Paso Robles, meaning "Oak Pass" or "Pass of the Oaks," is a historical resort town, known for its hot springs, located on the California's Central Coast about 30 miles north of San Luis Obispo. Nearby cities include Templeton, San Miguel, and Atascadero. The city is surrounded by mountains, beaches, and deserts. Paso Robles' major industry is wine production, with vineyards located throughout the surrounding area. The city limit sign shows a current population of between 29,000 and 30,000.
Downtown Paso Robles is laid out in a grid to the west of Highway 101, which runs north/south along the Salinas River. Streets running east/west are numbered from south to north (e.g. First Street is the southernmost street). North/south streets are named in no particular fashion. Spring Street, the main street, runs north/south. The historic core of Paso Robles is centered around 12th and 13th streets near City Park.
The historic core features several locally-owned shops and restaurants. Outside of that area, the main commercial developments with chain stores are south of town at the intersection of Highway 101 and Highway 46 West, at the intersection of Niblick Road and River Road, and at the intersection of 24th Street and Highway 101.
Most of the area's vineyards are strewn along Highway 46 on both sides of town. Connoisseurs differentiate the area's wines between those along Highway 46 to the west, which has a cooler and wetter coastal climate, and Highway 46 to the east, which is hotter and drier.