What To Do In Paso Robles, CA - not involving wine, and child-friendly
December 20, 2017 2:08 PM   Subscribe

A post-Christmas adventure with friends is taking us to Paso Robles, CA next week. We've never been, so I'm looking for ideas on what to see and do in (and around) Paso Robles, beyond the obvious trips to wineries and the 805 Brewery - both of which are destinations of interest for us, but we're going to be there for three days, and my days of drinking for three days straight are long past.

Aaaaand.... there will be two young people (girls ages 6 and 7) whom we'll want to be engaged and entertained, but who also don't drink alcohol much :-) . Any ideas, tips, suggestions will be appreciated! Thanks, AskMe.
posted by armoir from antproof case to Travel & Transportation around Paso Robles, CA (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Are you mobile? Are you not necessarily interested in San Luis Obispo or other coastal locations? Because there's lots more to do there.

If these are an option, I'd recommend going to Morro Rock, Montana de Oro, and downtown SLO (which has a Mission, if you're into that). Further south you have Avila Beach and Pismo Beach/Arroyo Grande, the latter of which is a great way to tire out children from playing on the dunes. The kids would probably also like driving on Pismo, which is a thing.

If you're trying to stay in Paso Robles, I know of a pretty good Pick-N-Pull, but that's about it aside from chain retail and restaurants. I bet there are good taquerias there, but I don't know of any in particular.
posted by rhizome at 2:24 PM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Take highway 46 to the coast. It's a beautiful hilly drive that will land you at Cambria, which has a semi-forced "quirky tourist beach town" vibe but is a fun place to wander around for a bit. From there you can go up the coast to see the elephant seals at San Simeon and/or tour Hearst Castle, or down to see the sights in SLO which is the closest thing to a city nearby.
posted by contraption at 2:33 PM on December 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

In Paso Robles:
* Paso Robles Children's Museum at the volunteer firehouse
* Paso Robles Pioneer Museum
* Depending on the days you're there, you might be able to go to Zoo to You, which is open on the weekends.
* If you're just looking to get out and run around, here are the parks in the city, and here are the trails and hikes in the area.

And how far can you get from Paso? There's the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, which is a small zoo (5 acres).

Trek farther and you have a ton of options. In San Luis Obispo, there's the San Luis Obispo Children's Museum and more, but closer to Paso Robles you have Cambria with the beach, and Nitt Witt Ridge! It's so weird, but I think you have to call to get a tour, or you can just stop by there and enjoy it from outside. Farther north up the coast is San Simeon with Hearst Castle ($$, but definitely worth a trip) and elephant seals (free).

Head down the coast and you come to Cayucos, who tell you to go to Morro Bay Museum of Natural History (which has various fake museum sites, from my cursory search for an official website).
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM on December 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

I've stayed in Paso Robles several times while fishing at nearby Lake Nacimiento (great fishing, BTW, but probably better for non-fishermen in the summer). I assume you already have lodging lined up, but I can highly recommend the Adelaide Inn for lodging, if you still need a room.

Paso Robles has some nice family-friendly restaurants on their main strip near the freeway - Maggies Diner, Taco Time, and the BBQ place are all OK. There are more local restaurants - including a couple of good taquerias - in the old downtown area.

For kid-friendly activities nearby, my wife and I took our kids to the Avila Valley Barn a few years ago, when they were small. It was fun exactly their speed:


Hope you have a fun visit!
posted by mosk at 2:37 PM on December 20, 2017

Best answer: Paso parent here - there's not a ton of specific destinations for children in Paso proper, so agree with the suggestions to get out of town - I'd head to Cambria, Hearst Castle, Cayucos if you didn't want to go south.

On the square downtown there's a great new playground that just opened up in the last year or so. There's also SLOSweets a local candy store. Couple other good playground option: Barney Schwartz park, a couple miles east of town, the (smallish) playground on the square in Templeton, and the one over by Atascadero Lake.

In addition to wine there are a few farms that are open to the public. I've never visited either of these but my kids have had fields trips to them: Mt. Olive, Central coast Lavendar Farm

We do have a children's museum (linked in the pp) but your girls might be aging out of it. The museum in SLO is better for older children IMO. My son is a fan of the Warbird musuem, but my daughter not so much.

There are a ton of local restaurants on the square or close by, most of them pretty good. For a casual dinner, we've had good luck with Papi's and Blue Moon for Mexican, Odessey (American), and Goshi (Japanese).

have fun!
posted by littlerockgetaway at 2:42 PM on December 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: This is awesomeness. Thanks all for the responses. Happy Holidays!
posted by armoir from antproof case at 4:32 PM on December 20, 2017

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