Are you a small town history buff? if so do not pass up a visit to the newly opened Geyserville History Museum. Owned by town historian and defect mayor 80 year old Harry Bosworth with his daughter Gretchen you will find lots of amazing memorabilia and historical artifacts housed inside this 1902 building in the center of Geyserville. Enter through the charming Bosworth Store and check out the large array of hats for sale. Open 11AM to 7PM Thursday through Sunday or call 707-857-3463 for more info.
If you are a ramen aficionado then do not miss this sot. Ramen Gaijin in Sebastopol is the real deal. This spot brings together authentic Japanese ramen recipes and techniques with super fresh local ingredients for a distinctly Sonoma County style Izakaya experience. While the ramen itself is crazy good….you can also make a meal of the various skewers and yakitori. We strongly recommend sitting at the bar if you can. The smells from the kitchen are hypnotizing.
Do you love Salumi? If so you will really enjoy this gorgeous shrine to meat of all kinds. Opened about a year ago….Journeyman Meat Company, owned by Pete and Kathy Seghesio, Healdsburg locals, is a combination butcher shop, salumi counter and wine tasting bar. Ask for the Sicilian style Terrona which is imbued with Parmesan…..it cannot be beat. Or order one of their wonderful hamburgers..and learn what a hamburger should really taste like! If you find yourself in Geyserville you can also buy and sample their Salumi at Locals Tasting Room. Enjoy!
Do you love fish tacos? There are lots of good spots to get them around Sonoma County but one of our favorite is at Handline in Sebastopol. Made from locally sourced rockfish and fried in a very light beer batter with all the right accoutrements. What really sets these tacos apart however is the fact that the all important tortillas are made in house from scratch! Go check this spot out….you will taste the difference. There are plenty of other fun things to do in the quirky little town….so fuel up then go exploring.
Feeling like a coffee break? If you are in Healdsburg then be sure to visit Plank Coffee. This place not only has a great vibe, friendly owners and baristas but also make excellent food. Try the Greens Sandwich and pair it with a Matcha Latte. It’s the perfect afternoon pick me up. Slightly off the touristy Healdsburg Plaza but well worth a little detour we think. This great coffee shop also has a Cloverdale location with sweet little outdoor tables right on the main drag. They have a super selection of sweet treats too. Enjoy!
If you find yourself in Healdsburg during the months of April and May then be sure to check out this little known treasure where you can enjoy perfume harvest tours complete with a full demonstration of a rose distillation to rose water and rose oil. The aromas will stay with you even after you leave….trust us on this one.
A great nursary with a large and sumptuous selection of exquisite roses, available April thru May plus a few special events in Fall.
Display gardens connected by a Rose Alleé of 8 arches displaying 600+ rose varieties for you to visit and enjoy. Garden tours available on special request.
This lovely display garden and nursery are open during the SPRING April through May on every Saturday and as well as every SUNDAY from 10 am to 5 pm. During the FALL we are open some Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in September and/or October.
Sometimes a local spot is so great that the locals you talk to mostly ask you not tell too many people about it. They want to keep it as their own little secret. That said….we still want to share this one with you because it is a truly friendly watering hole owned by Healdsburg’s own KC Mosso. If you want to listen to some of the best live music lineup around, then The Elephant in the Room is for you. Located in a nondescript parking lot at the south end of town, this spot has a great outdoor area and is both dog and cannabis friendly. All the bartenders are great and, although it is only a wine and beer spot, the changing selections are always on point. Sometimes there’s a food truck or pizza being made…or you can order food for delivery to the outside tables and just enjoy the music while you eat. Don’t miss this spot if you are visiting or spending any time in Healdsburg. Just don’t tell too many other people about it please 🙂
Check out this article in the Press Democrat highlighting Springtime winery hikes!
Not too long ago my partner and I were looking for a quiet weekend getaway and after some research decided on Wilbur Hot Springs which was originally established in 1865. Visit Wilbur’s webpage and you will find the following description:
“Wilbur is an off-grid, solar-powered destination resort with naturally occurring hot mineral springs in the heart of an 1800-acre nature preserve located in Northern California. Our baths and flumes are clothing optional.”
Wilbur prides itself on being rustic. It contrasts with other more refined and busier hot springs resorts. We were looking for a quiet, restful, and healthy escape and that’s what we found at Wilbur. As mentioned in the quote above, Wilbur is remote. You realize just how remote starting with the entrance road. Its long, its dirt and at some point, if you’re like us, you’ll think you’ve taken the wrong turn. Persevere. Arriving at Wilbur you’ll find a main building (which dates to 1915) where you check in and a number of modern cabin accommodations.
The rooms are simple. If you’re looking for high-end comfort you should probably look elsewhere. But they are quiet and very comfortable.
Before you visit, Wilbur’s website recommends you read their FAQ’s and “Planning Your Stay” pages. You should. Just a few items of note –
- No cell phones or other service.
- Bring your own towels (in fact your best bet is to bring everything you need. Don’t assume Wilbur supplies it.)
- Bring your own food.
- Clothing in and around the Baths is optional.
For us Wilbur was just right.
The hot springs were wonderful. Three adjacent “flumes” offered three temperature levels. The water emerges from the Wilbur source at approximately 145° F. When it reaches the flumes, it has cooled to about 128° F. The water is channeled into the flumes with average temperatures of 98° F, 105° F, and 109° F. Adjacent to the flumes is a “plunge pool” in the form of a deep old porcelain tub filled with bracingly cold water. Moving from the flumes to the plunge pool and back is a wonderful wakeup for your body. Also adjacent to the flumes is a large pool with plenty of seating for relaxing and enjoying the sun.
I had never been to a clothing optional spa before and faced it with some trepidation. But I found it appropriate to the environment and for me it added to the experience. The clothing optional area is fenced and discrete. Having said that, the choice is yours. There was no pressure to disrobe.
I made a reservation for a massage, which really hit the spot. The massage cabins are well appointed. The masseuse was skilled and listened carefully. My masseuse worked primarily in San Francisco but had come to Wilbur for the summer. She “lived” in a screened–off part of the cabin. Her experience showed.
An important note about food – Bring your own. We knew this was the case, but made the mistake of packing simple ready-to-eat fare. We did not realize that Wilbur has a large commercial style kitchen for its guests to use. We love to cook and next time will be sure to bring ingredients for dishes we will prepare ourselves. Localswill be glad to supply wine for the occasion.
Wilbur is remote in the best of ways. There are wilderness trails to hike, an outdoor pavilion that’s ideal for yoga. Wildlife abounds. No light pollution – the nights are silent and the stars are bright.
We left Wilbur relaxed and refreshed knowing we’d return. As we left Wilbur we had a very fitting farewell as a coyote crossed the road ahead of us.
When you come to wine country, you’re gonna taste a lot of wonderful wine and learn everything you might want to know about wine and grapes. But if you’re in the Russian River valley, don’t let the tastings blind you to so much else is there for you. Here’s just one idea:
Find a Swimming Hole
This isn’t about that one special swimming hole you just have to find. They’re everywhere! And the experience is always different. Is the river slow and lazy or is it spotted with rapids? Is the bottom one of boulders that are knee deep or do you take one step in and feel the smooth bottom drop away? Are clouds of swallows swooping from their nests under a bridge? Is your spot solitary and romantic or full of playful kids and their parents? Bracingly cold or so refreshingly cool?
The answer is yes.
That’s right. The Russian River is all of those and more. And you don’t need a secret map or tip from a local (although you can always get one) to find your spot on your day. Cloverdale, Guerneville, Geyserville, Healdsburg . . . you’re always minutes from the river. Backing up to a vineyard, tracking a road, pouring into the Pacifi or at the end of a dirt road or meandering through town. There it is! Explore! Swim, canoe, kayak, sunbathe, fish, dangle your feet in the water and let little fish nibble your toes. The river is there for you.
Now go taste that wine while the memory of the Russian River is with you. That’s an experience.