The Ultimate Paso Robles Getaway

Paso Robles (stock photo)

Driving through open roads and green rolling hills, I see the fog break through to sunnier skies, and worries seem to dissipate right along with the June gloom. This feeling of peace and release surrounds any trip to Paso Robles – and that’s even before a sip of wine hits your lips.

Quickly becoming a favorite SB getaway destination, Paso is home to over 200 wineries and gourmet restaurants, yet somehow retains the small town charm that makes it such a relaxing place for a mini vacation.

Below are my favorite spots to hit for the ultimate Paso getaway.

Lodgings

Farmhouse

Farmhouse Hotel in Paso Robles (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

As a huge fan of the Skyview Los Alamos and Hotel Ynez, I knew I would love Farmhouse before I even set foot in the adorable hotel nestled in the heart of Paso on Spring Street. The original Farmhouse Motel was built in 1947 and in 2023 was given the Nomada renovation treatment, aka, a major facelift (and a natural-looking one at that) shifting from motorlodge to thoughtful boutique hotel bursting with bells and whistles, including fresh local pastries from Back Porch Bakery each morning, best enjoyed fireside in their lobby or outside on their beautifully gardened patio. The 26 cottage-style abodes are impeccably decorated with bright spring-infused lemon-y decor, and many boast an outdoor fire pit, perfect for recounting the day’s adventures over a glass of local Cab. The location is just outside of Paso’s downtown square, which is a quick walk and an even easier ride away with one of their Linus bikes.

River Lodge

River Lodge in Paso Robles (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

For decades the Motor Lodge sat vacant on Theatre Drive until it fell into the gifted hands of the Nomada Hotel Group, the same stylish and chic family of hotels that includes Farmhouse. This property has been lovingly renovated and restored to what is now possibly my favorite of all the Nomada offerings, the River Lodge. This oasis boasts plenty of nostalgic design, while at the same time sparkles with fresh upgrades and exceptional hospitality. Everything from the beeded umbrellas that hang over the luxurious pool, to the hammocks outside each room, to the private fire pits out back, this Motor Lodge-turned-boutique-resort truly has it all. Enjoy a bite at their fantastic restaurant Ciao Papi. Chef Tyler Parham has created a delectable menu of wood-fired pizzas, pastas, farm-fresh salads, and more. On a warm summer night, highlights included the beautiful burrata and stone fruit salad, halibut served atop a creamy bed of rosemary pecorino polenta and blistered tomatoes, and an affogato featuring local Spearhead Coffee.

Ciao Papi (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

Allegretto

The term “allegretto” is defined by Dictionary.com as “Light, graceful, and moderately fast in tempo.” This upbeat yet elegant vibe pervades the Allegretto, a full 20 acre resort planted in the midst of beautiful vineyards with a pool, spa, tasting room of Allegretto wines, and a delectable restaurant, Cello. Don’t miss out on their excellent breakfast burrito in the morning loaded with sauteed veggies, bacon and free range scrambled eggs, it’s the perfect fuel for a day of wine tasting (or cure for the day after). With a distinctly Tuscan style, excellent wine, delicious food, and engaging art and architecture, this resort provides the luxuries of a trip to Italy without having to leave California.

Dining

Il Cortile

Il Cortile in Paso Robles (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

While there are many Italian restaurants in Paso, Il Cortile stands apart with its warm yet upscale service, fantastic wine selection, relaxing ambiance, and attention to detail. “We strive to create authentic Italian dishes with fresh, local and in season ingredients plus homemade pastas as they do in Italy,” said Chef Santos MacDonal who owns the restaurant with his wife, Carol MacDonal. “Working with a lot of our local farmers at our farmers markets, we stay current with what are the best choices in each season. We complement them with specialty items from Italy.” During our visit, we savored a mind-blowing white truffle pasta, caprese appetizer with heirloom tomatoes, pesto, bufala mozzarella, and balsamic, and a house favorite, pappardelle al cinghiale. The rich flavors were perfectly complemented by a bright Sardinian Vermentino. Live la vita Italiana and stay for dessert, their creamy tiramisu is not to be missed.

Della’s

Della’s in Paso Robles (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

After a day of wine tasting, a crisp G&T, a wood-fired pizza, and a bright seasonal salad from Della’s is exactly what the doctor ordered. Their 72-hour cold-fermented dough serves as the base for a number of playful offerings. We were enamored with the “Alessio in the Woods,” a mouthwatering combination of taleggio, roasted Mighty Cap mushroom, truffle honey, and pistachio gremolata. Shareable starters such as the savory fried artichokes or refreshing roasted beet salad with whipped Shropshire blue cheese, roasted grapes, parsley, pickled shallot and toasted pistachio, shine. The service is as inviting as their dishes. For a sweet ending, make sure to try one of their handmade pies from neighboring sister restaurant Hatch.

Etto Pasta Bar

Whether you’re wine tasting in Tin City or just looking for a relaxing Italian meal, Etto Pasta Bar is the perfect option for incredible homemade dishes. My friend and I experienced Etto before a show at Barrelhouse. We needed a quick pre-concert bite and devoured their beautiful dishes at the Brewery. We were wow’d by the vibrant arugula and ricotta pesto pasta served with a crunchy sprinkling of pistachio over their house made gemelli. The eggplant parmesan and Caesar salad with fried brussels sprouts and capers is also a must. Owners Dave and Stephane have mastered the art of unpretentious yet highly delicious food – the true Italian way!

La Cosecha

Spanish for “the harvest,” La Cosecha is a vibrant restaurant in the heart of downtown Paso bursting with South American and Spanish flavors. If you’ve been wine tasting all day, one of their delightful cocktails might be just what the doctor ordered. Kick off your meal with one of their many delightful tapas like the pulpo or scallops. The crispy chicken paella and succulent branzino are tasty mains, sure to satisfy.

Vivant Fine Cheese

Vivant Fine Cheese (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

Strolling through the tree-lined streets shining with the colors of fall this past October, my sister and I were thrilled to find Vivant Fine Cheese. We stocked up on one of their lovely five cheese boards as well as a turkey and pesto panini to bring with us on our wine tasting. Owner Dankia knows her cheeses and will leave you prepared with a selection of amazing local and imported options (shoutout to the French brie). Charcuterie, marcona almonds, and fresh bread from La Migliore Bakery are included in your platter, which is certain to keep you chugging happily away on the wine train.

Spearhead Coffee

Spearhead Coffee (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

Straight out of Gilmore Girls, Spearhead Coffee is the local caffenation station every small town needs. These coffee pros roast their own beans onsite for the freshest coffee and espresso, while also dreaming up creative concoctions. When we were there in fall, their pumpkin spice latte infused with real pumpkin and cinnamon was a true delight. Their homemade apple cider donut sang with tenderness, and the homemade quiche offered on weekends never fails.

Wine Tasting

Booker

Booker Winery (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

For an elevated yet comfortable tasting experience, I cannot recommend Booker enough. On our spring visit, the surrounding vines were a verdant green, and their wines soared with the same intensity. The ease and sophistication of the tasting experience is like a well-oiled machine. A gracious host welcomes you in with a crisp rose and seats you at a cozy outdoor couch to bask in the Paso sun. The flight consists of lively blends, such as the insanely flavorful yet refined Syrah, Fracture. While the wines are loud and exciting, they maintain a delicate balance, much like their obviously luxurious, yet unpretentious tasting room. “Our goal was to build something that felt natural—California modern with an organic vibe,” said owner and winemaker, Eric Jensen.  “A zen place with clean lines where guests could feel at home sitting on a couch, spinning a record or wandering through the landscape and picking grape clusters off the vines.”

Torrin

Rebecca Horrigan (right) at Torrin Wines

Above the immaculate bar at Torrin Wines reads their ethos: “We are artists, farmers, chemists, parents, and friends. We are grateful. We are small but on the verge of something big…” I encourage visiting their website to read the rest of this mission which, maybe it was the wine, but left my sister and I a little teary. As much as I agree, I’d argue they’ve already accomplished something big. Just try one one sip of their Akasha; it’s 95% syrah, the grape that brought owner Scott Hawley and his wife to Paso 24 years ago. It’s bold with just the right amount of fruit and pepper. This attention to detail is evident in the tasting room experience as well. The stunning vineyard could speak for itself, but we were lucky enough to have a gracious and down to earth host talk us through the nooks and crannies of each wine. Our visit ended with hugs, a gift of local brown butter cookies, and sips of a secret Chardonnay. Torrin left us with a lasting finish; the sweet memories remaining well beyond our final sip.

Epoch

Epoch Estate Wines (courtesy)

For the most creative wine and cheese tasting experience, head to the hills of York Mountain for a visit to Epoch Wines. Winemaker Jordan Fiorentini made wine in Italy for years and brings her precision, organic and biodynamic practices to Paso. The results are incredible. With one sip of their welcome rose, I was hooked. Wine and Cheese Expert Sherman, walked us through the flight of stunning mostly grenache-based rhone blends and explained how each one was selected to pair with a specific meat and cheese. My sister and I were in wine and food nirvana.

DAOU

Daou Winery in Paso Robles (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

Perched high atop DAOU Mountain, surrounded by the ocean, clouds, vineyards and vines, this regal estate holds a story worthy of those epic views. Brothers Daniel and Georges Daou fled Lebanon with their parents during the Lebanese Civil War, finding safety and a passion for wine-making in the south of France. After careers in Engineering, the brothers followed their dream of opening a winery and this leader in regional Bordeaux wines was born. Growing up in a family of wine, food, and hospitality lovers, the brothers have imbued this sense of conviviality in their tasting experience. Every drop of their delicious wines, such as the Cabernet Sauvignon-based Soul of a Lion, which pays tribute to their father’s resilience, has a deeper meaning. Create your own chapter in the Daou family story by ordering a bite from their delectable food menu (I recommend the extravagant charcuterie board), sipping something tasty, and learning the rich history behind it.

Copia

Copia in Paso Robles (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

Translated from Latin, Copia means abundance, and the owners of this vineyard, Anita and Varinder Sahi truly let their cup overflow with hospitality, warmth, and deliciousness. The two fell in love with Paso Robles in 2015, and since then, they’ve been busy meticulously tending to vine and making wines at their picturesque Adelaida Vineyard Estate. Their flights consist of Rhône and Bordeaux blends, including the heavenly Grenache-based, “The Story,” which received 93 points from Wine Enthusiast. Anita’s background working in Michelin-starred restaurants adds a layer of foodie expertise. We were treated to a selection of cheeses that paired perfectly with each wine – a gourmand’s dream and a fun talking point. Make sure to visit on a weekend to enjoy their wine flight and culinary food pairings that go way beyond cheese plates. We’ll certainly be back!

Hope on Park

Hope on Park (Photo by Rebecca Horrigan)

If you’re bouncing around downtown Paso Robles, make your way to the vibrant pink-hued Hope on Park, the new casual walk-up bar from Hope Family Wines. The vibes here are as positive, youthful, and vibrant as their hot pink decor, and their delectable wines back up this excitement. Distinct interior “creative spaces,” offer guests a variety of immersive tasting experiences as well. We loved meeting new friends at the approachable bar while trying custom-made flights based on our preferences. All the wines were incredible, most notably their Malbec and Treana Commemorative Red. While the colorful design certainly attracted us to this perky little perch on Pine Street, it’s their quality wines and genuine friendliness that will keep us coming back.

Rebecca Horrigan

Written by Rebecca Horrigan

Rebecca is a teacher, writer, and lover of food & wine. She enjoys sharing her travel experiences with the Santa Barbara community.

What do you think?

Comments

0 Comments deleted by Administrator

Leave a Review or Comment

One Comment

Celebrate Safely: Join Santa Barbara’s Fourth of July Festivities at the Waterfront

UCSB Gaucho Ajay Mitchell drafted into the NBA (courtesy)

UC Santa Barbara Men’s Basketball’s Star Drafted into NBA