Explore the California wine route, from San Francisco to Napa and Sonoma Valley.
Indeed, a California trip wouldn’t be complete without having a sip of its world famous wines. And what could be more fitting than a personalized visit to the Northern part of Sunny California, where the divine wine will prove to be just the icing on the cake.
Excited? There is every reason to be. But before you trek any further, it’s time for some trip planning for there are many things to explore along the way.
Located 35 miles north of San Francisco is the charming Napa and Sonoma Valley, home to the world-famous California wines. Punctuated with the romantic meeting of the Russian River and Pacific Coastline, the famous wine tour is a complete experience of revisiting olden times. Aside from the rolling hills bereft with vineyards, a long line of redwoods, historic towns and lush gardens abound.
Plan your trip with friends. Make sure to bring along your digital camera. Picture perfect scenery is part of the journey.
Heading up north, Calistoga and St. Helena will readily greet you with vineyards and lovely farmlands. Calistoga, also known as the “hot springs” of the West offers more than mud baths. You will also enjoy Sharpsteen Museum, Faithful Geyser and hot air balloon rides. St. Helena on the other hand is nestled in the heart of Napa Valley. The things do here are easy to remember: eat, drink and be merry! Famous for its sumptuous menu, St. Helena was part of General Vallejo’s land grant which was settled in 1834. And to this day the tradition of having good and cheerful lives is well kept.
Relaxing treats beckon the moment you set foot in Santa Rosa, Sonoma’s largest city entrenched right smack in the Sonoma Wine County. Your social trip planner will suggest indulging in Santa Rosa’s art and culture or may even challenge you to a cycling tour. Whether you choose one or both, you will definitely enjoy the city’s old brand of hospitality combined with urban art, recreation and wine.
Passing through Sonoma and into the Bodega Bay, you’ll reach the old settlement of Miwok and Pomo Indians. Up until the fall of 1775, this hilly terrain was home to hunting and gathering lifestyle as well as harvesting the seas and rivers. When Captain Smith reached the place a little over a hundred years after the Indians, he built California’s first steam powered saw mill. Rich with wood resources, Bodega Bay’s population is now under 100 after attracting settlers at the turn of century to its peak. It is now better known as the setting for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Bird.
Moving on to the rest of the journey, Healdsburg welcomes one in a big way. It is located in the center of three valleys and houses 60 wineries. Pomo Indians had their villages built here along the Russian River. Other settlers reached this place when the Gold Rush was at its peak and formed farming communities. Healdsburg is now known as the heart of wine country. A trip along the West Dry Creek Road will unravel more wineries. Check out Lambert Bridge, Quivira, and Preston and have a much-deserved sip. Cheers!