Hotel at a Glance: The Desperado Inn
Perched on a hilltop, the Desperado Inn is part of a private 10-acre estate abundant with olive and cypress trees and a fragrant lavender garden. The property has the feel of the stately villas and vineyards of 19th-century Tuscany. In fact, there are several family-owned vineyards within easy walking distance of the estate. This deal includes vouchers for tastings at four wineries in the Paso Robles wine region, making it a fine romantic getaway.
- Get dazzling sunset views from the inn’s south terrace, which has an outdoor pool; the inn sits at an elevation of 1,175 feet.
- Private patios highlight each guest suite, which also feature flat-screen TVs.
- Hearty homemade breakfast is served each morning, compliments of the inn.
- A welcome reception is held for guests when they check in, and includes wine, cheese, and fresh fruit.
- Choose from a massive DVD library that features more than 600 movies; free popcorn is also available.
Paso Robles, California: Family-Owned Wineries and Hot Springs
Paso Robles was founded just after the Civil War by the uncle of notorious outlaw Jesse James, who even hid out there on occasion. Today, though, the town isn’t too rough around the edges—Paso Robles exudes an understated European elegance, with its Victorian architecture and vibrant green hills. The temperate Mediterranean climate is conducive to the growth of grapes, too. You can sample Rhone and Syrah blends at one of the roughly 200 wineries in the area, many of them family-owned. In the historic town center, you’ll find stately Victorian buildings and specialty shops that sell chocolate and artisan cheese from local farms.
There are therapeutic minerals in the water at the popular Franklin Hot Springs, which keep at a temperature around 97 degrees. Nearby Franklin Ponds is a nice, quiet place to canoe or cast out for bluegill, largemouth bass, and bags of Goldfish crackers. Or head to the Salinas River trail, where you can bike or take a peaceful hike.