Eric Risberg/Associated Press file, 2010


This rural Central Coast town of 30,000, a half-hour's scenic drive from seaside Cambria and 42 miles from Hearst Castle, draws a continuous stream of visitors lured by its striking countryside, laid-back vibe and neighborliness.

Winemaker Jason Haas inspects rows of grenache blanc grapes at Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, where the number of wineries has exploded since the 1980s.

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