In 1769, Los Osos got its name when Gaspar de Portola's expedition found troops of "bears" (which translates to "osos" in Spanish) in the valley. Before then, the area was inhabited by California Grizzly Bears and Chumash Indians. The Chumash had a thriving culture that was noted for their plank canoes, which were caulked with asphaltum, also called pizmo. These days, in the "Valley of the Bears" the only bears you will find are the bear statues that stand guard over the entrance to town.
In 1542 the Cabrillo Party of the first Europeans in present-day California arrived in this area and gave Morro Rock, a well-known area landmark, its name. Since that time, the history of Los Osos and San Luis Obispo County follows much the same path as that of California. It is a history sprinkled, with gold, railroad booms, severe draught in the 1860s, post WWII boom and the famous Missions of California.
Today, Los Osos is a modern community that still offers a village atmosphere where small shops are set among abundant grass, trees and flowers. The town still features a weekly farmer's market featuring locally grown fresh produce and flowers. The beautiful surrounding scenery offers countless opportunities for those that love the outdoors, whether it is hiking, golf, fun on the beach, bird-watching or kayaking. Sweet Springs Nature Preserve is known as a spot where monarch butterflies annually cluster.
Los Osos places a great emphasis on education and in addition to a strong public school system, the community is only a short drive from great institutions of higher learning, such as California Polytechnic and the University of California at Santa Barbara. For those that love the performing arts, the Performing Arts Center houses the full range of Theater, Symphony and just about everything else you could think up. The Morro Bay Park Museum of Natural History sits in a postcard perfect location just west of California's legendary scenic Highway 1 and houses a collection that you won't want to miss. Though the postcard perfect settings are in great abundance in and around Los Osos, you are sure to find so much more to love about calling it home.
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