The city of Paso Robles is located in San Luis Obispo County in central California. Famous for over 200 wineries covering more than 40,000 acres of planted vineyards, there is much more to this unique region than fermented grapes corked in a bottle.

The full name of Paso Robles “El Paso de Robles” in English means “El Paso de los Robles” … which is the essence of this article … going through the wonders that surround this enchanted enclave.

A little history

Paso, as the locals call it, is a relatively small farming / cattle town with a population of about 30,000 people and is known for its wineries, almond orchards, and olive oil production, topped off with hot springs that was the tourist attraction. original from Paso. .

Paso Robles has a vibrant downtown area consisting of exceptional dining options and eclectic shopping options with something for everyone’s taste and imagination. The “Main Street Association” is a very good source of information (PasoRoblesD Downtown.Org) with their motto “Where they all come together” … and it’s true.

Therapeutic hot springs of Paso

As with most travel experiences, it is the journey and the unexpected that leave an indelible mark on your memory. In the case of Paso, it’s the pungent sometimes pungent smell of sulfur that adds something extra.

The abundant hot springs are known for their therapeutic and rejuvenating benefits and were therefore a major draw in the early days of the city’s history.

The Salinan Indian tribe was the original colony of this area. In the early 1700s, they introduced newcomer Franciscan priests to the beneficial effects of water. Subsequently, the Franciscans introduced the locals to farming, ranching, and … wait … wine-making and vineyard cultivation.

The hot sulfur springs still flow through Paso Robles and are open to the public at three locations: River Oaks Hot Springs Spa, Franklin Hot Springs, and in select rooms at the Paso Robles Inn.

A special treat: the Paso Robles amphitheater

Viña Robles Vineyards and Wineries has been in the wine business since 1996 and began hosting an annual Summer Concert Series in 2007. The combination of live music and wine under the stars was so successful that they decided to create the Viña Amphitheater. Robles in 2013.

The Amphitheater is one of the largest open-air venues for arts and entertainment in San Luis Obispo County and offers a concert season that runs from April through November and features world-class acts from around the world and in all genres. Legendary Tony Bennett performing on a hot, starry summer night … 100 feet away … it was a magical experience.

There is no “bad” seat in the house and all reasonably priced to suit everyone’s budget … general admission lawn seats to VIP boxes … all 150 feet from the stage.

Tin city

When visiting Paso, a must stop is on the east side of Highway 101. A group of enterprising people created a collection of industrial buildings known as Tin City.

Their goal is to showcase their unique creations, such as small production wineries, breweries, distilleries, cider houses and an incredible pasta factory and their new restaurant. You can watch them prepare the pasta while enjoying their great main dishes.

Parking is plentiful and you can easily walk through the entire cluster of buildings established within a two- to three-block radius. Of course, a stop along the way can include a beer garden serenaded by a local band while participating in a unique tasting experience.

Excellent logistical jump point

Located on US 101 and halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, this area is an excellent destination for a road trip.

Paso is a strategic starting point with easy access to the scenery that made this part of California famous, including unique towns and villages like Morro Bay, Cambria, Harmony, Cayucos, and San Simeon … home to the magnificent Hearst Castle.

A road trip into the past – Hearst Castle

The California Department of Parks and Recreation manages more than 280 park units and this palatial property is considered one of the crown jewels of the system.

In 1919, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, along with architect Julia Morgan, began plans to build a hilltop home on their ranch in San Simeon. With large sums of money at his disposal, the “house” became a Mediterranean Renaissance estate that he called “La Cuesta Encantada”.

The story is also lovely, but in 1947 the project was not finished yet. Unfortunately, Hearst’s health became a problem and he had to leave his home … all 165 rooms on 123 acres of waterfront property with gardens, decks, and pools … but the home became a a full-blown castle.

In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words … for more in-depth information and hopefully a trip to The Enchanted Hill … visit Hearstcastle.org

A road trip to the Point Piedras Blancas neighborhood

Driving five miles north from Hearst Castle, along one of California’s most picturesque views, brings you to a unique destination and experience … the Piedras Blancas elephant seal colony.

The colony stretches along 6 miles of coastline with ample parking and easy access, as well as teachers to provide information.

The observation areas are open every day of the year, are wheelchair accessible and are free. Reservations are not required.

Summary

Paso is known for its wine and exceptional dining options, but in reality, after a few tasting sessions, your taste buds go flat. To get the most out of your visit, you should explore the many day trip options and experience a part of California that made the Central Coast famous.

After all, what’s the rush … be inspired …

© 2019 Inspired Travel Itineraries with Bob and Janice Kollar

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