I’ve been itching to go back to Paso Robles since my PCH road trip. The drive down highway 46 was incredibly beautiful that I had to go back. Plus, with all these wineries in the area, it’s a perfect weekend getaway trip for So Cal folks or travelers driving town the PCH. My getaway was 3 day and 2 nights traveling from Los Angeles.
I used most of day 1 to drive up to San Luis Obispo early in the afternoon, so I can avoid the LA traffic and enjoy the complementary afternoon wine tasting offered by Apple Farm. I chose to stay at Apple Farm because it has the cheapest hotel rates (starting at $99.00 for a single room with queen bed) in the area and came with a $50.00 restaurant voucher.
Apple Farm is a small quaint boutique hotel that has comfortable beds with fireplace in most of the rooms. I also specifically requested a room without canopy to avoid the old school gothic feeling. The bathroom has been recently updated and it’s clean (I’m annal with my bathrooms), so it’s pretty decent for the price you pay.
Another option is to stay at Pismo Beach; however, it would be more expensive to stay in since it’s a beach town. I would suggest making a stop at Pismo Beach to walk on the pier, visit beautiful cave and have a claim chowder (or 2) at Splash; just keep in mind it’s a small beach town.
As for dinner, there are limited options in downtown San Luis Obispo. I went with Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica since I was craving for pasta. Giuseppe’s surprised me with its food! The carbonara I ordered was almost as good as the one I had in Italy. Hands down it’s definitely one of the best pastas I had in the US. All of its pastas are freshly made each day, so I would make Giuseppe’s one of your restaurant stops during your trip.
On the second day of my trip, I had planned to stop by at 3 wineries. I traveled during the weekday, so I did not know many of the smaller wineries were closed. I ended-up going to 3 different wineries than I originally planned. I would suggest calling the wineries and checking the hours before visiting if you plan to travel on the weekdays.
First stop, J Dusi Wines. The winery is at the very beginning of highway 46, so it’s a perfect first stop for picnic. Sitting on a shaded bench with breathtaking view of the grape vines; you cannot get a better picnic spot than this. Coco (the black labrador retriever) will also come sit and enjoy the day with you. The tasting here is $10.00 for 6 different wines. The selection of the wine varies depending on the day. My favorite for the day was their Syrah.I was recommended to visit Adelaida and Halter Ranch since none of the winery I planned originally were open. I decided to drive out to Adelaida first before driving my way back to highway 46. The drive from J Dusi to Adelaida was about 20 – 30 minutes through a curvy mountain road. Be careful not to make any sudden stops because there are tons of blind spots for the car behind you. The tasting room sits right across from its massive acres of grape vines. Picture definitely doesn’t do justice here. You’ll have to go see it with your own eyes to believe it.
For $10.00, you’ll get to taste 2 white and 4 reds (daily selection varies). My favorite here is… of course…. the Syrah… The Adelaida’s Syrah is definitely one of the best Syrah I had. I’ve been looking for a bottle of Australian shiraz that has similar bold, pepper yet fruity bottle like their’s; however, it does come with a heavy price tag. A bottle of Syrah will be about $60.00, but it well worth it!
Next stop Halter Ranch. Halter Ranch is as close as you can get to sitting almost next to the vines. The new tasting room has large windows that allows you to see a panoramic view of the ranch. I sat here the longest because I just wanted to soak-up all of the beautiful scenery. Tasting will cost $10.00, which comes with 3 whites and 2 reds. The best wine here would be the Rose.
Most of the tasting room in Paso Robles cost $10.00, which is cheap compare to Napa (minimally $20). I prefer wine tasting here over Napa or Temecula since it’s less commercialized. On my return route to San Luis Obispo, I had hoped to drive down highway 46 to connect to 1; however, it didn’t go as planned since I had a little too much to drink. If you were to take the latter route, you’ll add 30 – 40 minutes back to SLO. I would definitely recommend taking the long route back to SLO; you will not regret it. Morrow Beach is also along the way, so stop by for an order of fish and chips with a cup of clam chowder at Giovanni’s Fish market and, of course, a few pictures with the giant rock.
For dinner, I went back to Giuseppe’s because it was that good. Plus, with all the wine in me, it was perfect setting for some heavy red sauce on fresh made pasta. The second time was as good as the first.
Since I was traveling on a weekday and I wanted to get back into LA as early as I can to avoid traffic; I headed straight home without making additional stop (day 3). Before I left, I used the rest of my voucher at the Apple Farm and stuffed myself with some corn beef hash with sunny side up eggs.
Here are a few options you have if you want to make additional stop before heading South or simply wants to see more of the coast. I would stop at Solvang for a few hours to walk around the Danish town. You will feel like you’re in Europe, and there’s no other town like this in So Cal. Then, I would grab a sandwich at Panino Solvang as a light snack. Panino Solvang has one of the best sandwiches that I’ve known.
Santa Barbara is another beach town that you can stay or stop-by. SB has some of the finest restaurants, whiskey bars and dive bars in So Cal if you can afford an extra stay. Or, simply stroll around the main street for some coffee and ice-creme, then walk down the pier for a cup of claim chowder at SB Shellfish Company. I lived in Santa Barbara for a year and visit frequents often, so let me know if you need me to plan you itinerary for your SB trip.
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