Featuring Santa Margarita, Atascadero, Templeton and Paso Robles Wine Country
Leave SLO on U.S. Highway 101 north. You’ll first cross Cuesta Grade, one of the highest passes in the county and an old stagecoach route. Roughly eight miles north of SLO, take the Santa Margarita turnoff. Stay on this main road (El Camino Real) as it passes through the step-back-in-time cowboy town of Santa Margarita. Stop for some antiquing as well as beer and wine tasting. Go adventurous and fly over vineyards and old-growth forests on a zipline.
Proceed north on El Camino Real to Atascadero.
Turn left at Highway 41 and drive west to Atascadero Lake Park and Atascadero Zoo, a great place for youngsters to escape the back seat and get a little exercise.
As you come back into town, catch U.S. 101 north again and exit on Vineyard Drive where you’ll see some of the most beautiful wine country in the world.
You can catch Highway 46, turn right, and come back to U.S. 101 and continue north to Paso Robles or south for your return to San Luis Obispo about 35 miles to the south.