If you’re under 21, or think the bars aren’t the place that you want to be seen, then here is the guide for you: The minor’s guide to SLO living.
During the school year, there are plenty of things to do if you are bored.
Cal Poly has a full array of Division I sports. In the fall, you can catch a free football game if you are a student, or watch the volleyball team spike the ball at a match in Mott Gym. Later in the year, catch a baseball or softball game (or sometimes both) in the new sports complex. One way or another, you have no excuse. There is plenty of athletic action to be found, so stop wasting away in your dorm room watching ESPN.
So Johnny across the hall thinks he has a mean game of 8-ball? First step: make him play 9-ball to take him out of his comfort zone, and secondly show him what real competition is at the bottom of the University Union. Open late on the weekends, this is the place to be for billiards, bowling and the ever famous Dance Dance Revolution video game. Special pricing for students, and on Saturday nights you can find a few students bowling their worries away to a disco ball, black lights and some funky music during cosmic bowling. Be sure to bring your “A” game.
You might not be able to get into the bars, but you can definitely watch the people who do. Find yourself a nice bench, get a waffle cone from Cold Stone Creamery on Higuera Street, and prepare to see every walk of life. Downtown SLO has plenty of benches for you to catch a glimpse of the action. You can catch some good bands if you situate yourself in front of Frog and Peach, or you can watch some sketchy dance moves if you get the bench right in front of Mother’s Tavern. Watch out though, there’s plenty of competition for bench real estate, so get there early.
Couch plus truck equals drive-in
It is a blast from the past. SLO’s drive-in is the way to see a movie. Located adjacent to U.S. Highway 101 on Elks Lane, the drive-in is a cheap solution to an age-old problem: What are you doing tonight? Bring a loveseat, your significant other and some candy and you’re set for an evening full of entertainment.
To the hills
There are so many places to hike, we can’t even list them all. We’ll get you pointed in the right direction though. Check out Poly Canyon first. Located on Poly Canyon Road, which starts at the base of the Cerro Vista Apartment Complex, the Canyon is full of wide-open spaces. Be sure to get on a marked trail, and read any postings at the end of the road. Another favorite is Bishop Peak. The best place to park is where the city ends on Foothill Boulevard. The hike isn’t too difficult, and the views of the city are breathtaking. If you go in the evening, provide yourself enough time to get down the mountain while it is still light outside. Finally, if you want to venture elsewhere in the county, try out Montano de Oro in Los Osos. The ranger’s station has guides on the best trails. If you’re looking for a place to take that special person of yours, you might try the Bluff Trail. It overlooks Spooner’s cove, does not require any uphill hiking and it’s got plenty of spots to take a break and enjoy the views.
Gleaming the cube
Check out the skate parks situated throughout the county. Morro Bay’s skate park is right next to Morro Rock, and overlooks the ocean. It has plenty of rails to grind, ramps and a halfpipe. If you’re looking for an empty swimming pool, don’t worry: Grover Beach has your order filled, no pun intended. Other cities in the area with skateparks are Cambria, Paso Robles, Templeton and one is being built in Los Osos.
Pirates of the Kayak
Johnny Depp might not be there, but if you close your eyes you might be able to imagine it. Kayaking is a great way to spend your weekend. Morro Bay has several kayak rental shops along the embarcadero to get you set up. During high tide, you can cruise all the way back in to Baywood Park to check out wildlife and beautiful scenery. If you get bored paddling away, you can beach your Black Pearl-esque craft on the sand spit between the ocean and the bay. Look closely, if you search long enough you can find some neat artifacts from when soldiers were trained for World War II beachfront assault. Be careful though, don’t get stuck in the mud when the tide goes out. And while it may seem like a great idea to battle the crashing waves, Morro Bay’s harbor is rated one of the most difficult to navigate through. Be smart. Keep your kayak and yourself in the bay, and not in the ocean.
You too can be Napolean Dynamite’s grandmother
Just don’t hurt yourself like she did. Quads, sand rails and a lot of lifted trucks make their way out on the Oceano Dunes every year. If you are looking for something to do, head out to the beach on U.S. Highway 1 for some fun times with 25 horsepower between your legs. There are many companies to rent ATVs from, and if you want to go for the long haul, you can camp overnight with the gentle sound of the ocean filling your ears. If you’ve got your own machine, make sure it has a flag on it to avoid getting popped by the park rangers. If you do not want to fly over the dunes, you can always drive along the beach in your car too.
Get your Huffy aired up, because if you want to cruise downtown with hundreds of other bicyclists, you’ll need to be ready. After Farmers’ Market on Thursday nights, bicyclists hit the streets with headlights and various noise-making devices. The event starts at the Mission Plaza. Make sure you have a headlight, it’s the law, and the police are out on bicycles to make sure safety remains top priority. So, if you’re looking for something to do on Thursday night, take your bike to Farmer’s, grab a barbecued turkey leg and ride in style downtown.