A weekend in wine country sounds like a dream come true when mom and dad need some time away, but, when it comes to Paso Robles on California’s Central Coast, there are plenty of reasons to bring the whole family along.
There is a nearly endless supply of fantastic wineries to explore in the area and a great way to explore them is with UberWine, a private chauffeur experience that caters specifically to wine country visitors. Your personal Uber driver will pick up your small group (ideal for parties of four or less) and take you to your choices of more than 200 wineries throughout the area. Your designated driver waits as long as you need so you can thoroughly enjoy your day of wine tasting worry-free.
While wine tasting is one of the biggest draws of the area, there is no shortage of family activities to fill the remainder of your time in Paso Robles. The Estrella Warbirds Museum is perfect for multigenerational families. With several buildings and airplane hangars to explore, visitors can see military planes, vehicles and vintage race cars and ambulances, along with expertly preserved military weaponry and memorabilia. The museum is open Thursdays through Sundays until 4 p.m. and children under 6 get in for free. Adult tickets are $12, kids aged 6 through 12 are $5. Seniors and veterans get in for just $10. For an additional fee of $25 (and online reservation made at least one day in advance), flight enthusiasts can enjoy a half-hour flight simulator experience inside an FA/18 cockpit.
Paso Robles has a great little downtown area perfect for strolling. The center of town is occupied by a large city park with plenty of space for running and playing, so parents can rest assured their little ones can get their exercise and vitamin D in a fun and safe place. Once they’ve burned off that excess energy, hit the stores for some shopping therapy. The whole family will love the unique boutiques and gift shops that, along with some great regional wine tasting rooms, make Paso Robles such a fun town to visit. While you’re there, make sure to stop in at the Brown Butter Cookie Company. Enjoy a sample of one of the delicious treats, like the yummy spice cookie, then buy a gift pack to take home for later.
Studios on the Park is a great way to sneak some education and culture into the family vacation. This unique art center is home to six working art studios, four art galleries and a gift shop filled with unique creations. Visitors can observe the artists-in-residence practicing their crafts or even take their own class or workshop.
Downtown Paso Robles is also home to a unique children’s museum experience. Housed in the city’s former volunteer firehouse, the Paso Robles Children’s Museum lets your little ones explore the city’s firefighting history along with the museum’s fun and interactive exhibits. Kids can dress up as firefighters and climb into Old Mack, an original 1944 fire engine. The museum also lets kids learn a little about local culture with the Grape Stomp exhibit where they can climb into a grape vat (a.k.a. ball pit) to practice stomping plastic balls into “grape juice.” The museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Adult tickets are $7 while children up to age 13 are $6.
Days in California’s Central Coast can get quite warm, especially during the spring and summer months. If you are planning your Paso trip from May through September and are looking for a great place to entertain the family and keep cool during a heat wave, head to Ravine Waterpark, where the entire family can stay cool with one of the park’s water slides, rides and pools. There are options for all ages, including the Tadpool, with a two-foot wading pool and activities ideal for younger park guests.
After a long day of fun and exploration, take the family to one of Paso’s many amazing restaurants. Catch Seafood Bar and Grill serves up delicious seafood meals and is ideally located next door to Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, where adults can get nostalgic with an array of old-fashioned treats and kids can have a ball choosing from unique and hard-to-find candy along with familiar favorites.
Paso Robles, located about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, is easy to get to from all directions. US Highway 101 runs right through town and connects the two metropolises, while the San Luis County Regional Airport is only a short, 32-mile drive away.
Whichever way you choose to get there, you will enjoy the laid-back attitude of this quiet California town. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and steeped in fun, your wine country vacation will be one the whole family will remember.