Getting to Know Paso
Even though Paso Robles has been regarded as California's hot “new” destination, Paso remains true to its roots and maverick nature. With a past and present as rich and colorful as its rolling hills, Paso welcomes travelers as locals. The people of Paso unselfishly share everything about their city that does them proud, from its beautiful climate to its endless activities and places of interest.
Hot sulfur springs still flow through Paso Robles and are open to the public in three locations: River Oaks Hot Springs Spa, Franklin Hot Springs and in select guest rooms at the Paso Robles Inn.
Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio spent the first night of their honeymoon at the Clifton motel on the south side of Paso Robles in 1954. They were married in San Francisco and were en route to Palm Springs. While no longer a motel, the building is still on the corner of 1st and Spring streets.
Drury James, the uncle of the outlaw Jesse James, was one of the city’s original architects who built the original Hotel El Paso de Robles. He also gave the town a two-block city park and envisioned a planned spa community, heavily publicizing the area as a hot springs tourist attraction.
Beginning in 1914 and for 25 years thereafter, the piano virtuoso and Polish statesman Ignacy Paderewski visited Paso Robles as a place of respite between his concert tours and other responsibilities. He purchased 2,000 acres and planted Petite Sirah and Zinfandel on his Rancho San Ignacio vineyard in the Adelaide area. With his performances at the Paso Robles Inn, he became a fixture amid a glittering scene, which entertained the likes of Jack Dempsey, President Theodore Roosevelt, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, Douglas Fairbanks, Boris Karloff, Bob Hope and Clark Gable.
Once known as the “Almond City,” Paso Robles possessed the world’s largest concentration of almond orchards until the Central Valley gained access to plentiful irrigation.
As the health benefits of olive oil become more well-known, Paso Robles is becoming a mecca for all things olive-related. You can tour an olive processing facility and take your pick of a number of olive oil tasting rooms. And at We Olive's flagship store in downtwon Paso Robles, you can taste samples of dozens of local olive oils in one place.
The California Mid-State Fair draws more than 400,000 attendees annually to the Paso Robles Event Center. Known for showcasing big-name bands and artists such as Aerosmith, Tim McGraw, Rod Stewart, Alan Jackson and Fergie, the fair has been in existence since 1946.
From 1924 to 1934, the Pittsburgh Pirates were headquartered at Hotel El Paso de Robles during their spring training. The ballpark they used in downtown Paso Robles had been previously used by the Chicago White Sox.
The “Templeton Gap,” a notch in the coastal Santa Lucia mountain range, allows marine air to cascade inland and across the Paso Robles wine country—a cooling influence that fosters quality and complexity in the local wines. Temperature swings of 50 degrees within a 24-hour period are not uncommon during the late summer months.