These celebrities have been spotted in SLO County. Did you catch a glimpse?

Actor Will Ferrell poses for a photo with Thomas Hill Organics’ sous chef, Marcos, in Paso Robles in October 2017.
Actor Will Ferrell poses for a photo with Thomas Hill Organics’ sous chef, Marcos, in Paso Robles in October 2017.

It may take less than four hours to drive from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo, but Hollywood often seems like a world away from the Central Coast.

That is, until you spot a movie star sipping a cappuccino at your favorite coffee shop.

Here are some of the celebrities we’ve recently spotted in San Luis Obispo County.

Rihanna was spotted filming in the Oceano Dunes in November 2017. Andy Kropa Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Alton Brown

As the host of “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Iron Chef America,” Alton Brown knows a thing or two about food. Fortunately, he found plenty to praise about the San Luis Obispo food scene in March 2017.

In town for a talk at the Performing Arts Center, Brown stopped for eats at SLO Donut Co., Scout Coffee Co. and Frank’s Famous Hot Dogs.

Will Ferrell

“Anchorman” star Will Ferrell sported a snazzy cowboy shirt when he joined a group of friends for dinner at Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles in October 2017.

Ferrell made a few other appearances during his five-day bicycling trip through the area — dining at Black Cat Bistro in Cambria and grabbing a chicken Cobb salad for lunch at The Southern Station in Santa Margarita. The actor, who stayed at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, even spent some time with members of Morro Bay High School’s girls golf team at the Morro Bay Golf Course.

Joshua Jackson

The former “Dawson’s Creek” heartthrob hit the beach in Morro Bay in January 2018 to shoot scenes for his hit Showtime drama, “The Affair.” He and co-star Phoebe Tonkin were spotted filming in front of Morro Rock.

Joshua Jackson and Phoebe Tonkin film a scene for Season 4 of Showtime’s “The Affair” near Morro Rock in Morro Bay in January 2018. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Nick Jonas

Sand dunes and sunshine greeted pop singer and actor Nick Jonas in Oceano in August 2017. He headed to the Pacific Dunes Ranch to shoot a music video for his song “Find You.”

The video, released in September, features the former Jonas Brother partying on the beach, trekking through the dunes and cruising through the surf in a sports car.

Jay Leno

The long-time “Tonight Show” host headed to the Oceano Dunes in November 2017 to shoot a segment for his show “Jay Leno’s Garage.” Leno is slated to do a standup comedy show at Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles in June 2018.

Keanu Reeves

Fans spotted the star of “The Matrix” movies hanging out with “Stranger Things” cast member Winona Ryder at the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport in August 2017, shooting scenes for an indie movie.

Locals also saw Reeves jogging around San Luis Obispo, exploring the Downtown SLO Farmers Market, dining at Foremost Wine Co. and staying at the Apple Farm Inn. He even popped into Thai Boat in San Luis Obispo to say “hi” after filming next door at Happy Feet Spa.

Say it with us: “Whoa.”


The platinum-selling pop star may want to “Stay” on the Central Coast after discovering the Oceano Dunes during a shoot in November 2017. Riri went with a local caterer to feed her film crew: Thomas Hill Organics.

Vehicles and tents were set up near the entrance to the Oceano Dunes in November 2017 for a filming project involving pop star Rihanna. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The Governator reconnected with some former San Luis Obispo County constituents on a low-key trip through Paso Robles in August 2017.

Schwarzenegger, who’s returned to acting following his stint as California governor, dropped by Cowgirl Cafe for breakfast before going shopping at Reminisce Antiques.

Justin Timberlake

Pop singer and actor Justin Timberlake and his wife, actress Jessica Biel, stopped at a Starbucks coffee shop in Atascadero in October 2017. The celebrity couple also charged their electric car at a nearby Tesla charging station.