Is Sensorio Field of Lights worth visiting in Paso Robles, California

Sensorio Field of Lights in Paso Robles, California 2023 – All you need to know for your visit

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I recently visited Sensorio Field of lights in Paso Robles, California with my family and was blown away by the vast expanse of colorful illuminated lights!

Sensorio Field of lights is a unique experience in Paso Robles that is gaining popularity and is becoming a must-visit attraction on any trip to Central California.

I had seen the beautiful pictures of the brightly colored lights of Sensorio on social media and wanted to check them out myself. We had a family vacation planned to Paso Robles which gave us the perfect opportunity to plan a visit to Sensorio Field of Lights.

In this post find out everything about visiting the Field of Lights Paso Robles including tickets, what to expect, tips for the best experience, where to stay, where to eat, and what else is nearby!

Where is Field of lights located in California?

Sensorio Field of Lights is located in Central California in the town of Paso Robles. Paso Robles is known for its vineyards and wineries and is a popular central California wine country destination.

The Sensorio Field of lights is just a 10-15 minute drive from downtown Paso Robles making it very convenient to visit Sensorio if you are visiting Paso Robles.

Sensorio Field of lights in Paso Robles is a unique experience that can demand a weekend trip of its own.

It’s around a 3-hour drive from San Francisco Bay area and a similar 3-hour drive from Los Angeles making it perfect for a weekend getaway from either LA or San Francisco Bay area.

Planning to visit Paso Robles and Sensorio? Check out my 3-day epic weekend in Paso Robles itinerary.

What is Sensorio Field of Lights?

Sensorio Field of Lights in Paso Robles is a 15-acre walk-through experience by the internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro. The Field of Light installation was launched in May 2019.

The Field of Light artwork is created over the undulating landscape of Paso Robles with 58,800 stemmed spheres that are lit by fiber optics in morphing color.

The result is an illuminating and colorful field of lights that is a very stunning and unique experience. The Field of Lights is powered by solar energy and thus environment friendly.

Sensorio Light Towers
Sensorio Light Towers

In 2021 the Light Tow­ers installation by Bruce Munro was added to the Sensorio experience. The Light Towers installation features 69 towers made of more than 17,000 wine bottles, lit by optic fibers in morphing color.

This exhibit has a musical element added to it. The Light towers cel­e­brates Paso Rob­les as a wine coun­try destination.

Days and hours of operation for Field of Lights, Paso Robles

I visited Sensorio Field of Lights in the Fall season with my family. The experience was open at that time from Thursday to Sunday 7 PM to 10:30 PM.

The days and hours of operation vary based on the month and sunset times. It is usually always open on Friday and Saturday evenings. In the busy summer and fall months it is usually open from Thursdays to Sundays.

For the most accurate days and hours of operation, it is best to visit the official website of Sensorio.

Sensorio Field of Lights Tickets

You can buy tickets online in advance on the official website of Sensorio. There is some discount when buying online tickets versus the at-gate price. Sensorio is totally worth visiting even though the ticket price is on the higher side.

Sensorio General admission tickets

The day we were planning to visit the general admission was sold out online, but tickets were available at the gate.

Just make sure to reach around opening time to avoid long lines and to be sure that you are able to get at-door tickets. We reached around 7:30 and were able to buy tickets for our family of 10 people.

The online tickets were $43 each and about $6 cheaper than the gate price of $49 each, but there was a close to $6 service fee online, bringing the total cost of online versus the gate price to be around the same!

Sensorio Field of lights in Paso Robles
Sensorio Field of lights in Paso Robles

It is best to check the official website of Sensorio for the current ticket price.

Sensorio VIP experience tickets

Sensorio has VIP experience tickets for a higher price which includes access to a VIP terrace for a panoramic view of the Field of lights, tables with firepits, and 1 drink ticket. You can also upgrade to add a VIP Charcuterie platter.

As we were a large group we just went with the general admission tickets. The view of the Field of Lights is amazing from pretty much anywhere so we did not feel like we missed out on anything by not taking the VIP experience.

Sensorio Field of lights in Paso Robles Experience

To get the entire experience at Sensorio, of the lights slowly coming to life at dusk, make sure you arrive at least 45 minutes before sunset time. The day we visited sunset was at 8:15 PM and we arrived at 7:30 PM. You can click some great sunset pictures!

Entry checkpoints for baggage and tickets

The parking at Sensorio is ample and we were able to easily find parking. At the entrance, there is a baggage checkpoint where you will have to get your purses/backpacks checked. We did not have any food or water in our bags so we were good to go.

Tip for mobility-impaired guests – The Sensorio experience is wheelchair friendly. The path from the baggage checkpoint to the ticket checkpoint is a few minutes walk on the gravel path. As we had some mobility-impaired seniors in our group and one wheelchair, we asked for assistance at the baggage checkpoint and they took the seniors to the ticket checkpoint in a golf cart.

Sensorio entrance area before the lights

Sensorio field of lights in Paso Robles
Sensorio entrance area has food trucks

As soon as you enter the ticketed area you see a great lawn with people hanging out waiting for sunset. There are lawn games here like corn hole toss, and connect fours. There was a Mexican food truck and an Airstream bar.

There was live music playing and several fire pit tables to enjoy food and music. The Restrooms were in this area as well.

The VIP terrace entrance was from the general lawn, which also had food and drinks service and fire pit tables. The VIP terrace overlooked the Field of lights.

Sensorio Field of Lights before sunset

Is Sensorio Field of Lights worth visiting
Sensorio Field of Lights before sunset

We entered the field of lights area just a few minutes before sunset. There was the soft glow of twilight and the brown landscape blended well with the golden sky.

The light spheres were white and not illuminated yet. It was a very different view than what we had seen on social media, but still very beautiful.

Coming before sunset lets you see the complete space as once it gets dark nothing other than the lights is visible.

The viewing pathway is a half-mile loop with many paths to cross in between if you want to shorten the walk. The total loop is half a mile and easily walkable.

The path around the field of lights is a gravel path but it is wheelchair and stroller friendly. There are benches and seats all along the pathway.

There is no bad spot to view the Field of lights. The lights look amazing pretty much anywhere on the entire path.

Sensorio Field of Lights at dusk

Sensorio Field of Lights at dusk
Sensorio Field of Lights at dusk – the best view!

At dusk, the Field of lights started coming to life and we could see faint colors. The colors grew in intensity as the sky started to get darker.

I think the lights looked the best at dusk as compared to when it was the full night sky. The pictures I took at dusk were some of the best ones as the surrounding landscape added to the beauty of the glimmering lights.

Sensorio Light Towers

Sensorio Light Towers
Sensorio Light Towers

If you start at the pathway entrance and walk clockwise, Light Towers exhibit is at the leftmost end of the path. This installation was newly added in 2021.

The Light Towers installation features 69 towers made of more than 17,000 wine bottles, lit by optic fibers in morphing color. The towers are around 7 feet tall.

This exhibit has a music element added to it. The Light towers cel­e­brates Paso Rob­les as a wine coun­try destination.

By the time we reached this exhibit, it was dark as seen in the photos. The towers were made of individual wine bottles stacked up. Each bottle had an optic fiber in it that changes color. There is a viewing platform that allows you to see the entire display in a panoramic view.

The Light Towers made of wine bottles is a cool addition to the Field of Lights in Paso Robles, considering Paso Robles is a wine country destination.

Sensorio Field of Lights at night

Sensorio Field of Lights at night
Sensorio Field of Lights at night

Once the night is completely dark, the landscape and the pathways fade in the darkness and all you can see is the lights. This is a very different and phenomenal view of the Field of Lights from the sunset and dusk views.

Personally, I like the Field of Lights best at dusk when you could still see the landscape background with the lights. When it’s dark be careful with the pathways as it’s sometimes hard to find your group.

Is Sensorio Field of Lights Worth Visiting?

Seeing the Field of Lights is an amazing experience that combines art, technology, and nature, it’s surreal, almost magical. Seeing the vast expanse of brightly illuminated colored lights takes your breath away.

I was very impressed by the grandeur of the Fields of Lights. Sensorio Field of lights is worth visiting one hundred percent on your trip to central California!

FAQs about Field of Lights Paso Robles

Below are some commonly asked questions about the Field of Lights Paso Robles:

How long does it take to walk through the Field of Lights?

Once at the main entrance, it will take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours to walk through the entire loop. If you plan to walk through all the inner paths or just sit and admire the lights it can take longer!

Is Field of Lights Paso Robles wheelchair friendly?

Even though the pathways are made of loose gravel, it was very easy to push my mom’s wheelchair on the pathways. I saw families with strollers as well enjoying the exhibit.

Is Field of Lights in Paso Robles, CA kid friendly?

There were all ages of kids there! The lights are a sight to behold and enjoyed by adults and kids alike. We had a 3 year old in the group and he loved the lights. The pathways are stroller friendly as well. There are restrooms near the main entrance and portables on the field.

Can you bring food into Sensorio Field of Lights?

If you have younger kids or people with dietary restrictions, you can mention that at the baggage checkpoint area and they can be accommodating. Otherwise, there are food trucks inside to purchase food!

Is Sensorio Field of Lights in Paso Robles permanent?

Yes! Sensorio started out in 2019 as a temporary exhibit, but in 2021 Sensorio announced that it will become a permanent attraction to enjoy in Paso Robles. There are plans to add new features like a hotel, restaurant, etc. to enhance the guest experience.

Tips for visiting Field of Lights in Paso Robles

Knowing these tips will help you be prepared and make the most of your Sensorio experience!

Buy tickets in advance or arrive early

Buy your tickets online in advance if possible. If you are unsure of your travel plans, then you can buy tickets at the gate for a very similar price. Just make sure to arrive early at opening time, if you are buying tickets at the gate.

Arrive before sunset

I highly recommend arriving at least 45 minutes to an hour before sunset. That will give you enough time to experience everything that Sensorio has to offer and make an evening out of it. Also, it is remarkable to see the lights slowly coming to life as the night sets in.

The landscape of Paso Robles looks really great at sunset and you can click some amazing pictures with the golden yellow skies and the tan fields.

Wear comfortable shoes

The pathway around the Sensorio Field of Lights is made of loose gravel and the loop is around half a mile.

It might be a good idea to wear comfortable shoes and not very expensive ones as they will get dusty. Also, it gets chilly at night so closed-toe shoes or sneakers might be best.

Carry a jacket even in summer

Even though Paso Robles can go up to 100 degrees in the summer days, evenings and nights are almost always windy and chilly and it feels colder in open spaces like Sensorio. Carrying a jacket with you for the night will be a great idea so that you can enjoy being here till closing time.

Stay longer for the complete Sensorio experience

Sensorio field of lights in Paso Robles
Live music was playing at the Sensorio field of lights entrance area

When we arrived at Sensorio we did not know that there will be food trucks there. We were pleasantly surprised.

There was a Mexican food truck, Airstream bar, live music, fire pits, and tables to relax and hang out. You can hang out till closing time and have a great time with family and friends.

Where to stay for Field of Lights in Paso Robles

Staying in the town of Paso Robles would be the best place to stay after your Sensorio Field of Lights experience. Below are some excellent hotels in Paso Robles:

Paso Robles Inn is a very popular historic hotel with a great location right across from the Downtown City Park and within walking distance of all the downtown restaurants, bars, and events. This is my top recommended place to stay! Get a room with a private hot tub on the balcony!

The Piccolo is also within a block of the Paso Robles downtown scene with a swimming pool and bar.

Adelaide Inn and Best Western Plus Black Oak are at a great location close to the freeway to access the wineries on the east and west sides of the town. It is also just a 5-minute drive to the downtown city park.

La Bellasera Hotel and Suites is a little further from Paso Robles downtown but near Tin City. It is still just a 7-minute drive to downtown Paso Robles.

➡ Check rates and availability for your stay in Paso Robles

Paso Robles has plenty of vacation rentals all over the surrounding hills with amazing views of vineyards and the undulating landscape. Another great option is to stay within walking distance of downtown Paso Robles and walk to restaurants, bars, art galleries, and events.

We rented a vacation rental and it was a huge ranch-style house on a hilltop with a swimming pool and 360-degree views of vineyards around us.

View from our Paso Robles vacation rental
View from our Paso Robles vacation rental

We went in the fall season so the hills were tan which looked spectacular with the sunset hues. In the spring these hills would be all green and have a very different view altogether, lush greenery would make the hills look alive.

➡ Check rates and availability for vacation rentals in Paso Robles

Things to do nearby Field of lights Paso Robles

The Central Coast of California is full of amazing things to explore. You will find charm and history in coastal towns, recreation and relaxation in great beaches, promising food and wine scene, and even castles!

The central coast is less crowded than the famous northern and southern California cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, making it a great destination for a getaway. There are plenty of things to do within an hour’s drive of Sensorio Field of Lights at Paso Robles.

Go on wine-tasting tours at Paso Robles Wineries

Paso Robles vineyards
Paso Robles vineyards

Paso Robles town is brimming with world-class vineyards and wineries, there are more than 200 wineries here! You can book wine tours so that you can enjoy the wine tasting and not worry about driving or having a designated driver.

Best wine tour recommendations in Paso Robles:

Private Paso Robles Wine tour in your own vehicle – Use your own vehicle and your list of wineries or get recommendations from your driver/guide.

Best small group wine-tasting tour – Visit several wineries with a small group and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch in a winery setting!

Some popular wineries in Paso Robles are Daou Vineyards and Winery, Adelaida Vineyard and Winery, Eberle Winery, Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden, Niner West Estates, and many many more. Tin City in Paso Robles is a great evolving industrial makers market to explore and try beverages from many local producers.

Visit Downtown Paso Robles

Paso Robles downtown has history and charm and is a great place to spend an afternoon. The Downtown City park is in the center of the downtown scene with the historic Carnegie Public library which is now a museum.

Paso Robles downtown
Paso Robles Downtown

There are some great art galleries here to explore like Studios in the Park which showcases the work of many local artists.

There are a lot of restaurants in the area ranging from local eateries to chain restaurants. Some popular ones are La Cosecha Bar and Restaurant, Alchemist’s Garden, Basil Thai Restaurant, and many more.

Check out my post about many awesome things to do in Paso Robles besides wineries!

Take a tour of Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is a historic museum and California State Park less than an hour’s drive from Paso Robles and Sensorio. Hearst Castle’s history began in 1865 with newspaper magnate George Hearst.

The magnificent castle has a main building and three guesthouses totaling around 165 rooms, and 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains, and pools. The museum offers several tours of the grand rooms and the grounds.

Day trip to Morro Rock beach

Morro Rock beach
Morro Rock beach

Morro Bay is around a 45-minute drive from Paso Robles and a great place to spend a day. Visit the iconic Morro Rock which is the crown jewel of Morro Bay. The Morro Rock beach is famous for surfing events and surfing lessons. The Embarcadero has a great view of the Morro Bay Marina and is filled with great restaurants to enjoy.

Visit the coastal town of San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is another coastal town that is just around 30 minutes drive from Paso Robles. San Luis Obispo has a downtown area to spend the day browsing shops and restaurants and the local farmer’s market.

Make sure to check out the Bubblegum Alley on Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, which is a very unique alley that has chewed-up bubble gum stuck to the walls, some of which are many years old! I had to see this one to believe it. Gross or not, the Bubblegum alley has become a landmark of downtown San Luis Obispo.

Madonna Inn is a great place to stay which has whimsical themed rooms. I stayed there once with my family in a Paris-themed room! It was such a cool experience.

Visit Pismo Beach

Pismo beach is probably the most popular beach on the Central Coast of California and is around 45 minutes from Paso Robles and Sensorio. It attracts much more crowds than the nearby Morro Rock beach and Avila beach.

Pismo beach can easily be a weekend getaway destination. There are plenty of hotels and Inns at Pismo beach to stay for a night or the weekend.

Pismo Beach Pier
Pismo Beach Pier

The iconic pier at Pismo beach is a great place to stroll and get some ocean views. There is a boardwalk along the beach and great restaurants to try. Monarch Butterfly Grove and Dinosaur Cave Park are some cool attractions to check out.

Pismo beach is a popular beach for surfing. Pismo beach Sand Dunes preserve is also popular for four-wheel ATV rides and there are several companies offering ATV rentals in the area.

Visit Avila Beach

Avila beach is another great coastal town and family-friendly beach just 45 minutes from Paso Robles. Crowds at Avila beach are a little less compared to Pismo beach, and it has a very laid-back vibe. We stopped here on an afternoon and enjoyed the ocean views and the pier.

The Front street at Avila beach is a great place to stroll and enjoy some local food and shopping while looking at fantastic ocean views. The Bob Jones City to Sea trail is popular for biking and running. Visit Avila hot springs for a soak in the natural mineral water from the earth’s surface.

Final Takeaways: A visit to Sensorio Field of Lights Paso Robles, CA

This was my first visit to Sensorio Field of Lights Paso Robles and I really loved it.

Seeing the lights slowly come to life at dusk and transforming the beautiful undulating landscape into a field of color was an extraordinary experience. It is an artistic masterpiece and a feast for the eyes and senses.

Sensorio Field of Lights is worth visiting and you should definitely plan a trip to Paso Robles, Sensorio, and Central California! Also, make sure to take a wine tour while in Paso Robles!

Best wine tour recommendations in Paso Robles:

Private Paso Robles Wine tour in your own vehicle – Use your own vehicle and your list of wineries or get recommendations from your driver/guide.

Best small group wine-tasting tour – Visit several wineries with a small group and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch in a winery setting!

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