Weekend for Two: Paso Robles, California

Text: RoadRUNNER Staff • Photography: RoadRUNNER Staff, Honda, La Cosecha Bar and Restaurant, AugustineIdeas

When you head on tour with your special someone, you aren’t just looking for nice roads and pretty views; you’re on the hunt for a place where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy some quality time together. That’s just what you’ll find in Paso Robles, CA. Conveniently located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California’s stunning coastline, the town offers a quiet escape and an introduction to the area’s famous vineyards, which specialize in Zinfandels, Syrah, and Viognier grapes. The town is also home to hot springs, almond orchards, and local olive oil production.

Coastal Loop (approximately 170 miles)

Departing from Paso Robles south on Highway 101, a right onto 41 leads straight to Morro Bay and the deep blue waters of the Pacific. From there, it’s mile after gorgeous mile of crashing waves and crying gulls along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. Following the slow sweeping curves of Highway 1, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road offers a stark contrast with a rapid series of tight turns and switchbacks. Working its way inland, the route mellows out again. It snakes past Lake San Antonio to the north and Lake Nacimiento to the south before finding its way back home to Paso Robles.

Inland Loop (approximately 175 miles)

Highway 101 follows the Salinas River north from Paso Robles past several vineyards and the historic Mission San Miguel, which was founded in 1797 by Franciscan monks hoping to reach the local Salinan Indians. From there, 198 runs east and south as it wanders through wide-open California cattle country and passes through the small town of Coalinga before returning to Paso Robles via routes 33 and 41.