City of San Luis Obispo
By Donna Polizzi
It doesn’t get any stickier or more colorful than the famous Bubblegum Alley, located at 733 ½ Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, California.
The alley is smack dab in the middle of beautiful, downtown San Luis Obispo and has become a unique, to say the least…. tourist attraction. The alley walls are literally covered with countless blobs of chewed gum.
It is believed that high school students started the tradition of plastering the walls with their gum back in the 1950’s, as they passed through this particular alley. Isn’t it interesting to see how some ideas just simply seem to stick?
It may sound like it, but I am not mmm… blowing this out of proportion. This alley is 70 feet long and 15 feet high. It is covered in every color of gum imaginable, in numerous sizes and thicknesses. Most are simply big colorful blobs stuck to the walls, but some of the more creative visitors have made mock mosaics, left love notes and their initials out of their gum.
The now-famous Bubblegum Alley has appeared on ABC’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not. It’s been seen and mentioned over the years on E!, Showtime’s United States of Tara, and written about in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times as well many other major media outlets.
Passers-by, from all over the world, come to San Luis Obispo to ooo and ahw, but mostly say eww, if they’re over the age of 16.
Strategically placed gumball machines can’t be missed. So check it out and make your contribution to a sticky piece of history.
You could literally throw a… let’s say a gumball to another really interesting place to visit. If you have kids, this place will definitely make their day.
Rocket Fizz, which is located at 699 Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo, is a fun, sweet spot for the entire family. You’ll see candy, novelties and colorful reminders of bygone eras with notable icons from various generations. Bob’s Big Boy, Hello Kitty and Homer & Marge Simpson to name a few. With hundreds of choices, it’s hard to decide if you want to try your favorite candy from childhood or try something brand new… like an Ant-Lix sucker. I bet you’re already salivating at the mere thought of licking see thru suckers that encase real ants, crickets or worms. Enough said, or do you still want to know the flavors?
Rocket Fizz is the ultimate Disneyland of candy stores.
San Luis Obispo is as charming and pet-friendly as a city can possibly be. Many outdoor eateries and local proprietors have cool bowls of water for our furry friends to enjoy.
Perusing Higuera Street is always a delight. The variety of stores, breweries, tasting rooms, sock stores, coffee shops and restaurants make it a town that everyone in every age group will love.
It’s the perfect place to people or pet watch. SLO is also a great place to window shop. I peered into a jewelry store called Kevin Main Jewelry and Design Studio at 720 Higuera Street. It has been there for nearly 16 years and has some truly unique items. Have you ever seen a ring that looks like your dog? They have some in various breeds. Sorry, no cat rings. They are super cute and original. It’s worth checking out.
Speaking of dogs… I personally have three Rottweilers and a Border Collie, all of which are rescues. With months of love and my husband’s knack for training… (He truly can teach old dogs new tricks) they get exercise daily and if we can’t get them outside for a walk, they voluntarily take turns on our treadmill.
I guess you could say, we have them wrapped around our finger.
It’s no wonder that National Geographic, Oprah Winfrey, Esquire and Keys 2 the Coast all agree, San Luis Obispo is one of the happiest places in America.
That’s my story… And I’m sticking to it.