Secret SLO gives you the key to a world that hides in plain sight. We revive the stories and voices of San Luis Obispo’s past and reveal the language of its architecture and design. Our simple belief is the more you know, the more fun you’ll have engaging with our extraordinary history and natural environment.

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Our Guides

James Papp

James Papp

James is an architectural historian and chairs San Luis Obispo’s preservation commission. A native Californian, he’s taught in LA, Vienna, and Bratislava; led walking tours in New York’s East Village; and lived in Berlin, Paris, London, San Francisco, and Christchurch. His favorite crazy building in SLO is its neon neo-Greek movie theater, the Fremont, with glow-in-the-dark acanthus leaves. His favorite strange history is the Chinese Laundry Wars.

Eva Fina

Eva Fina

Eva spent the last 20 years working at history museums on both coasts and has been giving guided tours for more than 25 years. Although she grew up on the east coast, Eva has come to deeply appreciate the stories of California and especially the Central Coast. She loves explaining to locals and visitors alike how San Luis Obispo County is actually the center of the universe.

Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy

Bill is an engineer, an avid hiker, gardener and musician. He is currently the president of the San Luis Obispo History Center and sits on the Board of Directors for Arts Obispo. Originally from the East Coast, Bill has lived in many different places around the world and now proudly calls SLO home. He continues to work as an engineer and architect and in his free time can be found on the many trails in SLO county soaking in the abundance of nature in the central coast.