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History Center and Museum of San Luis Obispo County

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Address: 696 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-3515
Phone Number: +1 805-543-0638
Website
Today
10:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 16:00
Description:

Located in the former Carnegie Library, this museum traces the history of...

Located in the former Carnegie Library, this museum traces the history of San Luis Obispo County from the era of the Chumash and Salinan Indians to present day.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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Fabulous building

The San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library was built in 1905. It was designed in a style that included a tall hipped roof with two gabled wings with gargoyles and an entrance hall with... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
Linda S
,
Vancouver, Canada
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44 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 39: English reviews
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
785 reviews
314 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 345 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The San Luis Obispo Carnegie Library was built in 1905. It was designed in a style that included a tall hipped roof with two gabled wings with gargoyles and an entrance hall with multiple round arches. The building is mainly red brick with sandstone trim. The library closed in 1955 then the building became a museum and is now the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Linda S
Larkspur, Colorado
Level Contributor
453 reviews
247 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 238 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2016

This historical building, now a museum is a fun thing to do when you go to the San Luis Obispo Mission, which is across the street. The architecture is the star of the show and the artifacts related to Central California history inside are interesting.

Helpful?
1 Thank Oceandweller7
Buena Park, California
Level Contributor
117 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2016

This is an interesting place with quite a history. It is small and only has a few displays. The artifacts were collected from all around the area and are well preserved. The 15 minute film puts the history of SLO county into perspective.

Helpful?
1 Thank 137rick
San Luis Obispo, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2016

The history museum is located in one of the Carnegie Libraries. It is a gorgeous little gem of a building suitable for architecture and history fans. The people who run the History Center are great folks. It's usually staffed by local volunteers. this is not the Smithsonian or even a city history museum, kids will be bored very quickly. But... More 

Helpful?
Thank pme57
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2016

we walked through and to be fair felt like we'd miss something or part of the tour as there wasnt anything there really. all very odd.

Helpful?
Thank Stephen D
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2016

Victoria, the museum host, was fantastic; very enthusiastic and a wealth of information about San Luis Obispo. We watched a 15 minute video about the history of SLO county, which was very informative and interesting. The rest of the museum was a disappointment. There was one room devoted to the history of the history museum itself. The rest of the... More 

Helpful?
Thank jeff573
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
95 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2016

We're suckers for History museums and this one is quite nice. Interesting artifacts and local flavor.

Helpful?
Thank KamranNezami
usa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2016

A nice break in a morning stroll -- this museum had an amusing exhibit on prohibition in the nearby area and a traveling show on Phoebe Hearst, wife of the first Hearst, George. Plus, there was a video and a room filled with photos. Interesting note: the Dorothea Lange photo of a Depression era migrant mother was taken in this... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank fredusa
Northern California
Level Contributor
335 reviews
144 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2015

The history center is located in the old library, one of the original Carnegie libraries from long ago. Every time I've been there I've seen an interesting exhibit, something to do with the history of the area, founding families, cultural traditions. Its worth a visit, located behind the mission downtown.

Helpful?
Thank Chelsea42
London
Level Contributor
298 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2015

I loved the insight into Phoebe Hearsts life. What an incredible and inspirational woman. The museums is small and it doesn't take too long to see all the exhibits but I thoroughly enjoyed it .

Helpful?
Thank Jean H

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of History Center and Museum of San Luis Obispo County and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?