Central California Weekend

Why Paso

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.


  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • San Jose Airport, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Bend, OR
  • Upper Arlington, OH
  • Naples, FL
  • 120 miles
  • 161 miles
  • 203 miles
  • 684 miles
  • 2365 miles
  • 2890 miles

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:

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. Reservations recommended.
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 fun ambiance.
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. $