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Covid Friendly Picnic Spots in SLO
Original photo by Gillian Steffey

Best COVID Friendly Picnic Spots in SLO

There are many things that we have learned throughout the duration of this pandemic, but one of the most important is how essential it is to get outside. Being active and spending time in nature is not only beneficial to your physical health, but your mental and emotional well-being as well. This is especially relevant during times of isolation and why it is so important to find safe activities to do outside. 

Picnics can be a great activity to enjoy safely with your inner circle, and San Luis Obispo has some of the best spots to do this.

Terrace Hill 
Terrace Hill in SLO
Original photo by Gillian Steffey

This location is almost a hidden gem of SLO, which makes it great for COVID friendly picnics because it is never crowded. The entrance is located on Bishop Street. Once you walk up the short incline, there is a large flat open area that is great for socially distanced picnics. There is plenty of room to spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy a meal with a couple friends. Terrace Hill also has a great view of SLO and is perfect for sunset watching.

Prefumo Canyon 
Prefumo Canyon in SLO
Original photo by Gillian Steffey

This one is more of a drive, but totally worth it. With the perfect playlist, the drive itself is really enjoyable. After the three-mile drive to the top, you’re welcomed by beautiful views and big fields; perfect for a picnic. The whole canyon is pretty accessible, providing plenty of room to enjoy your picnic at a safe distance from others. If you stay late enough, it’s a perfect spot for stargazing too.

Cuesta Ridge 
Cuesta Ridge in SLO.
Original photo by Gillian Steffey

This spot is also an adventurous drive, but a personal favorite for car picnics. Car picnics can be a super fun way to safely enjoy good food with close friends. This spot is really unique because once you get to the top, it puts you above the clouds, making for an amazing view. This spot is not always open however, so be sure to check online  https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/regions/Pacific_Southwest/CuestaRidge/index.shtml before you make the drive.

Architecture Graveyard 
Architecture Graveyard in SLO
Original photo by Gillian Steffey

Architecture Graveyard is a go-to spot on Cal Poly’s campus and has plenty of space to set up a COVID friendly picnic. This is a great place to go for anyone living on campus and is easily accessible because it doesn’t require a car. It also has plenty of fun hikes nearby, and it’s great for hammocking.

Shell Beach
Shell Beach in Pismo.
Original photo by Gillian Steffey

Shell Beach is located in Pismo and just a short drive from SLO. It’s one of the best beaches nearby for picnics. The best spot for a picnic at Shell Beach is at the grassy area just above the beach on Shell Beach Drive and the beach is accessed via stairs. It’s perfect to lay down your picnic blanket and enjoy a nice meal with great weather. It’s also always nice to venture out of SLO for a little, and Pismo is one of the cutest towns to adventure in, not to mention you can enjoy a nice day at the beach along with your picnic.

It’s important to remember to take care of yourself and your well-being during these difficult times. It can be hard as a college student to balance the need to be safe while still spedning time with people close to you, but doing activities outside, like picnic, are a great way to achieve both. 


Gillian is a third-year at Cal Poly SLO. She is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child Development. Gillian is an editor and writer for Cal Poly Her Campus this year. She enjoys writing about sustainable fashion, social media trends, and activism. Even though she is planning a career in psychology, she loves being a part of Her Campus because it allows her to have a creative outlet and continue her passion for writing.
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