The Spanish explored the area that is today Central California in the 17 th and 18 th centuries, and in 1772 the Mission of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded as one of 21 missions along the Pacific Coast.

Despite the mission, the area didn’t attract settlers until the middle of the 19 th century when Mexico gained its independence from Spain. During this time California was part of Northern Mexico, and various land grants were issued to settlers for the area that would later become San Luis Obispo.

After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which was signed at the end of the Mexican War, California became a territory of the United States and two years later it becomes a state. San Luis Obispo was one of the original 27 counties.

The Southern Pacific Railroad arrived to the area in 1894, and in 1925 the Milestone Inn open. Later known as the Mo-Tel Inn, it becomes America’s first “motel!” Construction of Hearst Castle, which began in 1919, was completed in 1947 and it was donated to the state of California as a state park in 1958.

Today the seaside county, which is roughly halfway between San Francisco to the north and Los Angeles to the south, is a popular destination for tourists who come for the mild weather, and unique attractions.