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Pick’s Drive In – Cloverdale

Pick’s Drive In – Cloverdale

After a full day of wine tasting, swimming in Lake Sonoma, or hiking the hills around Cloverdale you might be in the mood for a great burger. Sometimes dining at the fancy restaurants around these parts are not what you need…..but a quick and and easy lunch is just the ticket. Well Pick’s Drive In is the perfect spot to stop. Every item on their menu is tasty, but this BBQ Chicken Sandwich is particularly good. Pair that with a nice cold…

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Willow Wood Market – Graton

Willow Wood Market – Graton

The little town of Graton is just a dot on the Sonoma County map, but it boasts one of our favorite spots to stop for lunch when we are headed out to the coast: Willow Wood Market. We almost always order off the specials menu when we go, and recently the fish stew was a knockout favorite. If they have it on the menu….definitely order it!Here is what the Michelin Guide had to say about Willow Wood Market: “Good, down-home…

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Bamboo Sourcery – Sebastopol

Bamboo Sourcery – Sebastopol

I have lived in this area for over 20 years now…but I had never visited Bamboo Sourcery before and turns out it is so worth seeing. Bamboo Sourcery is a unique bamboo-exclusive specialty nursery tucked among the forested hills near Sebastopol, California. They carry literally hundreds of bamboo varieties from all over the world and have beautiful and extensive demonstration gardens. You can wander through a forest of bamboo, picnic by a little pond and learn all about the over 300 varieties…

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Bon Ton Studio

Bon Ton Studio

Every now and then we like to highlight a local shop and recently we discovered Bon Ton Studio in Healdsburg. While little boutiques have proliferated there recently, many are a little too expensive for our local liking. Not this one! If you are looking to do some shopping in a lovely spot where your purchases won’t break the bank then this is the spot. Just because you are in a tourist town does not men you absolutely have to pay tourist prices…

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The Thatcher Hotel – Hopland

The Thatcher Hotel – Hopland

I recently had the opportunity to visit and tour this newly renovated and opened hotel in the tiny town of Hopland. Situated amongst the oak-covered rolling foothills of Northern California, Hopland sits on the west bank of the Russian River and serves as a gateway to the Redwoods of Northern California and the Emerald Triangle. Here you’ll find vineyards, ranches, and farmland alongside wineries, antique shops, and a rich local culture. While not yet really on everyones radar, this historic landmark building…

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Need a Local Concierge?

Need a Local Concierge?

Sometimes you just need a little more help planning your visit to Sonoma County, and especially the Sonoma Coast. We are pleased to recommend Sonoma Concierge, who can provide everything from airport transfers to customized tours focused on Wine and Cheese, Beer and Oysters, and even a Bodega Bay Beach and Hitchcocks’s “The Birds” tour. Let these experts give you the true lay of the land, and tell them the folks at Locals Travel Tips sent you to receive a…

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The Crazy Norwegian Fish and Chips

The Crazy Norwegian Fish and Chips

If you ever find yourself heading up up the coast on Hwy 101 toward Portland make absolutely sure to stop for lunch in Port Orford, Oregon at The Crazy Norwegian Fish and Chips restaurant. I stumbled on this completely by chance but WOW I am glad I stopped. I am very very picky about my fish and chips. The batter needs to be perfectly light and crisp, and the chips need to be just the right consistency too. Then there…

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Big River Estuary Hike

Big River Estuary Hike

This past Thanksgiving we needed to walk off some of the great food we ate so we decided to take what turned out to be an amazing walk. I call it more of a walk because the road is mostly level, with gentle hills along the edge of Big River for the first seven miles. You’ll pass an abandoned quarry in the first mile. At 4 ½ miles, there’s a small laguna at Dry Dock Gulch where you’ll find wood…

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Car Camping at Harbin Hot Springs

Car Camping at Harbin Hot Springs

Recently I decided to pay a visit to Harbin Hot Springs just outside Middletown in Lake County. This beautiful property was almost lost to The Valley Fire of 2015.  With an estimated half-million Harbin trees burned, it has been a priority for Harbin to protect and ensure the long-term safety and health of land, groundwater, and wildlife. Since I had not visited during the properties heyday, I was able to enjoy the property without comparing it to years past. This particular trip also marked…

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Taking a Hike

Taking a Hike

Sonoma County offers some of the best hikes around. Here are a couple of our local favorites: Taylor Mountain Regional Park – Panoramic views make this a great hike for those who want to see panoramic views from 1,000 feet. Open daily from 7 am until sunset. Start at 3820 Petaluma Hill Road in Santa Rosa. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park – This hike offers 25 miles located in the Mayacamas Mountains between the valleys of Napa and Sonoma. There is…

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