath Bomb. Proceeds of the bath bomb go to Equality California, and during Pride Month (June), proceeds from Life Elements' entire marketplace are donated here as well. How can you beat healing/relaxing and supporting a good cause?
Photo provided by: Life Elements
Handmade Jewelry and Gifts
Kerry Long of Blueberry Jewelry creates original pieces using brushed metal and natural gemstones inspired by the central coast’s simplistic nature. Kerry’s storefront in San Luis Obispo called Brass Tacks is a welcoming space to show off her work as well as other local artisan’s craft. Kerry is all about inclusivity and tries to host regular pop-ups for other makers and artists that may not have access to a retail space. Shop jewelry, vintage goods, and second-hand home goods here throughout the year.
Plants, Gifts, and Home Goods
Shop till you drop at Black Water SLO for all things home and gift. The eclectic boutique offers a mix of indoor plants, home goods, jewelry and accessories to fit any style from modern to boho.
Capture Your MomentBack to Top of List
Change the World with Photography
Don’t forget to make your trip to SLO CAL one to remember. If you’re looking for a photographer while you’re here—think Instagram influencers or family photos, not just weddings—consider Renoda Campbell Photography. Here you’ll find an “activist with a camera,” billed as a San Luis Obispo LGBTQ wedding photographer. She believes in being part of an inclusive community and hopes to capture every kind of love, including Black love, gay love, interracial love, interfaith love, disabled love, and many other types.
Past EventsBack to Top of List
Keep an eye out for upcoming events
Humdinger Brewing in Arroyo Grande has previously hosted a Pride event. Bang the Drum Brewery, Benny's Pizza and Libertine Brewing Company in San Luis Obispo have also hosted occasional drag shows and LGBTQ+ events. Also in San Luis Obispo, SLO Brew The Rock and Sidecar Cocktail Co have hosted Pride Nights in the past. Big Balsz Productions works to showcase drag shows and burlesque talent in SLO CAL and hosts drag and burlesque shows at rotating venues in the area, so keep an eye out with them for the latest.