Paso Robles is beautiful wine country that is set between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The rolling hills, minimal crowds, and perfect weather makes this the perfect spot for wine tasting!
In this Paso Robles itinerary I will share what to pack, where to stay, where Paso Robles is located, and of course, the best wineries in Paso Robles! This region of California is known for their Zinfandel, which is a lighter & sweeter red wine. If you have the opportunity to travel to Paso in March, make sure you book tickets to their annual ZinFest!
TIP: Don’t be that dumb tourist that everyone makes fun of and say Paso Robles wrong! Most people want to say Paso Robles with a Spanish “roll of the tongue,” but it is pronounced Paso “Row-Buls!” If you still have no clue that right way to say it, just call it Paso, that’s what the locals do anyway!
I’ve been wine tasting in many places (Napa, Willamette, Temecula, and the Champagne Region of France to name a few), and I can honestly say Paso was one of my favorites! My best description would be a perfect mix of Napa and Willamette Valley – excellent quality wine, but very spread out with minimal crowds.
Okay, time to get into the guide!
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Paso Robles Itinerary Overview
Day 1: Fly and/or drive to Paso Robles, check into the hotel and explore the quaint town of downtown Paso!
Day 2: Paso Robles Wine Tasting
Day 3: Spend the morning in the hot springs before your travel home
Where is Paso Robles?
Paso Robles is located in central California, between San Francisco and Los Angeles. To get there, you will need to fly into a nearby airport and then either rent a car to drive the remainder of the way or take an Uber / Lyft. The closest airport is San Luis Obispo, which is around 35 miles or 45 minutes away.
If you plan to do a lot of wine tasting while in Paso Robles, you probably won’t need to rent a car. It would be best to just take an Uber / Lyft, which will cost you ROUGHLY $75 each way.
TIP: Make sure you don’t fly in during rush hour traffic. If you are taking an Uber/Lyft, the traffic could end up doubling the cost of your ride!
What to Pack for Summer in Paso Robles?
I keep a list of all my summer essentials and favorite finds on this guide here. I am constantly updated it after every warm destination – tried, true & tested! Also, I have a list of my 10 travel essentials I can’t live without, you can read those here!
My top 3 recommendations for this itinerary are:
Is it just me or does wine give the WORST hangover?! All the sugar and sunshine will surely sneak up on you and make you hate yourself the next day! I take these babies on every vacation that involves drinking (wait, so like.. every vacation!?) and they have saved my life time and time again. Click here to check them out!
Is it just me or are hats a MUST when wine tasting?! This hat is one I’m obsessed with and comes in every color you could ever need! Click here to see the color options!
Paso Robles Itinerary
Day 1: Travel Day
Like I said previously, the first day will be a relatively long travel day! Paso Robles does not have a major airport in the city, so even if you fly, you will still have to drive at least one hour before arriving at your hotel. I would recommend staying either in downtown Paso Robles (where all the shops & restaurants are) or in an Airbnb closer to the vineyards.
If you don’t have a rental car, it will probably be best to stay in downtown since there is very little service to call an Uber / Lyft in the vineyards. You might be stuck ordering takeout delivery if you can’t connect with an Uber! If you do have a rental car, I really recommend staying in an Airbnb so you can soak in the beautiful views of Paso Robles Wine Country!
Once you check in, head out to dinner in the adorable downtown area that looks like an episode of Gilmore Girls! This town is extremely small and most of the good restaurants will require a reservation. Make sure you call the morning of your arrival to request a reservation!
TIP: Stop at a grocery store on your way home to pick up some champagne and muffins for breakfast! You will want to make sure you fill your belly before all that wine 🙂
Day 2: Wine Tasting!
Some tips before you start your day wine tasting:
- There is very little service in Paso Robles and you can not depend on Uber / Lyft to get you around.
- If you plan to drink without a DD (which, don’t), sign up for a tour instead! There are millions of options ranging from private tours to large party bus tours! Click here to browse tour options.
- Some Airbnbs will partner with local drivers or tour companies to take you wine tasting! Email them before your trip to see if they have anyone.
TIP: Don’t depend on Uber / Lyft to take you from winery to winery. Paso Robles is very spread out with minimal service.
Stop 1: Halter Ranch
Halter Ranch is a well-known winery with a beautiful tasting room of floor to ceiling windows. They offer a free tour of the winery as long as you schedule in advance. The story of the owner is truly impressive – I encourage you to check it out!
Good Lighting with floor to ceiling windows too, ha!
Stop 2: Lunch at Justin
After the raving reviews of lunch at Justin, we decided to do a wine-paired lunch on the patio that overlooks the vineyard. Justin has always been one of my favorite wines so I was eager to visit! Plus, wine always tastes that much better when you are at a tasting looking over vineyards, ha!
After our lunch, we grabbed our favorite glass of the three and sat out on their patio that is literally on the vineyards!
TIP: They also have a hotel at Justin so you can wake up and waste no time not drinking wine, ha!
Stop 3: Dilecta
Our last stop was to a smaller, family owned winery: Dilecta. It was a smaller winery with an outside tasting deck. I always love to end with the lesser known wineries because they always treat you the best! We got to meet the owner and his daughter and of course, their adorable winery dog! This place was PACKED – I see big things in the future for them!
Day 3: Hot Springs + Travel Home
Finally… the day I was waiting, what felt like years, for! We got to pick up our little baby, Rosie! Having an adorable sleeping puppy on my lap made the 6 hour drive home more than bearable.
My little baby is all grown up!