Ryan Chartrand

San Luis Obispo is full of bars, night clubs and venues with a barrage of local, live entertainment, but sorry kid-o; unless you’re of legal age, you won’t be able to take advantage of any of these fine establishments.

Save a modicum of 18 and over live music performances, the downtown scene is still many years out of your reach, freshmen.

Put it out of sight and out of mind, because even though the bar and nightclub scene is a killer aspect of San Luis Obispo, there are plenty of other good joints in and around San Luis Obispo for you to stretch out, chill out, and wild out without having to be of the boozing age.

To begin with, travel no further than the University Union in the heart of Cal Poly to find plenty of outlets for entertainment. A good place to kill time in-between classes and study sessions or to hang out on lazy weekend afternoons, the UU has more than enough going on to keep you busy for hours without taking a huge bite out of your wallet.

Walk into the UU and stroll on over to Mustang Lanes and you’ll find over 10 lanes to get your bowl on. The lanes also include a billiards room with eight professional tables and an arcade for you to get the Dance Dance Revolution out of your system (cooling fans included). The lanes are open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sunday noon to 11 p.m.

If you feel like getting groovy, hit up the Mustang Lanes on Saturdays for “Cosmic Bowling Nights” and get down on some psychedelic bowling while munching on Backstage Pizza (located right next door).

The UU also offers concerts in the Union Plaza at the front entrance on Thursdays at 11 a.m. To kick off a fresh fall quarter, Cal Poly’s own eclectic rock group, Sherwood, will be performing in the plaza on Sept. 28.

For all you late night dancing machines, get your freak on at The Graduate, a banging bar and nightclub that is courteous enough to accommodate you little ladies and young bucks four nights a week.

Pop and lock all you like on Wednesdays’ “College Hump Night,” or grab your partner on Thursdays and line dance during Country Night. The Graduate also offers “Big Chill/Ultimate ’80s Night” the first Friday of every month and “Noche Caliente” (Hot Latin Nights) every second, third, fourth and fifth Friday of the month. If you didn’t sweat enough country out of your system on Thursday, you can catch Country Night again on Saturdays. Festivities usually begin at 8 p.m.

Visit www.slograd.com for directions and additional information.

If sweating it out on the dance floor like a Madonna confessional isn’t your forte, maybe you’re the type who enjoys independent and aesthetically pleasing cinema. Searching for deeper meaning in life via cerebral entertainment? Then The Palm Theatre, which according to their Web site, “showcases the very best of independent, foreign, Art House, and mainstream cinema,” just might be the place to massage your grey matter during the weekends. Located downtown, The Palm is a great place to take your date out for comical, impacting, and tear jerking flicks without having to pay a ridiculous sum for admission, popcorn and refreshments.

If you’re looking for one last hurrah before the night’s end, you can round off your adventures in San Luis Obispo by heading over to Woodstock’s Pizza downtown for killer slices of scrumptious pizza and refreshments. Open well into the night (1 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday) Woodstock’s is the ultimate joint to hang out with friends at the cusp of your late night excursions.

And with an assortment of unique menu items, piping-hot, ready-to-go slices, televisions every which way you look, and an arcade to get some Pac-Man or Metal Slug action, there is no place better than Woodstock’s in San Luis Obispo to end an awesome evening.

If San Luis Obispo is too confining for your wandering soul, then venture no further than Avila or Pismo Beach for some downright fun in the sun.

Simply head a few miles south on the freeway and you’ll find the exit that will take you into Avila Beach. Drive through what seems like a forest of Oak trees and you’ll be greeted by the salty air of the ocean and the quaint sight of this little beach town with loads to offer.

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