June Events in Wine Country

The weather is warming up and summer is almost here, making it a great time to get out and explore Wine Country.  From concerts to art tours, lavender fields to hot air balloons, there is something for everyone in June.

Rodney Strong Vineyard Summer Concert Series
There’s no better way to enjoy a Wine County summer day than at Rodney Strong’s Summer Concert Series in Healdsburg. This popular music concert series draws large audiences from across the region and beyond.  Guests will find themselves surrounded by acres of beautiful vineyards providing a unique concert experience. Picnic on the winery’s luxurious greens while enjoying music from top performers such as Boney James, Smokey Robinson, Davis Sanborn and more. Runs June through September.

Art at the Source
Explore the art world of Wine Country at the Art at the Source Open Studio Tour.  Sebastopol Center for the Arts sponsors the 22nd annual open studio event the first two weekends in June. This is a great way to see and purchase fine art from hundreds of experienced and emerging artists, while traveling the scenic byways of western Sonoma County. This year’s tour will feature 135 artists at 87 studios, representing a number of disciplines including painting, print-making, sculpture, ceramics, fiber arts, fine jewelry, art glass, assemblage, woodwork, mosaic and photography. Runs June 4-5 & June 11-12 (Saturday and Sunday) from 10am–5pm.

Beerfest
Join the fun at the 25th Annual Beerfest celebration.  Beerfest is an extravaganza with more than 50 of Northern California’s best craft breweries featuring over 120 unique brews. VIP tickets holders will enjoy food pairings with specialty beers, plus our collectible mug. Benefits Face to Face, a local non-profit supporting the health and well-being of those living HIV/AIDS. Saturday, June 11 at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Must be 21 years or older to attend.

Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic
The annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic is a 2-day event where spectators can experience balloons up close, watch them launch, and even take tethered rides. Early risers can experience “Dawn Patrol”, the breathtaking sights as pilots use heat to fill their balloons. While the balloons fly overhead, the park will be host to food, music, and crafts vendors who turn out to serve spectators and enjoy the festivities. Keiser Park in Windsor the weekend of June 18th & 19th.

June is Lavender month in Wine Country, showcased by two local events. Sonoma Lavender in Kenwood is holding open house, offering U-Cut fresh lavender as well as a wide variety of lavender products.  No food is offered but there are many wineries and restaurants nearby. Runs the weekends of June 18-19 and 25-26.

Sip, smell and savor the beauty of Matanzas Creek’s exceptional wine portfolio and vibrant gardens at the Days of Wine & Lavender event.  Enjoy live music, delicious food and wine pairings, vineyard tours and open house at the Lavender Barn with sweeping views of gardens, vineyards and Taylor Mountain to the south. Must be 21 years or older to attend.  For more information visit their website. June 25.

So get outdoors and explore all that Wine Country has to offer in June.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo credit: Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic

June is Lavender Month in Sonoma Wine Country

Each June, Sonoma County blossoms with the vibrant color and fragrance of lavender ushering in local celebrations with lavender festivals, retail offerings and lavender-inspired dining.

The use of lavender has a long history, having been first recorded over 2,500 years ago. The fragrant flowers was prized by Mediterranean cultures, being primarily used as a perfume.  Ancient Greeks found medicinal uses for the vibrant flowers, using it as a cure for everything from insomnia and aching backs.  Ancient Romans used lavender as insect repellent, flavoring as well as perfume; the aromatic flower derives its current name from the Latin lavare, meaning, “to wash.”

Today, you can find lavender throughout Sonoma Wine Country. The popular plant retains its historic roots, being used as plantings, as well as an essential ingredient for wellness, culinary and beauty products.  Local farmers, vendors and retailers throughout the region use the full benefits of the vibrant plants which come to full bloom in June.

Sonoma Lavender in Kenwood is holding open house on the weekends of June 18-19 and 25-26, offering U-Cut fresh lavender as well as lavender products including hot/cold wraps, lavender bath & body, diffusers, candles, gifts, sachets and bouquets.  No food is offered but there are many wineries and restaurants nearby if you want to make a day of it.

On June 25, sip, smell and savor the beauty of Matanzas Creek’s exceptional wine portfolio and vibrant gardens at the Days of Wine & Lavender event.  Enjoy live music, delicious food and wine pairings, vineyard tours and open house at the Lavender Barn with sweeping views of gardens, vineyards and Taylor Mountain to the south.  This 20th Anniversary celebration is sure to be an afternoon you won’t soon forget. Must be 21 years or older to attend.  For more information visit their website.

Lavender season also keeps local retailers busy.  At Lavender Bee Farm in Petaluma, they open their farm for visits in season.  Amid the rolling hills of Sonoma County, the family honey farm plays host to over 5,000 lavender plants and multiple hives and is chemical-free for the health of the bees, plants, and you!  Shop for lavender bouquets, sachets, hydrosols and honey year-round on their website.

Lynn’s Lavender & Lotsmore in Sebastopol also offers a large range of lavender products for your home, garden, body and soul.

So get outdoors this June and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of lavenders in Sonoma Wine Country.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Experience Music in the Vineyards

Celebrate the summer season in Wine Country with fellow music lovers and some fine wines at the myriad of music in the vineyard events in the coming months. Peruse the list of upcoming local programs and purchase your tickets early:

Wednesdays thru October 26: Paradise Ridge Winery, 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Dr., Santa Rosa

The popular Wednesday Evening Wines & Sunsets have the makings of a seriously romantic midweek date night. Listen to festive live music playing while you sip wine and enjoy spectacular panoramic sunsets from the winery’s expansive veranda and beautiful poetry terrace.

Fridays thru September 30: Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery, 389 Fourth St. East, Sonoma

Each week during the Night Music Series features tunes from a different local band or artist in their courtyard or stunning tasting room. Wines by-the-glass or by-the-bottle will be available for purchase along with gourmet food. The last Friday of each month will be “Food Truck Friday” featuring an enticing line up of local gourmet food trucks selling tasty treats to pair with your music enjoyment.

Sundays thru October 30: B.R. Cohn, 15000 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen

Summer Sundays at B.R. Cohn are a perfect way to cap your weekend. Sit back under our olive trees with fresh oysters prepared how you like, a favorite glass of wine and enjoy the live music from variety of talented local musical artists for you each weekend.

June 10-11: Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark St., Sonoma

A carefully curated lineup of diverse bands is a hallmark of every Huichica Music Festival. Twenty-eight national and regional indie and folk acts will jam on three unique stages, including one in the winery cave. Must try:  GunBun’s made-for-summer white wine, Gewürztraminer.

Sunday, August 7: Chimney Rock, 5350 Silverado Trail, Napa

An MITV-commissioned work from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts highlights this program which includes Haydn’s tongue-in-cheek Master and the Pupil and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet, winner of the Stalin Prize in 1941.

Friday, August 12: Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa

Masterworks of Haydn and Brahms bookend Martinu’s Czech-flavored Madrigals, a brilliant musical conversation for violin and viola, and Jessie Montgomery’s Strum, which is “Turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life…” per The Washington Post. Arrive early to hear the winners of our Solo Instrumental Competition!

Saturday, August 13: Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa

Derek Bermel’s Soul Garden is a remarkable mash-up; the solo viola brings the essence of gospel face-to-face with the European tradition. Boccherini’s cello quintet conjures the nightlife of Madrid and Ravel’s Violin Sonata pays tribute to the blues.

Sunday, August 14: Silverado Vineyards, 6121 Silverado Trail, Napa

The music of composer, conductor and pianist Johann Hummel—the remarkable triple threat of the post-Beethoven age, opens this program — followed by two cornerstone works of the repertoire: Smetana’s autobiographical quartet–written in total deafness, and Robert Schumann’s piano quintet.

Thursday, August 18: The Hess Collection, 4411 Redwood Road, Napa

The 16 String Quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven are considered the pinnacle achievement of the chamber music repertoire. Music in the Vineyards is proud to present the Pacifica Quartet, one of the pre-eminent interpreters of Beethoven, in this five night epic event.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

May Events in Wine Country

With the weather warming up, it’s time to make plans to attend some local events.  May offers a number of venues the whole family will enjoy.  Experience film festivals, wine tasting, rose parades and so much more this month.

May 7 – The Meals on Wheels Derby Day is one of the most memorable charitable events of the region. Celebrating the rich traditions of the Kentucky Derby®, attendees walk the catwalk with their finest Derby-inspired apparel and compete for prizes. A team of Sonoma County chefs will prepare a four-course, southern-inspired gourmet luncheon. The day will include a silent and live auction and culminate with the live running of the Kentucky Derby®.

May 7 – Film Fest Petaluma returns to the Mystic Theatre in historic downtown Petaluma. Enjoy award-winning animated, live action and documentary shorts from around the world. Filmmakers will be present at all screenings for audience Q & A’s.

May 14 – The Annual All Vintner Pour from 4-7 pm is decidedly our most popular (Mayacama Member + Guest) wine event of the year! Imagine having some of Sonoma and Napa’s foremost wineries all converging into one ancient olive tree-studded courtyard to showcase their wines. This is what you will experience at the All Vintner Pour! More than simply tasting Vintner Member wines, this is an opportunity to learn interesting facts about vineyards, varietals, vintages, and winemaking. The casual al fresco ambience adds to the enjoyment of this perfect setting for Members and their guests to mingle, party, and create memories!

May 14-15  Get your tickets to Sunset Magazine’s 2016 Celebration Weekend at Cornerstone Sonoma, where the pages of Sunset Magazine will come alive. Eat, drink, and love the West!

May 14 – The annual Spring at Jordan party returns to Jordan Winery. This year, the sounds, sights, flowers and flavors of spring in Japan descend upon Sonoma. The lively affair, inspired by the Orient, features Jordan Winery chef’s inventive cuisine, premier purveyors, live entertainment, delicious wines and their first olive oil experience. Their 2014 Jordan Chardonnay, 2012 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil will all debut.

May 15 – Experience the best wines California’s premier wine country has to offer at the North Coast Wine Challenge! Every year The Press Democrat offers wine lovers the opportunity to taste the best wines from throughout the North Coast American Viticulture Areas (AVA). These are wines that achieve both a Gold Medal status and 90+ points in The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Competition.  Wines will be thoughtfully presented by taste profile.  Top local chefs will also prepare food tastings that will delight your palate, and showcase these incredible wines.

May 19 – Enjoy a day of classic American cars, cruising the main drag, rock ‘n roll, and the happy days of the ‘50s and early ‘60s at Cruisin’ the Boulevard.  Petaluma was one of the main shooting locations for the classic movie, American Graffiti.

May 21 – West Sonoma County’s Premier Spring event, Taste! will delight your taste buds with an all-inclusive tour of Sonoma County’s finest foods, drinks and desserts. Ticket includes a commemorative glass, live music, photo booth and sampling of local food, wine, beer, cider and desserts! All proceeds benefit the Active 20-30 Club of Sebastopol – a local nonprofit that supports local children in need.

May 21 – Experience the 122nd Annual Luther Burbank Rose Parade and Festival, one of Sonoma County’s most time honored traditions and one of the oldest and largest events of its kind in Northern California. After the parade, the fun continues with a festival in Downtown Santa Rosa. Enjoy family fun activities, music, and a variety of food booths.

May 21 – Russian River fun! Enjoy food trucks & beer, live music, vendor booths and a costume contest among racers at The River Race Party at Johnson’s Beach. Come down to the River, bring chairs and blankets and watch the participants race across the Finish Line. It’s a great way to kick off the summer season and goes to support a good cause, protecting the River!

May 28 – Oysterpalooza returns to Valley Ford.  Enjoy five amazing bands on two stages, BBQ oysters, fried oyster po boys, smoked brisket tacos, tacos dorados, Lagunitas beers on draught, local wines, hurricanes and much more. Spend your Memorial Day weekend on the Sonoma Coast and come see a one of a kind music and food festival that you’ll never forget!

So get out there and have some fun, wine country style!

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

photo credit: http://www.northcoastwineevent.com/

Explore Willi’s Wine Bar

If you find yourself in search of a casual wine country dining experience, look no farther than Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa.  Located about 5 miles from Mayacama, this popular restaurant offers a venue in perfect alignment with wine country living, a casual environment where some of the best wines and food are served up in a friendly and inviting setting.

Offering indoor and patio dining options, Willi’s Wine Bar creates a memorable dining experience in a quaint, comfortable setting where visitors and locals feel equally at home, whether enjoying a quick bite or lingering over a glass of wine. Everyone will find something to their liking as the popular spot offers a menu featuring international small plates, some inventive and others comfortingly familiar.

Named four times in the San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area Top 100 Restaurant list, Willi’s Wine Bar serves up a variety of culinary options.  Enjoy favorites such as Filet Mignon Sliders with Creamed Spinach and Whole Grain Mustard Bearnaise, Organic “Brick Chicken” with Tzatziki Sauce and Fried Onion Salad as well as Pork Belly Pot Stickers with Five Spice & Shiitake Mushrooms.  They offer gluten-free options as well as Surf, Earth and Turf categories from their International Small Plates menu. To further explore their menus, click here.  Simply delicious.

The staff at Willi’s is also an essential component to this memorable dining venue; they are always eager to help create perfect pairings with wines from the extensive wine list, many by local producers.  Most wines are available in two-ounce tastes as well as by the glass or bottle.

Yelpers agree.  Willi’s Wine Bar is a hit among locals and visitors alike:

Wonderful little Gem in Santa Rosa. Nice atmosphere, the service is excellent. The food was so tasty and fresh, we just kept eating and ordering more and eating. So impressed with how they serve up unusual dishes and flavors. So good! – Kathleen L.

Fantastic food and fantastic service. Atmosphere was awesome. Decided to have lunch here on recommendations from the locals and couldn’t have been happier with our experience. We shared several small plates and recommendations from our server. The food was terrific. Finished with a Latte and Meyers Lemon Pudding with Huckleberry. Highly recommend this spot and look forward to going back!! – Steve G.

One of my local favorites. Come for the food, and stay for a little more wine. I have had many fine and pleasant dining experiences here – looking forward to more in the future! It can add up of you want to go large, but they also lend themselves quite well to sampling/sharing, so it is possible to try a variety of tasty dishes. Exceptional wine menu. Desserts are always wonderful too! Keep up the good work gang! – Scott M.

Willi’s Wine Bar is located at 4404 Old Redwood Highway in Santa Rosa.  Their hours are Tuesday – Thursday 11:30 – 9:30 | Friday – Saturday 11:30 – 10:00 and Sunday & Monday 5:00 – 9:30.  Learn more about this popular spot on their website and Facebook page.

Come for a sit-down meal or just a small sampling. At Willi’s Wine Bar one thing is certain, you’ll love the food, wine, people and experience.  It’s wine country at its best.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/WillisWineBar

Cycling in Wine Country

Wine country is famous for its beautiful scenery but did you know that it is also a popular cycling destination, drawing cyclists from all across the region and beyond. A testament to its popularity is the fact that Stage 7 of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California will, once again, take place in Santa Rosa, city of former cycling champion, Levi Leipheimer.  From vineyards to rolling hills, coastline to quaint towns, wine country has much to offer in the way of scenic cycling, so get ready to ride the beauty that surrounds us each and every day.

If you are new to cycling or haven’t ridden in a number of years, don’t worry; we’ve compiled a list of useful resources to aid you in your two-wheeled adventures.

A great place to start preparing and planning your wine country cycling adventures is Wine Country Bikes.  Located in nearby Healdsburg, Wine Country Bikes offers a variety of services, insight and equipment for the novice and expert alike.  Their website is chock-full of helpful resources as well as a nice list of tours they offer for those looking for a guided pedal through the region; some tours offered are multi-day tours for the truly adventurous.  Here you will find a variety of bike rentals, from road bikes to tandems and even child trailers, for those without any equipment.  The knowledgeable staff is a team of local cyclists and dedicated travel professionals who are passionate about creating amazing personalized cycling adventures. The team boasts a wealth of experience and insight which they are willing to readily share to make your bicycling adventures a memorable experience.

Once equipped, you’ll need to choose a route.  For those looking for shorter trails to occupy an afternoon or morning, there are a number of parks throughout the region which offer loops and trails for a relaxing outdoor pedal.

Santa Rosa Creek Trail – Santa Rosa – 2.14-mile trail and a great option for families or other leisure riders.

Spring Lake Regional Park – Santa Rosa – paved 3.5-mile loop around Spring Lake used by cyclists, runners and walkers. Spring Lake also connects with Annadel State Park, a popular destination for off-road riding.

Joe Rodota and West County trails – Santa Rosa & Sebastopol – 14 miles of level trails, perfect for casual cyclists and families. The 8.5-mile Joe Rodota trail starts in central Santa Rosa and ends in Sebastopol. The 5.5-mile West County Trail connects Sebastopol to Forestville.

Helen Putnam Regional Park – Petaluma – 6 miles of trails with a variety of terrain and trail widths. Riders will enjoy panoramic views of southern Sonoma County.

Looking for more resources?  Here you will find Easy, Moderate and Expert itinerary suggestions for bike routes through Sonoma County.  For those willing to push themselves a bit harder, here is another article for some advanced rides, courtesy of Levi Leipheimer. If you find yourself exploring Sonoma Valley, here is a helpful map for biking the region.  And for those using two-wheeled transit on a more regular basis, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition is a great resource.

So grab your helmets and explore all that wine country has to offer.  Be safe out there and have some fun!

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Catch a Sonoma Event this April

For those that can tear themselves away from the course, courts or pool at Mayacama, outings in Wine Country offer exceptional ways to connect with the best of Sonoma County. Discover a few highlights of local activities in April:

Sonoma International Film Festival: runs through April 3, 2016

Enjoy world-class food and wine on the Historic Sonoma Plaza at the Sonoma International Film Festival, featuring over 90 hand-selected films screened in intimate venues within walking distance. Renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and Ray Liotta have enjoyed this unique event.

Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival: April -May, 2016

Presented by Gualala Arts and taking place during the Smithsonian Institute’s Jazz Appreciation Month of April, this highly regarded festival features live music, inspired, original jazz art work, whale education, jazz films, poetry plus an annual Chowder Challenge and tasting!

Fools for the River: April 1, 2016

At this annual riverside restaurant crawl, you can visit four of ten participating restaurants. Tickets are good from 7:30am when Water Street Bistro opens until midnight, when Graffiti closes. Share your ticket, purchase a few and visit all locations with friends as you please!

Orchids in Art: April 2-3, 2016

A weekend full of fun, education and beautiful blooming orchids! For two days the Santa Rosa Veterans building will be transformed into a spectacular world of dazzling exotic epiphytes and terrestrial plants from around the world. Visitors of all ages are invited to enjoy the largest family of flowering plants in spectacular full bloom and enjoy live music by The Carnelian Strings and Nicolette Rickles.

Battle of the Brews: April 9, 2016

Over 70 drafts and food vendors will fight for your vote at the 20th Annual Battle of the Brews. The Craft Cup is a VIP event featuring judged, premier micro-brews alongside the Sonoma County Sandwich Showdown that highlights delicious sandwiches from local chefs. All with great live music on stage, brewing demonstrations, and much more!

April in Carneros: April 16 -17, 2016

Enjoy one great event, 15 award winning wineries, 15 great wine country experiences and live entertainment for two full days throughout the Carneros Appellation.

Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival and Parade: April 16, 2016

The 70th Annual Apple Blossom Festival begins with a parade on Saturday, followed by live music, food, crafts, games for the kids, an art show, wine and more! The fun carries on Sunday with the Festival and Jazz Explosion. Saturday, April 16, 10am to 6pm Sunday, April 17, 10am to 5pm.

Celebrate Earth Day at Lake Sonoma: April 22 – 23, 2016

Two celebrations of Earth Day will be held at Lake Sonoma. On Friday, April 22, a volunteer leader will meet participants at the Lone Rock parking area for a hike (3-4 miles, to be decided by attendees). On Saturday, April 23, it’s “Earth Day Family Fun” with art and craft projects for all ages. An easy, almost level family hike (1 mile or so) will step out from the Lone Rock parking area, as well as a second “moderate” hike (1.5 miles) at the Woodland Ridge trail marker, located near the Visitors Center.

Annual Butter and Eggs Day Parade & Festival: April 23, 2016

Celebrate the rich history of Petaluma and a look at its future with the arrival of the SMART Train in 2016. Over 100 groups and floats kick off the day marching through downtown Petaluma in costume, on horse-back and more. The day is family-friendly with craft booths, kids activities, live music, art – plus local food and drink booths.

Passport to Dry Creek Valley®: April 23, 2016

This is a beloved tradition among wine lovers who enjoy world-class tasting experiences with a modern twist, all within Sonoma’s idyllic Dry Creek Valley. Explore more than 45 wineries throughout the valley, each offering an exclusive pairing of exquisite wine, gourmet food and live entertainment. Each winery promises to be an unforgettable destination for returning guests and novices alike.

Petaluma’s 2016 Spring Antique Faire: April 24, 2016

“The Bay Area’s Premier Antique Center,” Historic Downtown Petaluma will transform into an antique marketplace. Amid the beautiful historic buildings, one of a kind stores, an incredible array of restaurants and cafes, guests can find an incomparable selection of antiques from over 180 dealers.

Day on the Green at the Village: April 30, 2016

Enjoy a day of art, music, and family fun at the annual arts show and sale. Live music starts with Sarah Baker and Mona Gnader of the “Wa Girls” opening the festival. There will also be live dance performances and artist demonstrations, free creative activities and henna paintings for kids of all ages. Beverage proceeds benefit Food for Thought.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Brunch with Us in Wine Country

There is no better way to start your weekend wine county adventures than with a hearty brunch. To aid in your dining adventures, we have listed a few of our local favorites for those in search of weekend AM deliciousness.

Della Fattoria
Nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Petaluma, Della Fattoria is a special treat serving up incredible breakfasts in their European style café. Famous for their artisan breads that you can find at fine markets and restaurants around the Bay Area, this quaint café invites guests to sit down at large communal table and enjoy such menu items as Creamy Polenta and Eggs, Chilaquiles, Sausage Scramble Piadina and Hobb’s Smoked Salmon and Housemade Cream Cheese. Simply delicious.

Wishbone
Newer to the Petaluma breakfast scene, Wishbone doesn’t disappoint. With a tagline of “We Raise It Up. You Eat It Up”, the poplar eating spot is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. They raise their own beef, bake their own bread, make their own jam, generally doing all they can to put great food on their patrons’ plates. Try their Savory Toast, Wishbone Benny and, for something different, Coconut Gruel.

Backyard
Backyard is a restaurant located in Forestville where Chef Daniel Kedan and Pastry Chef Marianna Gardenhire create delicious, local cuisine from the bounty of Sonoma County’s backyard. They offer indoor and dog-friendly outdoor/patio seating. Some popular items from their weekend brunch menu are the Green Star Farm Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles, Lamb Sausage Hash and Pulled Pork Benedicts. Start the meal off with a French press coffee and Bucket ‘o Doughnuts (inside tip….you may not want to share these tasty treats).

Costeaux French Bakery & Café
If you find yourself in nearby Healdsburg, stop by the Costeaux Café which serves up delicious breakfasts all day, everyday. Known for their incredible breads, cookies and cakes, the French bakery also has a café where diners can enjoy a casual and inviting dining experience. Choose from such menu items as Pain Perdu (French Toast), Costeaux Quiche or a variety of omelets and scrambles.

Willow Wood Market Café
Since 1995 Willow Wood Market Cafe has been a beloved favorite of locals and food-savvy travelers alike. Willow Wood serves as the informal gathering spot and town center of the cozy town of Graton, and is consistently voted Best Breakfast and Best Brunch in the North Bay by their customers. Try their Venetian Breakfast, Smoked Salmon Sandwich or Challah French Toast.

Nick’s Cove
This local gem is must-visit for those who enjoy waterfront dining in a comfortable and inviting setting. Known for great cuisine showcasing local seafood, produce and cheese, Nick’s Cove serves up a brunch menu with an emphasis on the bounty of the ocean. Try the raw or cooked oysters, Dungeness Crab Benedict or the Lagunitas Pils Battered Fish N Chips. Got a big hunger? Add a side of their popular Dungeness Mac N Cheese.

The Fremont Diner
Located along Highway 12 south of Sonoma Plaza, this popular old-style farmhouse diner will bring you back in time with their rustic setting and delicious Southern food.  The quaint diner sources much of their ingredients from their adjacent acreage. Enjoy such menu items as Fried Chicken and Waffles, Cheddar Jalapenos Cornbread, Biscuits & Gravy and Sorghum Waffles. Dogs are welcome on the patio.

Boon Fly Café
Traveling a little farther east on Highway 12 (just outside of Napa) will bring you to another brunch gem. Set on the scenic grounds of The Carneros Inn, The Boon Fly Café offers a casual dining experience and some of the region’s best brunch items. Start with the World Famous Boon Fly Donuts Baker’s Dozen before enjoying main items such as Boon Fly Benedict, Chilaquiles, “Green Eggs and Ham” and Poppa Joe’s Eggs in a Hole.  Just look for the bright red barn/building off Hwy 12.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Microadventure: The Barlow

If you are looking for a great venue to spend an afternoon with the family, head to nearby Sebastopol and enjoy a day of shopping, dining and exploration at The Barlow.

The Barlow is a destination district/location which brings together the very best wine makers, food producers and artisans, creating a space that offers a direct connection between the consumer and the makers of the local products they love. It’s a place for the community to conduct business, share food and enjoy art, wine and quality time together.

True to the History. As the repurposed blueprint of a former apple cannery, The Barlow is a perfect complement to the rich history of downtown Sebastopol. This is where Sonoma County’s best chefs, vintners and artisans have come to work side by side to create an all-inclusive experience by offering their products directly to the people who love them most.

Enjoy a cup of Goat Rock Coffee, courtesy of Taylor Maid Farms, before visiting the host of retailers and boutiques offering their unique products. Experience art and design at The Passdoor, contemporary clothing and lifestyle concepts at Tamarind, handmade goods at Littlefour Store and incredible art of Tibetan master artist, Tashi Dhargyal at the Tibetan Gallery & Studio.

Enjoy lunch at one of the many dining establishments at The Barlow. From savory and sweet crepes at Ultra Crepes, to a classic Napolitano pizza at Vignette Pizzeria there is something for everybody. Looking for a more formal dining setting? Experience the passionate farm-to-table movement at zazu kitchen + farm, serving up playful Americana and rustic Northern Italian dishes.

You’ll also enjoy access to a host of wineries such as Kosta Browne Winery, La Follette Wines and Marimar Estate. There is even an artisan microdistillery, Spirit Works Distillery, handcrafting gin and whiskey.

Of course, there are many more retailers than listed above. For a complete list of what you will find at The Barlow, visit this link.

The Barlow offers a convenient and tastefully-designed environment whether your plans call for an hour or an entire day; it’s really up to you. The tagline at The Barlow sums it up quite nicely: The Barlow. Sonoma County indulgence. Sebastopol ease. So head west to Sebastopol and enjoy a Microadventure at The Barlow, you’ll be glad you did.

Learn more about The Barlow on their website, Facebook Page, Instagram and Pinterest.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Credit: https://www.facebook.com/TheBarlow707

Top Spots for Kid-Friendly Fun

Keeping the kids entertained can sometimes be a daunting task. Here is a little help to keep them busy, entertained and occupied with local venues the entire family will enjoy.

Scandia Family Fun Center
Spend an afternoon or entire day where the kids will enjoy two 18-hole, mini-golf courses, spinzone, arcade, batting cages, blaster boats with water sprayers and a Lil’ Indy Raceway with single and double cars so parents or older siblings can help steer.

Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy’s Home Ice
A Sonoma County icon for over 40 years, Snoopy’s Home Ice offers a unique atmosphere for families to enjoy recreational ice skating. When it’s time to rest and get off the ice, head over to the Charles M. Schulz Museum and enjoy the largest collection of original Peanuts art work in the world. Visitors can experience Schulz’s original comic strips, learn about the art of cartooning, watch animated Peanuts specials and documentaries in their theatre and draw their own cartoons in a hands-on education room.

Safari West
An African adventure in the heart of California wine country. Experience an African Safari ride at Safari West, where animals roam free on a Wildlife Preserve. Encounter cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, rhinos and numerous other animals of the savannah. Tour by day or plan an overnight excursion…glamping redefined.

Full House Farm
Enjoy their Farm Life Tour, an educational 90-minute to 2-hour immersion in a small family farm. Meet the horses, chickens, goats, and sheep. At the end of each tour is a tasting of some farm products, such as goat cheese, or cheese cake and our sought-after wine jellies & jams. Tours are at 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday from May through November (off season tours are available weather permitting.)

Train Town
Located one mile south of the Plaza in Sonoma, Train Town features a quarter scale railroad on 4 miles of track. Each train trip lasts 20-minutes and goes through tunnels, over bridges and makes a stop in Lakeview, a miniature town and petting zoo. In addition to the train, they offer six amusement rides. Best to visit on the weekend in winter and spring, when all attractions are open, weather permitting. Summer open daily.

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Mania
This Petaluma sticker shop offers 50 minute tours (Monday through Thursday 10:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 2:00) that teach children how stickers are made and ending in the making of a one-of-a-kind sticker art project. Children under 3 free.

Howarth Park
This 152-acre community park provides endless recreational opportunities with a beautiful lake for fishing & boating. Enjoy a softball field, tennis courts, picnic areas, unique playground structures, miles of hiking and jogging trails, and an amusement area featuring a miniature train ride, carousel, animal farm & pony rides. The kids will love it.

Jack London State Historic Park
Explore Jack London state Historic Park in nearby Glen Ellen. Walk, hike, bike, horseback ride, bird watch, take pictures, paint, picnic, relax, learn and enjoy nature!  The main attraction to the Park is certainly the life of namesake, Jack London, famous for his literary achievements as well as his dramatic exploits, exotic travels and adventures.

Mayacama is a private golf and residential community where a vibrant club life is joined by an active sporting life in an indescribably beautiful valley. To learn more about membership opportunities at Mayacama, please contact us at 866.519.3088 (toll free) or 707.387.0449 (direct) or via email at info@mayacama.com. Get social with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo Credit: http://www.safariwest.com/