Alexander Valley: A Traveler’s Guide

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  • on NOVEMBER 11, 2015
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About an hour north of San Francisco, Alexander Valley holds more than 100 wineries and a collection of the very best farm-to-table restaurants. Comprised of small yet charming towns like Cloverdale, Geyserville, and Healdsburg, Alexander Valley is home to many skilled artists and artisans, Consider visiting this region if you enjoy unique, original works of art and excellent red wines. Alexander Valley has more art galleries than any area in California north of San Francisco and produces excellent Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots. Use our guide to visiting Alexander Valley to plan your next unforgettable weekend getaway.

Places to Stay

Image Source: Yelp & Geyserville Inn

Geyserville Inn
21714 Geyserville Ave.
Geyserville, CA 95441
(707) 857-4343
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 209 reviews
Check Availability

The owners of Geyserville Inn provides an affordable yet comfortable stay in the heart of Sonoma County, an area typically known for being quite pricey. Each room has either a gas fireplace or an open balcony for guests to relax and unwind after a long day of wine tasting. If you’re visiting during the spring and summer, enjoy the outdoor pool and whirlpool spa on the premises. Insider tip: This is a great place to stay if you are bringing the pooches. Pet-friendly rooms are available for a small additional fee.

Image Source: Yelp

Old Crocker Inn
1126 Old Crocker Inn Rd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425
(707) 894-4000
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 272 reviews
Check Availability

Another dog-friendly spot, the Old Crocker Inn is a ranch-style bed and breakfast located on five acres of California paradise. Like something out of a movie, the abundant wildlife (some guests reported seeing deer, turkey, fox, and even quail in their reviews) that roams the property adds to the charm of the Old Crocker Inn. Insider tip: The inn is famous for the three-course breakfast, including their signature Zucchini muffins.

Where to Eat

Image Source: Yelp

Rustic, Francis’s Favorite
300 Via Archimedes
Geyserville, CA 95441
(707) 857-1400
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 454 reviews

Rustic, Francis’s Favorite is located on the grounds of the Francis Ford Coppola Vineyards. Winner of five 2015 OpenTable Diner’s Choice awards, the restaurant is a mix of both local and international seasonal dishes. Rustic specializes in brick-oven pizzas and genuine Italian cuisine. Insider tip: Sample the Argentinian meats to get a taste of some of the finest South American cuisine on the West coast.

Image Source: Yelp

Campo Fina
330 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 395-4640
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 170 reviews

Stop by Campo Fina if you are in the mood for a high-end sandwich that doesn’t break the bank. Sit on the patio to soak up a little famous California sunlight while you dine. Insider tip: Go around the back of the restaurant and play a game of Bocce ball on Campo Fina’s courts while waiting for your table.

Image Source: Yelp

Plank Coffee Shop
227 N. Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425
(707) 894-6187
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 30 reviews

If you want more than just your average cup of Joe, visit Plank Coffee Shop. In addition to foamy, divine lattes, this boutique breakfast spot serves Shrub, a naturally fermented soda made with fruit, vinegar, and sweeteners. Add a homemade quiche and you’ve got the perfect breakfast. Insider tip: After breakfast, browse eclectic yet elegant artwork for your home at 14 feet, the shop right next door, curated by the owners of Plank Coffee Shop.

Image Source: Yelp

25 North St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-7433
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 115 reviews

SHED is a brightly lit restaurant, cafe, lively bar, and open market, all at once. A popular Healdsburg shopping spot, SHED’s glass garage doors roll up so that you can enjoy the open country air. This agrarian center gives you an insider view of farm living while sharing some of the best flavors from the Alexander Valley. The menu changes weekly, depending on ingredient availability. Insider tip: Come for one of the weekly workshops, which teach visitors about farming, cooking, and using locally sourced ingredients.

Image Source: Yelp

The Parish Cafe
60 Mill St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-8474
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 95 reviews

Get a taste of Louisiana on the West coast with the Parish Cafe. Go straight for the steaming cafe au lait and pillowy beignets. During peak hours when the cafe is packed and noisy, take your meal out onto the back patio for a quieter table. Insider tip: If you still have room, order either the shrimp and grits or the breakfast po-boy.

Image Source: Yelp

21047 Geyserville Ave.
Geyserville, CA 95441
(707) 857-3471
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 121 reviews

Since 1936, Catelli’s has been serving deliciously authentic Italian food to Alexander Valley residents and visitors. This spot is a favorite for locals and serves up some of the best homemade pasta in all of California, which began decades ago by Italian immigrants and have been passed down through the Catelli generations. Opt to sit outside so you can dine under the olive trees on premise. Insider tip: Tour the gardens to see where the restaurant sources many of their fresh ingredients.

Image Source: Yelp

420 Center St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-7700
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 261 reviews

This Spanish tapas restaurant is a favorite among Alexander Valley locals. Order the lavender-scented quail for something a bit different but exceptional. Insider tip: If you like seafood and are feeling adventurous, try the octopus.

Image Source: Yelp

21021 Geyserville Ave.
Geyserville, CA 95441
(707) 814-0111
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 348 reviews

Diavola cures many of their own meats in-house and serves locally crafted artisanal cheeses on the restaurant’s carefully curated Antipasti menu. Natural wood floors and exposed brick walls create a clean, vibrant atmosphere in Diavola that parallels their handcrafted menu items. Insider tip: If you are a pie lover, the brick oven pizzas are a must.

Wineries to Visit

Image Source: Verite & Facebook

Verité Winery
4611 Thomas Rd.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-9000
Reservations: Required

Robert Parker awarded Verité with seven 100 point scores for their three innovative wine blends Le Désir, La Joie and La Muse. Sitting at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, the vineyard is off the main winery strip, letting you enjoy some of the finest wines in the region without the crowds or traffic. The private wine tasting room is open all week, making this a perfect stop for your winery weekend. Insider tip: Make sure you sample LeDésir, the Cabernet Franc blend that has scored over 90 points seven times since 2007.

Image Source: Yelp

Alexander Valley Vineyards
8644 Highway 128
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-7209
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 58 reviews
Reservations: Not required

Alexander Valley Vineyards has been creating delightful California wines for over 40 years. Visit this vineyard if you are a fan of Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons. Stop by between 11 a.m.-12 p.m. for the free guided cave tour and see where the wines are barrelled and stored to age. Insider tip: Book a spot on the Wine Carriage Ride to get a tour of Alexander Valley Vineyards and three other award-winning wineries in the area.

Things to Do

Image Source: Yelp

Lake Sonoma
3333 Skaggs Springs Rd.
Geyserville, CA 95441-9644
(707) 431-4590
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 94 reviews

Lake Sonoma offers waterskiing and sailing, as well as some great bass fishing. Trails along the lake let you enjoy the great outdoors, whether you are into hiking, horseback riding, or mountain biking. In spring and early summer, beautiful wildflowers blanket the landscape. Insider tip: Feeling outdoorsy? Camping areas at Lake Sonoma are available for nightly rental.

Image Source: Yelp

River Rock Casino
3250 Highway 128
Geyserville, CA 95441
(877) 883-7777
TripAdvisor: 3 stars, 52 reviews

Check out the River Rock Casino to try your hand at traditional card games like blackjack or go for a spin on the roulette wheel. Insider tip: If you aren’t much for gambling, the casino also hosts live music.

There is plenty to do and see while visiting Alexander Valley. Whether you plan to stay for a weekend or an entire week, use our guide to create your getaway itinerary and discover what makes the Alexander Valley the best-kept secret in California Wine Country.


WineCountry Collective

WineCountry is made up of a dedicated and passionate team of wine, food, and travel aficionados. We diligently explore regions, both near and far, to curate the best ideas and resources. Whether you're musing over your next wine escapade, planning a romantic weekend away, embracing the Wine Country lifestyle at home, or are simply looking to be entertained for a moment, trust us to be your comprehensive guide.