"Will You Take Us to Paso Robles?"

Barn and vineyard

A tour of Paso Robles wine country?

We can understand why our friends ask us that question.

They can feel our enthusiasm as we tell them about our latest Paso Robles adventure. They can see our smiles as we describe this land of vineyards and quiet, pastoral countryside.

Their eyes open a little wider when we tell them aboutthe restaurants, shops and wine tasting in the historic Downtown district ...

... and the heart of Downtown, a tree-shaded city park that's a gathering place on balmy summer evenings, and a favorite venue for concerts and festivals

Park Street on a May evening, Paso Robles
Park Street on a May evening

We tell our friends about other small towns scattered in the countryside ...

... and back roads that wind beneath the shade of spreading oaks and then emerge into broad, lupine-colored meadows.

Of course, our friends delight in our stories of the wineries we visited, and the many others we plan to visit.

And, by the way, visiting every one of the area's 170 wineries is no small matter.

You'll find a range of wines -- from classic French winemaking to robust, lusty zinfandels. And then there are the rhone and Italian varietals -- not to mention cabernet sauvignons, pinot noirs and chardonnays.

And yet, the wine trails are uncrowded, the wineries friendly and unpretentious. It's as though Central Coast wine country hasn't yet been discovered. And in many good ways, it hasn't.

At Arroyo Robles Winery
At Arroyo Robles Winery

Of course, when our friends ask us to show them the area, we could simply point the way south. But we'd miss a lot of fun.

We'd miss the fun of showing them what we've found.

So now we're going to show you Paso Robles ... not only our favorites, but new things we discover on upcoming trips. Such as ...

  • Back roads -- our favorite country drives.

  • Hotels that make us want to come back again and again.

  • Delicious dining out, as well as ...

  • Some great cheap eats.

  • The enchanting Cambria coast.

  • And, of course, the wineries!

On Chimney Rock Road
On Chimney Rock Road

Oh, one other thing. You know, it's amazing how many celebrities and artists have visited over the years to rest and soak in the hot springs. We'll talk a little about them, too.

But in the meantime, it's time to start our adventure. Remember - leave room in your trunk to bring home some Paso Robles wine, Paso Robles olive oil, and other goodies as well. Expect to eat well while you're there. Don't forget your camera, and pack swim wear for the hot tub. And even if it's summer, bring something warm for the evenings, when cooling sea breezes arrive through the Templeton Gap.

And be prepared to be flexible. Who knows? You might want to stay an extra day ...

Or more.