20 Things To Do In Paso Robles

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Paso Robles is a small town in name and character: from the charming cafes to the sprawling vineyards to the glistening sunset views, Paso Robles is full of vibrance and warmth. Despite having a population of 31,000, there is no shortage of places to see and things to do in Paso Robles.

Rich in culture and history, the sun-soaked hills of Paso Robles are perfect for a laid-back vacation or getaway. With fine dining and excellent entertainment, here is a list of the top spots you’ll want to hit on your next trip to Paso Robles.

Paso Robles, California

20 Things To Do In Paso Robles

paso robles wine country
Going wine tasting is one of the things to do near Paso Robles.

1- See The Sensorio Light Show

Created by visual artist Bruce Munro, Sensorio is an impressive art installation that brings in groups of tourists from far and wide.

This 15-acre (6 ha) light display is a complete experience with live music, food and drink, and a VIP Terrace Experience that provides privacy and a panoramic view of the Field of Lights.

Rated #6 in The New York Times’s “50 Places to Visit”, the Sensorio Light Show is a must-see, truly dazzling display across the rolling hills of Paso Robles.

Sensorio Field of Lights is at 4380 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA 93446

2- Catch Some Air With Balloons Over Paso

things to do in paso robles in april
A fun thing to do in Paso Robles is to take a flight in a hot air balloon.

Balloons Over Paso is a small, locally owned business hosting hot air balloon flights with stunning views of the Paso Robles landscape and sunrise.

The flight is about one hour of in-air time as your experienced pilot lets you go where the wind takes you; after touchdown, you celebrate with a champagne toast and an assortment of breakfast items.

Balloons Over Paso will pre-arrange a starting point with you, depending on the weather and climate at the time of your balloon flight.

This flight can be booked as a duo or group experience and is a unique perspective for breathtaking views from mountain ranges to the Pacific Ocean.

3- Soak And Sip At River Oaks Hot Springs

Nestled in the vineyards of Paso Robles lie an array of mineral hot springs for your soaking and rejuvenating pleasure.

River Oaks Hot Springs offer a variety of spa packages; one of the most popular is a luxury soaking experience paired with a flight of two-ounce wine tastings.

River Oaks Hot Springs is conveniently located on the North East side of Paso Robles, only a short distance from the bustling downtown plaza and many of the more popular luxury hotels.

Perfect for a solo retreat to relax and unwind; a romantic package with your partner or a social outing with friends new and old.

River Oaks Hot Springs spa is at 800 Clubhouse Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

4- Stroll The Streets of Downtown Paso Robles

A mixture of small-town charm and the scents of wine country greet you the moment you step foot into the easily walkable heart of Paso Robles.

Whether you’re looking to sip on a seasonal latte, peruse the racks at a trendy boutique, or stop by a craft brewery for a cold one, downtown is the place to be.

With the City Park right in the centre of downtown, there is bound to be an event that strikes your interest: from Farmer’s Market to Art in the Park, to the local Olive Festival. Check out this walking history tour.

5- Get Your Cowboy On At The Midstate Fair

Paso Robles has hosted the California Mid-State Fair since 1946, and if you’re in town during the summer months of July or August, this is an event you won’t want to miss!

Break out your cowboy boots and freshen up your dance moves, and you’re ready to embark on a hot night out at the fair.

The fair is a great way to mingle with acquaintances and check out local vendors and samples from town businesses while enjoying a drink or two.

The California Mid-State Fair is at 2198 Riverside Ave, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

6- Sample Wine At The Daou Family Estate

paso robles wine country
Going wine tasting is one of the things to do near Paso Robles.

Daou Vineyards is home to some of the best and most acclaimed wines in Paso Robles, having received accolades from well-renowned wine critics and locals alike.

Daou is a family company; these values are evident when visiting their picturesque winery and being treated by their quality staff.

The vineyards at Daou can be overlooked from a patio on the estate, where you can reserve a tasting complete with charcuterie and sophisticated conversation; no day spent wine tasting could be spent at a location more memorable than Daou.

The Daou Family Estate is at 2777 Hidden Mountain Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446. You may like this wine tour.

7- Head Up The Coast To Visit Big Sur

unusual things to do in paso robles
Cruising along the Big Sur coast is one of the things to do from Paso Robles.

Big Sur is known for its cliffside views of the coast, and excellent camping and hiking trails for all experience levels.

A drive through the winding terrain of Big Sur, with stops for coffee and lunch at a coastal cafe of your choice, is bound to bring out the nature lover in anybody.

Big Sur is a 104-mile (167 km) drive from Paso Robles but with coastal views the whole way, it is worth the excursion.

8- Participate In Olive Oil Tasting At WeOlive

WeOlive opened its first location in Paso Robles in 2003 and has since expanded widely across the United States, a success story with a home base in Paso Robles.

WeOlive is known for olive oil tastings and wine pairings, and many of its locations double as a wine bar.

If you are new to olive oil tasting or have never paired olive oil and wine before, the staff at WeOlive are passionate and friendly and happy to share their fine olive oils with any and all new faces.

WeOlive is located at 1311 Park St, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

9- Explore Craft Breweries At Tin City

Tin City is a must-see stop in Paso Robles; an assortment of industrial-esque buildings all in a walkable district of good drinks and good eats.

Tin City Cider Co and BarrelHouse Brewing Co are among the two most popular, and it’s easy to visit both in one trip as you walk from one to another and enjoy what each has to offer.

From lawn games to live music to highly praised food trucks, there is no shortage of entertainment while strolling the enclave that is Tin City.

Tin City is at 450 Marquita Ave, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

10- Catch A Concert At Vina Robles Amphitheatre

things to do in paso robles ca area
Catching a concert is one of the fun things to do in Paso Robles.

Vina Robles Amphitheatre opened in Paso Robles in 2013 and has hosted many live events drawing crowds from near and far.

This spacious venue is outdoors on a sprawling hillside and can seat over 3300, often hosting acts by well-known comedians, musicians and celebrities.

During the summer season, Vina Robles hosts new events every week, and your interest is sure to be piqued by one of the many acts.

Vina Robles Amphitheatre is at 3800 Mill Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

11- See Historical Landmarks At Mission San Miguel Arcangel

things to do in paso robles california
Exploring San Miguel is one of the things to do in Paso Robles for history lovers.

Mission San Miguel was named a National Historic Landmark and was founded in 1797, with most of the structures being built between 1816 and 1821.

The interior wall paintings have never been repainted, and you can visit Mission San Miguel for a self-guided tour of the spot’s history.

Mission San Miguel is located in the small town of San Miguel, a 10-minute drive away. 

Mission San Miguel is at 775 Mission St, San Miguel, CA 93451.

12- Go For A Swim At Lake Nacimiento

things to do in paso robles
One of the things to do near Paso Robles is to visit Lake Nacimiento.

Lake Nacimiento spans 18 miles (29 km) of water and is a popular destination for boating, water sports and similar outdoor activities.

Lake Nacimiento is home to a popular resort and dining area, as well as many campsites and RV hookups for those who prefer to vacation on a budget.

With fishing and boating rentals available on-site, the lake is a perfect destination for relaxation or sporting among beautiful coves and warm water.

Lake Nacimiento is at 10625 Nacimiento Lake Dr, Bradley, CA 93426

13- Photograph The Wildflower Super Bloom At Carrizo Plains

Carrizo Plain National Monument is the place to admire breathtaking views, one of which has been coined the “super bloom” due to the expansive amount of wildflowers that paint the hills.

Many tourists flock to this spot for photography, videography, or to get a glimpse of the vegetation and enjoy the wonders of nature.

The “super bloom” typically occurs in April and May, and is located 65 miles (104 km) from Paso Robles.

Carrizo Plain National Monument is at 17495 Soda Lake Rd, Santa Margarita, CA 93453.

14- Enjoy The Rooftop Bar At The Piccolo

things to do in paso robles at night
Drinking cocktails is one of the fun things to do in Paso Robles at night.

The Piccolo is a boutique hotel in downtown Paso Robles featuring a champagne vending machine and Paso Robles’s only rooftop bar.

Open to guests of the luxury hotel, as well as to locals, Tetto at The Piccolo is a dreamy rooftop bar experience with dazzling views and sparkling service.

Absorb the quintessential wine country experience in this classy setting and you’ll be sure to leave fully satisfied.

The Piccolo is at 600 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

15- Be Transported Back In Time At Eleven Twenty-Two Speakeasy

things to do in paso robles area
Sipping cocktails in a speakeasy is another fun thing to do in Paso Robles.

Eleven Twenty-Two Speakeasy & Cocktail Lounge is more than just the perfect setting for a couple of drinks.

It’s a full-fledged Prohibition-era-themed experience with cocktail recipes from the 20s and vintage music.

You can only get into Eleven Twenty-Two through a hidden backdoor entrance; from there, you are told the “rules” in a dimly lit room, and your phone is confiscated for the remainder of your time here.

Once inside, Eleven Twenty-Two provides an elevated cocktail experience; they also host mixologist classes during their closed hours and take you behind the bar so you can learn to replicate the speakeasy experience yourself.

Eleven Twenty-Two is at 1122 Pine St, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

16- Hike To A View At Cerro Alto

things to do in paso robles ca
Going hiking in Los Padres National Forest is one of the best things to do near Paso Robles for active travellers.

Cerro Alto is a popular scenic hike through Los Padres National Forest, with expansive views of volcanic summits and the romantic coastline.

The trailhead begins at an easily accessible campground 23 miles (37 km) from Paso Robles.

You can take multiple routes for a longer or shorter hiking experience.

Cerro Alto is most well-known for the stunning panoramic views from the top and the ferns and oak trees that surround you for most of the trek.

Cerro Alto is at 13745 Cerro Alto Rd, Atascadero, CA 93422.

17- Start The Day Right At Spearhead Coffee

best things to do in paso robles
Going in search of the best coffee is one of the things to do in Paso Robles.

Established by three local coffee artisans in 2014, Spearhead Coffee has been a well-loved pinnacle of the Paso Robles community since its launch.

With an eclectic menu of espresso drinks, in-house pastries baked daily and coffee beans roasted with care in full view of the customer, one is left wanting nothing except, perhaps, to take another drink to go.

Spearhead Coffee is aesthetically pleasing with natural light, a wide open interior and featuring artwork from local artists for you to peruse with a latte in hand.

Spearhead Coffee is at 619 12th St, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

18- Horseback Riding At Cass Winery

Cass Winery is located comfortably in the hills of Paso Robles and is home to a unique mixture of world-class wines, stunning sights and mouth-watering food from their Cass cafe.

Cass Winery also hosts various appealing events, from private luncheons to sidecar tours to horseback riding through the vineyards.

This hour-long horseback expedition is available for those with or without experience, and it’s a great way to take in all that Cass Winery has to offer from a unique perspective.

Cass Winery is at 7350 Linne Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

19- Browse The Estrella Warbird Museum

The Estrella Warbird Museum has been a staple of Paso Robles for more than thirty years, as it has expanded from a small restoration hangar to today’s aviation museum full of military aircraft, artifacts and memorabilia.

Not only an interesting museum to browse, the Estrella Warbird Museum also hosts a reservation-only flight simulator, where you can get the opportunity to fly while sitting in the cockpit of a naval fighter.

This museum is both of historical interest but is also an experience difficult to replicate, so you will want to stop by while visiting Paso Robles.

The Estrella Warbird Museum is at 4251 Dry Creek Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

20- Take A Walk Through The Central Coast Lavender Farm

free things to do in paso robles
Visiting a lavender farm is one of the relaxing things to do in Paso Robles.

The Central Coast Lavender Farm is an organic lavender farm open for private tours and self-guided walkthroughs.

The farm is something out of a fairytale; the purple hues of the lavender and the aromas in the air are serene and calming.

You’ll get to see the beautiful sights at the farm and everyone there will greet you with a friendly expression and show you everything they know about lavender and its many uses.

The Central Coast Lavender Farm is at 6630 N Star Ln, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

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Layla Hughes is a freelance writer and lover of travel, who is currently preparing to live the digital nomad lifestyle and see the US, Canada and Mexico through the windows of a converted camper van. She grew up on the Central Coast of California and attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where she worked on the study abroad committee and studied English. Her favourite travel destination is North Carolina, where she is considering settling down after her thirst for travel is satisfied.