A business card among layers of chewed gum at Bubble Gum Alley
When it comes to attractions in San Luis Obispo, Bubble Gum Alley is one site where you’ll want to look, but not touch. Stuck to the walls of this downtown passageway, you’ll find layers upon layers of chewed bubble gum deposited by passers-by over the years. It’s both unique and fascinating - albeit gross and disgusting.
You'll want to look....but not touch!
Nobody knows exactly how this gum graffiti began. Some attribute it to a high school graduating class event after World War II. Others claim it started as a rivalry between high school and college students in the 1950s. Oh, those crazy kids!
Chewed gum in a variety of shapes decorate the alley walls
You’ll notice a lot of creative uses for gum along the alley’s 70-foot long, 15-foot high walls. The chewed glop is used to attach coins, bottle caps, business cards and notes to the brick walls. You’ll also see gum artistically stretched to draw letters, shapes, and pictures (lots of smiley faces). And let’s not forget to mention the aroma of the outdated Bazooka chewy stuff, which grows more intense during the summer months when the temperatures rise. Just giving you fair warning.
Bubble Gum Alley in San Luis Obispo
Over the years the alley walls have been hosed down, scraped, and steam cleaned, but the gum keeps returning. For every person who thinks it’s an unsanitary eyesore, there are an equal number of people who see the attraction as a moneymaker to the surrounding businesses. What do you think?
Bubble Gum Alley is located in downtown San Luis Obispo on Higuera Street, between Broad and Garden streets. Look for it between 733 and 734 Higuera Street.