Looking for a fun California weekend getaway? Located on the Central Coast, Paso Robles is a cute little wine country town with so much to offer! Wine tasting, farm-to-table dining, and nearby castle tours are among the many awesome things to do in Paso Robles. Keep reading to plan your trip!
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2 Days in Paso Robles – Overview:
- PTO/Vacation Days Needed: 0-1
- Nights: 2
- Cost: $ – $$
SEE ALSO: The Best Baja California Road Trip
How to Get to Paso Robles, California
Paso Robles (pronounced Paso Robe-ulls) is located on California’s Central Coast, pretty much equidistant from both Los Angeles and San Francisco, at about a 3.5 – 4 hour drive from each. While Paso Robles isn’t technically on the coast (it’s about 45 minutes inland), you’ll drive through beautiful rolling hills and countryside to get there. But because you’re so close to the coast, this Paso Robles travel guide will have you going there too!
Where to Stay in Paso Robles
There are plenty of hotels and Airbnb’s in the area, both in town as well as in the countryside near the wineries. If there’s two of you and you’re traveling on a budget, check out this awesome and unique Airbnb that we stayed in. It’s actually an RV on a farm adjacent to a beautiful vineyard! The RV had plenty of room for the two of us, a nice back patio with a view, and the host provided fresh eggs from her farm, homemade bread and wine! Such a treat. It’s located on the San Miguel wine country trail, so you’re super close to quite a few wineries.
Best Things to Do in Paso Robles
One of the best things to do in Paso Robles is to go wine tasting! Who needs Napa when you have Paso Robles?? Only kind of kidding, but seriously – if you’re looking for great wineries with more of an un-pretentious, laid-back feel, Paso Robles is perfect.
There are two areas of wineries in Paso Robles, on opposite ends of town – the East Wineries and the West Wineries. You can’t go wrong with either side. We ended up starting on the East side because it’s super close to our Airbnb, and then made our way to the West side.
Travel Tip – your Airbnb or hotel likely has a few coupons for the wineries laying around. We had a few at our Airbnb that gave us discounts and free wine tastings!
Getting Around the Wineries
If you don’t have a DD, your best bet is to either Uber from winery to winery, or take the Wine Line. With the Wine Line, you can choose 4 wineries from their list and use this hop-on-hop-off shuttle to go between them.
A Few of my Favorite Wineries in Paso Robles
- Four Sister’s Winery
Four Sister’s Winery was the first winery we visited in Paso Robles, per the recommendation of our Airbnb hosts who told us it was their favorite! This family-owned winery has a super relaxing, laid back feel, and an AMAZING view. We started out doing a wine tasting inside accompanied by bite-size sandwiches, salami and other snacks, and then enjoyed a glass of wine outside in their Adirondack chairs admiring the view. They also have bocce ball, horse shoes and ring toss if you’re feeling active. We loved the wine here so much that we even bought a few bottles to take back with us!
- Villa San Juliette
Villa San Juliette is a BEAUTIFUL winery on the East side wine trail (less then 2 miles from Four Sister’s winery) with a 130-acre estate that resembles Tuscany. Bring your glass of wine out to the patio and admire the view!
- DAOU Vineyards
DAOU Vineyards, located on the West wine trail, is probably the most popular winery in Paso Robles, and for good reason. This upscale vineyard is a totally different vibe (and price point) than the other two, but the views here are simply iconic. The most efficient thing to do is to buy a bottle. Take it outside to sip and relax on one of their many lounge areas and soak in the sweeping views! (If you can’t already tell, vineyards with views make a winery an A+ in my book).
Check out Downtown Paso Robles
Another great thing to do in Paso Robles is to explore their cute little downtown area. Meander the streets, peruse the cute stores, or just take a break in the grassy central park area and people watch.
Downtown Paso Robles has some great restaurants. A few of my favorites:
- Thomas Hill Organics
- This farm-to-table restaurant is known to be one of the best restaurants in Paso Robles (so I recommend making a reservation!) The food is fresh, healthy and organic, and the ambiance on the back patio is perfect. I recommend ordering the charcuterie board – it’s huge!
- Buona Tavola – Great classic Italian restaurant!
- Fish Gaucho – modern Mexican restaurant with fresh seafood, an expansive tequila selection, and a rustic-chic vibe.
Happy Hour at Pony Club Wine Bar
One of my favorite things to do in Paso Robles is to go to happy hour at Pony Club Wine Bar! Located in Hotel Cheval in downtown Paso Robles, this bar has the cutest outdoor patio with string lights, live music, and great happy hour deals. It’s the perfect way to kick off your evening.
Ok – so this isn’t technically one of the things to do IN Paso Robles, but it’s close-by and definitely worth the trip! On your way home on Sunday, drive to the coast and check out the Hearst Castle – William Randolph Hearst’s (publishing tycoon from Hearst Magazines) luxurious estate and a National Historic Landmark of Central California. This 165-room castle sits on 127 acres filled with beautiful gardens, pools and fountains, all overlooking the Pacific ocean. The only way to see the Hearst Castle is by guided tour ($25/person) which involves taking a bus up the hill to get to the estate, but after your guided tour you are free to roam around the grounds as long as you like.
Elephant Seal Vista Point
After your tour of the Hearst Castle, head just 5 miles north on the PCH to get to Elephant Seal Vista Point. Park in the lot here and stroll along the sidewalk and check out the hoards of Elephant Seals on the beach! This is the closest I’ve been to that many seals at one time, and it’s very entertaining to watch them interact.
Now that you are on the coastal area, your drive back to LA or SF will be super scenic along the PCH! Roll down the windows, play some tunes and enjoy a quintessential California weekend road trip.
Want to make a longer trip out of it and keep cruising up the coast? Check out my post: Must-See Spots on a West Coast US Road Trip
Besides the obvious essentials, here are a few other things you shouldn’t leave home without for this trip:
- Handheld Fan (it can get super hot going from winery-to-winery in the summer!)
- Belkin Portable Charger to keep everything charged and ready to take pictures when you’re out and about!
- Sony A6000 – this is the mirrorless camera I use and I love it! It’s light enough to take with you on the go when traveling, and takes great photos.
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