SLO Ethnic Enclaves

SLO Ethnic Enclaves

Join architectural historian James Papp for a 2-hour walking tour through downtown San Luis Obispo. Explore the history, the personalities, and the remaining buildings of San Luis Obispo’s racial enclaves and cultural communities, from Chinatown to the...
Ghosts of San Luis

Ghosts of San Luis

Book Now As of 3/11/19, March tickets for all Ghosts of San Luis Walking Tours are completely sold out. April dates are now available. Thanks for your understanding! Take an evening walk through the ghostlore of the city. Stop where figures have been seen and voices...
Love for Sale

Love for Sale

Visit SLO’s historic red light districts, from Tiger Town to Frog Hollow. Along the way, meet their colorful amazons and denizenitas, like Lizzie Darling, and Victoria Duchi, and find out how the demi monde survived the Old West and modern SLO.
Ghosts of Christmas Past

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Learn the history of Christmas, as well as the strange story of how it was celebrated in Old San Luis, as you stroll the holiday-bedecked streets. Find out how Jewish, Chinese, and Anglo merchants all played a part; where we got Christmas trees in this arid climate;...
SLO, the SP, 101, and the Beats

SLO, the SP, 101, and the Beats

Jami Cassady at Secret SLO holding her mother Carolyn’s 1991 painting of Jack Kerouac, based on a 1952 photograph taken shortly before Kerouac’s stay in San Luis Obispo Jack Kerouac’s original 1951 scroll of On the Road, 120 typewritten feet, mentions San Luis Obispo...
The Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”

The Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”

Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road in twenty coffee-fueled days in the New York spring of 1951, on eight long pieces of drawing paper he had inherited—along with his apartment and wife—from Bill Cannastra, an artist who died the previous autumn climbing out a subway train...
SLO County’s First Private Winemaker

SLO County’s First Private Winemaker

Original Zin and Original Sin: The Implausible Story of SLO County’s First Private Winemaker The Mission San Luis Obispo had a large wine vineyard of Mission grapes—the Spanish varietal Listán Prieto—possibly from the 1780s and certainly by 1800. Its forty acres...
Queenie Warden Bridge Dedicated Downtown

Queenie Warden Bridge Dedicated Downtown

On Friday, August 24, the city dedicated a plaque to Queenie Parr Warden, who in 1917, six years after women gained the vote in California, became the first woman to run for mayor of San Luis Obispo. The dedication is on the bridge built by and named for Queenie...
Mission to Mosque

Mission to Mosque

Trace two centuries of sacred architecture and religious communities—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—from the Mission San Luis Obispo (1793) to the Mosque of Nasreen (2008). Find out how to interpret the visual symbols and learn about the lives of the...
Making Sense of the Madonna Inn

Making Sense of the Madonna Inn

San Luis Obispo has buildings by Julia Morgan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Richard Neutra, but the Madonna Inn is our most famous piece of architecture. It’s arguably better known than San Luis Obispo itself, and it may be the world’s most famous work of theme...