A Press Democrat Blog


Touring your Wine Country backyard

Getaway deals and daytrips in Healdsburg and Yountville

Do you have an anniversary looming without plans? A birthday to celebrate? A new job to toast? Two upscale Wine Country hotels are offering packages that are a deal, depending on your definition. But in both cases, there is a way to peel off a piece of the experience at much less cost. Healdsburg’s hip and green h2hotel on the plaza is offering an Artistic Culinary Getaway Aug. 16 with a Sunday night stay for two and a full breakfast.… Read More »

Go green in Glen Ellen

Three top destinations team up to show the green side of Glen Ellen. Benziger Family Winery, Quarryhill Botanical Garden and Jack London State Park are all stops in the Glen Ellen Green Tour, an in-depth look at three beautiful destinations with a shared commitment to environmental practices. Each stop includes a docent-led tour, but don’t fear the tedious, TMI lecture that will drone you to sleep on your feet. The pace will keep it moving with time to take in… Read More »

Sonoma throws out red carpet for Gay Pride

Sonoma Valley has a host of special offers, promotions and events planned for LGBT visitors in June, all in honor of Gay Pride Month. The centerpiece of the festivities falls on the first weekend of summer with Gay Wine Weekend 2015. Three days of parties are on tap, including a Twilight T-Dance Saturday night June 20 at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma ($80), a Sunday pool soiree at MacArthur Place ($30), a Gay Wine Auction and Recovery Brunch at MacArthur… Read More »

A Table and Room With a View

Open Table users have rated two North Coast restaurants in their Top 10 list of best spots for scenic dining. The Village Inn and Restaurant in modest little Monte Rio ranked second, was in second place, behind only The Terrace Room at The Lake Merritt Hotel in Oakland and beating out better known spots in Sausalito, Tiburon and Fisherman’s Wharf. Coming in third was The Black Point Grill at the Sea Ranch Lodge, with its pastoral views of seascape meadows… Read More »

Boutique hotel in Sonoma adds rooms

The Inn at Sonoma has expanded into an adjoining building, adding eight rooms for visitors who like to be near the action on The Plaza. The new rooms are located in an annex along Broadway, giving the boutique hotel, which is set back off the road, a visible curbside presence it lacked. All the rooms have their own fireplace, an iPod dock and flat panel TV. Most also feature private balconies or patios. And if you’re out for a romantic getaway,… Read More »

Honors for Healdsburg’s Honor Mansion

Healdsburg historic Honor Mansion is raking in the awards. The latest kudos for the romantic inn with its trademark water tower is a 4-Diamond award from The American Automobile Association. This is the 16th year that the Honor Mansion, owned by Steve and Cathi Fowler, has received the prestigious award. This year fewer than 5 percent of 30,000 AAA approved lodgings recevied a 4 Diamond rating. The inn, known for its indulgent breakfasts, resort-style amenities like bocce, tennis and basketball… Read More »

Catch the olive harvest in Sonoma and spend the night

Just as a lot of Wine Country towns fall asleep with their vines after the crush, Sonoma rruns right into a second harvest. After the grapes come the olives and this year is delivering a bumper crop –more than double the stingy harvest of 2011.  The olive harvest, like the wine crush, is celebrated for several months, building up to a crescendo in February. It makes Sonoma a nice destination for North Coasters looking for a good one-tank trip to a… Read More »

Affordable romantic getaways in Napa Valley

High-end hotels and inns are offering a flurry of packages for Valentine’s spooning. But a deal is in the eye of the beholder. Napa Valley’s Harvest Inn engagement package for instance, starts at $650 a night. And while it promises to set the stage for hopefully, a lifetime of love, there are more affordable deals that offer a bit of pampering but still leave couples some capital for the wedding-, college fund or retirement — depending on their demographic. The… Read More »