Paso Robles is located in San Luis Obispo County, Central California. Known for its 200 plus picks covering over 40,000 acres of planted vineyards, there is much more to this unique region than fermented grapes enclosed in a bottle.
Paso Robles' full name "El Paso de Robles" in English means "The Passage of the Oaks" … which is the essence of this article … passing on the wonders that surround this enchanted enclave.
A little background
Paso, as the locals call it, is a relatively small, agricultural / ranch town with a population of about 30,000 people and is famous for its wineries, almond orchards and olive oil production, closed by hot springs, which was the original tourist attraction of Paso,
Paso Robles has a lively downtown area consisting of exceptional dining options and eclectic shopping opportunities with something for everyone's taste and imagination. The Main Street Association is a very good source of information (PasoRoblesDowntown.Org) and their motto is "Where does everyone get together" … and that's true.
Paso therapeutic hot springs
As with most trips, it is the journey and the unexpected that leave an indelible imprint on your memory. In the case of Paso, sometimes the pungent smell of sulfur adds a little something extra.
Abundant thermal waters are known for their therapeutic and rejuvenating benefits and have thus been a major attraction in the earliest days of the city's history.
The Salinan Indian tribe was the original settlers of the area. In the early 1700s, they introduced the newly arrived Franciscan priests to the beneficial effects of water. Subsequently, the Franciscans introduced the locals to farming, livestock breeding and … wait for it … wine and viticulture.
The hot sulfur springs are still flowing through Paso Robles and are open to the public in three locations: River Oaks Hot Springs Spa, Franklin Hot Springs, and select guest rooms at Inn Paso Robles.
Special treatment – Paso Robles Amphitheater
Vine Robles Vineyards and Winery have been in the wine business since 1996 and began hosting annual summer concert series in 2007. The combination of live music and wine under the stars proved so successful that they decided to create the Vina Robles Amphitheater in 2013 year.
The Amphitheater is one of the largest outdoor arts and entertainment venues in San Luis Obispo County and offers a concert season that runs from April to November and includes the best acts from around the world and in all genres. The legendary Tony Bennett performing on a warm starry summer night … 100 feet away … was a magical experience.
The house does not have a "bad" seat and all at a reasonable price to fit everyone's budget … a common lawn space for admission to VIP boxes … all within 150 feet of the stage.
When visiting Paso, a mandatory stop is on the east side of Highway 101. A group of entrepreneurs created a collection of industrial warehouses known as Tin City.
Their goal is to showcase their unique creations, such as small wineries, breweries, distilleries, cider sites and an amazing pasta factory and their new restaurant. You can watch them make pasta while you enjoy eating their excellent entrees.
Parking is plentiful and you can easily walk the whole bundle of buildings within a radius of two or three blocks. Of course, a stop along the way can include an outdoor beer garden, seated by a local group, while you are enjoying a unique tasting experience.
Great logistic jumping point
Located in US 101 and midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, this area is a great car travel destination.
The Passo is a strategic jumping destination with easy access to nature that made this part of California famous, including unique cities and villages such as Moro Bay, Cumbria, Harmony, Caicos and San Simeon … home to the magnificent Hearst Castle.
A Journey Back in History – Hearst Castle
The California Department of Parks and Recreation manages more than 280 park units and this palace property is considered one of the crown jewels in the system.
In 1919, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, along with architect Julia Morgan, initiated plans to build a house on the hill of his ranch in San Simeon. With the huge sums of money he has at his disposal, the "house" becomes a Mediterranean Renaissance mansion, which he called "La Cuesta Encantada" (Enchanted Hill).
The story is also fascinating, but by 1947 the project was not yet complete. Unfortunately, Hurst's health became a problem and he had to leave his house … all 165 rooms on 123 acres of prime coastal property with gardens, terraces and pools … but the house became a full-fledged castle.
One photo is worth a thousand words or more in this case … for more insightful information and hopefully a trip to the Enchanted Hill … go to hearstcastle.org
Travel to Piedras Blancas Rookery Point
Driving five miles north of Hearst Castle, one of California's most scenic views, leads you to a very unique destination and experience … The Piedras Blancas Elephant Cave.
The bakery extends 6 miles from the waterfront with ample parking and easy access, as well as associate professors for providing information.
The viewing areas are open daily, wheelchair accessible and free of charge. No reservations required.
Paso is known for its wines and exceptional cuisine, but in fact after a few tasting sessions your taste buds even out. To make the most of your visit, you should look at the many options for short day trips and experience the part of California that made Central Coast famous.
After all, what a rush … be inspired …
© 2019 Inspirational Travel Routes with Bob and Janice Kolar