Having driven down the Pacific Coast Highway from Monterey, we went inland for a two-night stop in a nice little city called Paso Robles, around which is an up-and-coming wine area home to approximately 200 vineyards. We arrived late afternoon and found our hotel, the delightful Paso Robles Inn. Motel-style rooms are arranged around central gardens, and ours was towards the back near the pool and jacuzzi. This was the view from the balcony when you opened our room door.
Right opposite the Paso Robles Inn is the central square, which has a park in the middle and shops and restaurants all the way round.
It doesn’t feel like a city, but rather like a small town, and we enjoyed a walk around the square the evening we arrived and again the next morning. We found a great little “cookie” shop, but were surprised when the cookies turned out to be biscuits!
While we were doing that, we were amazed when a massive Second World War bomber flew over. We discovered that it was a B-17 Flying Fortress, and it was at nearby Paso Robles Airport offering rides for the next two days. We’d already been planning to pay a visit to the airport anyway, so it seemed amazing timing. The B-17 was parked up when we arrived, and visitors could get pretty close to it, as you can see.
I was pleased to see that it was piloted by a woman!
Click the play button below to see it in action.
Unfortunately, the rides were too expensive (hundreds of dollars) and we didn’t feel we could justify the expense, so we were content to watch it take off and then find a vineyard to do some wine tasting.
At least half of the vineyards in this area have tasting rooms, so it was hard to decide which one to go to, but we settled on one I’d read about on an article I saw on Twitter – Vina Robles.
Lee tried a load of white wines, while I tried mostly red accompanied by specially paired cheeses. It was rather fabulous!
The chap who was doing our tasting was very knowledgeable, and he left us plenty of time to talk among ourselves as well as telling us about each of the wines.
When the last drops of wine and crumbs of cheese had been consumed, we drove around the area a little bit to see some of the other vineyards. As you can see, it was the most gloriously sunny day.
Back in Paso Robles itself, we had another stroll around the square and went into the most wonderful sweet shop (or “candy store”, as the Americans would call it!). We got an apple pie milkshake and sat down to watch a bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which they had playing on a loop!
After that, there was just enough time to enjoy a bit of time in the hotel jacuzzi before dinner.
We loved Paso Robles, and it was definitely the most relaxing part of our honeymoon. There are lots of lovely Victorian houses, which gives it a historical feel. Of course, having all those vineyards on your doorstep would be pretty amazing too. Our next stop after that would be Santa Barbara, which I’ll write about soon!