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We don't drink ...

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We don't drink ...

what else is there to do in Paso Robles?

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: We don't drink ...

Olive oil tasting at Pasolivo, fine dining, downtown shops.

Any particular reason you're looking at Paso Robles if you're not drinkers? Perhaps the Mid State Fair?

You could opt for staying on the coast at Cambria instead. More to see/do in that pretty seaside town nestled in the pines: Hearst Castle, elephant seal rookery, the wooden path along Moonstone Beach, East/West Village shops, Fiscallini Ranch hikes.

Paso can get pretty hot during the day. Like into the 100's!

Edited: 05 July 2013, 23:55
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2. Re: We don't drink ...

Click the blue link for some ideas... tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g32861-Activitie…

Also, Mission San Miguel is nearby.

San Francisco
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for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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3. Re: We don't drink ...

As Kibby said, Paso Robles is a gateway town to Cambria and Hearst Castle, and one of the state’s main elephant seal habitats is nearby. I have not been to that one, but to the one farther north at Año Nuevo which requires about a 3-mile round trip hike, and I understand that the one near San Simeon is easier to walk to. If you are into ocean and coast more than Hearst Castle, you can enjoy Pismo Beach or Morro Bay.

Are you a history enthusiasts? Along Hwy 101 is Father Serra’s mission trail. Paso Robles is near several missions; the nearest are San Miguel Arcangel and San Luis Obispo (about 10 and 30 miles respectively). Within about 120 miles of Paso Robles are Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, San Antonio de Padua, San Juan Bautista, and Carmel to the north, and Santa Ines and La Purísima Concepción to the south.

On another recent thread I wrote about the towns along old El Camino Real that were bypassed when Hwy 101 was built. On several trips in the last few months, I’ve gone into these towns to poke around. It is fascinating to see the leftover 1930s and 40s “motor courts” (the kind with separate cabins), gas stations (sturdy stucco things with the overhead canopy built in), cafés, schools, Grange or Masonic halls, and private homes. Some of these are now abandoned, others repurposed. The old road can run east or west of the freeway, depending on where you are, and it often dead-ends and you have to return to 101 for a bit.

The main street in Paso Robles was once the highway, and you can still see relics. Ditto for Santa Margarita, Atascadero, San Miguel, Bradley, San Ardo, San Lucas, and all the way up to King City (50 miles) or down to San Luis Obispo (30 miles) if you care to go the distance. You may have to play detective, but if you have an eye for historic stuff, it’s a fun leisurely trip. Old Hwy 101 is a lot like old Route 66 in that it shows small-town life along Main Street USA before the need for speed prompted the building of multi-lane freeways.

Downtown Paso Robles is charming. It’s just east of the main drag, near the city park. It has scads of wonderfully preserved old buildings, including the gorgeous classical architecture library in the park. A major earthquake a few years ago bashed the town, but it seems to have recovered well. There is even one handsome corner building with a brick façade (seismically engineered, no doubt, or maybe faux) and arched windows that looks very “historic,” including an old-fashioned stone tablet at the diagonal corner with the year it was erected—but the date engraved on it is 2005. The park hosts two weekly produce, food, and craft markets, one on Saturday which I went to, and a weekday one (don’t remember the day).

Actor James Dean had a short career in the 1950s, but he is a cult favorite today because of his brooding anti-hero roles in “Rebel Without a Cause” and “East of Eden” (both California stories) and “Giant.” East of town near Cholame is the spot on Hwy 41 where he was killed in a high-speed wreck in his brand-new Porsche (the driver of the other car survived). The actual spot has been built over as part a modern road called the James Dean Memorial Highway, and there is a café that memorializes his life.

Maybe science, specifically geology, is your “thing.” Parkfield is not far away. It is a tiny settlement on top of the San Andreas Fault that calls itself California’s earthquake capital, although other towns also claim that title. Parkfield has ranches and farms, a B&B, maybe 120 residents, and scads of scientific monitoring equipment. The US Geological Survey and universities have recording stations, some of which you can see around the area. One spot in town has a sign that reads (roughly; it’s been a few years since I saw it) “Entering the North American Plate” on one side and “Entering the Pacific Plate” on the other.

Parkfield is about 35 miles from town. About 80 miles away is Carrizo Plain National Monument, which I recently wrote about on the Bakersfield and Atascadero forums. It isn’t near either town but they are the closest. At Carrizo, the San Andreas Fault is at its most dramatic and accessible to the average person; you can drive all around it in a regular car (main road paved; wet weather can muck up the hard dirt side roads), see the fault displacement, sag ponds, and abundant plants and wildlife in an almost unaltered natural setting. Historically, ranchers ran cattle on Carrizo Plain, but the land is restoring itself to its natural condition. You can camp, and some parts of the preserve are open to hunting. Both Parkfield and Carrizo are reasonable day trips from Paso Robles (a long day trip to do both, because they’re in opposite directions), but they are remote and have very limited visitor services.

OK, I’m out of ideas for the moment, but I’m sure there are other things to do in or near Paso Robles. This should be enough to keep you busy for a couple of days.

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4. Re: We don't drink ...

Pass on Mission San Miguel (it's not well kept and is a rather sad example of the Missions) and continue a bit further up the road to Mission San Antonio de Padua. It's off the highway about 25 miles on an army base which has prevented urban build-up (or fall-down) and maintains its air of separation from the world.

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5. Re: We don't drink ...

Respectfully, I disagree with RamblinSal regarding the Mission San Miguel. This is one of the oldest Missions and is one of the only Missions containing the original frescoes, which were just restored after the devastating earthquake in the early 2000s. Is it as resplendent as Mission Santa Barbara or San Juan Capistrano? No. And it has not been renovated three times, as they have been. It may be more simple, but it is the first Mission in which wine grapes were grown, which is very significant, and it is still a working parish that comes together for making of authentic bricks for the renovation and to make tamales and enchiladas to sell to raise money for the parish. It's a nice way to spend a couple hours.

Also, if you like to ride horses, there is a great ranch out on Ranchita Canyon called the Work Ranch. It has been owned by the same family for five generations and encompasses 16,000 acres. Their family is dedicated to being good stewards of the land and it is amazing to go out on a trail ride at their ranch.

Another great activity is to rent a bike (Best Bike Zone) and ride through some of the gorgeous areas. The east side and west side both have great riding areas and it is just so very nice to ride on roads with great scenery, where one can still hear the wind through the trees.

During the time of the fair, which just closed last week, there are amazing musical acts and equestrian competitions. For future reference, the fair website is www.midstatefair.com. That same week, July 20-28, there is also a Shakespeare Festival (http://centralcoastshakespeare.org/), as well as a rather large classical music festival called Festival Mosaic, which holds concerts all over the Central Coast. Additionally, Vina Robles Winery now has a new amphitheater, which will be featuring big name acts, such as Tony Bennett, Lynryd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Moody Blues, etc. Here's the link for that: http://www.vinaroblesamphitheatre.com/.

Every Friday night during the summer, there is a band concert on the town square, and people can bring a picnic and enjoy the music.

If you like art, Studios on the Park has all sorts of classes, workshops, First Saturdays (with art shows, music and wine), which is lots of fun. There is also a Lavender Festival and Olive Oil Festival in July and a classic car show over Labor Day.

A fun stop in town, amongst many, is at We Olive, which is an olive oil tasting bar, which features about 200 local olive oils and olive products, which can be tasted. It's a great stop.

If you'd like to visit some local farms, Ag Adventures (http://www.agadventures.com/) is a great resource. Do you enjoy goat cheese? If so, a stop to Happy Acres Farm in Templeton is a must, then where you can get a tour, goat cheese can be purchased, and wonderful products made from their goat milk.

These are just a few of the many other things you can do in Paso besides drink. It is a town that loves its wine and numerous growers, but remembers and stands solidly by its agricultural heritage and has found a way to offer not only wine, but outstanding farm-fresh gourmet meals from five-star restaurants. The town welcomes everyone, from cyclists riding through on the Tour de California to Cowboys. It's a great place to visit -- and to live!

6. Re: We don't drink ...

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