Granada Hotel & Bistro

Granada Inn Hotel Review
We celebrated our anniversary at the Granada Hotel & Bistro as a staycation in Downtown San Luis Obispo. We also had the experience of dining at their Bistro as well. Read about our staycation and dining experience at Granada Inn & Bistro

Madonna Inn 

Madonna Inn is the the most famous hotel in San Luis Obispo. Each room is styled differently and they're all eclectic with their own unique names! Its full-service amenities are perfect for any stay. They have a couple of restaurants that many tourists and locals come dined at. We always take visitors here for breakfast. I think their breakfast is better than their lunch! Don't leave without trying a slice of their Pink Champagne Cake and their gift shops! I've done two different staycations at the Madonna inn. 

La Quinta Inn & Suites in Downtown San Luis Obispo

My family did a staycation at the La Quinta Inn & Suites in downtown SLO to celebrate a birthday. It's a much nicer La Quinta than I'm used to and the breakfast is still free here too. It has a pool on the rooftop on the 4th floor and an amazing restaurant called 1865 Craft House & Kitchen right next door. It was very convenient to walk next door to relax afterwards.

Below is a picture of the view from the La Quinta Inn & Suites' rooftop that I took while we stayed there. Read a more detailed review about my La Quinta Downtown SLO staycation.

The Carlton in Atascadero

Atascadero is part of San Luis Obispo County and only 18 minutes drive north of San Luis Obispo City.

San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Hotels

San Luis Obispo County includes more than just San Luis Obispo City and Edna Valley. It also encompasses famous California cities like Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Oceano (where the famous Dunes are), Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles and San Simeon.

Find a list of Family-Friendly Things to Do all over San Luis Obispo County!

Suggested Wagons for Kids and Supplies in Tow:

To see pictures of restaurants that I've visited in San Luis Obispo County, go to the Restaurants Page.

Pismo Beach Hotels

Pismo State Beach encompasses Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, and Oceano Dunes. Pismo Beach has a famous pier with shops and restaurants in walking vicinity. See a list of hotels in Pismo Beach.

pismo beach pier picture

Avila Beach Hotels

Avila Beach has 3 piers with two that are open to the public. The third one is owned by Cal Poly. Avila Beach is an upscale beach community with a unique flair. I love that it's easy to find the swings right on the sand on the beach that faces the ocean at Avila Beach. There's also a playground steps from the beach and an aquarium called Central Coast Aquarium.

There are many fine restaurants along the beach and during the warmer months, they have a weekly farmers market. See more pictures of the Avila Beach Pier.

See a list of hotels in Avila Beach.

Morro Bay Hotels

If you've ever watched Finding Dory, the movie sequel to Finding Nemo, Dory was originally from Morro Bay, California. Although the exact aquarium in the movie does not actually exist, Morro Bay is an amazing and beautiful bay and is the natural habitat of many sea animals.

Famously, many come here to see the Morro Rock. See more pictures of Morro Rock and the beach there.  

See a list of hotels in Morro Bay.

Paso Robles Hotels

Hundreds of wineries are located in Paso Robles with some of the most famous California wines. There are over 300 wineries in Paso Robles, even one that looks like a castle!

See reviews of wineries and winery pictures by In the summer time, The Ravine Waterpark opens and it has slides, a lazy river and a section for the little ones! The California Mid-State Fair is also open during the summer for 12 days. See our pictures taken at The Ravine Waterpark and California Mid-State Fair on the Family-Friendly Events section.  

See a list of hotels in Paso Robles.

See a list of Paso Robles Hotels near Ravine Waterpark

Grover Beach has one of two entrances to the Oceano Dunes, which are part of Pismo State Beach and many lumps these small beach towns as Pismo Beach when in fact they are incorporated as their own cities. You can ride on the beach for a fee or walk on the beach. See more pictures of Grover Beach. Many amazing restaurants are located in Grover Beach, along Grand Avenue. See a list of hotels in Grover Beach

grover beach picture

San Simeon Hotels

Home of the famous California castle called Hearst Castle is located in San Simeon. Alongside the beach, you can also visit the elephant seals in their natural habitat for free! See pictures of our day at Hearst Castle and the Elephant Seals. 

See a list of hotels in San Simeon.

san simeon beach picture

Central Coast

San Luis Obispo (SLO) County is part of the Central Coast and is located between Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, etc.) and Northern California (San Francisco, Bay Area, etc.). Although it is not as famous as their neighbors, the Central Coast offers a more tranquil and less chaotic alternative with wine countries, farm-to-table restaurants and beautiful coastal sceneries. Many locals would keep this area a secret. 

Here are the counties that fall under the Central Coast:
  • San Luis Obispo County
  • Santa Barbara County
  • Ventura County
  • Monterey County
Depending on who you talk to, they may lump Santa Cruz and San Benito to this list but as local, I don't consider those two counties as the Central Coast.

Quicklinks to Central Coast Hotels:

Vacation Reviews

LEGOLAND California

LEGOLAND California is located 4.5 hours drive south from San Luis Obispo County and we've made a couple of special trips here as my sons really enjoy coming here.

California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is about a 3.5 hour drive north from San Luis Obispo County. We've visited here with our sons and enjoyed the large, multi-storied learning adventure here.

Carnival Cruise Via Long Beach Cruise Port

For a last minute summer vacation, we went on a 3 Day Baja California Cruise on the Carnival Radiance Cruise Ship. It only stopped in Ensenada but it was still a fun getaway. Read my full vacation review about my ship cruise which includes my thoughts on their kids clubs, adult activities, dining room service and the beautiful ocean views from my balcony.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Via Los Angeles Port

We went on a Royal Caribbean Cruise for 4 nights  that stopped at two different places: Catalina and Ensenada. For this particular cruise, the port was in Los Angeles (LA) and drove a few hours to get there. The check-in process was a big overwhelming. Overall, we used their Kid's Club, dressed up every night for dinner and made wonderful memories. Read my detailed blog post about our Royal Caribbean experience and my tips for cruises


During our kids' Spring Break, we took the family to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD and checked out the new Super Nintendo World area and Mario Kart ride! We spent the extra money and bought the Early Access Pass so we were able to enter an hour before the crowd came to explore the Super Nintendo World. Read my detailed experience about our day at Universal Studios Hollywood and which rides broke down during our visit.

Great Wolf Lodge Southern California in Anaheim

For my son's 9th birthday celebration, we went to the indoor waterpark resort in Orange County called Great Wolf Lodge Southern California. Since our son was born during the winter but loves waterparks, this was the perfect getaway because we never have to worry about the weather with everything inside! There were a few options for room types and we picked the one with bunk beds for the kids, which they enjoyed so much! Read about our birthday celebration experience at Great Wolf Lodge.