Central California Weekend
Almost equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles area, Paso Robles is an easy weekend trip from either. The town is low-key, yet vibrant with wine bars and great restaurants. One of California's oldest wine regions - dating back to 1790s - and unlike its Northern Californian cousins, Paso's wine country is relatively quiet and uncrowded. Growing season is dry and long, with hot days and cool nights, which provide an ideal growing climate for many different variatals. Boutique wineries dot The Westside, the area off of Highway 46 West, and most are open for tasting. In addition to typical varietals, these small wineries produce interesting blends.
When To Go
Summer days are sunny, clear, and can be quite warm (sometimes over 100 degrees) but the proximity to the Templeton Gap and the flow of ocean breeze cools down the evenings considerably. Fall days are dry and mild. The changing colors of the vines provide a gorgeous backdrop to the harvest time "Crush" parties.
Getting There Located on Highway 101, Paso is an easy 3-4 hour drive from San Francisco Bay area, depending on where you are coming from.
An alternative to Highway 101 is a leisurely drive on Highway 1. It takes much longer, but worth the views.
And yet another choice is a hybrid route: Highway 101 down to Salinas/Highway 68 to Monterey, Highway 1 down to Cambria, Highway 46 back inland to Paso. The stretch of Highway 1 between Monterey and Cambria, going thru Big Sur, has some of the most spectacular portions of the Pacific Coast.
San Jose Airport, CA
Upper Arlington, OH
Where To Stay Paso Robles' hotels are mostly booked during the summer months. Please make your reservations well in advance.
Steps from the main square is the hip 15-room Hotel Cheval.
Its rooms fill up months in advance.
866-522-6999; 1021 Pine Street, Paso Robles; hotelcheval.com. $$$$
Also right in town, Paso Robles Inn is a historic inn (circa 1891) with an
old town charm. Built next to natural hot springs, they offer private hot springs tubs
in some of their dulux rooms.
866-321-1828; 1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles; pasoroblesinn.com. $$
In terms of vacation rentals, Paso Robles Vacation Rental
offers great local lodging. We particularly recommend
Bungalow on Vine.
This lovely and meticulously furnished and maintained
house just 2 blocks from the hustle and bustle of the
main square, making it a perfect location for walks to
dinner, yet a quiet stay in town. It features outdoor
seating and BBQ, and amenities such as a
computer/printer and EV charger.
(805) 423-9174; 866-321-1828; 505 Spring Street, Paso Robles; pasoroblesvacationrentals.com.
In the heart of the wine country and right on Vineyard Drive,
Orchard Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast features 3 antique-filled
rooms and gourmet breakfast.
805-239-9680; 5415 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles; orchardhillbb.com. $$$
Not in town, but conveniently on the junction of highways 46 & 101,
La Bellasera is a clean hotel with large rooms and suites, making
it a great choice for groups of more than two.
805-238-2834; 206 Alexa Court, Paso Robles; labellasera.com. $$$
Dan & Assana's Favorite Wineries
Paso area cultivates over 40 types of grapes over 25,000 acres. More than 180 boutique (mostly family-owned) small wineries are gaining recognition for their innovative blends of Bordeaux, Rhône and Zinfandel varietals. Most offer onsite tastings. In addition, downtown tasting rooms carry a large selection of wine from smaller wineries. The following are some of our favorites:
Jack Creek Cellars: 805-226-8283
L'aventure: 805-227-1588 aventurewine.com
Terry Hoage Vineyards: 805-238-2083 terryhoagevineyards.com
Turley Wine Cellars: 805-434-1030 turleywinecellars.com
Jada: 805-226-4200 jadavineyard.com
Linne Calodo: 805-227-0797 linnecalodo.com
Booker Wines: 805-226-4200 bookerwines.com
Villicana: 805-239-9456 villicanawinery.com
Denner Vineyards: 805-239-4287 dennervineyards.com
Re:Find: 805-239-9456 refinddistillery.com
Where To Eat
In the past decade, the food scene in Paso has blossomed into locavore meets gourmet. This sleepy cowtown houses some of the best restaurants in Central Coast. And as you can imagine, the wine lists are pretty fabulous!
Il Cortile servs the best Italian food in town, with the most
cosy ambiance. And if you don't want to sit inside, there is a great outdoor space. Good
wine list. Reservations is a must.
805-226-0300; 608 12th Stree, Paso Robles; ilcortileristorante.com. $$$$
La Cosecha has some of the best cocktails in town! The restaurant is the Spanish cousin to Il Cortile. The tapas are delicious and change seasonally. 805-237-0019; 835 12th Street, Suite A, Paso Robles; lacosechabr.com. $$$
For the best lunch in town, go to BL Brasserie (formerly known as Bistro Laurent) which serves authentic french food with a California twist.
805-226-8191; 1202 Pine Street, Paso Robles; bistrolaurent.com. $$$
For farm-to-table meal, try Thomas Hill Organics. The patio is
lovely, both in the summer and in the winter. Great wine list, and amazing sandwiches.
Reservations is a recommended.
805-226-5888; 1313 Park Street, Paso Robles; thomashillorganics.com. $$$
A cozy yet hip rotisserie & bar, The Hatch serves fun food
in a lively setting. Reservations is a recommended.
805-221-5727; 835 13th Street, Paso Robles; villacreek.com. $$$
McPhee's Grill in neighboring town of
Templeton has a fantastic array of yummy comfort
foods. Very casual yet lively atmosphere makes for a
805-434-3204; 416 S. Main Street, Templeton; mcpheesgrill.com. $$$
Also in Templeton, and by far THE BEST breakfast in town, is Joe's
Place. Make sure you get some
bacon; it is some of the tastiest we have ever had!
They recently opened another restaurant in Paso, itself. But we
still like their original Templeton location. The wait could be ridiculously
long on the weekends but oh so worth it!
805-434-5637; 730 S Main St, Templeton. $