By Randy Nelson, Blog Content Editor

San Luis Obispo is famous for a lot of reasons, from the prestigious Cal Poly to the wacky Madonna Inn and even an alley covered in used chewing gum. To those who call it home, though, it’s known as one of the sunniest, friendliest places in the Golden State. Based on its top-five placing in five of our seven criteria, we’re happy to say that when it comes to small cities, it really is the friendliest.

Its best showings were in flower and gift shops and farmers’ markets, where it has one for every 1,699 and 6,554 residents, respectively. The city has also managed nearly 30,000 Facebook Likes, a number that can be attributed at least in part to Cal Poly alumni, we’re sure. SLO sits about halfway down the list in terms of violent crime in 56th place with 293 crimes per 100,000 residents annually. When it comes to charity, the city’s residents donate an average of 5 percent of their salary each year. The amount of Bazooka Joe donated to Bubblegum Alley annually, however, is immeasurable.