Paso Robles can be found in the northern half of San Luis Obispo County along Highway 101 in California, approximately 30 miles north of the city of San Luis Obispo. As the second largest city in the county in both size and population, this is a little piece of wine country paradise. There are over 200 wineries to explore just in the Paso Robles Wine Region, which spans over eleven sub-regions covering the cities in the northern half of the county. In addition to all the wonderful wineries, Paso Robles offers incredible fine dining, beautiful hikes, and beaches only 30 minutes west. Next time you head to SLO County make sure to plan a stop in Paso Robles and enjoy all the fun, food, and wine the city has to offer.
Paso Robles is the second largest city in the county with a population of 30,504 as of the 2010 census, or 11% of the total population of the county. The median age of residents holds true for Paso Robles just like for the county at 39.3 years, with approximately 20% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. The vast majority of residents are involved in the wine industry, whether directly as an owner or employee of a vineyard, or indirectly through the peripheral services that support the industry, such as restaurants, wine tasting tours, and hotels.
Most Known For
Paso Robles is most well known for their wineries; with over 200 in the area it’s hard to remember there is anything else to do! But this incredible town offers much, much more, including world renowned breweries, restaurants, live music, festivals, and events. Below are just a few of the most popular attractions that keep us coming back to the area again and again.
Wine tasting is a must if you find yourself in Paso Robles. With over 200 wineries, the Paso Robles AVA has an incredible amount of varietals to explore, and each of the 11 sub-regions bring their own flavor and culture to the overall AVA. Be ready to spend the day driving through rolling green hills to beautiful vineyards with breathtaking views, and enjoy everything Paso’s wine country has to offer.
Paso Robles is also home to Firestone Walker, one of the most popular breweries on the Central Coast.
Their signature 805 beer is synonymous with SLO county, and their flagship brewery has been located here from the very beginning.
These days visitors and locals alike can visit the brewery for a pouring of their favorite beer on tap, try some delicious food from the restaurant, take a tour of the newly renovated brewery, and stop at the gift shop for all the 805 and Firestone Walker swag they can buy.
The brewery also hosts several events throughout the year, including two of our favorites: From the Barrel, a 1920’s inspired event celebrating the end of prohibition, and their signature Invitational Beer Fest held every summer and showcases beers from around the world with live music and great food to go along with your perfect day.
A recent addition to Paso Robles is Tin City, a former warehouse district quickly turning into one of the funnest new areas for visitors and locals alike.
Today there are wine bars, a cider house, a brewery, restaurant, and an ice cream parlor that call Tin City home, and you can often find live music, food trucks, a friendly face, and an open corn hole game everywhere you go.
This is a perfect stop after a day at the wineries to enjoy some great music, delicious food, and a whole different side of drinks crafted right here on the Central Coast.
Vina Robles Amphitheater
In 2013 Vina Robles Winery opened their Amphitheater, and has been bringing some of the biggest names to the Paso Robles ever since. In 2019 alone we will see musicians Willie Nelson, ZZ Top, and Earth Wind, and Fire, and Comedian like Nick Offerman all grace the stage in one of the most beautiful venues on the central coast. There is nothing like enjoying an incredible glass of wine with good food on the grass of the amphitheater, watching the sunset while you wait for the show to begin.
There are over 200 wineries in the collective Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (AVA), an area that spans eleven subregions from San Miguel to Santa Margarita. Several of the subregions overlap with the city limits of Paso Robles, but all are easily accessible giving locals and visitors alike a wide variety of options for incredible wine tasting experiences. The wine regions in the Paso Robles AVA include:
San Miguel District
The San Miguel District is located in the northernmost most part of the Paso Robles AVA, and is home to 11 vineyards on approximately 1,900 acres. The most common grape varietals grown here are Zinfandel and Grenache, which locals and visitors can enjoy at many of the tasting rooms in the San Miguel District.
Paso Robles Estrella District
The Paso Robles Estrella District is one of the largest regions in the Paso Robles AVA. Home to 60 vineyards on almost 10,000 acres, the wineries in this region are mostly known for their Cabernet Sauvignons with a smaller focus on the Merlots, Petite Sirahs, Syrahs, and Zinfandels they also produce.
The Adelaida District is directly west of the city of Paso Robles, and is home to 42 vineyards on approximately 1,400 acres. This region is also known primarily for their Cabernet Sauvignons, but also boasts incredible Syrahs, Grenaches, Mourvedres, Zinfandels, Petit Verdots, and Pinot Noirs.
Paso Robles Geneseo District
The Paso Robles Geneseo District is located to the east of Paso Robles along Highway 46 East, and is home to 22 vineyards on a little over 4,000 acres. This region is also known for their Cabernet Sauvignons, but also produces incredible Merlots and Syrahs.
San Juan Creek District
The San Juan Creek wine region is the one of the smallest wine regions in the Paso Robles AVA. Located east of Paso Robles near Shandon, the San Juan Creek region is home to five vineyards on approximately 2,600 acres. The most popular varietals in this region include Cabernet, Syrah, and Petite Sirah.
Paso Robles Willow Creek District
The Paso Robles Willow Creek District is located to the southwest of Paso Robles, and is home to 39 vineyards on approximately 1,200 acres. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel are the three most popular varietals grown in this region, with Chardonnay, Viognier, Grenache, and Pinot Noir all a close second.
Templeton Gap District
The Templeton Gap District is located in the city of Templeton (just south of Paso Robles), and is home to 23 wineries on approximately 841 acres in the Paso Robles AVA. The vineyards of the Templeton Gap District are most known for Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Syrah varietals, but are also gaining popularity for their Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Merlots.
El Pomar District
The El Pomar District is located to the southeast of the city of Paso Robles, between Highways 41 and 46 east. This region is home to 26 vineyards on approximately 2,600 acres, with its Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, and Syrahs the most popular varietals grown.
The Creston District is located southeast of the city of Paso Robles, closer to Creston and Atascadero. This region is home to 22 vineyards on approximately 1,500 acres, and is mostly known for the cabernet sauvignon varietals grown here.
Paso Robles Highlands District
The Paso Robles Highlands District is located in the farthest southeast corner of the Paso Robles AVA, near the towns of Shandon and Wilson Corner. This region is home to two vineyards on a little over 2,000 acres, and mainly produces Chardonnay, Merlot, Muscat Blanc, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah varietals.
Santa Margarita Ranch District
The Santa Margarita Ranch region is located in the southernmost part of the Paso Robles AVA, near the town of Santa Margarita. Home to one vineyard on 811 acres, this is the smallest region, and primarily produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay varietals.
Visit our wineries pages to learn more about the regions and vineyards that make up the Paso Robles AVA, and all the tasting rooms you can visit to enjoy the incredible wines of northern SLO County.
There are three main food centers in Paso Robles: Downtown; Tin City & Firestone Walker; and the Highway 46 / Highway 101 Junction. Downtown is where you will find the majority of the restaurants, and offers incredible dining options to choose from; Tin City and Firestone Walker celebrate the other side of brewing with local breweries and a cider house; and the Highway 46 / Highway 101 Junction offers everything from a quick and delicious local burger and pizza to fine dining at a nearby winery.
The majority of restaurants in Paso Robles can be found downtown around City Park, an area that reflects the city’s love of great food and drinks crafted in the region. Restaurants of all varieties line the streets, and locals and visitors alike can enjoy foods from around the world with the incredible wines, beers, and ciders made right here on the Central Coast.
Firestone Walker & Tin City
Firestone Walker and Tin City are both located on the southern edge of Paso Robles, and is where you will find some of the best local crafted beers and ciders.
Visitors and locals alike can visit Firestone Walker’s flagship brewery restaurant and taproom for great food with incredible beers, take a brewery tour, and visit the brand new gift shop.
Tin City is home to a collection of wine bars, a brewery, cider house, new restaurants, and ice cream parlor all within walking distance of one another. You will often find live music, food trucks, and lots of fun, friendly faces at Tin City making it a must on your stop through Paso Robles.
Highway 46 / High 101 Junction
The Highway 46 / Highway 101 Junction is just north of downtown Paso Robles, and is home to some great restaurants like San Antonio Winery (American); Su Casa Bar and Grill (Mexican); and Paradise Grill (Steakhouse).
There is rarely a lack of things to do and see in Paso Robles, especially during the long summer months we enjoy in north SLO County. Paso is home to hundreds of events celebrating the incredible food, wine, beer, and cider crafted in this region, and also has some of the best venues to host musicians, comedians, and other popular acts.
Many of the wineries host smaller, family friendly events throughout the summer. You can often find live music on the weekends with a food truck that perfectly compliments their wines, and plenty of space to sit and relax with the family on a perfect sunny day in SLO County.
Vina Robles Amphitheater
Every year Vina Robles Amphitheater brings some of the best and biggest names in music and comedy to the area in one of the most beautiful locations in all of SLO County.
The amphitheater has views of the vineyards below, and you can sit on the lawn, enjoy a glass of wine, eat great food, and watch the sunset all before the show begins.
Paso Robles Event Center
The Paso Robles Event Center is home to some of the largest events in the county, like the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival every June, and the Mid State Fair in July.
The venue can hold thousands of people, has ample parking right across the street, and has the ability to host everything from trade shows to beer festivals and big concerts all year long.
Tin City is home to Barrelhouse Brewery and Tin City Cider, who both often host live music and food trucks for everyone to enjoy.
Their large outdoor seating areas are the perfect spot to grab a beer or cider, play a couple rounds of corn hole, and listen to some of the best local bands on the central coast.
City Park in Downtown Paso Robles is home to several free, family friendly events throughout the year like the annual Wine, Olive, Honey, and Lavender festivals.
There are also summer concerts in the park, art and wine nights, and a weekly farmers market to enjoy throughout the year.
With all the wineries in Paso Robles it would be fair to think that is the only way to have fun. Luckily for all of us there are so many more ways to enjoy Paso Robles, from the Ravine Water Park to the River Oak Hot Springs, and the Estrella Warbird and Children’s Museums. There are also hiking trails, and the beach is a short half-hour drive along scenic Highway 46 West.
The Ravine is a family friendly water park located on Highway 46 East.
With the hot summer days in north SLO County this is a fantastic place to come relax in your own cabana and leisurely float down Kickback Kreek. There are lots of slides to get the blood pumping too, and a tadpool pond for the young ones to have fun in the sun.
River Oaks Hot Springs & Spa
If you are looking for a way to truly relax and enjoy wine country then the River Oaks Hot Springs are a must on your stop through SLO County. The hot springs are naturally heated, and the water contains restorative properties like sulfur that enhance your experience at the spa. You can soak in one of the private indoor or outdoor tubs for an hour at a time, or before indulging in a massage, wrap, facial, or waxing. A relaxing piece of paradise, indeed!
The Salinas River runs through the heart of Paso Robles, and offers several hiking trails that showcase the beautiful waterway that cuts through SLO County.
The Charolais Trail, Salinas River Trail at Lawrence Moore Park, Navajo to Larry Moore Park Trail, and River Walk Trail all highlight different parts of the Salinas River giving visitors and locals alike a totally different view of the beauty of Paso Robles.
The California Mid-State Fair takes place every July in Paso Robles, and is one of the big events of the year.
The fair always draws major acts, like musicians Garth Brooks, John Mayer, and Lionel Richie, and comedian Gabriel Iglesia.
You can also find all the delicious fair food, fun rides, summer drinks, and vendors during the two-week event celebrating everything fabulous about the area.
There are two primary museums in Paso Robles: the Estrella Warbirds Museum and the Children’s Museum.
The Estrella Warbirds Museum is located near the airport in Paso Robles, and is home to military artifacts, aircraft, and memorabilia, as well as the Woodland Auto Display Monday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Children’s Museum is located in the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse on 13th street with a mission to “engage children in a joyful learn-through play environment…”, and is open Sunday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sensorio is a new destination in Paso Robles that opened in May 2019 with their first art installation, Field of Light. The vision of world renowned artist Bruce Munro, Field of Light is constructed of thousands of spheres brilliantly lit at night against the backdrop of Paso Robles wine country. Sensorio has future plans for additional art installations and buildings, including a hotel and conference center, with an expected opening in 2021.
There are many different places to stay when visiting Paso Robles; whether you are here for business, fun, or a combination of both, there are hotels, resorts, and boutique hotels making your stay that much more memorable.
The Paso Robles Inn in Downtown Paso for example boasts beautiful rooms with luxurious amenities, and is within walking distance of some of the best food Paso has to offer; Allegretto Vineyard Resort will give you the best mediterranean-inspired wine country getaway of a lifetime; and The Trailer Pond at Alta Colina Winery is one of the cutest, most unique lodging experiences this incredible city has to offer.