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San Luis Obispo, California

San Luis Obispo's Bubblegum Alley

An alley covered with 20 years of bubble gum. 

The Bubblegum Alley to end all bubblegum alleys is located in San Luis Obispo, CA. There, the Bubblegum Alley is a local tourist landmark and one of the town’s “most-talked-about landmark(s).”

A sizable 65 feet long and 15 feet high, this alleyway began in the 1950’s, though it is unclear exactly how or why it began. Among the favorite of the explanations is a rivalry between the San Luis Obispo High School and Cal Poly students.

What has been more impressive is the gum alley’s tenacity. Fully cleaned twice in the 1970’s, it came back each time. By the 1990’s, the gum alley had been there for so long that when the local business association tried to have it cleaned once again, they were politely refused.

The gum alley is by far the most famous in the world and has been featured on The Tonight Show, MTV, That’s Incredible!, Real People, PBS and written about in newspapers from the San Francisco Chronicle to The Guardian in Manchester, United Kingdom.

The local business, however, are less enthused about it and still feel that the alleyway should be cleaned up, or gated in the night when people leaving local pubs tend to leave both gum and bodily fluids behind.

Know Before You Go

Between 733 and 734 Higuera Street downtown.