Expensive guide books and half-hearted listicles are no match for our totally local-approved must-dos! From fab EVOO and down home barbecues and behind-the-scenes peeks behind the winemaking curtain, there are a few things you simply cannot miss on your next trip to Paso Robles. No, you don’t need to pay a tour-guide (or bribe a local) to experience authentic Paso Robles Wine Country. It’s really quite simple, in fact. We believe that the best information in life is shared freely. Consider this advice open source.
1. Dine Downtown and at the Tasting Room
No, you don’t have to choose, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just plain wrong (we feel sorry for them). From steaks and seafood to farm-fresh meals plucked from local fields, downtown Paso Robles offers all the tasting trappings of any hip foodie hangout, without the long waits. Check out Pappy McGregor’s for elevated pub grub; Thomas Hill Organics for farm-to-table fare; and Fish Gaucho for a fresh and fiery twist on Mexican seafood. Unlike other wine regions, you can also enjoy top notch food while you hit the wine trail (making Paso Robles Wine County a great stop for dinner as well as lunch). Plan to swing by Cass Winery for wine flights and delicious burgers delivered straight to your table, or make a reservation at JUSTIN Restaurant, where each gourmet nibble is perfectly picked to heighten your wine tasting experience. Looking for even more tasting rooms with great sit-down restaurant experiences? See our post: 6 Wineries With Sit Down Restaurants in Paso Robles Wine Country, here.
2. Meet the Winemakers
Yes, it’s easy to meet the folks behind the wine in Paso Robles Wine Country (and the vineyard managers, and the assistant winemaker, and the winery dogs, and the owners—you get the idea). Before you leave the tasting room, take a good long look around the bar. You might just be rubbing elbows with the winemaker in no time (the winemaking couple behind Ecluse Winery can be often be found hanging around their own tasting room). One of the best parts of visiting this friendly and scenic wine region is the fact that the barrier between bottle and buyer is pretty much nonexistent. Take advantage of this charming and chill vibe while you still can! Looking for a festive event worth writing home about? Stop by Villa San Juliette for Casino Night this March 9, where you can wine prizes and try your hand at Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps. Seeking a more casual, family-friendly day of fun? Hang at low key Chronic Cellars, where you can play lawn games while meeting the who’s who of Paso.
3. Don’t skip the EVOO!
With all the wine flowing from every direction, it’s easy to miss all of Paso Robles Wine Country’s great agricultural offerings. We recommend that all wine tasting visitors take a moment to (momentarily) put down the wine glass and instead sample some of the region’s famous extra virgin olive oil. Pasolivo is home to an expansive ranch and tasting room off Vineyard drive and a second tasting room in downtown Paso Robles. Fresh and citrusy, herbaceous and savory—there’s an EVOO for every taste. P.S.: plenty of wineries, including Hearst Ranch Winery (located in Paso Robles and San Simeon) offer estate grown olive oil, too! Keep your eyes peeled and your appetite handy. These chef essentials also make great souvenirs to bring home and enjoy all year long.
4. Embrace the cowboy culture
Paso Robles is all about vines, yes. But don’t let the world class distinction fool you: this is still cowboy country! Nowhere is this rustic charm more on display than at wineries like Oso Libre, and Rangeland Wines, where you can taste fine wine and pick up a few pounds of estate raised beef. Tasting Rooms like Lone Madrone are less interested in fancy finger sandwiches and more about meaty barbecues where everyone can kick up their heels (head to their the tasting room’s first Sunday Burger Event of the year, kicking off March 17 from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m.).
5. Stay for one more round!
Home to world famous Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles is a surprisingly beer-loving town. In fact, local winemakers are often known to say: “It takes a lot of beer to make good wine.” That goes for spirits, too. Don’t leave Paso Robles Wine Country without enjoying creative craft spirits handmade by KROBAR and Willow Creek Distillery. Whether you grab a cold one, a goblet of grappa or whiskey on ice, we promise that you’ll experience that “Paso Robles” magic on your lips. Even your new winemaker friends won’t mind. It’s all part of the true Paso Robles Wine Country experience. Cheers!
This blog is written by flavor fiend Hayley Cain. Follow her @flavorslo on Instagram or at astoldbyhayley.com.
Looking for a place to stay in Paso Robles?
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers. TOUR VIRTUALLY
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
Wouldn’t you love to wake up among the vines? Eden House at Carriage Vineyards Bed & Breakfast is on a real working vineyard and longhorn ranch in the Paso Robles Wine Region. Our rooms overlook vineyards, creeks and oaks, right in the Paso Robles Wine Country of Central California.
Spend an idyllic getaway at Briarwood Cottage at ONX Estate Vineyards in an English-cottage inspired vineyard-side home. Guests may rent rooms in the main cottage, reserve the entire main cottage for a large group, or book the fully equipped apartment. Wake up to peaceful vineyard views and spend twilight hours sipping wine on the back porch of the cottage. It’s a time you won’t quickly forget. Contact us for pricing and availability (see form below). Case, 6 Bottle, and 4 Bottle Collective Members receive preferred pricing.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Treat yourself to the ultimate Paso Robles wine country experience by booking your stay at The Inn at Opolo Vineyards. Guests enjoy our luxurious, spacious rooms and all of the sensory pleasures of Paso Robles in one destination. TOUR VIRTUALLY
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves. TOUR VIRTUALLY
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping. TAKE AN AERIAL TOUR
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as PasoStay.com assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, PasoStay.com has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at PasoStay.com.