The Suite Life: Garden Street Inn, San Luis Obispo, California

Garden Street Inn is a quaint and historic Victorian Mansion located in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo. This 8,000 sq. ft, 1887 Italianate / Queen Ann Victorian Mansion was originally the home of German/Jewish immigrants, Morris and Helena Goldtree and after several different owners, was lovingly restored and converted into a 13-room bed and breakfast in 1989. You can read more about the property’s fascinating history, here.

In short, this inn is the idyllic vision of charm nestled in the vibrant historic core of Downtown SLO within California’s central-coast.

Upon arrival, guests will enter the large living space, where in front of them sits a welcoming staircase that’s reminiscent of a Victorian Era daydream. On the right side there’s an authentic library with tables and couches to sit and enjoy a book. On the left is the large kitchen table, and the kitchen area where the “breakfast” part of this B&B comes into play.

We were greeted by the friendliest hospitality and immediately offered tea with freshly baked cookies which we were told was our greeter’s grandmother’s very own recipe. The cookies were individually wrapped and everything in sight was extremely clean.

After we checked in, we were directed to park our car in the parking lot down the street which was included in the cost of our stay. It was just about a five minute walk from the inn.

Immediately upon entering this property, you’ll sense that this is not a large, chain hotel brand. Each bedroom is uniquely decorated and offers its own character and history.

We stayed in the “Close to Home,” room which had a real “put-in-the-door-and-turn” style key as opposed to just a key card. Vintage!

The room was absolutely lovely. It featured a bedroom area with a desk, and a generously sizeable sitting room which could be separated and closed off by sliding the wooden doors closed. This sitting space offered its own couch and chairs for working and a large window with a view of Garden Street. The bathroom had clearly recently been remodeled and was clean and sleek with a walk-in shower.

One of my favorite unique design elements of the Garden Street Inn is its beautiful and authentic stained glass windows which adorn the walls in the downstairs living space.

In the mid-morning and afternoons when the lighting is just right, the sun shines through these stained glass windows into the parlor/library area, to create an artwork of dancing colors on the carpet below.

Another favorite element of mine on this property is the large outdoor patio upstairs. SLO has fantastic weather all-year round, and this patio is perfect for enjoying the Central Coast sunshine.

The patio is a quiet space to relax, read a book, get some work done (the WiFi reaches outside), or enjoy your breakfast (this IS A bed & breakfast, after all…). The pandemic hasn’t quashed this bed and breakfast’s tasty morning provisions — it’s just made them get more creative with how it’s presented.

Each morning we were presented with a picnic-style takeout box filled with yummy goodies — such as home-made muffins or biscuits, and a fancy dish-in-a-jar type meal (which I was told is always vegetarian) fashioned from fresh local farmers market ingredients.

It was a hot, delicious, and filling way to start the morning. I admired the quick thinking on Garden Street Inn’s part to come up with such a creative way to save their special breakfasts.

Finally, another element of this property which makes it a particularly special place to stay is its central location and proximity to downtown SLO. It’s on Garden Street (surprise!) and 100% walkable to every bar, restaurant and coffee shop you’d want to visit during your trip to SLO. No car needed! Get ready to get those steps in, because SLO is an extremely walkable city in itself.

Overall our experience at the Garden Street Inn was fabulous and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for place to stay in San Luis Obispo or on the Central Coast.


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