San Luis Obispo County is home to a pair of top-notch higher education campuses nestled in the rolling hills of the Central Coast. California Polytechnic State University, better known as Cal Poly, is a public university consistently rated as one of the top universities in the nation by the U.S. News Colleges Rankings. A short drive down scenic Highway 1 sits the main campus of Cuesta College, a public community college with additional campuses in north and south SLO CAL. Both schools offer diverse and affordable curriculums and plenty of things to do nearby when you’re not studying. Both campuses are a quick drive or bike ride from downtown San Luis Obispo (SLO), a city that carries a classy college town appeal with locally owned restaurants, hip coffee shops, cool concert venues and unique boutiques. In case you need an outside opinion, SLO was also rated as one of the 10-best college towns in the nation by Forbes. And for the academic who also loves the outdoors, the possibilities are endless. There are camping spots, secluded beaches, hiking trails and scenic freshwater lakes all within arm’s reach. College sports lovers will also want to check the sports events at Cal Poly, the teams at both Cuesta and Cal Poly compete against some of the best competition in California and the nation. The only downside is that your parents will want to visit -- a lot.