Tourist Info

Museums and Societies of San Luis Obispo County

Arroyo Grande

South County Historical Society. Dedicated to research, restoration and dissemination of information to preserve historical heritage. 489-8282.

Heritage House Museum & Gardens. Interesting collection of period clothing, photographs and kitchen items. In the late 1990s, a garden and gazebo were added to provide a setting for social events and weddings. Open 12 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. 126 S. Mason St. 489-8282.

Historic I.O.O.F. Hall. The former meeting place for the International Order of Odd Fellows. The first floor has a large collection of historical artifacts from the South County, and the second floor has a historical library and study area. Open 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 128 Bridge St. 489-8282.

Paulding History House. Carvings and artifacts. Open first Saturday of every month from 12 to 3 p.m. or by appointment at 473-3231. 551 Crown Hill Road. 489-8282.

Patricia Loomis History Library and Resource Center in Ruby’s House. Books, pamphlets, photos and other resources on California history, emphasis on south San Luis Obispo County. 134 S. Mason St. 489-8282.

Santa Manuela Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was built in 1901 and restored to its original state, including school books, maps, a genuine slate blackboard and pictures from that era. Open 12 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Free. 127 Short St. 489-8282.

“The Barn” Museum. Antique vehicles, printing presses and agricultural artifacts. Behind Heritage House Museum and Gardens. Open 12 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Free. 489-8282.


Cambria Historical Museum. Housed in the newly restored Guthrie-Bianchini House and Gardens. Open 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday to Sunday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays. 2251 Center St., Cambria. Free. 927-2891.


Guadalupe Historical Society and Museum. Preserves the area’s cultural and economic history. Collections of photos from early pioneers and adobe artifacts. Items representative of European, Chinese, Filipino, Swiss-Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cultures arriving as the native Chumash ebbed. Open 1 to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays or by appointment. Historic jail open last Sunday of each month 1 to 3 p.m. or by appointment. Veterans Memorial Building, 1005 Guadalupe St. and Highway 1. 343-5901.

Morro Bay

Museum of Natural History at Morro Bay State Park. Overlooks the Morro Bay Estuary. Natural history exhibits, docent walks, lecture programs and videos related to local natural history and environment. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $3, free for 16 and under. 772-2694.


Dana Adobe. Promotes understanding of the Rancho Era via the restoration of the historic Dana Adobe and the preservation and development of Rancho Nipomo, a 140-acre park. Open 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, or by appointment. Admission is $5, students free with ID. 671 S. Oakglen Ave., Nipomo. 929-5679.

Paso Robles

Estrella Warbirds Museum. American aircrafts, vehicles and artifacts. On the first Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m., the museum holds a dinner that is open to the public. Open Thursday through Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday holidays; group tours by appointment. Admission is $10; $5 for ages 6 to 12; and free for 5 and under. 4251 Dry Creek Road. 227-0440 or 238-3897 to schedule a group tour.

Pioneer Museum. Collection of visual and written history preserving the cultural heritage of the Paso Robles area. Open Thursdays through Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June through August; tours after hours by appointment. 2010 Riverside Ave. 239-4556.

Camp Roberts Historical Museum and Museum annex. Vintage vehicles and exhibits from WWII through the Iraq war. Open Thursdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Camp Roberts, 12 miles north of Paso Robles. Free. Call 286-6431 for group reservations.

San Luis Obispo

SLO History Center and Museum. Exhibits on local history. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Tuesday. 696 Monterey St. Free. 543-0638.

Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum. Artifacts and displays honoring the men and women of the United States military services from World War I through the Iraq war. Open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo. Free. 543-1763.

Conservation Corps State Museum. Memorabilia and artifacts document youth corps movement of the 20th century. Open by appointment at 788-0517. 1536 Modoc Ave. near Cuesta College.

Dallidet Adobe and Gardens. A preserved three-room adobe from the mid-19th century, with a Mediterranean garden including redwood trees and some original trees up to 125 feet tall. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Sundays. 1185 Pacific St., San Luis Obispo. 543-0638 x10.

San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum. The newly renovated museum offers three floors of exhibits and an outdoor play yard that encourage education through exploration and interactive exhibits. Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays to Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, and 1 a.m to 5 p.m. Sundays. Winter hours are shorter. Admission is $8. 1010 Nipomo St. 544-5874.

San Luis Obispo Railway Museum. Spotlights the history of California’s Central Coast railroads Currently under renovation, but the museum’s soft opening is planned tentatively for October 2012. P.O. Box 13260, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406. 544-6531.

San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society. Collection and preservation of historical and genealogical records on the second floor of the San Luis Obispo City/County Library building at 995 Palm St., San Luis Obispo. Make an appointment at 785-0383.

San Miguel

Rios-Caledonia Adobe. View a collection of antiques. Open Fridays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 700 S. Mission St. 467-3357.

San Simeon

Hearst Castle. Tours of the former residence of publisher William Randolph Hearst are available daily. Evening tours available in the spring and fall. 750 Hearst Castle Road. 800-444-4445 (reservations) or 927-2020 (information).


Templeton Historical Museum. Explore memorabilia of Templeton’s early residents. Open Fridays to Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Free. 309 South Main St. 434-0807.

Santa Maria

Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. More than 20 play and education areas. Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and until 7 p.m. Thursdays. 705 South McClelland St., Santa Maria. 928-8414.