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Northern California Trip Itineraries

Holiday Weekend in Sonoma

Destination(s): Glen Ellen

West Sonoma has it all: the Russian River, with all it's water fun options, wine tasting in one of the best undiscovered appellations left in California, and a wealth of great hotels, B&Bs and inns that often have rooms available last-minute. And then of course there's the food. You can eat your way across Sonoma County without ever crossing the threshold of a chain establishment. Farm-to-Table cuisine was born here in Sonoma, and everywhere you look there are chefs, cheesemakers, bakers and other artisanal food specialists waiting to tempt you with food so fresh you probably saw it growing minutes before you sat down.

So if the Fourth of July weekend or another holiday has caught you off-guard and unprepared, no worries.The minute you're off the highway the fun begins. read more about Holiday Weekend in Sonoma

Bistro Des Copains

Bistro Des Copains

  • 3782 Bohemian Highway
  • tel:(707) 874-2436
  • Visit website
  • Occidental, 95465

This quintessentially country French bistro yet manages to be equally quintessentially Sonoma valley, with practically every ingredient listed sourced from the organic farms, artisanal dairies, ranches and orchards that surround the tiny town of Occidental. Partners Michel Augsburger and Cluney Stagg were old friends before they started Bistro des Copains, and have remained friends during their 12-year tenure, and it shows. The atmosphere is so friendly and relaxed, you feel like you stumbled into some local rancher's harvest celebration party. Everything on the menu is divine, but the roast chicken is the dish local chefs come back for again and again.
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Korbel Champagne Cellars

Korbel Champagne Cellars

  • 13250 River Road
  • Sonoma County
  • tel:+1 707 824 7000
  • Visit website
  • Guerneville, 95471
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

  • 209 Bohemian Highway
  • tel:(707) 823-8231
  • Visit website
  • Freestone, 95472

Like a magical trip to ancient Kyoto, a visit to Osmosis day spa and sanctuary feels like an escape to another time and place. Oddly located in the tiny town of Freestone, west of Sebastopol, this holistic therapy spa is less about pampering and more like giving yourself the gift of a health-boosting treatment. Despite the name, an "enzyme bath" is more akin to a ritual sauna than a soak. Used by Japanese practitioners as a detoxification procedure, an enzyme bath involves immersing your body into a hot bed of fermenting cedar chips, which raises your internal core temperature and allows your body to sweat out toxins. Osmosis founder Michael Stusser is a serious believer in the importance of alternative healing, and hires only the best massage therapists available. So take advantage of the deep relaxation you'll feel after your bath and indulge in a massage as well, and you'll leave feeling restored, relaxed, and energized beyond what you thought possible. read more about Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

Ledson Winery & Vineyard

Ledson Winery & Vineyard

  • 7335 Sonoma Highway 12
  • tel:+1 707 537 3810
  • Visit website
  • Kenwood, 95409
Armstrong Redwoods State Rsrve

Armstrong Redwoods State Rsrve

  • 13250 River Road
  • Sonoma County
  • tel:(707) 869-2015
  • Visit website
  • Guerneville, 95471
Collier Falls Vineyards

Collier Falls Vineyards

  • 9931 West Dry Creek Road
  • tel:+1 707 433 7373
  • Visit website
  • Healdsburg, 95448
Applewood Inn

Applewood Inn

  • 13555 HWY 116
  • tel:707-869-9093
  • Visit website
  • Guerneville, 95446
Watertreks Eco-Tours And Kayak Outfitters

Watertreks Eco-Tours And Kayak Outfitters

  • Highway 1, PO Box 39, River Boat Launch, Beach Area
  • tel:(707) 865-2249
  • Visit website
  • Jenner, 95450

Guided kayaking trips from Forestville to Jenner-By-the-Sea include shuttle service so you don't have to worry about doubling up on cars. A variety of options, from two-hour estuary paddles to 2-day camping adventures, mean there's a trip for every level of skill and enthusiasm.
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Wildwood Farm Nursery

Wildwood Farm Nursery

Wildwood Farm, located next to Kenwood Inn and Spa on the Sonoma Highway, is a garden and nursery specializing in maples, dogwood, and other ornamental trees and shrubs. It's also a sculpture garden and outdoor gallery, featuring works by West Coast artists designed to be displayed outdoors. There are gigantic cast iron sculptures, stone carvings, ornamental birdbaths, and ceramics. Stop by to make a purchase for your garden, or just to take a stroll through the gorgeous grounds.

Gardeners all over the west know Wildwood Farm, which specializes in exotic varieties of decorative trees and rare plants. Proud of their selection of more than 300 different Japanese maples and 40 types of dogwood, Wildwood Farms has also expanded their stock to include Gingko biloba trees and other hard-to-find trees and shrubs. But that's only one reason to visit. Owners Sara and Ricardo Monte and their son, landscape gardener Joe Monte, also display an en eclectic and adventurous selection of sculpture and garden art by artists of both local and national renown. Stroll among gigantic abstract cast iron structures and insects, or sit and contemplate elegant stone carvings and ceramic sculptures. New in 2009 is an organic vegetable garden and orchard planted by Joe, and a farmstand selling the garden's heirloom produce.
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Barn Diva

Barn Diva

  • 231 Center Street
  • tel:707- 431 0100
  • Visit website
  • Healdsburg, 95448

A founding member of Fork & Shovel, an alliance of chefs and local farmers, BarnDiva is the ultimate farm-to-table dining experience. The staff proudly explains that scraps from the kitchen feed the chickens, which in turn produce the eggs used in tonight's meal. The used cooking oil is recycled to run the farm's tractors. But none of this is done in hippie fashion; everything looks polish, artistic, upscale. Owners Jil, Geoffrey and Lukka Feldman have backgrounds in architecture, design and photography as well as food and hospitality, so the whole enterprise feels sophisticated and cultivated.

While chef Ryan Fancher is a "name" thanks to his three-year stint at The French Laundry and role in opening New York's Per Se, Barndiva doesn't stand on ceremony. The bar is warm and friendly, the back patio an almost perfect copy of a Provencal garden cafe. The rustic yet elegant interior feels like a country barn cross-pollinated with a downtown loft.  The list of local purveyors on the menu is as long or longer than the list of available dishes; local cheeses, figs, olive oil, heirloom vegetables, and local seafood, free-range chicken, and grass-fed beef are the centerpieces of every meal.

But at BarnDiva, cocktails are treated as goals unto themselves, and concoctions such as the Basque Lolita, A Kiss with a Slap and Maharani of Cooch-Behar now have their own fans who return just to sample the latest creative combination of flavors.
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Jenner Inn & Restaurant

Jenner Inn & Restaurant