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Tony Hertz/Alamy

Paso Robles

Paso Robles
Wine tasting and mineral hot springs await in these rolling hills

After venturing to Ragged Point, head back south down Highway 1 and pull over near Piedras Blancas Rookery to see the famous Elephant Seals that birth, breed, and rest on the beach five miles north of Hearst Castle. Continue south for a temporary detour around Highway 1, starting just beyond Cambria. Turn left onto vineyard-filled Highway 46 and continue on U.S. Highway 101 North to reach the growing wine country destination of Paso Robles. This San Luis Obispo County town once held the title of the world’s largest concentration of almonds but nowadays, visitors flock to the rolling hills for the mineral hot springs, wine and beer tasting, agritourism, and outdoor activities.

In the mood for tasting? Just pick your drink of choice. Wine is the main game in town, with more than 200 wineries in the area. Venture to the contemporary tasting room of Tablas Creek Vineyards, or head to the industrial-chic Tin City for a concentration of 20 boutique wineries under one roof. Follow the Paso Robles Distillery Trail for samples of distilled spirits, or taste beer at the oldest brewery in town (Firestone Walker Brewery) or at the beer garden of Barrelhouse Brewing Company.

Browse the local boutiques and art galleries of the historic downtown square, and complete your stop with a soak in one of the thermal springs—found at River Oaks Hot Springs SpaFranklin Hot Springs, or select rooms at the Paso Robles Inn.