One of my favorite stops on the way to the Pacific Coast, Goats Rock and the mouth of the Russian River is Duncans Mills, rich in history and a great place for killer coffee and hot pastries at Gold Coast Coffee. The Sticky Buns ( only available on Saturdays) are one of my favorites as are the Butter Horns hot right out of the oven available most days. Two Scottish Brothers Samuel and Alexander Duncan relocated a lumber mill there in 1877, to avoid spring flooding on the River that occurred at their former location and the town grew up around the mill. Duncan Mills does a fantastic Civil War Days re-enactment in July. (www.civilwardays.net) which is great history and fun for the family. This is an incredible re-enactment complete with cannon fire, horses, troops and history lessons, do not miss it. Duncan Mills has some fun shops and art galleries as well as the newest tenant which is Sophie’s Cellar. Sophie’s has some great wine selections and cheeses, snacks and picnic basket goodie selections for your day on the beach. Sophie’s owner John Haggard writes a monthly column about wines in the Russian River Gazette and will help you find some fun wines for your day (tell him Locals sent you). He also has free corkage at 9 local restaurants in case you are having dinner along the River. On Saturdays in the late afternoon the Blue Heron has outdoor music and dancing with the foothills and blue skies as a back drop. Bob’s BBQ Oysters and a pitcher of beer will set you in the mood. Follow River road exit off 101 to Hwy 116 and follow it towards the ocean. Duncan Mills is about four miles west of Monte Rio along the Russian River. Cheers
Freestone Artisan Cheese in Freestone
This magical little cheese shop just opened about a month ago in the corner at Freestone, along the Bohemian Highway. They specialize in local cheeses, with a variety of cow, sheep and goat cheeses to fit any palette. With the help of Omar Mueller, this small shop can take you on your own journey through the Sonoma County landscape with different cheeses from around the area. He will work with you and walk you through different aged cheese for any occasion. You can grab some bread from Wildflower bakery and bring it in for some supreme pairings with the fougasses or goat rock loaves. Then take your little lunch over to the Wildflower gardens or the patio in the front of this little cheese shop and have a moment of bliss.
380 Bohemian Highway, Freestone, CA
Open Friday through Monday 10 – 6
Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone
This well kept locals secret has been passed around for over 14 years, with mainly only the tourists driving or biking by never knowing the wiser. All of their bread is made in an old brick oven witheucalyptus wood and they primarily make sourdough bread with mixings of goat cheese, garlic, onions, and many herbs, spices, and seeds. They are also well known for their scones and warm sticky buns bursting with currants, walnuts, and cinnamon.
What makes this spot so special is not only the amazing breads, but their luscious garden rightbehind the building. Full of fruit trees, vegetablegardens, berry patches, and a grape vine arbor; this quiet garden has seating sprinkled around for quiet moments or a small catch-up with an old friend. You can always meet some locals out in that garden! Grab some cheese from the newly opened Freestone Artisan Cheese shop right down the road and have your self a lovely picnic.
Keep in mind that their hours are sort of unusual in that they are open the unusual Friday through Monday, 8:30 AM to 6 PM.
Rivers End in Jenner
Follow River road and Hwy 116 from Guerneville to Jenner. You will be driving along the river with lots of pull out spots to enjoy the views. This road comes to a fork near the ocean. Turn right to Jenner (this is about an 18 minute drive from Guerneville). Just outside of Jenner on the left side of the road looking out over the ocean and the Russian River is Rivers End Restaurant. This is a great spot for lunch and a walk on the beach or for a dinner with ocean and sunset views. The restaurant has a great California Cuisine menu with lots of fresh local produce and fish. Patrick is the Bartender and he makes a serious Ramous Gin Fizz so if you are looking to start off with a great morning cocktail tell him Bill sent you. The restaurant staff is friendly and the menu has something for everyone, including a great wine list if you are back in the mood for some wine after a day of rest and reflection. Reservations recommended especially for dinner if you want a table with sunset view.
Always open for LUNCH and DINNER.
We always recommend you call for reservations 707-865-2484 ext. 111
Year Round Hours
Thursday through Monday
(Closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
SEE SPECIAL HOLIDAY HOURS.
Lunch – 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Dinner – 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
In Sonoma County after a few days of wine tasting perhaps a little quite time for reflection and relaxation is in order at Armstrong Woods. An 805 acre park located in Guerneville is a sure bet for nature lovers. From Hwy 101 take the River road/Guerneville Road exit (about 2 miles north of Santa Rosa). Follow River Road as it winds through the Russian River Appellation for about 16 miles to Guerneville and at the second stoplight in Guerneville take a right on Armstrong road, it dead ends at the park. I recommend parking in the lot just outside the park and then by walking in you have no park fee. It is flat and some of the biggest and oldest Redwoods in Northern California are in these woods. It is truly beautiful. Get there early in the morning and enjoy the quiet and a cup of coffee which you can get at Café Bazaar which is on the left just after you make the turn on to Armstrong road.
HOURS OF OPERATION:
8:00 AM to one hour after official sunset.
PARK OFFICE TELEPHONE:
Day Use Fees
$8.00 per vehicle
$7.00 per vehicle for seniors
Free to pedestrians and bicyclists
Bus fee for 10-24 passengers is $50.00
Located in the Rincon Center in San Francisco in the Embarcadero area, this world renowned Dim Sum Restaurant is abuzz with friends, families and conversations while a host of servers approach your table with carts filled with fresh seafood, meats and veggie dumplings along with offerings of fish, duck, crab and veggie side orders. I love the Atmosphere at Yank Sing and the food that once served only to the Imperial Family is out of this world.
Water Bar is a seafood-centric restaurant located on the waterfront in San Francisco with a panoramic view of the bay, city skyline and the Bay Bridge. It features a menu of fresh sustainable fish and seafood plus in the evenings the light show on the Bay Bridge is visible. During happy hour lunch from 11:30 -4pm on Thursdays thru Saturday’s they serve fresh DOLLAR OYSTERS. Sit at the bar you will meet people from all over the world.
399 The Embarcadero South| San Francisco, California 94105 |
I have been getting a lot of requests lately asking about places to stay in Geyserville. I can personally vouch for this one…and the best part is you can walk right to Locals. Take a look.
Located in the Heart of the Alexander Valley in downtown Geyserville, and named for the ancient rose bush that climbs seductively along a tree on the private driveway; the cottage has two queen-size bedrooms and one bath, a living room with fireplace, fully-equipped kitchen and dining area. The Studio features a private entrance, king-size bed, whirlpool tub and private patio. Amenities include fine linens, microwave, WiFi, television, DVD player, washer and dryer and off-street parking. The Cottage and Studio are just a block from the historic town center with its wine tasting rooms, Zagat-rated restaurants and unique shops and art galleries.