Left Las Vegas Nevada at 12:30 p.m. and arrived in Paso Robles at 7:00 p.m. We parked for the night near the large downtown city park surrounded by restaurants and shops. Got out to stretch our legs and exercise our bunny Bugsy. The Paso Robles Inn is beautiful on the interior courtyards, big gardens, like a major manicured estate complete with swimming pool and outdoor hot tub. We were surrounded by gorgeous Hemlock, huge coastal pine, and western Cypress, covered in bright sunshine, listening to the magpies and songbirds all around us.
It reminded me of just how good I have it. To have discovered how two people can enjoy this America, the most fantastic country in the world, on less than $40 a day is extraordinary. Traveling the United States provides a real tribute to the freedoms, wealth and infrastructure of a first rate country. Here in sublime simple safe paradise lie many of life's joys. We scoped out the gardens of marigolds, swam in the pool and warmed up with hot tub hugs at the beginning and end of the following three days. If you don't have a copy of the book Vanabode that shows you how to do this get one today! You will not be disappointed.
We enjoyed the slow driving through winding shady tree lined rolling brown hills dotted and at times smothered in deep green forest and surrounded by valleys of bright colorful flowering patches. Our rabbit was in heaven. We were here for wine tasting and fun quiet days. Some wineries serve oyster crackers, bread, olive oil, cheese and dark chocolate as well to augment the tasting experience.
The first winery we visited was one of the quaintest of the 20 or so we would visit over the 72 hours we were in Paso Robles. Carmody McKnight Estate Wines has a 141 year old pioneer farmhouse surrounded by rolling grape vine farms, a small art gallery, goats, and and Alpaca couple. We loved the view over the pond covered in lilies and lotus. We had one of our cooler lunches of hummus, chicken salad, sour dough bread, and fresh fruit at one of their shady comfortable outdoor tables. We had the place to ourselves and shared a $5 wine pour of 7 different estate wines. Carmody McKnight Estate Wines is open daily from 10am-5pm, call 805-238-9392 to be sure, and located at 11240 Chimney Rock Road, Paso Robles, California 93446.
You could see for many miles out over the surrounding farms, groves, and pastures from the 2300-foot high hill leading up from the Adelaida Cellars winery GPS coordinates. They served rare mountain grown wines from site-specific estate grown grapes. We laid on the blanket with Bugsy and stared up at the gorgeous blue skies through the towering oak branches over head. We were alone. Adelaida Cellars is open daily from 10am-5pm, call 800-676-1232 to be sure, 5805 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, California 93446
Above: The Wild Coyote winery has a sweet adobe style tasting room with a small bed and breakfast inn. Staff owners were friendly, fun and helpful. Good wines, small shop, fantastic architecture, well worth seeing especially if you like genuine tipi and related artifacts, and eclectic art. Wild Coyote is open daily from 11am-5pm, call 800-610-1311 to be sure, 3775 Adelaida Road, Paso Robles, California 93446
The Willow Creek Olive Ranch known as Pasolivo sold us the most delicious and unique olive oil I have ever tasted. Super smooth on the tongue delivering a hot peppery throat burning sensation seconds later. They have a great olive oil tasting room chock full of special varietals of extra virgin olive oil, gifts, and include an interesting tour. Crowded and popular but big enough we didn't have a problem seeing it all. Pasolivo is open Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4:30pm, call 805-227-0186 to be sure, 8530 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, California 93446
Above: One of the largest and most interesting of the bigger wineries offering wine tasting was Eagle Castle. Huge panoramic views atop the three-story deck where you can eat, drink and be merry. Castle style with statues, art, soaring one of a kind ceilings and 25 foot doors. Well worth seeing. Free tasting. Eagle Castle, 805-227-1428, at 3090 Paso Robles, California 93446
There were large crowds of 20 something year olds wine tasting at most of the larger major highway wineries and basing out of limousines and tour buses. Many we saw were drunk already at 1pm. For those that really want to drink these tours are a good idea so you don't have to drive. Norman Vineyards had a lot of serious reds, Opolo Vineyards was busy with barbeque lunches served on some weekends.
Above: One of our other favorites was Castoro Cellars serving "dam fine wine". Huge grape arbor, dinner and lunch grounds where large parties can get together like for weddings and special events. Vineyard views, wine tasting, bathrooms, shady parking, gourmet food market and gift store augment the gorgeous inner courtyards. Castoro Cellars is open daily from 10am-5:30pm, call 888-326-3463 to be sure, 1315 North Bethel Road, Templeton, California 93465
Spent most evenings from 5-10 pm in the park with Bugsy our rabbit watching hundreds of Californians and tourists walk the grounds, park concerts, kids events, dog walking. We ate hummus and gourmet chicken and artichoke pizza while listening to the swing band playing in the park. The California weather this time of year is absolutely perfect: a little warm during the day with cool breezy mornings and evenings making sleeping so nice.
There are over 180 wineries within 40 miles of town so take in as much as you like. When finished with this portion of California's wine country I highly advise you to take Oak Creek Road to coast. There are lakes, water reservoirs you can park above and have a bite to eat, and wild wonderful winding road scenery through farms, groves and mountains. We walked Cayuco Beach and then drove to Morro Bay.
The the back of the property at Paso Robles Inn is stunningly compared to what you see street side. Hemlock and marigolds, bridges, brick and wood buildings, mature trees, shade, smells of marigolds, with a cute pool and hot tub nestled inside. Well kept grounds make this a must walk through or stay the night.
We drove back streets through curvy hilly meadows to tucked away wineries. One had lake and pond with weeping willows, nice flowers, and manicured grounds with a little farm of Alpacas and goats. The wineries are peaceful, quiet, and a great escape from what one would imagine. At the 2300 foot high hill paved one car road to hill on Adeail winery property you could see for miles. We laid on the blanket with Bugsy. Wild Coyote winery has an adobe tasting room with a bed and breakfast.
Some wineries serve oyster crackers and some wineries serve bread and olive oil and cheese and dark chocolate. Wild Coyote was very artsy and theatrical. Later that night we went to park with Bugsy and lounged for a couple of hours eating hummus and gourmet pizza. We laid there listening to the swing band in the distance playing in the park with thousands of people walking all over with their dogs and portable chairs. The weather is absolutely perfect a little hot during the day but the mornings and evenings are cool breezy, and comfortable.
Kelly ran and exercised in the big park and walked Bugsy afterwards. It was cool and breezy at 10:00 a.m. Swam at Paso Robles Inn to get cleaned up. Drove back roads to wineries including Norman, Opolo, and many others. Went to Willow Creek Olive Ranch and bought the best and most pungent olive oil we have ever had called Pasolivo. We saw the olive oil processing facilities and bought some olive oil. We were so inspired by the taste and quality that we came back to Pahrump and planted two olive trees. Kelly has been process curing them and now we get 10-25 pounds a year from them.
Finished on highway 46 at a couple of large showy wineries. There were large crowds of 20 something year olds wine tasting at most of the big ones and they were toasted. They were all hoping from one winery to the next in a limousine. Took pictures of Bugsy at Castoro Cellars winery "dam fine wine". Took Oak Creek Road to coast. Stopped at a reservoir for snack on the way to Morro Bay. My favorite wine country is right in Paso Robles California.