A Weekend Get-Away to Paso Robles

We just spent an amazing weekend with friends in Paso Robles. I have visited this town in the past, but that was traveling with my daughter’s softball team for a tournament. Tournament weekends are spent at the ball field and looking for restaurants that easily and cheaply accommodate a team and their families for dinner. This was an adult weekend with friends, six of us in total, it was a real “get-away”.Paso Robles is a charming town with so much to see and do. It is also in this amazing central California location that so close to many other quaint towns, each with their own personality. I highly recommend checking out this city and the surrounding areas of San Luis Obispo County. It is simply a beautiful place to explore.Things to do and see in and around the city of El Paso de Robles or as the locals call it, Paso.

The first place we explored was Firestone Walker Brewing Company. We had a delcious lunch there, and we were able to taste some excellent beer. In short, the beer was ambrosia, the food was delicious, and the service was excellent.

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I enjoy light beers, so my favorite was their 805. The others at the table love their darker beers. The table favorites included the Velvet Merkin an oatmeal stout, Stickee Monkee a Belgian quad that had flavors of brown sugar and bourbon, and a Brown Ale.

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We ordered too many appetizers – not realizing how large the servings would be. But that being said, every last bite was gobbled up! Since I had seen the movie Chef the night before – I could not help myself in ordering the grilled cheese.

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They had a beer float on the dessert menu.  I cannot remember the last time I had a float of any kind – but I know I have never heard of or tried a beer float before. So of course I needed to order one. Surprisingly it was delicious! Yes, really it was!  Now most of us would prefer to drink our beer unfettered with any additional ingredients, but pour it over vanilla honey gelato and you have tasty dessert!

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Firestone offers tours of the brewery and maybe next time we will take a tour.  I have toured a few breweries in the past, and I always find the process of beer making fascinating.  My husband especially enjoys this as he occasionally brews his own beer.
Paso has a wonderful city square and this last weekend it was hosting an art show called Paso Artsfest. But whether or not something is going on in the downtown plaza, the square is surrounded by a collection of independent shops.  We sampled cookies at the Brown Butter Cookie Company, checked out Kahuna’s Surfin’ Sport, and I made a couple of purchases at theGeneral Store for my daughter’s upcoming graduation party. There are a lot of great shops surrounding this idillic city square – you can meander all afternoon long.

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We took an afternoon drive west out Highway 46 and turned right on Vineyard Drive stopping at Pasolivo for some olive oil tasting.  The drive is through rolling hills of vineyards, olive tree groves, and smattering of wineries.  It’s an idyllic country drive and driving along with my husband and four wonderful friends makes it all the more memorable. There are a lot of wineries to stop at, and in the past we have made the rounds of wine tasting. Some of my favorites from past visits include Castoro Cellars and Peachy Canyon.
Dinner was in the nearby town of Templeton at a restaurant named McPhee’s Grill. Our dinner experience there was divine. I loved the decor of the place, service was impeccable, and the food was excellent. I had the special which was a swordfish tostada, but I substituted the swordfish with halibut. They were very agreeable to the special request at the table. The salsa was spicy and the flavors melded together nicely. My husband had the macadamia nut crusted halibut, and others at the table had ribs, a pork loin – a huge serving, and steak.

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A wonderful day was capped off with stargazing and a card game of Liverpool on our friends’ back patio. More about that card game in a future post 🙂
Our host prepared us a beautiful breakfast Sunday morning, and again we sat on their back patio enjoying the food, the company, and their amazing view. We then got in the van again and the six of us headed to the town of Cayucos.  As often as I have driven up and down the coast of California I have never stopped in the town of Cayucos.  Again we headed west on Highway 46 and then south on Highway 1.  We made a stop at the town of Harmony, one of my favorite little stops. Little because this town with a population of 18 is really only one block long. Their main claim to recent fame is their wedding chapel – How wonderful to get married in Harmony 🙂 But they also have a glass blowing art gallery, a ceramic pottery gallery, a cafe, and a winery.

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We strolled through the town doing a little bit of shopping.  I love ceramics and got a couple of beautiful pieces, and then we headed up the hill where a few of us took part in the wine tasting at Hamrony Cellars.

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The town of Cayucos is right on the water with a pier and harbor. The weather was gorgeous and this was Sunday of a three-day weekend. People everywhere were enjoying all that this town has to offer.

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We walked through a peddler’s fair, and I bought my daughter some adorable cast iron piggy bookends. There was an Antique Gas and Steam Engine Show staking place downtown – very interesting.
Lunch was on the upstairs patio of Schooners Wharf. Yes, the theme of the weekend was friends and food. Yes, again a wonderful meal!

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Eventually the weekend needed to end, and after returning our friends to their home in Paso Robles the four of us headed North. I was sad when my friends moved form our town to Paso Robles, but I must say it is great to have friends live in such a wonderful place that we can easily visit. This was a memorable weekend of friends, fun, and food!

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I highly recommend a get-away to the wonderful city of Paso Robles – there is so much to do and see. We only covered the tip of the iceberg.
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