Two San Luis Obispo County cities have made a list highlighting the eight most charming small towns in California.
The tally was created by Strategistico, an online organization that conducts research on travel and living, and named both Paso Robles and Morro Bay for special recognition.
The organization analyzed 1,180 California towns with a population of 35,000 people or fewer based on “cost of living, concentration of cultural and entertainment amenities, walkability, safety, and overall atmosphere” to decide on its list of the state’s most charming small towns, according to a news release.
The first SLO County town on the list was Morro Bay, which the article called a “seaside gem.”
The article recommended that tourists explore Morro Strand State Beach as well as shops and restaurants along the Embarcadero. The article also highlighted the Morro Bay Bird Festival, mentioning that the city is an excellent place to go bird watching.
Paso Robles was the largest city on the list — with a population of more than 31,000 people.
Still, the city “retains a distinct small town atmosphere,” the article said.
“This vibrant community offers a quaint downtown district that both residents and visitors can enjoy year-round,” Strategistico Managing Editor Luisa Farvaretto wrote in a news release about the city.
The article recommended Paso Robles wineries, live music at the Vine Robles Amphitheater and even hot air balloon rides.
“Its wide array of events and annual festivals, including the whimsical Olive & Lavender Festival and their Concerts in the Park series, also make it a great community to settle in for young families as well as retirees,” Favaretto wrote in the release.
Here’s a look at the complete Strategistico list of the most charming small towns in California: