Shhh…Paso Robles Is the Best Little Vineyard Getaway You Won’t Want to Share
From Provence to Sonoma, we love visiting a wine-rich regions. That’s why Paso Robles first came on our radar—its more than 200 wineries and fine restaurants make it an exciting desitnation. (One that’s refreshingly free of the snootiness that comes with some other global wine powerhouses.) Paso’s evolved from its beginnings as a settlers’ stop on the Camino Real and is now a vibrant wine- and olive oil–producing region with a charming downtown.
Spill the Wine
In Paso Robles, discovering grapes with a trip to a local winery is super satisfying. One of the best is Daou Vineyards. Aside from all the yummy varietals (try the Cuvée Lizzy, a red blend), it boasts one of the most special views atop a vista point on Daou Mountain. The family winery was the dream of two brothers, and their French-Lebanese-meets-Cali roots are on display through the tasting room’s Middle Eastern–inflected mezze spread and cheese and charcuterie board. You’ll want to spend at least an afternoon here, swirling your wine while submerged in direct sunlight an Adirondack chair overlooking the valley. And Parrish Family Vineyard just opened a beautiful new tasting room down the road, with a large porch that’s ideal for outdoor flights (try the current vintages of the Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Silken). Afterward, try talking yourself out of joining one of the wine clubs.
As you venture downtown, it’s easy to spend a morning browsing the local artisan shops or the fine antique, consignment, home decor and gift stores of Refinery and Viva Paso. Next, have an olive oil tasting at Pasolivo and speciality food store We Olive. Stop at Spice of Life for teas, herbs and suggestions on how to use them at home. And at Brown Butter Cookie Company, if the sight of freshly baked cookies doesn’t lure you in, the smell certainly will.
Ease Into Hot Springs
As if the clean air and free-flowing vino weren’t relaxing enough, Paso Robles also boasts some of California’s best hot springs. River Oaks Hot Springs Spa offers indoor or outdoor mineral spas, massages, facials and body wraps. Franklin Hot Springs is a budget-friendly option where $7 buys you entrance and access to boating and fishing.
Finally See Hearst Castle
Try to fit in a half-day trip to Hearst Castle, about 45 minutes from town. Newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst built this incredible home, villas and famed Roman pool, all influenced by his grand tour of Europe with his mother. He later famously purchased furnishings and artifacts to decorate the home, which you can see restored to its former glory today. At “the ranch,” as Hearst called it, you may even spot some zebras along with the elk, goats and deer that still roam the property.
Sleep at a Vineyard
Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a quick bike ride to downtown, but it’s surrounded by 20 acres of vineyards. Sip Allegretto’s Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon in the adorable tasting room or outside in its Instagram-worthy courtyard. It’s hard not to relax here, thanks to the cabana-style pool and hot tub, lots of walking paths, a sound labyrinth and fire pits.
Dine on Local Fare
Thomas Hill Organics serves farm-to-table fare and local wines in an intimate courtyard setting (ah, heat lamps, for the cooler weather) and an inviting indoor space where bottles line the walls. Cello, at Allegretto Vineyard Resort, excels at creative Italian dishes such as oak-roasted salt spring mussels and a daily risotto. Stop by La Cosecha Bar & Restaurant for the best craft cocktails in town alongside Latin-inspired fare .