Eat, Stay, Play in Sonoma County This Summer

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Throughout Sonoma County, there are delightful little areas, pockets of charm with vistas, food, wine and a soft bed at the end of the day. Here are some of our favorite places and experiences to eat, stay and play around the Redwood Empire.

Your Secret Forest Escape

Gaige House + Ryokan
13540 Arnold Drive,
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Tel: (707) 935-0237
Trip Advisor: 4.5 Stars, 512 reviews

This 19th century inn combines the antique charm of a bed and breakfast with modern spa guest rooms that make for an indulgent getaway. Guests can take advantage of fresh baked cookies each afternoon and a daily evening magic hour reception with wine and cheese tasting. Spa treatments are available in the spa loft or in the suites themselves.

Insider’s tip: At Gaige House + Ryokan, tucked alongside Calabazas Creek, there’s an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, and there are a scattering of delightful hidden spots to secret yourself: a hammock shaded with ancient oaks, a miniature pagoda in a rock garden or a gurgling fountain.

Glen Ellen Star
13648 Arnold Drive
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Tel: (707) 343-1384
Trip Advisor: 4.5 Stars, 427 reviews

Just down the street from the hotel is the lauded Glen Ellen Star restaurant, where chef-owner Ari Weiswasser can be seen in the open kitchen conducting a flow of dishes such as golden beets, harissa crumble, blood orange oil and cauliflower with salsa verde; or whole roasted fish, spigarello, fresno chili, toasted pine nuts and garlic confit. Weiswasser spent time in kitchens in New York and Philadelphia before a lengthy stint under Thomas Keller at the French Laundry.

Insider Tip: We recommend a seat at the bar/kitchen for the full experience. It’s fun to watch the chef team prep and cook and the banter between patrons elbow to elbow over good food. Stand outs are the pea soup, pizza, spring greens with an inspired dressing, and roasted whole fish.

An Air of The Classics on the Sonoma Plaza

Ledson Hotel
480 First Street East,
Sonoma, CA 95476
Tel: (707) 996-9779
Trip Advisor: 4.5 Stars, 193 reviews

Facing the wide green and historic Sonoma Plaza, the Ledson Hotel stands out as an icon summoned from an era of distinction. With its wrought iron balconies and noble facade, the exterior is matched in character by the interior and decorations. Each room is individually designed with antique furnishing and stocked with all the creature comforts a visitor to wine country might desire. On the premises is the Zina Hyde Lounge, a tasting room with flare. Run by fourth generation vintners, the Zina Hyde Lounge and tasting room offers varieties from vineyards in Sonoma County out of the Russian River and Sonoma Coast AVAs, as well as from Mendocino County in the Anderson Valley, Redwood Valley and North Coast AVAs.

Insider’s tip: Call ahead and reserve a private wine and food pairing at the Zina Hyde Lounge, with offerings of four- and six-course paired noshes and wine.

Just What The Doctor Ordered

Kenwood Inn and Spa
10400 Sonoma Highway,
Kenwood CA 95452
Tel: (707) 833-1293
Trip Advisor: 4.5 Stars, 625 reviews

Spread over a meticulously manicured 2.5 acres, Kenwood Inn and Spa is designed for couples. Each of its 29 suites has a private entrance, a feature aimed to make each guest’s visit feel intimate and personal. There are no TVs in the rooms but wifi is available if you need to plug in every so often. Kenwood isn’t just a luxurious hotel, the full spa on site is more than enough to pamper even the most stressed guest. Work those muscles with a therapeutic massage or dip into some grape-themed wellness with a Honey Wine Wrap, Crushed Cabernet Scrub and massage or Vinoperfect Facial. Add on a vinotherapy bath in pinot noir, chardonnay or some bubbly, and you might not ever want to leave.

Insider’s tip: The hotel has one dog-friendly room, so inquire ahead of time to include your four-legged friend on your relaxing weekend away.

Kicking Up Your Feet At The Winery

Comstock
1290 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Tel: (707) 723-3011
Trip Advisor: 4.5 Stars, 47 reviews

What’s better than tasting delicious wines at a beautiful winery in Dry Creek Valley? How about staying at the winery in a luxurious villa with vineyard views, gas fireplaces, and deep soaker tubs? The Residence at Comstock Wines is just steps away from the tasting room on their 17-acre property and surrounded by vineyards and gardens. So do a little wine tasting, pick out your favorite bottle and amble home to sit back in an Adirondack chair on the wrap-around porch and drink it all in.

Insider tip: Comstock offers lots of different wine tasting experiences, but perhaps the coolest is the blending seminar where guests try their hand at winemaking after touring the Comstock winery.

It’s Like Boarding School For Foodies

Ramekins
450 West Spain Street,
Sonoma, CA 95476
Tel: (707) 933-0450
Trip Advisor: 4.5 Stars, 33 reviews

Just a few blocks from the Sonoma Plaza is the sweetest little cooking school you’ve ever seen. Ramekins has some serious Spanish-style flair with rammed-earth walls and tile roofs. There are demonstration only and hands-on classes, and others that explore the agricultural bounty of the gorgeous Sonoma Valley. So don’t just admire the fresh produce at the farmers market, try your hand at cooking some wine country favorites. Even better, you can stay at Ramekins in one of their six rooms, each decorated with rustic French antique furnishings and stocked with eco-friendly bath amenities.

Insider tip: Don’t forget to book an in-room spa treatment during your stay. And as an extra bonus, you can add a bottle of sparkling wine or seasonal fruit and cheese plate to any treatment.

Ichiban (#1) in Healdsburg

Single Thread
131 North St,
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Tel: (707) 723-4646
Trip Advisor: 5 Stars, 12 reviews

The much-anticipated Single Thread restaurant is earning rave reviews from the critics, but you can up the indulgent factor dramatically by booking one of their guest rooms located on the second floor of their new building in downtown Healdsburg. The rooms have been designed with as much care as the exquisite seasonal menus served in the restaurant and are stocked with house-made treats. Also included is breakfast, made with vegetables and eggs from the Single Thread farm. There are more familiar options like porridge or muesli with wild pecans and poached quince, as well as Japanese-inspired dishes such as Dungeness crab Dashimaki Tamago, a rolled egg specialty.

Insiders tip: Check in and dive into a refrigerated drawer full of Pliny the Elder in every room!

Rustic charm with Michelin stars

Farmhouse Inn
7871 River Road,
Forestville, CA 95436
Tel: (707) 205-3550
Trip Advisor: 4.5 Stars, 675 reviews

Farmhouse Inn kind of has it all. Michelin-starred restaurant? Check. Farm-to-table spa? Check. Sommelier-led wine tours? Check! This luxurious, boutique resort has a range of room types, but they’re all comfortable, elegant and include different indulgent touches like heated marble floors or redwood saunas. Located just outside of sleepy Forestville in west Sonoma County, the hotel is within easy access to many of the area’s best wineries and just down the road from Burke’s Canoe Trips, where you can book a trip on the lovely Russian River.

Insider tip: Turn down service at Farmhouse includes freshly baked cookies and milk.


Author

WineCountry Staff

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