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Paso Robles in late December?

New Delhi, India
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Paso Robles in late December?


I and my DW are in our early 30s, planning a trip to California. We ve already been to San Francisco, Napa valley (Calistoga), and San Diego on a previous visit. We love nature, food and photography, not necessarily in that order (I usually manage to drag DW to a winery, distillery, cheese or chocolate factory on our trips.)

We were planning to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in the latter half of December, planning to spend

2 nights in Paso Robles/ San Luis Obispo

2 nights in Carmel/ Pacific Grove

2 nights in San Francisco

I wanted to know if there are any wineries open in Paso Robles in December? We would be deviating from our road route on Highway 1, to visit Paso Robles, so want to know that there's enough to occupy us. (For eg. we plan to look at the Monarch butterflies close to Pacific Grove)

Thanks in advance

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

There are literally hundreds of wineries in the Paso Robles area and most, if not all, will be open (except for perhaps Christmas/New Year's Day) at the end of December. There is also olive oil tasting in the Paso wine country

San Luis Obispo would be a good base for your visit in this area, as it's central to several communities and activities you could enjoy. There is even wine country just south of SLO in pretty Edna Valley. Downtown SLO has tree lined streets, a historical California mission, restaurants with views overlooking the creek that flows through town and nice shops to browse.

About 10 minutes south of SLO is Avila Beach, which can be quite nice in December if it isn't raining. The road into Avila is through a pretty wooded valley. Sycamore Mineral Springs is located along that road and has hot springs tubs you can rent by the hour.

Morro Bay is 15 minutes northwest of SLO where you can rent kayaks and paddle the calm waters of the back bay and estuary. MB also has a pretty nice embarcadero with shops overlooking the marina and "Rock".

Montana de Oro State Park west to SLO and south of Morro Bay has a trail that leads out to an ocean carved bluff with awesome ocean views and stairs leading down to tide pools where you can look at the animals that live in the rocky ridges. This is a good area for photography.

Cambria is a quaint seaside village nestled in pine trees and has cute shops, cozy eateries and Hearst Castle is a few miles up the road. The views from Hearst Castle are breathtaking on a clear or cloudy day.

15 minutes south of SLO is Pismo Beach, which also has a Monarch Butterfly grove along Business Highway 1 (Dolliver Street). If the docents are out, they will have telescopes out so you can get a better look at them. When it's cold, the butterflies all huddle together on the branches of the eucalyptus trees and look like autumn leaves.

Late December weather can run from rainy, stormy, sunny, cold or even warm. We get it all in the winter months. Last December brought huge storms that really socked us good, but January saw mild, pleasant days.











Certainly, there is more than enough here to keep you occupied for weeks, let alone 2 days.

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2. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

Sounds like a very nice trip! We have had some excellent weather in December and January in Carmel and Shell Beach. What is your budget for lodging and we can help you with that, also. :)

Fremont, California
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3. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

Great advise.

One thing to add is that it can get rather foggy on the drive up at night.

This is the foggy season.

When you drive to Paso Robles, it would be best to do the drive during day light hours.

We have been in Los Angeles on a gorgeous sunny warm day in December and tried to drive up about 7 p.m. at night. It was so foggy you could not see the car in front of you; we stopped at a motel and we could not even see the motel.

This foggy weather can often occur both inland and along the coast in December. So just plan if possible to do the drive during day light hours - it will be a fine and pretty drive.

As mentioned, there are a lot of wonderful wineries, places to see, etc. in this area. Enjoy.

Edited: 26 August 2011, 00:09
Southern California
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4. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

It's a very nice area. You might also want to check out the vineyards in Santa Ynez valley inland from Santa Barbara.

New Delhi, India
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5. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

Thanks Sharon B, syrahgirl, mini and 55vineyard,

Our budget for lodging is anything less than 300$ per night. (negotiable, if the experience is jaw droppingly good)

We have stayed in 200-250$ a night B&B on our previous stay in California, chosen from TAs forums, and reviews and really enjoyed the stay.

Sharon B, you did mention that San Luis Obispo would be a good central place to explore this region- where would you suggest we stay?.

I am still in the process of planning this trip- so I m pretty flexible regarding the no. of days in each place- the only caveat is that I need to do something different daily to satisfy DW. eg. last time we did a biking wine tasting in Calistoga, Mud baths, and tried out some great cheeses at the Sonoma cheese factory on mini's recommendations.

Thanks mini, we are planning to do our driving in the day hours. Any tips on figuring out fog / road closures.e.g are there any radio stations that broadcast these things.

Grover Beach...
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6. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

Here are a few lodging options in SLO and surrounding areas that you might like:








Even if you stayed as far south as Pismo Beach, you're still less than an hour's drive from Paso Robles and all the towns mentioned above.

Paso Robles
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7. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

Check out www.visitpaso.com for the Paso Robles Visitors Guide and see all the wonderful things Paso has to offer. Hope you have a delightful visit.

So. Cal
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8. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

Some wineries do close over the holiday weeks but there are still a lot that stay open. Check the above link as the holidays approach for their holiday schedule. You should still GO, just plan ahead.

***the only caveat is that I need to do something different daily to satisfy DW.***

Did you look at the links Sharon gave you? You won't have enough time to do it!

Visalia, CA
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9. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

There are many B&Bs in the Paso area, several of which are located on wineries. The Paso Robles area is known for big ZIns and Rhone blends. They also do some very good Syrahs. There are also some good wineries located south of there between Santa Maria and Solvang in the Santa Ynez area.

The central coast gets some of their best weather around holiday time. In 2010 I rented a house in Pismo the week after New Year's Day and the weather was fantastic, couldn't have been any better. Hope you have a good time on your trip.

Toronto, Ontario
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10. Re: Paso Robles in late December?

My wife and I love the Adelaide Inn for Paso. Its quaint and the staff bend over backwards for anything they can help you with. A really good base for visiting the areas wineries.