Camp San Luis Obispo is located in sunny California and spans 15,433 acres. This installation was established in 1928 and is known as the original home of the California National Guard. Originally, the base was named after Governor Frank Merriam and was called Camp Merriam; however, in 1940, the name was changed to Camp San Luis Obispo. Camp Roberts, another National Guard base, is within an hour of Camp San Luis Obispo.
1850 saw the creation of the California Militia and nearly 80 years later, after growth and expansion, the Militia became the California National Guard. The CA National Guard trained in open fields, parks and ranches but it quickly became evident that a home base for training was necessary--Camp Merriam was established soon after. The base was initially 5,800 acres and continued to expand after a need for adequate storage, deployment and logistical support was identified.
During World War II, this base was an Infantry Division Camp for the Army as well as a Prisoner of War (POW) site. During the Korean War, Camp San Luis Obispo (formerly Camp Merriam) served as a signal corps training area in addition to the basic combat training happening onsite.
Camp San Luis Obispo provides training at the local, state and federal levels for various military branches and is home to the California Military Academy. Organizations onsite at Camp San Luis Obispo include the Conservation Corps State Museum and a National Guard Youth Program called the Grizzly Youth Academy. In summer 2011, this installation was designated as the permanent headquarters of the California Cadet Corps, a youth organization open to elementary aged kids up through college aged students.
Lodging / Hotels
The Camp San Luis Obispo Billeting Office can be reached at (805) 594-6500 and is open from 8a-4:30p daily.
Rooms are available for: active duty, active guard, national guard and reserve forces in addition to families of service members, retired service members, state and DoD government employees.
All rooms are non-smoking and only service animals are allowed on the premises. There is also an RV Park featuring water and sewer hookups.
Hotels close to the installation include:
Ramada San Luis Obispo, (805-544-2800) which offers free breakfast, wi-fi, parking and features a cajun restaurant.
Holiday Inn Express San Luis Obispo (805-544-8600) also offers free breakfast, wi-fi and parking in addition to an outdoor pool and a gym.
Best Western Plus Royal Oak Hotel (805-544-4410) has free breakfast and wi-fi, rooms with balconies, a fitness center and a pool.
Places of Interest / Things To Do
The Camp San Luis Obispo Exchange (805) 541-3284 is open Wednesday through Friday from 10a-3p, Saturdays as needed and is closed on Sundays.
The San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (805) 543-8562 offers free admission, various art exhibitions and events such as Craftart Markets, concerts and Art After Dark, a reception during which museum patrons can meet the artists whose work is on display.
The History Center and Museum of San Luis Obispo County (805) 543-0638 features a gift shop and research room and no admission charge to visitors.
The San Luis Coastal Unified School District (SLCUSD) (805) 549-1200 covers San Luis Obispo County and Pre-K through 12th grade schools. SLCUSD also has an Adult School that offers community classes.
Colleges / Universities
California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) (805) 756-1111 is a ten minute drive from Camp San Luis Obispo.
Cuesta College (805) 546-3100 is a community college sitting a mere 5 minutes away from the base.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation
The Camp San Luis Obispo Campground (805) 594-6500 is open all year round and is located at 10 Sonoma Ave. Bldg 738, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405.
Reservations are accepted 30 days in advance and require a credit card to hold your place. Reservations that are not cancelled at least 72 hours in advance will be subject to pay for one night's stay. There's a 30 day stay limit per year.