Did you use all your vacation days last year? Chances are you didn’t. According to a Glassdoor poll from 2017, the average American employee takes only half of their vacation days each year. 

Maybe it feels like it’s easier to keep working than it is to plan a vacation that maximizes the time you have off each year. But studies show that people who make time for vacations have greater well-being than those who don’t, regardless of income.

The moral of the story? Don’t let those vacation days go to waste this year. In that spirit, we’ve designed a step-by-step guide to spending your well-earned time here in SLO CAL, where life’s too beautiful to rush. Use our guide to plan a trip to remember, whether it’s a solo adventure, girls’ weekend, family vacation or romantic getaway. However you decide to SLO CAL, you’ll be very glad you did.

To use those vacation days wisely, you’ll need to answer a few questions:


How long can I travel?

friends having a beach bonfire in PismoSome folks have just a few days to spare while others have multiple weeks. Fortunately for both of them, SLO CAL has endless appeal. Nailing down how much time you have to play with will help all the other details fall into place.


What’s my style or pace?

friends hanging out in rooftop pool

We all have our favorite way and speed to travel. Knowing your style will help you and any fellow vacationers to manage expectations.


Who’s coming along? 

Family walking in downtown slo
Photo credit: City of San Luis Obispo Tourism


What’s my budget?

Driving through a wildflower super bloom in Carrizo PlainsThis is, of course, a critical question, but no matter what your bank account looks like, there’s always plenty to do in SLO CAL.


Where do I want to stay?

View of Dolphin Bay Resort from above
Photo credit: @dolphinbayresort_

  • For luxury accommodations, try an intimate property like Hotel Cheval or Geneseo Inn in Paso Robles Wine Country, a coastal escape like Dolphin Bay Resort, or a downtown gem-like Hotel SLO or Hotel Cerro in San Luis Obispo. 
  • Economy lodgings include home rentals, budget-friendly hotels and motels in a wide variety of locations, from downtown settings to quiet rural spots and even near the beach.

  • Most properties here lie somewhere between luxury and economy. For a complete list of lodging options, have a look at this comprehensive list. 


How will I get there? SLO CAL  is easily reachable by road, rail or air.

car driving on highway 1
Photo credit: Highway 1 Road Trip

  • Air travelers are in luck as San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport flies to 9 airports including San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA), Denver (DEN), Dallas (DFW), Phoenix (PHX), San Diego (SAN) and Portland (PDX). What’s more, there are thousands of connections just one or two stops away.
  • By rail, travelers can board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner to reach the San Luis Obispo Amtrak station, close to downtown SLO. Amtrak also rolls into the Grover Beach and Paso Robles stations nearby.

  • To find SLO CAL by car, we’re on the coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on Highway 101, and also accessible from Interstate 5 via State Highways 41, 46 or 166. And while all of these routes have their own special appeal, none is more beloved than Highway 1, a scenic route that takes a little longer — and is worth every minute.

Ready to plan the trip that finally makes good on those vacation days? Book your vacation in SLO CAL now!