The New York Times 52 Places To Go In 2020

N.Y. Times 52 Places To Go 2020

PASO ROBLES,
CALIF.

The Central Coast does its best Tuscany

A series of still photographs, faded from one to the next, shows the lights’ slowly undulating colors.Beth Coller for The New York Times

California’s Central Coast has been known as California’s other wine country since the actor Paul Giamatti went on a road trip and swore off merlot in “Sideways” 16 years ago. But while Paso Robles in particular is undoubtedly an accomplished wine terroir with more than 300 wineries (L’Aventure and Adelaida wineries recently expanded), to assume it is a string of tasting rooms would be to underestimate it. Last fall, the artist Bruce Munro created “Field of Light,” a show of 60,000 illuminated glass orbs spread over 15 acres that has turned Paso Robles into an art destination (until June 30, when the show ends). Meanwhile, the city has turned the good life — of wine, olive oil, cheese and boutique hotels — into an identity. The star hotel here, Hotel Cheval, is adding 20 guest rooms, a luxury spa and an infinity pool in 2020, while the new Hotel Piccolo has brought exposed brick walls, a rooftop bar and a hipster crowd to downtown. Two blocks away, chef Julien Asseo (of Guy Savoy in Las Vegas) just opened Les Petites Canailles, a buzzy new farm-to-table restaurant, in November. And Paso Market Walk, a 16,000-square-foot marketplace, is expected to open this year — bringing a bakery, microbrewery, gelateria, vegan cheese shop, olive oil tasting room, coffee roasters and artisanal, local specialties to Paso.

—DANIELLE PERGAMENT