Thursday Nights = Farmers' Market downtown
This takes place every Thursday from 6 pm to 9 pm (except Thanksgiving or if it's raining) in downtown SLO on Higuera St between Osos St and Nipomo St. Farmers' Market is a big attraction in San Luis Obispo and I highly recommend checking it out if you're in town on a Thursday evening. Higuera Street is closed to traffic and farmers and restaurants set up temporary stands out on the curb. There is often live music and other random activities besides the food vendors and booths from various interest groups trying to get you to sign up for stuff. People can get many different types of prepared food - tri tip (steak) sandwiches, tacos, ribs, gyros, etc... as well as fresh vegetables. It can be quite crowded, especially on a warm evening or during WOW (Week of Welcome) week in mid September. Most people tend to walk slowly or just stand around in the street, so if you are trying to avoid some of the pedestrian traffic, try using the sidewalk for a less crowded walkway. It's always FREE to go to Farmers' Market
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THURSDAY NIGHT FARMERS MARKET BALLOON MAN
What is a gathering of people of all ages having fun without a Balloon Man. The San Luis Obispo Thursday Night Farmers Market is famous and folks come visit the Market from all parts of the world. It has started a renewal in home grown produce that is offered for sale in anytown USA on any given day at any type of location be it a park, street, or parking lot. Being one of the largest, if not the largest Farmers Market, it is only right that the Balloon Man should appear and delight the youth in all of us. If you are in SLO for the Farmers Market, look for that happy go lucky guy, the Balloon Man.
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Hispanic in name only
While the founders of many towns around San Luis Obispo were Spanish speakers, the later settlers were decidedly not. Thus you will find that the pronunciation of many landmarks has been thoroughly Anglicanized. For example...
San Luis Obispo = Lewis, NOT San Louie
Paso Robles = Robuls, NOT Roblays
Arroyo Grande = Grandy, NOT Granday
There are countless other examples - you will sometimes even hear Los Angeles prounced with a hard G.
no drive thrus
If you're in SLO and you need a fast food fix, don't expect you can just drive up to any, because there aren't any drive thrus in SLO, AT ALL. Just another exhibit of the community's power. I believe they felt it would take away from slo's downtown character, so hence no drive thrus. that's fine, we need the exercise anyways. . . . a short walk to get that greasy food, and a short walk back to your car.
the words "tri tip" have never come out of my mouth so often until i came to SLO. Barbecue seems to be a big thing here. Tri tip sandwiches are really good here, especially at SLO Brew, and Firestone Grill. They're all over the place during Farmers.
Flip-flops and shorts
The dress code here is simple enough; wear funky noisy sandals, a hooded sweat shirt with CalPoly printed on it, and your most colorful shorts and you will look like a native. One thing though, make sure your shorts reach your knees (if you're a man), or people will laugh and point. I have tons of German friends who insisted on wearing those speedos and were traumatized for life.
And oh, a wetsuit is the hottest thing you can wear on the beach.
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