Getting Around on Race Weekend
Scroll down for tips on where to watch the race, where to park, how to get to San Luis Obispo, and more!
The Countdown Begins!
Where to Stay
Lodging in SLO
San Luis Obispo, Ca offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from corporate to boutique, budget-friendly motels, quaint inns, and family-owned bed and breakfasts.
Whether you’re here just for the race, or to make your trip a full weekend getaway, San Luis Obispo hotels are eager to make your SLO experience one for the books. Find hotels in San Luis Obispo that meet your needs by offering amenities such as business conference rooms, spas, pools, recreation rooms, complimentary breakfasts, pet-friendly accommodations and more. Browse hotels through the link below to find the right option for you.
Where to watch
There are spectator locations along the route, primarily around the start and finish areas, in which to observe and take pictures of participants in all races. For the safety of our athletes, most roadways are closed or restricted to traffic. See below for detailed information on how to access the suggested spectator locations and please travel slowly and carefully when in and around the course. Roads used for the route close beginning at 4 a.m., so please check the Race Schedule or Road Closures for more information. The best location to view the athletes is at the RaceSLO Festival at the Madonna Inn where the Finish Line is on the bicycle path next to Madonna Meadows.
Below are some great areas where you can get great pictures of your runner and cheer them on in their challenge to complete their race!
TANK FARM RD. / ISLAY PARK
The intersection of Tank Farm and Orcutt Roads is a great location to watch your athlete embark into wine country and return as they head into town.
MADONNA INN / MADONNA MEADOWS
The most ideal location to wait for your runner is at RaceSLO Festival on the Madonna Inn property. Hundreds of yards of fence line the spectacular downhill finish line where you can get that perfect picture of accomplishment.
HOME STRETCH / ISLAY STREET
Your runner is in the homestretch on Islay Street and in need of as much encouragement and cheering as possible! This is a great neighborhood area and a perfect place to cheer.
How to get here
Directions & Parking
Packet Pick-up, Late registration and our Start/Finish line are located at the Madonna Inn/Meadows. Parking Fee Mandatory for all athletes (paid during registration).
All parking areas must be accessed off Hwy. 101 due to road closures on Sunday, April 28th. DO NOT PARK/DRIVE ON CLOSED ROADS OR IN NO PARKING ZONES.
Traveling to SLO
There are several ways to travel to San Luis Obispo. We sit on the California Central Coast, half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Two airlines serve the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport – American Airlines and United with non-stop flights to and from San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles & Phoenix. Car rentals are available from Hertz, Avis, Budget and Enterprise. Learn More
One of the most pleasant, relaxing and beautiful ways to travel to San Luis Obispo is by train. Amtrakʼs Paciﬁc Surﬂiner gives you a seaside seat with stops in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and ﬁnally San Luis Obispo. There are panoramic windows, a Cafe car and so much more. If you want to avoid the freeway, this is the way to go. Learn More.
En route daily between Los Angeles and Seattle, the Coast Starlight train passes through Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento and Portland. Widely regarded as one of the most spectacular of all train routes, the Coast Starlight links the greatest cities on the West Coast. The scenery along the Coast Starlight route is unsurpassed. The dramatic snow-covered peaks of the Cascade Range and Mount Shasta, lush forests, fertile valleys and long stretches of Pacific Ocean shoreline provide a stunning backdrop for your journey. Learn More.
San Luis Obispo can be reached directly off Highway 101 for those traveling the coast route from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Those traveling from the Central Valley have two major routes – Highway 166 from Bakersﬁeld and Highway 46 from Fresno – that cut across the central mountains, bringing travelers to Highway 101, just 25 miles south and north of San Luis Obispo. Learn More
For those of you coming to visit the RaceSLO Festival either on Saturday or Sunday, we encourage you to carpool or take public transportation. The City of San Luis Obispo Public Transit (SLO Transit) is providing every race participant with a FREE 1-RIDE bus pass, redeemable at the SLO Transit booth. This bus pass allows participants to ride the bus throughout San Luis Obispo during the race weekend. Please click on the Bus Schedules headline to see a complete schedule of buses (re-routes on Sunday) to the Madonna Inn/Madonna Meadows property. You can also visit their Facebook Page for the latest updates. Download the Bus Tracker App (Apple or Android) for real time transit information.
For our out-of-town guests, please consider sharing your journey with your neighbors! Our region has a handy Rideboard where our visitors can post carpool opportunities from SF, LA, the Central Valley, and beyond. Post your trip and split those costs by starting here: https://irideshare.org/#/rideboard/feed.
ROAD CLOSURES AND PARTICIPANT/SPECTATOR ACCESS
Participants and spectators wishing to park at the Festival parking area should expect delays in accessing the parking area and allow at least 45-60 extra minutes on race morning in order to navigate the road closures and access the Madonna Meadows parking area. Race Start/Parking access map. Participant/Spectator Access Map
Participants wishing to be dropped off should be dropped off at either the Madonna Plaza Shopping Center on Madonna Road across from the Madonna Inn OR at the Pacific Coast Plaza at the intersection of Madonna Road and Higuera Street. NO RUNNER DROP OFF WILL BE ALLOWED AT THE MADONNA INN. Runner Drop-off Map
For the safety of the runners and walkers on the race course, select streets will be closed to thru traffic on Sunday from 3:00am to 12:00pm, although some locations are impacted for specific windows of time in that range. Please allow extra time if traveling throughout town and expect minor delays on Sunday. Affected areas are detailed in the below printable zone maps with timing impacts, flow of runners, etc.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department and professional traffic control staff will be at all points controlling traffic, as well as allowing cross traffic where DETOURS are posted. NOTE: Closed road signs will help guide your route plus course marshals will be on the course to answer questions.
We thank you for your cooperation. The SLO Half Marathon + Half Marathon Relay is organized by a team of part-time staff and hundreds of volunteers. Race SLO events delivered more than $4 million in economic impact to the region and its influence on the destination endurance sports industry has continued to grow nationally and internationally.
Thank You To Our Partners
Between the kids events and 5k on Sat, followed by the half and full marathon option Sunday there is a little something for everyone. Having graduated from Cal Poly it’s great to come back and run pass so many memories along the course. My kids loved playing at the finish line festival.
Benjamin Bruce, Pro Marathon Runner
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Runners and walkers of all ages and levels are welcome!
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