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Best Places to Take Photos in San Luis Obispo County

Posted by San Luis Obispo Mom on Thursday, December 14, 2023 Under: Mom Life
There are many great photo opportunities throughout San Luis Obispo County. With famous California beaches, a cozy downtown and a lot of agriculture, you can take many different thematic snaps! Here are my favorites as a local and the pictures that I've personally snapped!
  • Pismo Beach Pier and Coastline

    Pismo Beach Pier Drone Pictures
    A lot of visitors from the Central Valley, Los Angeles and Bay Area come to Pismo Beach to enjoy the beach weather and local restaurants. The Pismo Beach Pier is iconic and there are large standing neon PISMO BEACH letters right in front of pier that lights up at night in different colors.  See more pictures of San Luis Obispo County beaches that I've taken over the years.

    There is also a Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach that is free to visit but the best time to visit to see the butterflies is between the end of October through February. The trail from the Monarch Butterfly Grover is a short walk to the beach as well. 
  • Cambria Christmas Market (between late November through December)

    Cambria Christmas Market PhotosThe Cambria Christmas Market is run by Cambria Pines Lodge and has over 2 million lights during the holiday season. Starting in late November and all through December, their Christmas lights attract visitors locally and tourists as well. If you're staying at the hotel, the entrance to the lights is complimentary. Otherwise, it is a fee to enter the Cambria Christmas Market. They sell food and has train rides for an extra cost as well. See my short video of Cambria Christmas Market. Cambria is a stand out from the list of beaches in San Luis Obispo County because it is a really nice and quaint coastal town. It's quiet, secluded and has a famous beach called Moonstone Beach. Read more about Cambria, California.
  • Downtown San Luis Obispo and Bubble Gum Wall

    Best SLO Photo in Downtown

    In California, there is only one bubble gum wall and it is here in San Luis Obispo, specifically in Downtown San Luis Obispo. You can stick your own gum to the wall if you want. Downtown San Luis Obispo is a popular place for college kids and tourists to hang out. The walk around downtown can be hilly so wear proper shoes. They have a creek that runs along there and it's fun to stroll along it. The downtown area has a lot of wonderful restaurants, shops and a weekly famous Thursday evening farmers market. See upcoming free things to do in Downtown San Luis Obispo. There is also a movie theatre. You can read about my movie date experience at their downtown movie theatre in San Luis Obispo.
  • Flowers at SLO Creek Farms (seasonally)

    During the fall, many local farms in San Luis Obispo County sell pumpkins, flowers, apples and other crops. At SLO Creek Farms, they have many different flowers in the fall where you can handpick your own bouquet. It's very eventful around here in the county! Many other farms have flowers as well. See my fall page to see a list of pumpkin patches that are usually open every year around this season.
  • Granada Hotel & Bistro

    Best Hotel in Downtown SLO
    Granada Hotel is located in Downtown San Luis Obispo and also has a bistro on the ground floor of their property. We stayed at this historic hotel as a staycation for our anniversary. It's centrally located and is close to a lot of restaurants, shops and the weekly Thursday Farmers Market. We never had to use our car the entire time that we stayed here. It's a beautiful and romantic stay so I would not advise friends or siblings to share a room. I could see my spouse take a shower because there is no division between the see-through shower and our bedroom. Read my full review and see pictures that that I took during our staycation at Granada Hotel & Bistro.
  • Grover Beach/Oceano Dunes

    (part of Pismo State Beach, but it's a different vibe from Pismo Beach)

    We really enjoy being able to drive on the beach on the Grover Beach and Oceano side of Pismo State Beach. We've driven through the dunes part as well. Both locals and visitors can pay $5 to enter the driving part of the beach. Make sure you have a flag on your vehicle if you're going to the secluded dunes. Many tourists lump the Oceano Dunes as part of Pismo Beach, but it's not part of Pismo Beach. It's part of Pismo STATE Beach. Pismo State Beach includes Oceano, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach. Yes, I do sound like a local snob but for geographic and mapping sake, it's worthy to note so you know that you'll have to go specifically to Grover Beach or Oceano to get to the dunes and driving area of the beach! Read more about Grover Beach.
  • Vineyards at local Wineries in Edna Valley and Paso Robles

    Best Vineyards Photo in Paso Robles
    We've visited over 50 different wine tasting rooms as a local of San Luis Obispo County. There are over 200 of them! It's one of the best perks of living around here as our county includes Edna Valley and Paso Robles. See my top 10 favorites wineries that I've visited within San Luis Obispo County, including thorough reviews and pictures. The views of the vineyards are beautiful here and make a great place for a photo with with your friends or family. Some tasting rooms have a better view than others so do scope out for that. My top 10 favorite list has many that are fantastic for photo ops.
  • Shell Beach Cliffs

    Located in Pismo Beach, Shell Beach has the cliffs part of the area. It's quieter, has a lot of nice hotels and there are many entrances to the cliffs areas for a great photo opportunity. My favorite thing to do is take the kids to Spyglass Park in Shell Beach and hike down to the cliffs when the tides are low enough. Then, after we're done with exploring the tide pools, we hike back up and enjoy the playground there right at Spyglass Park. It is breathtakingly beautiful. Here's my cliff views from Spyglass Park below. To see a list of playgrounds where my kids and I have visited throughout San Luis Obispo County, go to my San Luis Obispo County playground section.

  • Morro Bay and Morro Bay Rock

    Morro Bay is one of the most famous beach areas in all of California and it's located in San Luis Obispo County. The Morro Rock is iconic and offers a great photo opportunity for your family. It really looks like a volcano when it's cloudy like there's steam coming out of it but it's actually a volcanic plug. There are many nice restaurants along Morro Bay and every year, they have a kite festival. See more pretty photos that I've taken at Morro Bay.
All photos on this blog entry were taken by

In : Mom Life 

Tags: best photo opps  photo spots in slo  best winery photos in paso robles  instagram worthy  instagram spots  best california beach 

About Me

San Luis Obispo Mom Originally from San Diego, California, I'm a San Diego State University alumna, veteran's wife and mom of two kids who were born two years apart. After living on the East Coast for 6 years, we now reside in San Luis Obispo County and here, the exploration continues.
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All photos (except for ads) on including: homepage, 'Family-Friendly Things to do' page, 'SLO Restaurants' page,'Mom Groups & Childcare' page, and 'blog' page were taken by me so they are my original content and belongs to this blog/website.

To find family-friendly activities in the SLO area, go to the 'Family-Friendly Things To Do' page.

Some of the links are just useful local information that I'm sharing for free and some are commission-based products that may help me earn a small commission for each sale to upkeep with the fees of running this local blog.

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