San Luis Obispo County Weekend Getaway - Go Paso, Atascadero, Go SLO

Paso Robles Wine Country Getaway and other Attractions

San Luis Obisipo has grown, but not too fast. It now sports several thriving wine regions, one being Paso Robles wine country, which is ideal for aa  weekend getaway and romantic vacation.  Now that you've done Napa, Sonoma, Temecula and Santa Barbara County's Sideways, why not go Paso. It takes around three to four hours on a good day to get from L.A. or the Bay Area to Paso Robles (the pass of the oaks in Spanish), and when you arrive, it can be quite warm and sunny in the summer or cool in the winter. San Luis Obispo  (SLO) county of wineries, farms, valleys and mellow mountains is the closest thing the Central California Coast knows to four seasons living. Blocked by a range of mountains from the ocean breezes, the weather is especially conducive to growing grapes for wine.

Celebrity travelers know about Paso Robles, Atascadero and places you've maybe never heard of  because of the Mid-State Fair where recognized musicians perform each summer.  Actors and actresses passing through or just getting away have gravitated to the unassuming place that has a luxury hotel, Carlton in Atascadero, meeting their needs with its elegant bar and luxury sheets.  My sister and her former mate used to stay in Paso for romantic wine weekend  (or mid-week) getaways and I never really understood what she saw in the place. But after taking an agro-tour in which I went to a Green Acres Lavender Farm, Olea Farm where a superb olive oil is produced, and a drive through some of the over 80 wineries that range from farm house style productions to estates, I was in awe at the fabulous wine and farm produce that this region grows and makes.

WHERE: Atascadero is midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco along the Central California Coast. The city has several wineries of its own and is minutes away from wineries in Templeton and Paso Robles.

WHAT: The Paso Robles Wine Country is not as well-known as Napa, but coming on strong. In addition, San Luis Obispo County has great beaches and scenic seaside villages.

Located approximately 25 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in Central California, Paso Robles is half way between Los Angeles (230 miles south) and San Francisco (210 miles north) on Highway 101.  This inland region experiences greater contrasts in seasonal weather than its beach counterparts such as Cambria, Cayucos and San Simeon. Those who think beaches don't have seasons, prefer Paso Robles  with its warmer summers and cooler winters.  Grapes grown for wine thrive in the local climate and naturally occurring hot springs can't be beat for enjoyment and relaxation. Paso Robles is served by local Paso Robles Airport.

Colorful, well kept buildings in an historic downtown region, 20 wineries, two golf courses, horse stables, bed and breakfast inns, Lake Naciemento boating and fishing and the Paso Robles Fairgrounds are a few of the attractions bringing several million tourists to the region annually.  Once a year, the city of 20,000 residents bursts at its seams as people from far and wide gather for several weeks of competitions, entertainment and carnival rides at the Mid State Fair held in Paso Robles.  Top name entertainers who appear at the event know all about Paso Robles, this seemingly tiny spot on the map.  But what goes on the rest of the time?

Out of a dozen people visiting Paso Robles, we learned that the majority spent the night there.  Some passed through on Highway 101 and found this mid point between Los Angeles and San Francisco ideal for getting much needed sleep during their journeys between major cities.  Others considered Paso Robles their destination. Bed and breakfast inns offer quaint charm, a relaxing atmosphere and location near wineries where tasting is the number one sport.  While attending conferences, meetings and events, some explored historic buildings and antique shops while others golfed, road horses and enjoyed water sports at nearby Lake Naciemento. 

From wine grapes to hot springs...

Hot springs are sought out for their relaxing properties.  Paso Robles developed around local springs with Paso Robles Hot Springs Hotel built in 1864. Situated near an  artesian hot spring, the property attracted thousands who found the region's weather also to their liking.   The new Paso Robles Inn replaced this structure in 1906 and was built by the famous architect, W.H. Weeks. Over a million gallons per day of water were produced through the springs at a warm 106° F. The hotel became a world class resort and entertained many dignitaries including concert pianist Ignace Paderewski (who the city recognizes in an annual celebration) and the Pittsburgh Pirates who made the hotel their spring training home. Today, the hotel has been renovated and offers spectacular gardens and grounds.

Don't miss the charming Victorian homes along Vine Street...a spectacular sight during the holiday season. 

Mission San Miguel was founded in 1797. Many of its original decorations are still intact and the appearance is much the same as when it was first founded. Today it serves as a parish church. It is open to the public daily from 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

The Rios-Caledonia Adobe and the Estrella Adobe Church are designated state historical landmarks. Since 1860 the Rios-Caledonia Adobe has been used an Inn and Stage stop, as a private home and as an elementary school. The nearby Estrella Adobe church was the first Protestant church in Northern California. It was
built in early 1872.

The Call-Booth House Gallery is a Queen Anne style cottage built in 1893. It is also the home of the Paso Robles Art Association. It is located at 1315 Vine St., Paso Robles. It is open to the public from 11:00 AM -3:00 PM Wednesday through Sunday.

Camp Roberts, California is the headquarters of the California Army National Guard . The community is invited to tour two military museums which house an extensive collection of military vehicles and artifacts from World War II, Korea and Desert Storm. Camp Roberts Historical Museum is open to the public Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Groups are encouraged to schedule special visits on other days by just calling (805) 238-8288 or (805) 237-0819.  Entrance is through the Main Gate off Hwy. 101, with proof of registration and insurance required for a visitor's pass. 

Carnegie Historic Library opened June 19, 1908 800 Twelfth Street Paso Robles, CA 93446 Served as a public library from 1908 to 1998  Currently a museum, architectural style: Classical Revival (Type B) architect: W. H. Weeks

The Estrella Warbirds Museum's primary goal is to preserve, perpetuate, and display American aviation history, especially that of our nation's military services.

Lake Nacimiento Resort   10625 Nacimiento Lake Drive Bradley, CA.  93426 Phone: 1-800-323-3839    
805-238-3256 Ext. 1

Blue Sky Adventures  (Sky Diving) 4990 Wing Way #B-2  Paso Robles, CA 93446 805-239-3483
Charles Paddock Zoo  9305 Pismo  Atascadero, CA 93422 805-461-5083
Paso Robles Mains Street Association Events

The El Paso de Robles Area Pioneer Museum, 2010 Riverside  Donations  P.O. Box 461, Paso Robles, CA 93447, or call (805) 238-0506.  Artifacts from the early Indian settlements, vintage farm and ranching equipment, Paderewski memorabilia, items from early day schools.