Looking to explore California’s Central Coast? Having lived in the area for much of my childhood, I thought I knew all there was to know about Paso Robles. A shining star in San Luis Obispo County, it is a pleasant surprise to discover how much the city has grown on a recent road trip. On my first trek since February, I found that Paso offers something for everyone from wine country to fine dining, and plenty of coastal access nearby. Read on to see why your next adventure should be to Paso Robles.
One of a Kind Hotels
Paso has an array of boutique hotels in town, and I highly recommend parking your wagon and spurs at the Stables Inn. Newly opened in June, Stables is the sister property to the much beloved Hotel Cheval. Offering an exquisite stay at a modest price, Stables offers many amenities on property like their Tack Room. Here, you can make yourself an espresso relaxing in one of their cozy lounge chairs or getting work done. Sit and watch the sunset as you sip at a glass of wine on their tree-adorned veranda.
Traveling in a group? Stables has you covered. Their Bunk House will make you feel right back at camp (sans the awkward counselors or nature hikes). Comfortably sleeping up to six people, this deluxe suite is ideal whether traveling as a family or with friends to taste wine.
Reserve your stay here.
Book Tickets to the Hottest Event of the Year
Although some may view Paso Robles as a sleeper town, think again. Field of Light: Sensorio has taken the nation (if not world) by storm despite the strange times of 2020. Deemed a “light safari in Wine Country” by the New York Times, Sensorio is the brainchild of artist Bruce Munro. Munro has captivated visitors with over 58,000 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics. As the sun sets off Highway 46, the solar-powered spectacles illuminate the landscape in subtle blooms of morphing color that describe the undulating landscape.
It is easily one of the most “Insta-Worthy” events of the year, so act fast. Tickets are selling out nightly, and the installation is set to wrap by January 3rd. Plan your visit now.
Wine, Wine, and More Wine
Paso Robles is fast becoming one of the most sought after wine destinations, and it’s clear to see why. Paso offers wine lovers laid-back California vibes and plenty of bold reds like Cabernet that thrive in the climate. While the more name-dropped wine countries (I’m looking at you, Napa) often attract a crowd, Paso wineries give their visitors the opportunity to sip their vino with the winemaker themselves.
For some terrific Rhone blends, make a reservation to taste at Alta Colina. In the mood for a smooth Pinot, or perhaps a Rose? I love to stop at Thacher.
See What’s On Tap
Wine not your thing? Or maybe just looking for some variety? No worries. Paso has you covered there, too. For the beer and cider drinkers, no visit to town is complete until you see what’s on tap at Firestone Walker. A staple in the area for over two decades, the brewing company has evolved to three breweries and national distribution.
At the Paso brewery, favorites from their Mind Haze IPA to Chocolate Cherry Stout are brought to life. Their taproom restaurant, a locals favorite, offers plenty of grub to pair expertly with your brew. While hours and tours are reduced amidst 2020 times, stay in the loop with them here.
If hard cider is up your alley, head to nearby Tin City Cider Co. Expertly crafted ciders from fresh, local apples are certain to wet your whistle. Whether you’re in the mood for a tart glass or more bold, Tin City will have your back. See what they’re up to here.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
As Paso Robles sits on the inland side, they’re just a stone’s throw from the coastline. No visit is complete until you devote some time to funky beach towns like Cayucos and the mystical village of Cambria. Take a brisk stroll along Moonstone Beach or spend some time at Hearst San Simeon State Park.
If biking is your passion, Paso offers an array of bike trails and rentals. In addition to annual cycling events, there’s excellent paths that will lead you to beautiful vista points, and maybe even wineries. Outdoor lovers will also find opportunities to golf and horseback ride.
Plan your Own California Road Trip to Paso Robles
Paso Robles is an ideal California destination and perfect for that road trip up the coast you’ve been wanting to take. All safety precautions are in place, and it’s a beautiful time of year to escape. Learn more and plan here.
(Author’s note: Several of these experiences were made possible by Travel Paso on behalf of this article. All opinions are my own.)