Though Downtown Paso Robles may be quaint, don’t let its small size fool you. This small, charming community is big on things to do. Whether you’re staying a week or a weekend, you’ll love taking advantage of all the fun and unique activities. From visiting museums and open art centers to dining at acclaimed restaurants, there’s something for everyone. Here’s our list of the top things to do in Downtown Paso Robles.
Visit the Park
Located in the middle of downtown Paso Robles, City Park is an ideal place to bring the whole family. Pack a picnic and let the kids make use of the state-of-the-art playground. Play a game of horseshoes or simply take a nap under the shade of the oak trees. It’s a peaceful place to post up for a while, but because Downtown City Park is truly the central hub of the city, it’s not uncommon to find fun events hosted here throughout the year, too.
Check out a Museum or Two
In the heart of Paso near downtown’s City Park is the Paso Robles Children’s Museum, located at the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse. This non-profit organization is where fun, educational activities and exhibits are focused on developing and educating kids of all ages through interactive play and learning. Don’t miss the Grape Stomp ball pit for a playful nod to the area’s prevalent wine industry. Less than a mile away at the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum, you can get a glimpse of what life was like on the Central Coast during the 19th and 20th centuries. This collection of visual and written history showcases cultural, agricultural and commercial artifacts the whole family will enjoy exploring.
Studios on the Park is a nonprofit arts hub in the heart of downtown Paso Robles. This experience offers a rare chance to watch artists in action. In fact, there are six studios with 15 working artists, as well as four galleries, workshops and themed exhibits for all ages. Channel your inner Davinci by enrolling in one of the many art classes and workshops. Alternatively, let the kids get creative during one of the interactive classes, such as the popular cookie decorating class where they’ll surely enjoy nibbling on the fruits of their labor.
Wine and food go hand-in-hand, so it’s not surprising that Paso Robles has garnered a lot of attention for its farm-to-table restaurants in addition to the wine. Actually, restaurants here were among the first to embrace the ‘eat local’ trend. Expect to find menus chock full of ingredients from local farms, orchards and ranches. Savor Southern-inspired eats at The Hatch, flavorful farm-to-fork dishes at Thomas Hill Organics, colorful French fare at BL Brasserie, comforting Italian food at Il Cortile and curated wine and food pairings at Somm’s Kitchen, just to name a few.
While Paso Robles has thousands of acres of picture-perfect vineyards, it would take a full day or two to visit a handful of the area’s wineries. When you’d rather walk and wine taste, head to any one of Downtown Paso Robles’ two dozen tasting rooms. Each of these mostly boutique or family-owned wineries offers something for every taste, whether you’re after Spanish-style reds at Bodegas, Rhône-style blends at Copia, bold reds at JUSTIN or Chardonnay from Hoyt Family Vineyards. Just don’t miss checking out LXV Wine, where wine is paired with spice blends for a unique sensory experience.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Paso Robles’ downtown retail shops remain mostly family-owned. With everything from clothing boutiques to home goods stores, you’re sure to find something special (and local!) to take home with you. Pop into General Store Paso Robles to browse the curated collection of cookbooks, housewares, locally-made olive oils and greeting cards. For the perfect baby gift, head to Bijou. You can also shop for unique women’s clothing at AndBe and used books at Spare Time, but don’t miss the hard-to-resist cookies at Brown Butter Cookie Co. Pick up a few packs of these delectable treats for hostess gifts. Of course, make sure to get some for yourself, too.
Visit the Farmers’ Market
Every Tuesday from 3 – 6pm is the North County Farmers’ Market, located in the street alongside City Park in Paso Robles. Here, you can shop for the best and freshest produce directly from the local farmers who grew it. It’s also worthwhile to mingle with locals who call this town home. It’s a great way to experience a slice of life in Paso Robles.
Celebrate the Holidays
The holidays around the corner. Prepare accordingly because you won’t want to miss the chance to partake in Paso Robles’ old-fashioned, festive celebrations. On November 29, head downtown for the Annual Downtown Lighting Ceremony, which will light up downtown with holiday lights and good cheer. Expect twinkly lights, caroling, hot cocoa, and more for a Paso Robles holiday tradition that will warm your heart. Then, on December 7, the 58th Holiday Light Parade descends upon downtown. This spectacle brings a colorful, lively evening that is sure to get you into the holiday spirit.
While there are plenty of hotels in Paso Robles CA, The Adelaide Inn is an ideal home base for experiencing the area’s multitude of activities and special events. Located in the heart of Paso Robles Wine Country, The Adelaide Inn is just minutes from historic downtown Paso Robles’ shopping, dining and wine tasting rooms.