SLO’s Serenity Swing

After constructing my poll, I learned readers are interested in the hikes in San Luis Obispo.

The panoramic view from the top of Serenity Swing.

The panoramic view from the top of Serenity Swing.

A great hike to check out is the Serenity Swing hike. The hike is located behind Poly Canyon at Cal Poly, past the Architecture Graveyard. The destination: a lone swing looking over the hills.

The hike starts out slow and easy, surrounded by the San Luis Obispo green hills. However, the last trek gives some hikers a little bit of a sweat. “The last ten minutes of the hike were the steepest part, bringing you to the actual point of the swing,” said Shirin Beroukhim. However, she also added that arriving to the swing was the sweetest reward. “Just being able to view San Luis Obispo from a different perspective and just take it where you live…that’s what SLO is about.” The hike takes about an hour and a half to do, plus however long you plan on spending at the actual swing for relaxation and picture taking.

Tori Leets enjoying the swing, and the view, after the hike to the peak.

Tori Leets enjoying the swing, and the view, after the hike to the peak.


SLO on Campus

Through all the options for fun in SLO, people often forget all the opportunities found on the Cal Poly campus. These activities are affordable and a good time. From sporty options to a walk through the art gallery, Cal Poly offers fun things to do for all different types of interests.

Cal Poly Recreation Center

The Cal Poly Recreation Center is not just for taking a run or lifting some weights. The Rec Center provides many different ways to stay not only fit, but also have a good time. Students pay for access to the Rec Center through their quarterly tuition and fees. Group classes are held multiple times throughout the day in the upstairs fitness rooms. These classes hold a range of intensity depending on what you are wanting to take out of your workout. Some guests enjoy the dance-like classes such as Zumba and Cardio Hip-Hop to burn some calories while dancing away to some popular, current music. “I think that students absolutely should take advantage of Zumba classes,” said Claire Santucci, a 2nd year at Cal Poly.”It’s a fun, free way to exercise, and it’s also conveniently on campus.” Other guests take advantage of the more vigorous work-out classes such as 6 Pack Abs and Body Pump or even the relaxing classes such as yoga and Pilates. But if classes are not for you, the Rec Center also provides access to indoor basketball and volleyball courts as well as a table tennis and foosball table. Students also love to visit the pools in the sunny San Luis Obispo weather. All these options give students the ability for free fun that could last all day long.

The Cal Poly Rec Center has both a lap pool as well as a leisure pool. So whether you want a quick swimming workout or to soak up a little sun, the Rec center's pool can be right for you.

The Cal Poly Rec Center has both a lap pool as well as a leisure pool. So whether you want a quick swimming workout or to soak up a little sun, the Rec center’s pool can be right for you.

Kennedy Library Stressbusters

Many students are unaware of the multiple events put on by merely the Kennedy Library itself. And no, I don’t mean read-a-thons, I mean puppies and water-coloring. The library has been helping students battle their stress since 2009 and are given a budget to put on free events for students. The most popular events are the stress animals. Dogs are brought to the library from Therapy Dogs International while cats are brought from the Cal Poly Cat Shelter. Find these dogs and cats at the library and enjoy a 2-hour meet and greet to relax some stress and cozy up with some furry friends. “It was exactly what I needed,” Rachael Carroll said. “It was the best thing that happened to me all week!” Students also have access to Watercolor Wednesdays. Throughout every quarter, several free watercolor sessions are offered to students who want to relax and paint their stress away. All of these events are conveniently placed around midterms and finals, making them the perfect study break during the most stressful times of the year.

Clarissa Rivas embraces a new furry friend at last quarter's stress dogs event.

Clarissa Rivas embraces a new furry friend at last quarter’s stress dogs event.

Mustang Lanes

Located in the UU, Mustang Lanes is Cal Poly’s own arcade and bowling alley. With extended hours and cheap prices, this is a hot spot for Cal Poly students. Learn more about this new phenomenon in this broadcast story.

University Art Gallery

Many students are unaware of the University Art Gallery located in Dexter. This art gallery is free of charge not only to students but to the general public as well. The art showcased in this gallery range from international to nationally known artists. These artists include not only current students here on campus, but alumni and even faculty as well. It is also considered one of the finest art galleries on the central coast. “It is literally one of only a few places in San Luis Obispo that will expose you to the culture of art without having to go three hours north or south,” said Garet Zook, the interim coordinator of the gallery. Throughout the academic year, the venue hosts five different collections of work with different backgrounds and themes. Pieces are from all different areas of art such as photography, graphic design, paintings and more.

The University Art Gallery is located by Dexter Lawn on the CalPoly campus.

The University Art Gallery is located by Dexter Lawn on the Cal Poly campus.

Cal Poly Craft Center

The Cal Poly Craft Center is located in the ASI Craft Center in the UU. The Craft Center holds artistic classes allowing students to explore their creative side with the help of experienced, student instructors. Each quarter holds new classes such as ceramics, flameworking, jewelry making, stained glass and even surfboard shaping. “It’s a cool way to destress,” said Jocelyn Baird, a liberal studies major who just completed a class in flame making. “You get to create something new where there’s no wrong answers and learn cool skills you otherwise never would.” Students with experience levels of all kinds are welcomed and in fact encouraged to participate in a class. Sign ups are available online or in person at the Craft Center itself. Classes are open to the public for a higher cost.

Jocelyn Baird created a turtle in her flame working class and looks forward to participating in another class soon.

Jocelyn Baird created a turtle in her flameworking class and looks forward to participating in another class soon.

The activities mentioned here are only a few of the options for inexpensive fun on campus. Although going off campus can be exciting, opportunities on campus are both convenient and easy. So next time you’re bored in your dorm room or apartment, consider the activities held right on campus.

Take a Minute for Some Reflection

The creation of this blog has been both exciting and stressful. As a student myself at Cal Poly, I found it interesting to indulge myself in looking deeper into the things available to do in my surroundings. And to my luck, over 1,200 visitors from all over the world have also seemed interested in the opportunities SLO brings. This blog has received visitors from not only the United States, but also countries such as Guam, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Ukraine and more. I have even received comments, likes, and follows from those who are true investors on the information I have provided.

Many readers have found my information to be helpful and useful. “We didn’t realize how much fun stuff we were missing out on,” said Shreya Pramanick who reads the blog from her apartment in San Fransisco. “I had so much fun reading it and learned a lot about San Luis Obispo,” said Kate Houston from Eugene, Oregon. People from all over look towards my blog as a way to plan their visits and get excited for the fun ahead of them. The most popularly read posts are those on the Tri-Tip Challenge and the Farmers’ Market.

Visitors also enjoy the use of multimedia. Some said that the pictures add more appeal to the writing while others loved interacting with the map incorporating different coffee places in the area.


In fact, visitors like the use of multimedia so much that they would like to see more of it. Mitchel Benson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications & Media Relations at Los Rios Community College District, noted that the use of media was his favorite part of the blog and would love to see it even more frequently in my posts. He advises that I create more polls and posts that can reach out to the reader and learn about what they want to hear. Other readers would like to see more pictures to break up the writing and add some “flair” to the site.

Most views are coming from clicks on Facebook and Twitter, however, my blog is also getting attention through search engine searches such as Google, Bing, and even Yahoo. I think it is essential to continue advertising my blog on all different forms of social media. Networking is the best way to create conversation and interest and I want as many people as possible to learn about the insight I have on San Luis Obispo. I hope to create traffic such as the traffic received by blogs such as the travel blog Road Essays or the cooking blog A Whisk and a Spoon.

I look forward to diving in more to the activities here in SLO and urge any readers to send me feedback as they wish.

SLO Down, Enjoy Some Coffee

Sometimes in this fast-paced world we live in, it is important to sit back and relax. What better way to do that than to cozy up with a warm cup of coffee surrounded by friendly staff and great ambiance? San Luis Obispo hosts many great and unique coffee shops that can fit the desires of any coffee-goer as well as provide great areas for studying.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea

Peet’s Coffee & Tea is your classic chain coffeehouse. However, San Luis Obispo’s location employs the friendly and outgoing staff of SLO, which creates a small-town feel in a nationwide known coffeehouse. “It is a chain that everyone knows, but is definitely overlooked sometimes!” said Abby Attig, a frequent coffeeshop-goer from Cal Poly. With both indoor tables and outdoor benches, Peet’s offers many different types of options for seating. Located in the heart of downtown, Peet’s is easily accessible and convenient. The large windows create a bright and open ambiance creating a refreshing coffee experience. Peet’s also offers more extended hours than the other community coffee houses, reaching from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. “They also really cater to college students with free wifi.” said Abby Attig.

Located: 1075 Court St

A classic cup of coffee from Peet's can always meet one's tastebuds.

A classic cup of coffee from Peet’s can always please one’s tastebuds.

Front Porch SLO

Front Porch is located right off campus, making it walkable from any on campus housing. Front Porch, in fact, serves free coffee, tea, and snacks to all Cal Poly and Cuesta students. Although the coffee is just your average, normal drip, who could turn down a free up of coffee? Front Porch is most known for its free wifi and large study areas in a quiet setting.”If you are feeling more social, you can study downstairs in the living room or on the porch, but if you are cramming for a midterm the library upstairs provides a quiet and focused atmosphere with comfy chairs and desks for everyone!” said Rachel Carlson, another coffee lover from Cal Poly. It often holds events including free pancake breakfasts, dinners, and, most recently, an open mic night. If you’re looking for a convenient place to study with some free coffee, Front Porch is the place for you.

Located: 1468 Foothill Blvd

Scout Coffee Co.

Scout Coffee Co. is most related to a Pinterest-like coffee shop. “Walking in it is hard not to notice how adorable the decorations of the coffee shop are; probably the most popular Instagram spot in SLO,” said Shirin Beroukhim who decided to take her mom to this specific coffeeshop when visiting. With colorful wall designs and different types of seating, such as stump-looking chairs, the setting is unique in comparison to the other coffee shops in the area. Because of their unique seating, Scout Coffee Co. might not be the best study space, however, it is great for get togethers, a coffee date, or even to relax with a book or magazine. The baristas create a welcoming and laid-back mood upon entrance. Each coffee drink is presented with beautiful latte art that accompanies a great taste.

Located: 1130 Gardent Street

Shirin and her mother enjoy their coffee's in front of Scout's beautiful decor.

Shirin Beroukhim and her mother enjoy their coffee’s in front of Scout’s beautiful indoor decor.

Kreuzberg Coffee Company

Kreuzberg Coffee Company is probably the most popular coffee house in San Luis Obispo, located on the main drag of SLO on Higuera Street. “The chairs are cozy, the baristas are young and friendly, and they make a delicious chai tea that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy,” said Abby Attig. Kreuzberg also provides free wifi and is a common study spot for many students. With a huge outdoor patio as well as couches and large work tables indoors, Kreuzberg creates the perfect study spot. It is known to have a hipster feel with an array of thrift shop looking “knick knanks” that cover the walls. The baristas are mainly college students which creates a friendly, relatable atmosphere.

Located: 685 Higuera Street

Blackhorse Expresso & Bakery

Blackhorse Expresso & Bakery is most praised for its quiet aura and friendly service. “It’s never too crowded which means you can get a lot more good, focused studying done while you enjoy their great coffee and delicious, reasonably priced pastries and salads!” said Rachel Carlson. The staff are knowledgable as well as professional. They are always helpful with answering any questions and truly put customer service first. Service is quick and produces great snacks and drinks. Blackhorse is also recognized for its great pastries and baked goods such as their stuffed croissants and fresh bagels. They have some great outdoor seating as well as a comfy and “hip” indoor atmosphere.

Located: 1065 Higuera Street

Presentation of the coffee is always a special touch.

Presentation of the coffee is always a special touch.

To learn more about different types of coffee and other hot coffee places in SLO, check out Fresh Cup of Brew and SLO Much Coffee.

SLO and on Your Smart Phone?

Want to have a list of SLO events in your back pocket? You can. Download the app SLO Happenings to get all the latest info on what is happening in SLO.

7 Reasons You Should Download This App Today:

  1. Learn what is going on in SLO with the touch of a button.
  2. Can search events by specific categories.
  3. Or you can search by clicking what is happening this week!
  4. Provides events for any type of interest: arts, culture, food, wine, social, recreation, and more.
  5. Events show when, where, costs and even a link for more information.
  6. Gives users the option to add in their own event for the public to see.
  7. Always easily accessible on your smart phone.

Tune in Soon to Learn About Fun Campus Outings at Cal Poly

The little town of San Luis Obispo has so much to offer for affordable fun. But, we have skipped over an entire area full of fun things to do: the Cal Poly campus. From Zumba classes at the Recreation Center to bowling in Cal Poly’s Mustang Lanes, the campus has so many options. Find out more about what Cal Poly’s campus has to offer in my upcoming blog and even a video story focused on the bowling alley. But first, check out the video below to learn more about what is coming next.