San Luis Obispo (; SLO ( for short) is a city in the U.S. state of California, located in San Luis Obispo County, approximately 190 miles (310 km) north of Los Angeles and 230 miles (370 km) south of San Francisco. Located in Southern California's Central Coast region, the population of the city was 45,119 at the 2010 census. The population of the county was 269,637 in 2010.
Founded in 1772 by Spanish Franciscan Junípero Serra, San Luis Obispo is one of California's oldest European-founded communities. Serra's original mission was named after the 13th-century saint and bishop Louis of Toulouse. The city, locally referred to as San Luis, SLO, or SLO Town (as its county is also referred to as SLO) is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County and is adjacent to California Polytechnic State University.
The earliest human inhabitants of the local area were the Chumash people. One of the earliest villages lies south of San Luis Obispo and reflects the landscape of the early Holocene when estuaries came farther inland. The Chumash people used marine resources of the inlets and bays along the Central Coast and inhabited a network of villages, including sites at Los Osos and Morro Creek. The tribal site on present-day San Luis Obispo was named tiłhini, Obispeño for "Place of the full moon".
During the Spanish Empire expansion throughout the world, specifically in 1769, Franciscan Junípero Serra received orders from Spain to bring the Catholic faith to the natives of Alta California; the idea was to unify the empire under the same religion and language.