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Found in San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles is a region in California which is renowned for its beauty, its hot springs and, of course, for its wines. It is located on the Salinas River, which is the largest river of the central coast of the state, and the area is composed mainly of dry grassland and oak forests. In fact, its name ‘Paso Robles’ means ‘Oak Pass’ in English. There are approximately 30,000 residents of Paso Robles, which is a number that is steadily growing.
Paso Robles is found about half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which makes it an excellent place to visit on your travels from one city to the other. If you don’t come for the region’s excellent wine, you should definitely come for the fabulous hot springs which have been enjoyed ever since the Salinan Indians first sought relief for their ailments in the natural health spa. In the area, you’ll find many hotels and guesthouses offering spa treatments so a trip to this area could offer a very welcome break from the hectic activity that can come with traveling.
The area’s wine growing history dates way back to 1797 and has built up to its present state of boasting more than 170 wineries and 26,000 vineyards. Wines produced in Paso Robles include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Viognier, Roussanne and Zinfandel. Over two hundred years ago, Franciscan missionaries started the tradition of wine production in the area, which was actually abandoned briefly when Mexico secularized the missions. Fortunately, when California became an independant state, European immigrants started once more producing wine and from there on, the area grew increasingly prosperous.
Weather-wise, Paso Robles has a fun array of climates, because of the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean. The weather is really very enviable, with comfortable heat during the day, and cool fresh temperatures at night. The area does not suffer from fog as San Francisco does, nor can you expect heavy clouds or severe winds. All in all, stopping for a weekend or more in Paso Robles to enjoy the springs of the area and to sample the wine and perhaps take a trip to a few vineyards and wineries, will offer a really welcome break from the bustle of the bigger California cities.