Way to go, SLO. You’re already one of the four happiest places on the planet. Now you’ve been named one of Outside magazine’s 25 Best Towns Ever!
Keep this up, and you’ll give Santa Barbarians an inferiority complex.
But don’t lose sleep over it, SLO. It wasn’t your fault. This honor was thrust upon you by Outside, which consulted with a four-member “council of experts” to help pick the greatest places in America. The list includes Portland, Maine (Best Top-End Food in Zero-Degree Weather); Salida, Colorado (Best Unsung Mountain Town); Santa Fe, New Mexico (Best Combination of Mountains and Margaritas); and Spearfish, South Dakota (Best Makeover from Pit Stop to Playground).
SLO is recognized as Best Blend of Sunshine, Food and Beaches, which has led nitpickers to point out that there are no beaches in San Luis Obispo. There’s also been the usual flak from SLO isolationists who fear exposure in Outside will lead even more people to “discover” their private paradise. Next thing you know, all those Outsiders will be packing up the kids and moving in! Or not, because along with glowing reviews, the magazine lists median family incomes and median home values for each of the 25 best towns.
SLO’s median income is $46,000 and its median home value is $546,000. By comparison, Spearfish, South Dakota’s median income is $43,000 (only $3,000 less than SLO’s) and its home value is $194,000.
So, all you Outsiders, we’d love for you to come visit. We’ll even welcome you with a bouquet of beach grass — from Pismo or Cayucos or Oceano or Cambria.
But if you’re looking for a place to settle down and buy a home, you might want to check out Spearfish, South Dakota. We hear it’s no longer a pit stop.
Bouquets and brickbats appear periodically in The Tribune. If there’s something (or someone) you would like to honor with a bouquet or chastise with a brickbat, email your idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.