Travel to San Luis Obispo

The London-Faringdon Coach passing Buckland House, Berkshire
The London-Faringdon Coach Passing Buckland House, Berkshire (1835). | Image: James Pollard, Wikimedia Commons.

San Luis Obispo is located approximately halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, on California’s Central Coast. The city is served by Amtrak and a (very) small regional airport.

By plane

United and US Airways both serve the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP).  Connecting flights to/from LAX and SFO are on small 30-person propeller planes, rather than jets.  Flights to/from Phoenix are on regional jets.  Cars are available to rent at the airport. There are usually taxis waiting for arriving passengers.

By train

Amtrak serves San Luis Obispo from points north and south.  The train ride between SLO and Santa Barbara, which runs along the Pacific, is particularly scenic. However, many of Amtrak’s services to SLO are actually buses, not trains. In addition to the main SLO station, the Cal Poly Amtrak “station” is on campus on Grand Ave, approximately a twenty-minute walk from the conference hotels on Monterey Street. (It is only served by Amtrak buses.)

By car

Driving directions to campus from San Francisco and points north:

  • Take Route 101 South
  • Exit at Monterey Street. This is the first exit you will reach after coming down the Cuesta Grade.
  • Make a right at the end of the exit ramp, and then an immediate left turn onto the frontage road.
  • Go approximately three blocks to reach Grand Avenue.
  • Turn right onto Grand Avenue. (You will be going slightly uphill.)
  • In approximately ¼ mile you will reach the campus entrance.
  • See below for information about on-campus parking.
  • [If you are going to one of the conference hotels, turn left rather than right on Grand Ave. At Monterey Street, turn left for the Apple Farm, Sands Inn & Suites, and La Cuesta. Turn right for Quality Suites.]


Driving directions to campus from Los Angeles and points south:

  • Take Route 101 North.
  • After driving through most of San Luis Obispo, exit at the Grand Avenue/Cal Poly exit
  • Turn left on Grand Avenue.
  • In approximately ¼ mile you will reach the campus entrance.
  • See below for information about on-campus parking.
  • [If you are going to one of the conference hotels, turn right rather than left on Grand Avenue. At Monterey Street, turn left for the Apple Farm Inn, Sands Inn & Suites, and La Cuesta. Turn right for Quality Suites.]


Travel within San Luis Obispo

To the conference:

The conference hotels are approximately a 30-minute walk from where we’ll be meeting. From Monterey Street, walk straight down Grand Avenue until you reach the campus entrance.

Taxis from conference hotels to the conference venue cost approximately $10.

City buses run approximately every 30 minutes to campus. The nearest bus stop to the conference hotels is one block down Grand, at the intersection with Mill Street. Fares are $1.25. The SLO City website has more information about SLO Transit.

To the airport and train station:

A few area hotels, including Apple Farm Inn and Quality Suites, offer shuttle services to the airport and train station. For details, please inquire with your hotel.

Taxis from the airport to the conference hotels cost approximately $25. For taxi phone numbers and additional information on ground transportation from the airport click here.

To downtown:

The conference hotels are approximately a twenty-minute walk straight down Monterey Street to downtown San Luis Obispo.

The downtown parking garages are free for the first hour and $0.75 for each additional hour. Metered on-street parking is also available.

On-Campus Parking

Permits to park on the Cal Poly campus are required on Friday, February 13. Permits are $5 per vehicle for a full day, and are available to purchase in the following areas located off of the Grand Avenue entrance to campus

  1. Visitor Center Booth 
    Located off to the right side of Grand Ave. just after the entrance to campus (at the intersection with Slack Street). The visitor booth can get backed up with cars and only cash and check payments are accepted 
  2. Pay Station Machines 
    Several pay stations are located within and around the parking lots once you turn left before the Performing Arts Center building into the G1 Parking lot. These are indicated on the parking map in these locations: 
    • At the "loop" in front of the PAC building 
    • Within the Parking structure on Level 2 and Level 3 
    • Within the G1 Parking lot 

While Permits are not required to park in campus lots on Saturday, February 14, there will be several special events taking place throughout the afternoon restricting parking closest to buildings. If you should arrive on campus after 12pm on Saturday , you will be diverted to park in a section further away from the buildings, resulting in a further walk to the conference locations.

Related Content