10 Free Things To Do Around Cal Poly SLO


College is a time for new experiences and adventures, but it is also a time where your bank account probably can’t fund those adventures. But here in San Luis Obispo, we have plenty of things to do that wont put a dent in your wallet. Here are 10 free things to do around Cal Poly SLO.

1. Carrizo Plain National Monument

If you’re a Cal Poly student, you know this as the place that has taken over your Instagram feed, and it’s easy to see why. Filled with massive flower fields and a beautiful scenery, Carrizo Plain National Monument is definitely worth the drive. Don’t miss out on this crazy super bloom before it goes away.

2. Explore Montaña de Oro

From enticing, secluded beaches to rugged cliffs and rolling hills, it is no surprise that Montaña de Oro is so wildly popular. Typical activities here include hiking, horseback riding, picnics, surfing, and more. While many state parks charge entrance fees, Montaña de Oro offers free admission for day use.

3. Front Porch

Located right behind the Recreation Center lies the most valuable thing to college students: free coffee.  So if you’re looking for a place to study or just for a place to hang out and caffeinate, head to Front Porch.

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4. Farmers Market

Open every Thursday night, the Farmers Market takes over the streets of downtown SLO. Though unfortunately the food isn’t free, there are many vendors worth stopping at as well as a wide variety of live music to enjoy.

5. Hiking

Cal Poly is known as a very active campus, and it’s not too difficult to see why. There are so many gorgeous hikes to take advantage of in San Luis Obispo. Serenity Swing, Bishop Peak, the “P”, and Madonna Mountain are just a few of the great options.  Each hike has an incredible view overlooking SLO and is definitely worth the effort.

6. Take a Class at the Recreation Center

Membership to the Recreation Center is free for Cal Poly students, so take advantage of it! No one will judge you if you look ridiculous in a zumba class and yoga is a great stress reliever. Just be sure to reserve your spot for the classes that require sign ups because they fill up fast.

7. Perfumo Canyon

Perfumo Canyon is the perfect place for someone looking for a breathtaking view without having to hike to it. Once you drive to the top you are instantly surrounded by a surreal 360 degree view. So if you’re looking for the perfect picturesque place, this is the one.

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8. Picnic in the Arboretum

Located right on campus just past the plant shop lies the Arboretum.  Filled with an array of flowers, ponds, and an open, sunny field right in the center, it is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or just soak up the sun.

9. Have a Beach Day

We are so lucky to live on the central coast where the weather often near perfect, so why not spend that time at the beach. Our campus is so close to some of the most beautiful beaches, and they all have something special to offer Slo.  Pismo Beach features perfect waves for surfing, volleyball nets, and a pier. Grover Beach is the place to be for bonfires, which we all know from Week of Welcome, and head to Avila Beach to visit Pirate’s Cove. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be in for a fun filled day that won’t break the bank.

10. Bike Night

On the first Thursday of every month after Farmers Market, over a hundred people take over the streets of downtown SLO, dressed in costumes, with their bikes. Bike Night started out as a tradition among a small group of bike enthusiasts but has quickly grown into an event that can’t be missed.

What are your favorite free things to do around Cal Poly SLO? Share in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com


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