There Are More Reasons to Enjoy Sonoma Other Than Just the Wine

3 Days in Sonoma … go!

Post-harvest time is a great season to explore Sonoma County and it’s fruitful wine region. Less crowds but still all the wine you can drink, Sonoma before the holidays is perfect for a quick getaway. And there’s much more to do then drink your weight in wine here, as the New York Times points out in popular “36 Hours” series. Here are few highlights … wine pairing optional.

DINE WITH THE LOCALS

“On the other side of the town square is another residents’ favorite: Barndiva. The large barnlike structure, designed and built from the ground up by the owners, Jil and Geoffrey Hales, offers an urbane country-meets-industrial chic interior filled with art and antiques, as well as a picturesque patio beneath arching mulberry trees. Ryan Fancher helms the kitchen, marrying French technique with California ingredients, many coming from the Barndiva Farm in Philo, to deliver crowd-pleasing dishes like goat cheese croquettes drizzled with wild lavender honey, duck leg confit with gnocchi and caramelized endive, and local petrale sole with lobster risotto and pickled fennel. Dinner for two with wine is about $120.”

OCEAN VIEWS

“Goat Rock Beach, located in Jenner just past Duncans Mills, is part of the Sonoma Coast State Park’s rugged expanse. Park at the top and hike the narrow path through the grassy bluffs and listen to the ocean roar, or drive down to the expansive sandy stretch of beach that sits at the mouth of the Russian River. While the currents make it too treacherous for swimming, it’s the perfect place for beachcombing, contemplating the grandeur of the jagged headlands and flat-topped rock formations, and potentially spotting wildlife—migrating whales are often seen from December to April, while a local colony of Pacific Harbor seals and their pups can be spotted from late spring through summer.”

DETOX

“Because it’s been so exhausting, finish your weekend at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in the historic village of Freestone. The grounds have been magnificently landscaped to include a Japanese meditation and tea garden, pagodas and hammocks, but the real reason to visit is for the Cedar Enzyme Bath ($109). A ritual in Japan, these baths are warm from the natural fermentation of finely ground evergreens and rice bran. The 20 minutes you spend immersed—with visits from an attendant who offers sips of water and cold compresses—are said to draw out impurities, relax joints and muscles and activate your metabolism. Finish with a shower and meditative lie-down in the spa.”

Get the full NYT itinerary here.

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