El Paso de Robles "The Pass of the Oaks" is located on the Salinas River north of the city of San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. Paso Robles is known for its hot springs, abundance of wineries, production of olive oil, almond orchards, and for playing host to the California Mid-State Fair. Paso Robles is located approximately halfway between the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Simply "Paso," as it is referred to by locals, sits on the eastern foothills of the Santa Lucia Coastal Mountain Range, also known as the Central Coast.
The Salinan Indians lived in the area thousands of years even before the mission era. Paso Robles is located on the Rancho Paso de Robles Mexican land grant that was purchased in 1857. The land was a rest-stop for travelers of the Camino Real trail. Franciscan priests from neighboring Mission San Miguel constructed the first mineral baths in the area. During this period, Paso Robles began to attract the pioneer settlers who would become the founding members of the community. They would later establish cattle ranches, apple and almond orchards, dairy farms, and vineyards. For a time, Paso Robles was known as the “Almond City” because the local almond growers created the largest concentration of almond orchards in the world. Many of these ranch lands and orchards have become vineyards for the many wineries which currently draw tourists to the area.