View of Paso Robles wine country

15 Top Things to Do in Paso Robles for a Great Weekend Getaway

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If you are looking for a quick getaway in California, you should consider visiting California’s Central Coast. California’s central coast is made up of four regions: Monterrey Bay, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura. Each region has some incredible towns. For this post, I am going to focus on the town of Paso Robles, which is located in the San Luis Obispo region. Paso Robles is an incredible town to visit, and there are many amazing things to do in Paso Robles. It is one of my favorite towns for a weekend getaway and never disappoints. I am sure you will fall in love with this incredible town.

California’s Central Coast Location is Perfect for a Weekend Getaway 

California’s central coast is easily accessible from most areas in California. The central coast region starts just north of Los Angeles in Ventura County and goes to Santa Clara, south of San Francisco. Due to its location, the towns within central California are the perfect place for a central coast weekend getaway. 

There are some absolutely incredible and beautiful inland and beach towns on California’s Central Coast. If you would like to stay along the coast, you can read our post about some of California’s amazing central coast beach towns. While California’s central coast beach towns are amazing, there are just as many incredible inland towns that are worth mentioning. Paso Robles is one of the top inland towns to visit on California’s Central Coast, and there are many fun things to do in Paso Robles. Its central location allows for an easy drive to visit the California coast, major beach towns, and other inland towns.

Where is Paso Robles?

Paso Robles is a charming town located about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco off Highway 101 in California’s Central Coast wine region. Paso Robles is known for the many wineries surrounding the city, its picturesque vineyards, and its warm hospitality. This picturesque Central Coast town is a favorite destination for wine lovers as it is the perfect hub for learning about wines grown in the region and wine tasting. It is also a great town to explore and visit for the perfect California getaway. Although Paso Robles is famous for its local wines, there are many things to do in Paso Robles besides wine tasting and many places to visit in Paso Robles besides wineries. However we can’t write about Paso Robles without mentioning the amazing wine region around Paso Robles. 

View of Paso Robles wine country
View of the Paso Robles wine country

When is the Best Time to Visit Paso Robles

Paso Robles has great weather year-round so anytime is a good time to visit Paso Robles. There are a few things you should keep in mind when planning your visit to Paso Robles.  

Paso Robles is inland and can be hot during the summertime. However, the coast is only about 30 minutes west of Paso Robles, making this time of the year a perfect time to also visit the coastal towns that are near Paso Robles.

During the fall, between late August and November, wine grapes are harvested in Paso Robles. This is a great time to visit Paso Robles, as many wineries host special events during harvest season.  

During the winter, the weather hovers in the low 60s. It can dip below 60 degrees, so it is a good idea to have a jacket with you for those cooler days and nights. The vineyards are bare after the fall harvest and not as green as other months. However, winter falls during the holiday season and there are many great things to see during this season.

During the spring, wildflowers begin to bloom, and buds begin to break on the vineyards. It is a beautiful time of the year in Paso Robles.  The weather is also milder than during the summer months.

Different Ways to Get to Paso Robles

The easiest way to get to Paso Robles is by driving. You have more flexibility, can make your way to other towns near Paso Robles, and visit the many wineries and locations in and around Paso Robles more easily. Since the Paso Robles wine region is spread out, having a car available is the best way to get around Paso Robles. 

Getting to Paso Robles by Bus and Train

If you would like to take a bus, you can easily do that from Los Angeles. There is a round trip, non-stop route on the Greyhound Bus to Paso Robles. You can take the bus from Los Angeles Union Station or near UCLA. One other mode of transportation worth mentioning is taking the Amtrack train to Paso Robles. The Coast Starlight has a daily route between Los Angeles and Seattle. Paso Robles is one of the stops along this route. Taking the train is a great way to enjoy the view of the coast. You might also get some amazing photographs of the beautiful California Coast. Both the train and the bus share the same station. The station is located at 800 Pine Street, which is a short 10-minute walk from downtown Paso Robles. 

Are Uber and Lyft Available in Paso Robles

If you take the bus or the train, you will need to find transportation in and around the Paso Robles area. Luckily, Uber and Lyft are both available in this area. Using a rideshare program is convenient to get to locations in and around town and other nearby locations. Your cost will go up depending on the distance you need to travel.  Using either Lyft or Uber isn’t very convenient if your goal is to visit the wineries around the area. However, if you would like to explore different wineries, you can go on a winery tour, which offers transportation to different wineries instead of using rideshare. 

How Many Days Should You Stay in Paso Robles

Paso Robles is located in Central California, approximately three hours from San Francisco and four hours from Los Angeles. It would be difficult to take a day trip to Paso Robles from both of these locations. Unless you are coming from a nearby town or city such as San Luis Obispo, Templeton, or Atascadero, your getaway should be about three days.  You can spend two days in Paso Robles, but you will be rushing through your visit and will more than likely not be able to visit everything you would like to such as the surrounding wine country. During the times I have visited Paso Robles, I have found that a minimum of a three-day stay is ideal. This allowed me to visit the local attractions and the surrounding wine region, which is very large. 

The Amazing Paso Robles Wine Region

Paso Robles is a renowned wine region in California’s Central Coast, celebrated for its diverse and thriving wineries. With over 200 wineries and vineyards, Paso Robles offers a wine-tasting paradise for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs.  The region has a diverse environment, which is perfect for producing a wide range of varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Rhone-style blends, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and many other varietals. The warm days, cool nights, and unique soil compositions contribute to the exceptional quality of Paso Robles wines. You will not be disappointed with the taste and quality of wine available in Paso Robles.

View of vineyard fields in wine country

Visit Paso Robles Wineries and Vineyards

You can go on wine-tasting adventures along the scenic wine trails surrounding Paso Robles while enjoying breathtaking vineyard views. Many wineries offer guided tours where you can learn about their wine-making process, the varietals that the winery uses to produce their wine and the facilities where their wine barrels are stored. During your visit, you will also be able to sample award-winning wines in friendly, fun, and welcoming tasting rooms.

View of the vineyard at a winery in Paso Robles
View of the vineyards at a winery in Paso Robles

Finding your way around the Paso Robles Wine Region

Finding your way to the many wineries in Paso Robles can seem daunting, given the hundreds of wineries in the region. Luckily, there are several options available to make your trip to Paso Robles easier.  

Tour Paso Robles Wineries on Your Own

You might be wondering what the best way is to find all the wineries in Paso Robles if you decide to tour the wine region on your own. GPS is usually available and a great way to get around town. However, you will need to know which wineries to look for. To make things easier, maps of the wineries are readily available at many of the local hotels in Paso Robles. You can also view and download a map of the wineries online on the SLO (San Luis Obispo) Visitors Guide website. Click on the menu option for “Wine” on their website.

Go on a Paso Robles Winery Tour

One of the best ways to explore Paso Robles wineries is to sign up for an excursion. Winery tours are perfect because you will have a designated driver, your tour guide, take you to several wineries where you will be able to taste the wines without worrying about drinking and driving. It is also a great way to learn about the area without worrying about getting lost or finding your way around the region. Most wine-tasting tours also provide a pick-up option from local hotels, making this option even more convenient.  

Visit the Tasting Rooms in the Downtown Square

Paso Robles wineries are spread out throughout the region. Luckily, you don’t have to drive far to taste many wines from the surrounding region. Many wineries have tasting rooms in the downtown square. You will even find tasting rooms that host several different wineries in one location. The downtown square is located in the heart of downtown Paso Robles.

Wine tasting room in the downtown square
Wine tasting room in the downtown square

Tour the Highway 46 Wineries

You will find many wineries and vineyards along Highway 46. Highway 46 is unique, It is split east and west from Highway 101, with wineries located on Highway 46 East and Highway 46 West. This picturesque wine trail winds through the rolling hills of Paso Robles wine country with one section ending near the coast and the other section going inland. Along this route, you will find a diverse collection of wineries, each with its own unique charm and winemaking style. Many wineries along Highway 46 are known for their exceptional red wines. Thanks to the region’s warm days and cool nights, you will find wonderfully tasting varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and many others. 

In many of the wineries, you will find beautiful panoramic views of the vineyards and rustic yet elegant tasting rooms. Making them an ideal place to sip, savor, and enjoy award-winning wines. Most wineries along Highway 46 West and Highway 46 East are located in one straight line, making it easier for you to find and visit the wineries. However, it should be noted that there are wineries located on streets that connect to Highway 46. These wineries are part of the Highway 46 experience and are worth a visit as well. 

If you do take the time to visit the wineries along Highway 46, you will not regret it. You will have a memorable experience set against the backdrop of Paso Robles’ breathtaking wine country. If you are a wine lover or want to learn more about wine, it is definitely a must-do!

The view of the Paso Robles wine country along Highway 46
View of the Paso Robles wine country along Highway 46 West

Getting to Highway 46 West

Highway 46 West is located in the southern of Paso Robles. Highway 46 West is a scenic stretch of road that stretches from Highway 101 to Highway 1 towards the coast. The highway ends near the town of Cambria, a wonderful central coast beach town. Highway 46 West is home to many award-winning wineries. 

Getting to Highway 46 East

Highway 46 East starts on the northern part of Paso Robles on the east side of Highway 101. Highway 46 East is also home to many award-winning wineries.

Visit Tin City

Tin City is an industrial hub that is spread over a couple blocks and is a great location to explore in Paso Robles. Each block has different businesses that specialize in craft wine, beer, cider, and artisan food. Tin City has approximately 2 dozen wineries, several distilleries and breweries, and various restaurants. In addition to the restaurants in Tin City, there are several food trucks that make a regular appearance. You will find Tin City towards the southern part of town, about three miles south of downtown Paso Robles near an industrial section of Paso Robles.

Tin City in Paso Robles
Tin City
Cider from Tin City Cider
Cider flight from Tin City Cider
Reya at Tin City Cider
Reya enjoying the cider!

Other Things to Do in Paso Robles Besides Wine Tasting

Beyond its amazing wine culture, Paso Robles offers many outdoor and cultural attractions. The city is surrounded by rolling hills, oak-studded landscapes, and thermal springs, making it the perfect destination for hiking, cycling, and relaxation in natural hot springs. 

Paso Robles also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Paso Robles Wine Festival and the California Mid-State Fair, which showcases live entertainment, rodeos, and agricultural exhibitions. Additionally, there are many other fun things to do in Paso Robles that should not be missed.

Visit Downtown Paso Robles and the Town Square

The vibrant downtown area has a welcoming small-town charm. In the center of the downtown area, there is an incredible town square. The town square is the perfect place to begin exploring Paso Robles. The town square has a large park with a gazebo and a play area for kids. You can relax on a bench and have your morning coffee, picnic lunch, or go on a leisurely walk in the town square. 

View of the gazebo in the town square
The gazebo in the center of the town square

Around the town square, you will find the many shops that make up the Paso Robles downtown area. There are numerous boutique shops, art galleries, and different places to eat in the downtown area with a variety of cultural and culinary experiences, including farm-to-table cuisine. Downtown Paso Robles also hosts food and wine festivals throughout the year. However, don’t just stay around the town square. There are many shops and restaurants to visit in the area beyond the town square. You will not be disappointed with the variety of places to visit and explore beyond the town square area.

View of downtown Paso Robles
Downtown area around the town square
View of downtown Paso Robles
Downtown area around the town square

Visit the Paso Robles Historical Society and Museum at the Public Library

Paso Robles is rich in history. You can immerse yourself in the region’s rich cultural heritage and learn about the area’s rich history at the Paso Robles Historical Society. The Paso Robles Historical Society and Museum is located in the Paso Robles Public Library in the town square. The museum hosts different exhibits throughout the year, and docents are available to share the history of Paso Robles with visitors. 

The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm.

View of the public library in the town square
The Public Library in the town square

Visit the Farmer’s Market at the Paso Robles Town Square

If you are in Paso Robles on a Tuesday and you enjoy exploring local farmers’ markets, then you are in luck. Paso Robles has a wonderful farmers market to explore. The farmer’s market is held every Tuesday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the south side of the downtown square. You will find many options of locally grown vegetables and delicious fruit. You will also find baked goods, artisan cheeses, and seasonal flowers. The produce sold is grown in the surrounding area, so you will find fresh produce and perfectly sweetened fruits for sale at the farmers market.  

Vendors at the Paso Robles Farmers Market
Vendors at the Paso Robles Farmers Market
Produce vendors at the Paso Robles Farmers Market
Produce vendors at the Paso Robles Farmers Market

Visit the Paso Robles Inn

Across the street from the town square, you will find the historic Paso Robles Inn. The Paso Robles Inn is a historic hotel that was established in 1889, the same year Paso Robles was established. The Paso Robles Inn is known for its wonderful restaurant, The Steakhouse. The Steakhouse offers some very tasty entrees on its dinner menu. There is also an extensive wine selection. The restaurant is also open for breakfast and lunch. 

You can also visit The Cattleman’s Lounge at the Paso Robles Inn. The Cattleman’s Lounge is open Friday and Saturday from 2 pm until 11 pm and Sunday through Thursday from 2 pm to 10 pm. There is live music on Friday from 6 pm to 9 pm and Saturday from 4 pm to 7 pm. As with many businesses, their hours can change.  You can visit the Cattlemen’s Lounge website to double-check their operating hours. The Cattleman’s Lounge also has a wonderful menu with many tasty options to choose from. 

If you decide to visit and stay at the Paso Robles Inn, you will find an attentive staff and a room to suit your tastes. The Paso Robles Inn has a variety of rooms ranging from cozy, quaint rooms, spa rooms that feature a balcony with a hot tub, and two-room suites that also feature a balcony hot tub in a private garden patio. 

We enjoyed our stay at the Paso Robles Inn. We found our room to be very comfortable and enjoyed their restaurant. The location was also perfect. Being within walking distance of the downtown area allowed us to easily explore all of the downtown area.

View of the Paso Robles Inn
Paso Robles Inn

Go Olive Oil Tasting

When we think of areas known for olive oil production, Europe normally comes to mind. However, California’s Central Coast is similar in climate and terrain. In the same way that the central coast is perfect for producing wine, the central coast is the perfect place for producing olive oil. And California’s olive oil is surprisingly delicious. There are a couple of locations within downtown Paso Robles where you can taste locally produced olive oil. 

We Olive, located on Park Street in downtown Paso Robles, not only offers olive oil tasting, but you can taste various vinegars, jams, tapenades, and other items as well. We Olive also offers wine tasting in their Paso Robles location.

Another great place to visit is Pasolivo. Pasolivo has a tasting room that is also located on Park Street in downtown Paso Robles. There is no charge for their olive oil tasting. 

Visit Historic Mission San Miguel

If you enjoy visiting historical sites, you should add Mission San Miguel to your Paso Robles itinerary. Mission San Miguel is a historical landmark located in the close by town of San Miguel, which is about 9 miles from downtown Paso Robles. You can take a self-guided tour of the mission to explore the grounds. Tours are available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and cost $10.00 per adult, $8.00 for seniors, and $5.00 for children. You can purchase your tickets at the Mission gift shop. There are also many souvenirs available for purchase at the gift shop. 

If you would like to attend services, the Mission offers services Tuesday through Sunday. You can contact the Mission or check their website for their service schedule.  

Visit Sensorio

Sensorio is a captivating, immersive outdoor walk-through art installation located on Highway 46 East in Paso Robles. Sensorio was created by locals Ken and Bobbi Hunter and showcases stunning light-based artwork by British artist Bruce Munro on a grand scale. A restaurant on the grounds has many food options. The restaurant is located close to the entrance. Once you make your way past the restaurant, you will come to an outdoor seating area with entertainment and fire tables. You can enjoy food or a drink in this area while watching a local artist perform.

Outdoor seating area at Sensorio
Outdoor seating area at Sensorio

Field of Light Exhibit at Sensorio

There are several outdoor light-based artworks to explore. The centerpiece and the largest display at Sensorio is “Field of Light,” which features over 100,000 slender, glowing stems topped with colorful illuminated orbs. This mesmerizing display transforms the rolling hills of Paso Robles into a dreamlike wonderland. The illuminated orbs continuously change colors, changing the effect at the “Field of Light” exhibit. The light display at Field of Light creates an unforgettable experience.  

Field of Lights Exhibit at Sensorio
Picture of the colorful Field of Lights light display at Sensorio in Paso Robles
Field of Lights exhibit at Sensorio
Field of Lights Exhibit at Sensorio

Light Towers Exhibit at Sensorio

Another light exhibit at Sensorio is Light Towers. Light Towers are tall towers of changing lights. The towers are constructed of wine bottles with lighted optic fibers that change colors. There is music playing in the background which adds to the ambience of this display. You can walk through the Light Towers exhibit and get an up-close look at the towers. The exhibit is quite impressive.

Rosebee and Reya at the Light Towers exhibit at Sensorio
Rosby and Reya at Light Towers
Light Towers Exhibit at Sensorio
Close up of Light Towers
Light Towers exhibit at Sensorio
Light Towers Exhibit at Sensorio

Gone Fishing and Fireflies Exhibit at Sensorio

The last two exhibits, Gone Fishing and Fireflies, are the newest exhibits and are located close to each other, just past the Light Towers. Gone Fishing has long, thin orbs that resemble long fishing poles. The orbs are placed together in groups, similar to fishing with multiple poles.

Gone Fishing Light Display at Sensorio
Gone Fishing at Sensorio

Fireflies is a display that resembles a distant view of fireflies flying together in a group. The light display is captivating. I can only imagine what it would be like to see real fireflies in a field.

Fireflies Light Display at Sensorio
Fireflies Exhibit at Sensorio

Sensorio was originally going to be a temporary exhibit. It is now a permanent exhibit and is in residence in Paso Robles. It is also growing. Another exhibit, Dimensions, will be added in the near future. Sensorio has quickly become a must-visit attraction in Paso Robles. The light displays are a unique blend of art, nature, and innovation that leaves a lasting impression.

There are many light-based art exhibits throughout the state of California. Sensorio is one of the top exhibits to visit. And due to its size, Sensorio is really impressive. Sensorio is truly a magical event that should not be missed when visiting Paso Robles.

Visit One of Paso Robles’ Hot Springs

Paso Robles is celebrated not only for its vineyards and wineries but also for its rejuvenating hot springs. The hot springs have attracted visitors seeking relaxation and healing for many years. There are two hot spring destinations in Paso Robles available for you to unwind and relax.

River Oaks Hot Springs Spa. 

The River Oaks Hot Springs Spa has been around for many years. It is a popular hot spring destination in Paso Robles as they offer other services in addition to enjoying time in their thermal mineral spring tubs. In addition to soaking in hot spring tubs, the River Oaks Hot Springs Spa offers several treatment options, such as massage therapy, facials, and skin therapy. Many of their treatment packages include a soak in an indoor artisan mineral spa. 

In addition to their spa services and indoor mineral spa, you can select packages that include an outdoor mineral tub that overlooks beautiful vineyard-lined hills. They also have romantic packages that include couple massages with a soak in a mineral tub that includes a bottle of wine, or you can select the Chocolate Lovers Soak that includes a bottle of wine paired with chocolate desserts, a soak in a mineral tub, and a massage. Spending time at the spa and selecting one of their special spa packages is hands down one of the best things to do in Paso Robles for couples. 

You can get to River Oaks Hot Springs by driving on Highway 46 East to Buena Vista Drive. Go north on Buena Vista Drive to River Oaks Drive and make a left. Drive a little ways down River Oaks Drive and make a right at Clubhouse Drive until you get to the spa. Spending time at the River Oaks Hot Springs Spa is a great way to de-stress and rejuvenate.

Franklin Hot Springs

Franklin Hot Springs has been operating in Paso Robles for many years. The water at Franklin Hot Springs comes from Thermopolis, Wyoming, and passes through Mono Hot Springs, finally arriving at Franklin Hot Springs. The temperature of the water at Franklin Hot Springs is 100 degrees, making it suitable for children as well. The water is all natural with no chemicals added. 

One of the best things about Franklin Hot Springs is its entrance fee and the available services. You can enjoy the hot springs for $10.00 a day and $8.00 a day for seniors and children. The day pass includes swimming in the hot spring, fishing, and boating in their lake. You can also decide to spend several relaxing days at Franklin Hot Springs. They offer RV and van camping as well as car/tent camping. Costs vary between $8.00 to $10.00 per person per day and $30.00 to $40.00 per vehicle per day, depending on the type of vehicle you use for camping.

Margarita Adventures Zipline Tour

Margarita Adventures offers an exhilarating zipline tour experience that allows visitors to soar above the stunning landscapes of California’s Central Coast. This thrilling zipline adventure takes you through the scenic Santa Margarita Ranch, providing breathtaking views of rolling vineyards, rugged hills, and picturesque countryside.

On the zipline tour, you will cross a suspension bridge and go on two moderate hikes through the hills as you make your way to the ziplines. There are 6 distinct ziplines that span over 7500 feet. The initial jump off the platform may give you butterflies, but once you begin traveling on the zipline, time slows down as you start to take in the fantastic sights of the valley.

View of the suspension bridge at Margarita Adventures
Suspension bridge
Reya standing on the suspension bridge at Margarita Adventures
Reya on the suspension bridge
Hike along the zipline course at Margarita Adventures
Hiking path along the course

The Margarita Adventures zipline tour is the perfect blend of adventure and awe-inspiring scenery. As you zip along the zipline, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline while simultaneously immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the region overlooking hillsides and vineyards. This is an unforgettable way to experience the area’s landscape from a whole new perspective. It is an incredible experience filled with lots of fun. 

View of the vineyards from the zipline platform at Margarita Adventures
View from the zipline platform
Person ziplining on the course over the vineyards
Enjoying the zipline course
The end of the zipline at Margarita Adventures
End of the zipline

After ziplining, you can enjoy wine tasting, get a charcuterie board, or grab lunch at Ancient Peaks Winery, located across the street from Margarita Adventures. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or simply looking to enjoy the beauty of the Central Coast from the sky, the Margarita Adventures zipline tour promises an exciting and memorable journey.

Is a Visit to Paso Robles Worth It

Paso Robles is the perfect place to visit and the perfect town for a Central Coast weekend getaway. Paso Robles has stunning scenery, world-class wines, and a warm and welcoming community. You will easily discover that Paso Robles stands out as a beautiful and captivating destination on California’s Central Coast. The combination of world-class wines, unique activities, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere makes Paso Robles a must-visit destination! So the answer is Yes! Paso Robles is definitely worth visiting!

4 thoughts on “15 Top Things to Do in Paso Robles for a Great Weekend Getaway”

  1. Love the article. I usually go to Paso Robles for the wine tastings, but as a huge fan of olive oils, I’ll have to check out some wineries that offer both tastings.

    1. Olive Oil tasting is great. Some places also have great vinegars and will help you pair them perfectly for great salad dressings or for dipping bread.

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