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Plan a visit to San Luis Obispo, and enjoy California mellow at it's finest

When people visit California, they go for many reasons. Some visit the theme parks of Orange County, and pay homage to the mouse who started it all. Others visit the wine country, and slowly drink their way from vineyard to vineyard. Others still simply find a quiet place to contemplate nature and life itself in the mountain passes that make up the coastal ranges.

The rugged California coastline beckons travelers from all over the world.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

For travelers who can't quite decide which of the many different options that you can choose from in a visit to the Golden Bear state, perhaps a stay in San Luis Obispo is on your to do list. This year, the city has been recognized as not only one of the Healthiest Towns in the US, but also as one of the Most Romantic Towns and one of the Best Places to Visit in 2014. Nestled almost equidistant from Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a few short minutes from Paso Robles’ wine country, it makes a great place to base any great California adventure.

“Great vineyards, great wineries,” stated CBS News Editor Peter Greenberg. “Once again the owners are there, and you are not stuck behind 85 tour buses!”

In the January 2014 issue of Travel+Leisure, San Luis Obispo made the Most Romantic Towns in America list at number five. With great weather, small crowds and reasonable prices, SLO “embodies California mellow, making for easy romance.”

The magazine loved the accessible distance to neighboring towns. From the laid-back beaches of Pismo and Avila to the stunning and historical landmark that is Heart Castle, the opportunities for unique dates are endless. Additionally, readers put the local coffee scene at the top of their list, with numerous café’s offering organic, fair-trade brews.

According to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, San Luis Obispo ranked 5th in the nation on the list of Healthiest Towns. After analyzing factors like a town’s frequency of exercise, access to fresh produce, obesity rates, health care coverage, and overall optimism, each location was given a number representing its average “well-being” amongst residents. Combined with Paso Robles, SLO was given a “well-being” rate of 71.2, an entire 3.9 points higher than the national average.

SLO made a national media splash three years ago when Oprah Winfrey named it the Happiest City in America. Intrigued by the natural beauty of the town, Jenny McCarthy, an Oprah correspondent, admired SLO’s scenic location between “wide beaches and green mountains, surrounded by vineyards.”

It is not a coincidence that the small town charm of San Luis Obispo is captivating national attention for so many diverse reasons. Whether you are looking for a lazy beach day, romantic wine tasting get away, or fresh, local meals, San Luis Obispo is a destination fit for everyone.

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