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Santa Barbara and the Central Coast Travel Guide

Paso Robles

In the 1860s tourists began flocking to this dusty ranching outpost to "take the cure" in a luxurious bathhouse fed by underground mineral hot springs. An Old West town, complete with opera house, emerged, and grand Victorian homes went up, followed in the 20th century by Craftsman bungalows. A 2003 earthquake demolished or weakened several beloved downtown buildings, but historically faithful

reconstruction has helped the district retain its character.

More than 200 wineries pepper the wooded hills of Paso Robles west of U.S. 101 and blanket the flatter, more open land on the east side. The region's hot summer days and cool nights yield grapes that produce robust Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Pinot Noir does well in some of the cooler, more fog-heavy western sections. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier are among the white-wine grapes that do well here.

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