It’s no question that life in San Luis Obispo has been different for Cal Poly students this year. We are in the eighth month of a global pandemic that seems to have no end, yet life is still moving forward.
Despite the times being different, the grind towards graduation persists. Classes might be online, but hundreds of students remain in SLO and want to get the most out of their college experience. The question is, how are you supposed to spend your time with COVID limitations?
Cal Poly’s Health and Wellbeing Department has attempted to answer this question by compiling a list of activities that are recommended for students who want to spend quality time in the area while staying safe and socially distant. Although this list offers up to 50 different recommendations, here are five activities that deserve honest reviews.
1. Take the Tri Tip Challenge
The Tri Tip Challenge has always been a staple activity for students to add to their bucket list before graduating. Those who are adventurous enough to attempt the challenge are expected to hike the Cal Poly “P”, Cerro San Luis Obispo (Madonna Mountain) and Bishops Peak all in the same day.
To complete the challenge, participants finish by treating themselves with a tri-tip sandwich from Firestone Grill downtown. The challenge is considered to be moderately difficult, but is doable for those who set their mind to it and commit to finishing. The challenge takes about five to six hours to complete, so make sure to plan ahead to ensure you’ll have enough time to complete the challenge.
As for the order in which you hike the mountains, it’s entirely up to you. Bishops is considered to be the most challenging mountain out of the three, while the “P” is considered the easiest. With this in mind, it might be easier to decide how you want to tackle the challenge.
Also, it is worth mentioning that Firestone does not offer any special deals or discounts for those who have completed the challenge, so expect to pay in full for your delicious tri-tip sandwich.
2. Visit the Downtown Plaza
Downtown SLO is an iconic feature of the city and a great place to spend time. Many local businesses in the downtown area have begun to accommodate for COVID-19 precautions and are offering unique services that allow for customers to enjoy their experience while staying safe.
Businesses that revolve around food & drink services have moved their seating outdoors, while retail stores have their doors open for a limited amount of shoppers at a time. Despite the unusual circumstances, downtown is still a great place to spend your time.
Retail stores such as Moondoggies Beach Club, coffee shops such as Kreuzberg and Libertine Coffee Bar and restaurants such as Luna Red and Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen are all open and ready for business. These are just a few of the local businesses that are continuing to promote the downtown experience. Along with shopping and eating out, the Mission Plaza is a great place to hangout and relax while enjoying the San Luis Creek.
3. Visit the Thrift Stores in Morro Bay
Although the list only recommends Morro Bay’s thrift stores, there are a myriad of thrift stores to shop at throughout San Luis Obispo county. Thrifting in SLO is a fun and low cost activity that can pay off greatly when something unexpected is found.
Castaway, a popular thrift store in Morro Bay, is a great place to find thrifty items, but make sure to check out other options like Fred and Betty’s Thrift Store on Higuera street in San Luis Obispo or California Cool Thrift Store in Grover Beach.
4. Play Golf at Laguna Lake
Golf has been quite a popular activity during quarantine and rightfully so. Golf is already a socially distant sport, so it’s no surprise that many have been spending their time playing.
Laguna Lake golf course is a ten hole course that is also relatively cheap and affordable. It’s a great choice for those who are interested in playing more but don’t want to worry about spending too much. The holes at Laguna golf course are also rather small compared to other golf courses in the area, so it’s perfect for those who are learning how to play.
5. Take a Nap on Dexter Lawn
Taking a nap on Dexter Lawn is one of the most nostalgic activities recommended by Cal Poly. When campus was bustling with students, Dexter Lawn was a perfect spot to kick back and relax during a break on a busy day.
Although the circumstances are different, Dexter is still open and available for students who would like to spend their time hanging out on our beautiful campus. Cal Poly has also added several tables and lounge chairs that provide a great spot to study. Just because you don’t need to be on campus doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy the resources that are still available.
Life might be different for students living in SLO, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. In reality, San Luis Obispo is an ideal spot to be during these wild times, as long as one knows how to spend their time properly.
Only five of the fifty recommended activities were highlighted here, so be sure to check out the other 45 activities to find what sounds fun to you. It’s important to get out of the house and enjoy what’s available, so make sure to plan some fun activities and appreciate your time in SLO.