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Paso Robles: A California Road Trip

view of vineyards and white barn at hammersky vineyards and winery in paso robles california

Weekend Road Trip to Paso Robles, California

I’ve taken quite a few road trips throughout California and I’ll have to say, one of my favorites was a recent trip we took to Paso Robles. This small quaint town in Central California honestly surprised me. The Paso Robles wineries, hotels and restaurants all exceeded my expectations and then some.

I grew up in Central California about 2 hours west of Paso Robles and I have no idea how I had never made the trip to come check it out. Now living in San Diego, the drive is quite a bit longer clocking in at about 5 hours. However, the drive is totally worth it and I’ll explain below why your next California road trip should be to Paso Robles! 


Paso Robles Hotels and Accommodations

Stables Inn

front entrance of the stables inn in paso robles california

Our first hotel stay in Paso Robles was the Stables Inn. We were arriving a night before the rest of our group where we would stay in an Airbnb the rest of the weekend, so we just needed a bed to sleep in for the night. Additional points if it’s cute! Spoiler alert, Stables Inn is SO cute!

The Stables Inn in Paso Robles is a charming western chic Inn ideally located just a couple short blocks from downtown Paso Robles. Walking to all the delicious restaurants, wine tasting rooms and antique shops took no longer than 10 minutes.

The small Inn has only 19 rooms that have been recently renovated to embody very chic horse stables. I think this is such a great idea! I have a feeling remodeling small motels into cute themed bed and breakfasts is going to become a trend. I’m definitely here for it!

white framed bed and cowboy pictures at the stables inn in paso robles california

The fire pit in the middle of the parking area was probably one of my favorite parts of this hotel. The fire pit was warm with plenty of chairs surrounding it and a little nook of wine glasses for your use. This was a perfect spot to enjoy wine purchases from the surrounding wineries.

outdoor fire pit with chairs at the stables inn in paso robles california

The foyer was also really warm and welcoming with a stove fire place and some comfy chairs to hang out in. In the morning they have some pastries and coffee that you can help yourself to. They even have a Nespresso machine! 

I highly recommend the Stables Inn for a more casual hotel accommodation in downtown Paso Robles. I wish we could have stayed more than one night but that just means we will have to come back!

Airbnb

Once the rest of our party arrived, we packed up the car and headed to the cutest Paso Robles Airbnb! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures but this Airbnb is perfect for larger groups traveling together.

This Airbnb is located in the middle of a vineyard which makes for a picture-perfect location. There were 9 of us in our group plus 2 babies and there was more than enough room for everyone. There were 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and the master bedroom was HUGE. It was probably the size of my apartment haha. 

This location also had a pool, jacuzzi, firepit and even a chicken coop! The owners live right up a small hill behind the property so if you need anything, they are there to help immediately.

This was such a good find and I would definitely stay here again next time I plan a trip to Paso Robles with a group of friends or family.

Allegretto Vineyard Resort

Before we chose the Stables Inn, I had a list of perspective hotels I wanted to stay at. At the top of my list was Allegretto Vineyard Resort. Talk about a European getaway in California! The pictures of the resort look incredible.

You’re surrounded by vineyards and gardens; the pool looks so serene and relaxing and the spa looks top notch! This resort is definitely on my bucket list to stay at in the future.


Paso Robles Wineries

HammerSky Vineyards

outdoor table overlooking the grape vineyards at hammersky vineyards and winery in paso robles california

The first of the two wineries we visited while in Paso Robles was HammerSky Vineyards. HammerSky is a large beautiful property dating back to 1904 although, the vineyards weren’t planted until 1997. In 2007, the property was purchased and became what it is today, a working winery with a small bed and breakfast called the Farmhouse Inn.

farmhouse inn with red door at hammer sky vineyards and winery in paso robles california

HammerSky Vineyards is dog friendly and even has cornhole! This makes it a fun little hangout for some winetasting and soaking in the beautiful scenery. I highly recommend for a more casual and laid back wine tasting experience.

Jada Vineyards

The second winery we visited in Paso Robles was Jada Vineyards. When it comes to the actual taste of the wine, Jada wins this trip. However, I did prefer the layout of HammerSky vineyards more as there was more space to spread out and enjoy yourself.

Located in Paso Roble’s “Grand Cru,” Jada Vineyards has developed award winning Syrahs and Cabernet Sauvignons in 2017, 2018 and 2019. We actually ended up buying a bottle of their 2016 Jack John since we loved it so much during the tasting. It is a red blend consisting of 56% Grenache, 23% Syrah and 21% Mourvedre. 

I highly recommend this Paso Robles winery for some incredibly tasting red wines and a very educational tasting. We seriously learned a lot at this tasting. Oh, and you can also purchase the cheese pairing to go with your wine tasting which was 100% worth it!

Paso Robles Winery Wish List:

Justin Wine

We all know Justin Vineyards as we see their wines at every grocery store we go to. I already know I like their wines but I really want to go to their Paso Robles winery to dine at their restaurant! The views and food look incredible!

Dauo Vineyards

Dauo Vineyards is definitely on my list for our next Paso Robles wine tasting adventure. I’ve never tried their wine, however, when I was researching Paso Robles wineries, Daou consistently popped up in all the travel guides I read. The outdoor tasting area looks beautiful and I’m really looking forward to giving it a try next time we’re in town.

Downtown Paso Robles Tasting Rooms

If you’re staying more in the downtown area of Paso Robles or can’t get a reservation at your preferred winery, there are some options for tasting rooms there as well. There’s even a Justin Winery tasting room!

After dinner one night, we wandered over to Indigene Cellars tasting room and did a tasting and had a great time. The owner, Raymond Smith is super friendly and has a very interesting story. I highly recommend this tasting room in downtown Paso Robles for some good wines and good conversation.


Paso Robles Restaurants

The Alchemists’ Garden

“Alchemy – a power or process of transforming something common into something special.” The Alchemists’ Garden definitely did not deliver anything short of spectacular.

The menus here are well thought out, unique and most importantly, really dang tasty! I wish we could have tried everything but alas, our stomachs are only so big. 

I highly recommend everything we ordered but my personal favorites were the bone marrow and the duck chalupa. Yes, you read that right. There’s a chalupa on the menu. It’s simply divine. 

I was honestly surprised Paso Robles had such a unique restaurant. This actually wasn’t the only one, Paso Robles’ food scene is popping! There are so many other restaurants I want to try next time we’re in the area.

Recommendations:

Croquettes of the Day (ours were sweet potato).

Cast Iron Fondue – melted mozzarella and raclette, soyrizo, cilantro, pepitas and crispy potato dippers.

Bone Marrow – Harris Ranch rosemary brined bone, cherry onion jam, chocolate and smoked sea salt.

Duck Chalupa – crispy pita, melted cheese, spicy slaw, sour cream, fresh herbs and duck carnitas.

Coffee Rubbed Skirt Steak – root vegetable smash, chimichurri and sweet potato threads.

Confetti Tiny Cake – vanilla cream cheese frosting and raspberry sorbet.

Bruleed Banana Split – salted caramel sauce, chocolate, peanut butter mousse, hazelnut ice cream and luxardo cherries.

Brunch

I’m all about restaurants having a specialty and Brunch does Brunch right! They have all your favorite dishes, definitely more breakfast-forward (which I prefer for brunch), made with local ingredients in a bright and airy atmosphere.

I highly recommend this restaurant for Brunch if you’re ever in the Paso Robles area!

Recommendations:

California Eggs Benedict – house made hollandaise and roasted potatoes.

Monte Cristo – French ham, turkey, Havarti, cheddar cheese, potato bread, bacon raspberry jam and potatoes.

Mimosa Flight – orange juice, guave juice, pineapple juice and strawberry lemonade.

Paso Market Walk

Paso Market Walk is a small market in downtown Paso Robles with several restaurants to choose from. I really like this concept as you can go with a group and everyone can get something from a different restaurant if you want. No need to try and figure out what you’re all craving when you can just walk into the market and have everything you need!

We tried the Momotaro Ramen which is probably one of the best ramens I’ve ever had. We also got a burger from Third Degree Grill which was delicious and then we finished it off with some cookies from Just Baked. Oh, and don’t forget to get a bottle of wine from The Wine Merchant!

Paso Robles Restaurant Wish List:

Fish Gaucho

I hear everyone rave about Fish Gaucho in downtown Paso Robles. I’m definitely headed here next time for some yummy Mexican food and margaritas! You know, when you need a small break from all the wine.

Les Petites Canailles

Are you as shocked as I am to find a French restaurant in central California?? Les Petites Canailles is definitely on my list for our next trip to Paso Robles. French farm-to-table bistro? Yes please!


Other Things to do in Paso Robles

Antique Shopping

Like a lot of other small towns in Central California, there are some great antique shopping possibilities. We stopped in at the Great American Antiques Mall and I was blown away at all the antiques they had. It was huge! Anything you can think of was in here and it was fun to walk around and look at all the goodies.

Sensorio Lights

Unfortunately, this beautiful light display was not open while we were in town. Good news is, they’re re-opening April 15th! You have until September 30, 2021 to go and see this magnificent field of lights. I really want to go see it so hopefully we can sneak a trip in before the end of September!


As I mentioned before, I was quite surprised how much fun I had during our road trip to Paso. I never knew central California to be much fun, but Paso Robles is definitely making a name for itself! I’ll definitely be back to try more wineries and restaurants. 

Tell me, if you’ve ever been to Paso what was your favorite thing you did? I’m always looking for ideas to add to my list for next time!

Thank you for reading!

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Related Posts:

San Diego to Carmel: A California Coast Road Trip

Weekend Road Trip to Paso Robles, California

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