Guided Walking Tours

San Luis Obispo is a walkable town with a rich history and eclectic architecture—perfect to explore on foot! Expert guides lead our tours, with stories of the people, places, and dramatic events behind the street scenes. We show you not only the outside of historic buildings, we take you inside many of them for an up-close view of local history.

Our Guides

James Papp

James is an architectural historian and the chair of San Luis Obispo’s preservation commission. A native Californian, he grew up in San Diego and Christchurch, taught in LA, Vienna, and Bratislava, and has also lived in Berlin, Paris, London, San Francisco, and New York. He started a walking tour program in NYC’s East Village, where his favorite moment was when one New Yorker interrupted another New Yorker with “While you’re saying ‘Um,’ just let me point out … .” His favorite building in San Luis Obispo is its smallest: the Craftsman-style playhouse Julia Morgan designed for the children of her Hearst Castle taxi driver.

Eva Fina

Eva gave her first guided tour at the age of 9 and hasn’t stopped since. She has worked in museums on both coasts and given countless tours of historic buildings, cities, and cemeteries. While she was living in Greenwich Village, she co-founded the New York Nineteenth Century Society and launched an annual 1865 funeral reenactment that was regularly covered by the New York Times. Eva’s favorite historical figure from San Luis Obispo’s past is Elsie Louis, granddaughter of Ah Louis, California champion speller, performer, and legendary local character in her own right.

This Could Be You!

We’re looking for engaging people to share their own unique take on San Luis Obispo County history. Training and tour-development resources are provided. Email info@historycenterslo.org for details about the program and to learn how you can get involved.