Passing through Paso Robles (known simply as “Paso” to the locals) and wondering what to do? For a slice of small town America, Paso offers a surprising number of activities, and has a rich history.
Paso Robles qualifies as California’s oldest watering place. The Natives knew it as a place of healing springs, and its springs and mud baths were well known by the 1860s, when people were already coming from neighboring states to “take the waters.” The town grew up around the former Paso de Robles Mexican land grant, and was centered around the springs at 10th and Spring St. Since the 1890s, Paso has been known as a spa resort, and the Paso Robles Inn still offers mineral baths, now in private spa suites.
One of the favorite activities enjoyed by visitors to the area is wine tours. Many tours are available, often with personalized pick-up and drop-off at your hotel. Not only do you not have to worry about driving, if you’ve tasted a little too much, but it’s a great way to learn more about the wineries and local wine industry. Also, with so many wineries in the region, it’s hard to choose which ones to visit. Just pick a tour and let your guide deliver you to the door of their personally recommended wineries! The top contenders include The Grapeline, Wine Wrangler, and Breakaway Tours. The Grapeline is a visitor favorite, receiving rave reviews from various online sites. Breakaway also offers an exclusive “wine insider” tour, which includes barrel tastings and other special features for the wine connoisseur. If you want a tour where you can just “hop on” and “hop off” at the wineries that interest you, try “The Wine Line.”
Or maybe you’re not so ambitious, and you’d rather just savor a laid-back day of good food and wine? Try doing a walking tour of downtown Paso Robles. More than a dozen tasting rooms grace the old Downtown area, within blocks of its historic City Park. In the historic Downtown area, you can also sample olive oils from local growers, or taste exotic cheeses from one of the gourmet cheese shops. Grab a picnic lunch to go and have a great time in the City Park!
Interested in the local history? Check out the Pioneer Museum, which offers written and visual displays documenting the history of the town and the area. Also, the Carnegie Library building, in the Paso Robles City Park, houses the Paso Robles Historical Society, and offers displays in the upstairs, including local history and photos, as well as historical research archives. If you travel north of town, don’t miss Mission San Miguel and the Rios Caladonia Adobe, California Historical Landmark No. 936. The Adobe was an old stagecoach stop adjacent to the Mission, and is now operated by the San Luis Obispo County Parks Dept. Its landscaped grounds around the restored adobe buildings are suitable for picnics, with historical exhibits inside. The Mission San Miguel is currently under restoration, having been damaged by the 2003 earthquake, but has recently reopened to welcome you to explore its church and convent buildings. Restoration of this “gem of the California Missions,” known for its beautiful frescos, is ongoing, and your donations can help keep its history alive.
Want some out-of-the ordinary fun for the whole family? The Estrella Warbird Museum, located at the Paso Robles Airport, off Highway 46 East, offers both planes and cars. Their collection includes not just antique military aircraft, but also racecars from all eras. They are open Friday, Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, and Sundays 12 noon to 4 pm.
The Grapeline Paso Robles
212 Alexa Court
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Tel: 888 894-6379
Fax: 951 693-0274
Wine Wrangler Day Tours
800 Pine Street
Suite 101 Paso Robles, CA 93446
Breakaway Tours and Event Planning
Paso Robles Office
179 Niblick Road, Suite 250 | Paso Robles | CA 93446
805.783.2929 | 800.799.7657 | f. 805.489.1108
Paso Robles Inn
1103 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Toll-Free 800-676-1713 Local 805-238-2660
Estrella Warbirds Museum
4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Mission San Miguel
Phone: (805) 467-3256
775 Mission St
San Miguel, CA 93451
Rios Caledonia Adobe
700 S. Mission Street
San Miguel, California