Explore this Central Coast magnet for wine-tasting, which also caters to lovers of craft brews and spirits
Things to do
Places to Eat & Drink
With its red-brick Carnegie Library anchoring a grassy town square, Paso Robles lies just off U.S. Highway 101 at the southernmost tip of the Salinas Valley. This San Luis Obispo County town first became a tourist magnet in the 19th century, thanks to its mineral hot springs—which you can still experience at the Paso Robles Inn—but Paso Robles (pronounced “ROH-buhlz,” or “ROH-blays” to some locals) really found its magical elixir as the local vineyards multiplied.
Here in the heart of Central California’s wine country, more than 250 wineries spread across seven different growing regions, each with its own microclimate and terroir. More than 14 wineries have tasting rooms in Paso Robles’ tidy downtown, but sippers with a taste for exploration can roam vineyard-dotted Highway 46, winding west to the Cambria coast.
Leftover grape juice from the region’s wine production isn’t wasted. It makes up the base alcohol for distilled spirits, which you can sample at various stops along Paso Robles Distillery Trail. Sip Wine Shine’s mango mule, Krobar’s gin and rye whiskey, Manucci Spirits’ grappa and limoncello, and Re:Find Distillery’s vodka. Most distillery tasting rooms are located on vineyard grounds, “just around the back” from the wine-tasting rooms.
With so many beverage options, don’t forget to eat. Savor upscale Italian cuisine—truffle risotto and osso bucco—at downtown’s Il Cortile, or score an authentic Mexican meal at Oralé Taqueria or Habaneros. Perennial favorite Hatch serves up craft cocktails and wood-fired rotisserie chicken, while Thomas Hill Organics specializes in local and sustainably grown ingredients. You can even
Nourish your artsy side at Studios on the Park, an open-studio center where working artists ply their creative trades. Chat with a sculptor, take a drawing class, or buy a painting for your living room. Soak until your fingers pucker at River Oaks Hot Springs spa, where 10 private tubs are fed from springs bubbling up at 117 degrees Fahrenheit. Massages, facials, and body wraps are available too. And for those who love steel and chrome, the Woodland Auto Display and Estrella Warbirds Museum share one location, and it’s packed with World War II planes, antique motorcycles, military Jeeps, beautifully restored Indy race cars, and vintage roadsters.
When you’re ready to call it a day, rest your head in luxury in one of 16 tasteful rooms at the equestrian-themed Hotel Cheval, a stroll away from downtown’s restaurants and shops (don’t miss the nightly s’mores service), or the dog-friendly Allegretto Vineyard Resort, with its rambling courtyards and Tuscan-inspired terrazzo patios and fountains. For a close-to-the-land vibe, book a stay at Rêves de Moutons, a sheep and goat dairy farm about a dozen miles outside of downtown Paso Robles; lodging in retro campers or the main farm house is offered, as well as farm tours.