A Perfect Day in SLOCal

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

A Perfect Day in SLOCal – San Luis Obispo, Templeton, Paso Robles, and Atascatero are an adult playground, full of gorgeous rolling hills, pretty vineyards, great wine, and fantastic food.

How to spend a day (or two) tasting your way through SLOCal – where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. 

This post is sponsored by Visit California. All opinions are my own.

I love to partner with companies I know my readers will love just as much as I do – and there is no place on earth like California for a vacation!

I took a four part road trip to taste my way from Santa Monica California, through Oxnard, and on to the Santa Ynez Valley and San Luis Obispo to check out California Restaurant Month, and all the amazing food throughout California’s Central Coast.

To see my entire road trip plan, please start here. 

To learn more about California Restaurant Month and get ideas for your own culinary trip through California, please head here.

There is never a better time than now to Visit California – heading in the off-season saves a ton of money, but is also ideal for less crowds, and amazing restaurant specials.

A Perfect Day in SLOCal

This is the perfect guide to help your way through San Luis Obispo County (nicknamed “slo-cal”) – where to stay, where to eat, what to do around Paso Robles and Atascadero.

Where to Stay in Atascadero

The Carlton 

6005 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422

Just down the street from the stunningly beautiful Atascadero city building pictured above is the Carlton Hotel – a historic boutique hotel right in the middle of downtown Atascadero. 

The Carlton has numerous gourmet restaurants on site, free parking, luxury decor, and large, incredibly comfortable rooms that will set you at ease after a long day of exploring San Luis Obispo. 

My room at the Carlton had a large soaking tub, huge luxury shower, and gorgeous tile, making it easy to relax and refresh after a hard day’s work of wine tasting! 

Note: Rooms sleep 1-4 people, some rooms have patios and balconies. 

Where to Stay in Paso Robles

Paso Robles is full of great hotels – but the Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a truly unique family owned vineyard resort, with a distinctively Mediterranean flair. 

The Allegretto Vineyard Resort 

2700 Buena Vista Dr, Paso Robles, CA 93446

4 star vineyard resort 

The Allegretto Vineyard Resort has a vast collection of artwork the owner sourced from around the world – which gives the whole property a very upscale boutique feel – it was recently awarded the #6 top resort in all of Northern California by Conde Naste Traveler Magazine for their impeccable grounds, luxurious spa, and vast collections of art from around the world – not to mention fabulous wines and a gourmet restaurant that focus on not only Allegretto Vineyard wines, but other local Californian wines, spirits, and beers. 

The collection at the Allegretto is so fabulous, they even host docents who give wine and art tours through the winery’s hotel! 

I had a one room suite, with a separate bedroom and living room. Both the bedroom and the living room had small balconies that open to the vineyard hills below, which was a gorgeous way to wake up! 

Some rooms come with views over the breathtakingly beautiful courtyard – which honestly felt as though it was set in the Mediterranean, not California. 

The Allegretto is famous for hosting conferences and weddings, making it an easy choice for a luxury break away. 

Where to Eat Breakfast in Atascatero

Back Porch Bakery 

6005 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422


The back porch bakery, inside the Carlton Hotel’s lobby, is full of delicious breakfast sandwiches, fresh baked pastries and breads, and other breakfast and lunch classics. 

Sweet C’s Pick: Egg and ham croissant sandwich. 

JoeBella Coffee Roasters

3168 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422

Monday- Friday 6:30 AM- 3:30 PM; Saturday 7 AM- 3:30 PM; Sunday 8 AM-3:30 PM.

Joebella’s offers custom handmade coffee, tea, and espresso drinks made from their specialty organic coffee.

Joebella’s interesting name comes from the combination of husband and wife owners, Joe and Isabel.

Where to Eat Lunch in Paso Robles

Niner Wine Estates

2400 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA 93446

Open open Thursday-Saturday from 12 – 3pm, and Sundays from 11-3 for brunch and lunch service.

With numerous options for farm to table fresh California fare in San Luis Obispo County, it can be hard to pick where to dine out – but the restaurant at Niner Wines is a standout for exceptional gourmet food in a fabulous setting where you can have a wine tasting with lunch! 

Niner’s menus rotate seasonally, so you’ll likely get to try something new from month to month. 

Jambalaya with perfectly cooked shrimp perched on top – it was spicy and full of flavor – and I am still dreaming about how delicious it was! 

Where to Eat Dinner in Atascatero

The Nautical Cowboy

6005 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93422


The Nautical Cowboy’s focus on seafood and steaks, in an upscale casual atmosphere, makes it a prime pick in downtown Atascadero. 

Located inside the Carlton Hotel, the Nautical Cowboy is incredibly easy to get to – and has a fabulous menu with picks for anyone in your group. They also often have live music, but in a room so big, you can be in the action, or a quieter spot across the room.

It was definitely not too loud to have a conversation as I was there with a singer on stage on night, which is much appreciated for group dinners or date night – but still had a really fun vibe. 

I was lucky enough to try the restaurant week menu at the Nautical Cowboy – which was a sampling of three of the Nautical Cowboy’s signature dishes for $40.

The standout stars for me were the Ahi Wontons (tons of fresh ahi piled on a crunchy wonton nacho – the texture was perfect, with some spicy and sweet notes that were completely irresistible – and the Salmon Picatta. The salmon was cooked perfectly, and the creamy salty caper sauce on top was divine. 

To finish out the meal, be sure to grab one of the Nautical Cowboy’s giant slices of cake, too! 

Sweet C’s Picks: Ahi Wontons, Chocolate Cake. 

What to Do

Paso Robles, Atascadero, and the surrounding San Luis Obispo areas are full of things to do – there are gorgeous hikes, bike rides, and Morro Bay and the beach are just minutes away – but one of my favorite things to do when in SLO Cal is to take in all of the amazing wine, beer, cider, and spirits that are grown, harvested, and made locally. 

There is no shortage of small wineries, distilleries, cideries, and breweries – so you can easily make your own wine trail tour – or you can head to places like Tin City to take in a bunch in one afternoon! 

Wine, Beer, Cider, and Distillery Tours

Tin City 

3005 Limestone Way, Paso Robles, CA 93446

$-$$$ numerous restaurants, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and food trucks 

If you’ve ever wondered why there aren’t adult amusement parks, you’ve probably never been to Tin City. 

Tin City is easily one of my favorite new places – it is a tightly packed neighborhood of wineries, distilleries, ice cream shops and restaurants, and the Tin City Cider building that started it all. 

There are food trucks, live bands on stage at the Barrelhouse Brewery, tons of games to play like cornhole, ping pong, washers – as well as board games – in many of the tasting rooms, making Tin City an awesome place to spend a day tasting your way around some of the best Paso Robles and SloCal have to offer. 

Sweet C’s Picks: Cider at Tin City Cider (be sure to look for cider cocktails that blend different ciders together), Wine Shine natural spirits (Wine Shine’s brandy comes with very few carbs – their naturally spiced cinnamon brandy tastes like Fireball, but about a million times better – and without added sugar or artificial flavorings), Tasting tray at Barrelhouse Brewery, Ice Cream from Negranti. 

CalWise Spirits

3340 Ramada Drive, Suite B Paso Robles, CA 93446

$$-$$$ Craft distillery from one of America’s youngest distillers serving cocktails and upscale bar fare. 

Closed Monday – Wednesday

CalWise offers bar food, mixed cocktails, and tastings of their small batch craft spirits – focused on rum and gin (but there are many different spirits, too – like small batch blue curacao). 

The bar is impeccably decorated, with whimsical touches that are an Instagrammer’s heaven. 

I recommend chatting with the staff to see what you might like – we told them flavors we loved and asked to be surprised – and I was completely blown away with the cocktails I got! 

Be sure to follow me on my social media, so you never miss a post!
Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Pinterest | Instagram
Sign up to receive an email in your inbox for each new recipe:

To shop my favorite travel essentials, please visit my Amazon storefront here. 

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *