Now that new students have moved into San Luis Obispo, there’s a pitfall for them to avoid — looking like a tourist. While the older tourist is easy to spot with the fanny pack, hula shirt and visor, some behaviors are less black and white. This list explains some activities that new students won’t want to be caught doing to avoid the dreaded tourist appellation.
Taking pictures in bubble gum alley.
Quite frankly this local oddity is gross and it’s best to avoid it. If being surrounded by that much commingled community waste is your kind of thing, a trip to the public pool would be more worthwhile — and less touristy — than visiting this eyesore.
Going into both bathrooms at Madonna Inn
There is a waterfall in the guys bathroom and the women’s bathroom does have holographic wallpaper and they are both worth seeing, just make sure you only do it once. You will be distracted enough by the giant dolls on swings and practically blinded by the overwhelming amount of pink.
Driving around Taco Bell five times, looking for the Drive-Thru
The city of San Luis Obispo outlawed drive-thrus nearly 30 years ago. While it might be inconvenient for some, it can make a normal jaunt to get a quesadilla much more interesting when someone doesn’t remember they can’t just pull up to the window.
Taking a wrong turn on a one-way street
The two main streets in downtown San Luis Obispo only go one way. It might seem silly to mention but you’d be surprised how many people turn the wrong way.
Cal Poly Downtown
This store, which specializes in ‘Cal Poly Mom’ and ‘Dad” T-shirts, is an easy spot to find tourists.
Cal Poly ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ apparel
In the same vein, parents walking around with ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ on their sweatshirt almost certainly are tourists.
Disgrunteled-looking teenager with parents
Even if their parents are wearing embarrassing sweatshirts, new freshmen should know it doesn’t look cool to walk five feet in front, looking angry. Instead of looking embarassed, they should be thankful they get to eat off campus and then try to convince their parents they need to listen to Mozart on a brand new streo system in order to properly prepare for midterms.
Camping out on highway one looking for zebra
Although it might seem super touristy, taking a trip to Hearst Castle is acutally quite an experience. The obnoxious tourists are the ones with the camera on the side of Highway 1 looking for zebra on the castle property. A better option would be to spot them on the bus on the way to the castle.
Going to the Rock in Morro Bay and not getting out of your car.
Even though it’s windy, the drive to Morro Bay wouldn’t be worth it without actually getting out of the car. Tourists sometimes make this mistake and miss the beauty of the rock up close as well as the great waves.