One Of The Best Cities In All Of California Paso Robles California – The Pass Of The Oaks
Living in the Central Coast now for the better part of 37 years, I have seen a lot of changes take place in this once tiny little town. In San Luis Obispo California.
I was brought into this town at the age of 5 years old, moving out of a much more populated area in the Los Angeles area. Honestly, my family moved out of Compton to move out here so I can say that parents made a great choice.
When we first moved into town the entire town had a population of about 8,000 people or so. It was a smaller community of almond and walnut farming. How do I know? Be the son of Mexican immigrants, my parents worked on those farms. There were even times my dad would take me out to pick up a few walnuts myself so I could earn a few quarters to play Pacman at the local Lickity-Split Icecream shop that used to be on 13th street.
As far as I could remember, there were 3 traffic lights in the entire town. There wasn’t much to the town. It was covered with giant oak trees called robles trees, and so, the name for the town only made sense. Paso Robles, also known as El Paso De Robles, which means the pass of the oaks in Spanish.
It was a tiny community with just a handful of schools and tourism with no existing tourism at all. Maybe, at the time, people might have stopped by to stay at a local motel on their way to visit Hearst Castle out in San Simeon. That place is only about 40 minutes from here.
As the years went by, the town slowly began to expand. Like all towns in California, a large population started to grow needed no housing and new stores to open up. As a kid in high school, I still remember the day that I believe Paso Robles really began to explore and expand. It was in 1995 with the addition of the Woodland Plaza and mighty WalMart entering the town. Things really began to take off from that point on. New roads began to get built. New bridges were built including the Niblick bridge. That was such a huge addition to the town and relieved a great deal of traffic congestion.
It was around that time that wineries started to enter the city and start to grow grapes instead of almonds and walnuts. Obviously, it must have been a lot more profitable since all other farms followed suit.
Within the next ten years, the town had completely transformed and housing really exploded. There were housing tracts being build all over the place jump-starting a huge construction boom in the town. Contractors in all shapes began to flourish with the added growth. There were concrete contractors, framers, driveway installers, landscapers, and everything else in-between that was really experiencing some serious growth in the town. There was a roofer in Paso Robles that started his entire business out during that time and was able to sell it off and retire. It was a great time for everyone.
Of course, the housing crash happened and everything came to a screeching halt. Things began to collapse. After that rough patch of about four years, things really began to explode once again. The last 7 years or so have really put the city of Paso Robles on the map. Now with massive wineries, a thriving wine tour industry has caused some major player to come out and build giant hotels for people to come and stay at. They are not just building a bunch of Motel 6’s here. They are building luxury hotels and people are coming from all over to stay. Even celebrities stay at the resort type places and it’s only getting bigger.
It’s amazing to see the complete changes that have come to this town. From a tiny little town of 8,000 and small almond farmers to a thriving town of 30,000+ and a wine industry that is the envy of many.