Known affectionately as “SLO” (pronounced slow) by residents and visitors, the county region is made up of seven cities as well as more than 40 unincorporated communities. SLO County covers approximately 3,300 square miles and is bordered by Monterey County to the north, Kern County to the east, Santa Barbara County to the south, and 100 miles of Pacific coastline to the west.
Because of its distance from major metropolitan areas, SLO County has been able to retain its small-town and rural character. Despite this, the area also offers many of the same amenities that are found in urban areas. For example, the County is home to major educational institutions including California Polytechnic State University and Cuesta Community College—both of which draw students from all over the world and provide a wide array of educational and cultural opportunities.
The varied geography and rich history of the area provide numerous opportunities for recreation. The nationally known Hearst Castle in San Simeon attracts over 1 million visitors each year and the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, founded in 1772, is another popular attraction.
Many locally sponsored events including the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July, Renaissance Faire, Mid-State Fair, Festival Mozaic, Savor the Central Coast Food and Paso Robles Wine Festival, and various holiday parades and events also draw visitors here each year.
Major U.S. highways, regional airports, railroad stations and the Port of San Luis all make the area accessible by land, air and water.