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7 Fun Things to Do in Downtown Paso Robles

7 Fun Things to Do in Downtown Paso Robles

Downtown Paso Robles is the place for all activities from shopping, dining, nature, and historic landmarks.

Palig Dzadourian


5 min read

May 09, 2022

Located in San Luis Obispo County, with a long history of fermentation and famed for its local beverages, the city of Paso Robles has an endless supply of fun and exciting things to do. Free-spirited and unfussy, Downtown Paso Robles is a place where you can just be casual and not feel like you have to go out of your way to look your best. The fun contrast of modern world-class food and the small-town cowboy atmosphere the city has is very endearing. Get ready to take in the beautiful scenic views of Paso Robles and experience the countless exhilarating activities this small yet memorable town has to offer. Any time of the year is a good time to visit Paso Robles, but with so many things to do, we definitely recommend spending more than just a day exploring the town.

1. Downtown Paso Robles Restaurants

One of the many restaurants available at Paso Robles downtown, get ready to dine right in! (Sarah Stierch, CC BY 4.0)

One of the most popular things to do in Paso Robles is, without a doubt, to try the surprising number of top SLO restaurants and local eateries found in the small town. As restaurants in Paso Robles are avid supporters of sourcing locally, you are guaranteed to be served dishes made with fresh and in-season ingredients. Some of the most frequented restaurants in downtown Paso Robles include the Fish Gaucho, known for the best in business in Mexican cuisine, with their signature delicious Surf and Turf combo of two West Coast fish tacos served with a side of short ribs or carnitas of your choice.

The Thomas Hill Organics is the ultimate farm-to-table-dining experience, dedicated to serving you organically made food whether it is lettuce, locally made bread, or grass-fed lamb. With a rotating menu each week, and with the casual California atmosphere and friendly service, this particular establishment is most definitely worth checking out!

Last but not least, consider going to The Hatch if you are craving some Southern-style comfort food. Mouthwatering rotisserie chicken and vegetables coming out of a wood-fired oven is sure to leave you with a very satisfied belly.

2. The Vina Robles Amphitheater

Operated by the Vina Robles Vineyards and Winery, the amphitheater was originally built to host annual summer concert series. As it started to gain popularity, it was decided that it would officially open its doors in 2013 and welcome people from all over the state. The Amphitheater has since then been the largest outdoor venue for arts and entertainment in all of San Luis Obispo County. Experience the magnificent Amphitheater, a mix of European and Californian styles, modern amenities, and first-class hospitality for an unforgettable time.

3. Scavenger Hunt in Downtown

Get a pen and paper, there are riddles that remain to be solved, challenges to be faced, and good times to be had!

If you are feeling particularly adventurous, this Scavenger Hunt will quench your thirst for a small quest. The scavenger hunt organized by Urban Adventure Quest will turn the city into a board game for a few hours. All you need is your smartphone and you’re good to go! Starting and ending at the corner of Pine and 12th streets, this fun little quest will take you to points of interest in the city such as City Park, the Paso Robles Inn, the Paso Robles Clocktower, and many more. Complete challenges and riddles at your own pace, all while you stroll through the beautiful bustling Paso Robles downtown. You will even be able to learn local historical facts about this great western city.

4. The Zoo to You

Fun for the day is guaranteed when visiting the sanctuary zoo.

The zoo at Paso Robles is not like your typical zoo; it also serves as a sanctuary and conservation ambassador for the animals that live in it. Zoo To You is a home for exotic wildlife that have been injured, abused, or abandoned; animals that cannot be released back into the wild. The zoo gives a voice to the ambassador animals by sharing their stories, spreading awareness, and educating the public about the importance of conservation. If you or your kids want to take this experience further, it is very much possible! As one-on-one encounters with the residents of the zoo, from otters to lemurs and kangaroos, take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and visit the Paso Robles zoo for a day to remember.

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5. Hot Springs

Maximize relaxation, forget all about your troubles, and enjoy the warmth and tranquility of the hot springs. Paso Robles has three different hot springs locations you can go to, all of them largely different from each other. The first hot springs can be found at the historic Paso Robles Inn, where you have the luxury of renting a room with a mineral hot tub on the balcony. The second one is located on the North East side of Paso Robles at River Oaks Hot Springs Spa. The last one is not far from the second, also on the North East side of the town, at Franklin Hot Springs. If you are ever lost as to what to do in Paso Robles, the hot springs are most certainly one of the things you can’t miss out on!

6. Hot Air Balloon Rides

Experience the Paso Robles town from another perspective with the hot air balloon rides.

Let’s fly away and gaze down at the beautiful Paso Robles scenery! Yup, you guessed it, hot air balloon rides are also part of the large list of things to do in Paso Robles. Balloons Over Paso will take you over the clouds, you’ll be soaring over the vineyards and the treetops of the small city. This attraction was put into action in 2018 after the owner went on a hot air balloon ride in Australia; she was blown away and was determined to become a pilot and small business owner afterward. Inspired by the ride, she decided to share this experience with the people in Paso Robles by opening Balloons Over Paso, where you too can launch into the air, and land back on the ground with a bundle of memories you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

7. Historic Warbirds and Pioneer Museum

For all lovers of history, this last itinerary is the perfect one for you! The Estrella Warbird Museum and Paso Robles Pioneer Museum are definitely places you should have in your San Luis Obispo itinerary. The Paso Robles Pioneer Museum will give you a rundown of the history of the town, with a trove of written and visual history. Jump back into the past and marvel at the pioneering age of the Paso Robles, from the very first buildings to farm equipment and old forms of transportation in one of the best museums in San Luis Obispo

As for the Estrella Warbird Museum – located at the Paso Robles airport – if you are a fan of military history, you will most certainly find your time at this museum worth it! A variety of military vehicles and memorabilia are featured at the exhibits. There are even vintage and classic automobiles to see, as well as an annual car show, so if you would like to catch these events, make sure to mark them down on your calendar!

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