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Bay Area Bucket List

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Just moved to the Bay Area like me? Time to write down every single thing you come across that you want to eat/drink/do. Believe me, there will be many.
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Russian Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Roam Artisan Burgers on Union Street in San Francisco is not your typical burger joint. The interiors are an artsy blend of wood, glass, and recycled fixtures and burgers can be made with a beef, turkey, veggie, bison, or elk patty. I can vouch...
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
It's hard to believe that I had lived in Marin for 13 years before learning about the Tourist Club on Mt. Tam. This past weekend my friends and I hiked from downtown Mill Valley, starting on the Dipsea Trail and following it to the Sun Trail,...
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2821 California St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
You'll have a hard time ever leaving B. Patisserie, and you'll know why it's been an over night sensation in lower Pac Heights. The open, modern space feels like something you'd find in the Marais in Paris, and the fact that you can view the...
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3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
This bakery just opened across the street from Woodshop. It’s a godsend. It’s been rough finding good coffee out here, but they serve Blue Bottle Coffee and breakfast sandwiches on house-baked biscuits.”
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600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Tartine Bakery was another great surprise to a sunny Saturday afternoon food experience. Fast service, smiling faces and AMAZING FOOD. you can't leave San Francisco with out checking this place out, the place where sourdough bread was invented --...
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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant serves housemade granola, ginger scones, and seasonal fruit strudels in a cabin built in 1937. Wood-fired pizzas, with toppings such as squash and prosciutto, stand out on the dinner menu, and the blackberry...
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90 Railroad Ave, Danville, CA 94526, USA
This little coffeehouse and kitchen is located in the historic Danville Hotel. I have to say, with so many great places in the San Francisco Bay Area to get local homemade food, this has to be in the top. All the recipes come from the owner and...
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Lafayette Reservoir, Lafayette, CA 94549, USA
Lafayette Reservoir means tail-wagging fun to man's best friend for a 2.7 mile walk around the lake. For those who want to get their heart pumping, the Rim Trail offers a serious workout of up and down hills. But if you want to cast a line into...
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Mt Diablo, California 94598, USA
On a clear day, Mount Diablo yields some incredible views in the country. Literally, it has one of the highest viewsheds in the U.S. The state-designated trail can get confusing-- our group ended "hiking" for a long period of time up the road to...
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Wildcat Canyon Rd, Orinda, CA 94563, USA
You'll love the views you'll have of the EBMUD Watershed while you're hiking or mountain biking along Nimitz Way in both Wildcat Canyon Regional Park and Tilden Regional Park. The views really open up once you're in the area considered the Bay...
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1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
After climbing the Oceanview hike on a warm Friday afternoon, a refreshing glass of white wine at the Pelican Inn was much needed.
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US-101, San Francisco, CA 94019, USA
Just north of the golden gate is a wonderful winding road with beautiful views of the Golden Gate and San Francisco. This is great for a long bike ride or quick road trip out of the city.
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
Miles and miles of secluded beaches, wildlife and, if lucky, gorgeous weather, puts Point Reyes on my top 10 list of places I can go to again and again and again. Thank God Americans realized they need to preserve places like these.
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Bodega Head, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, USA
After weeks of increasing stress from the daily grind of work and family responsibilities, I spent one perfect weekend in Bodega Bay, on the coast of California north of San Francisco. The highlight was a walk on Bodega Head, a piece of land that...
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California, USA
Its a long haul from San Francisco, but so magical when you arrive you almost forget how long you've been in the car.
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80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
This is another place I immediately return to when I'm in the Bay Area. It's a cheese lover's temple! I loved this salad pictured that I had. It was also my first picture of San Francisco! I must say that the Mount Tam is one of my favourite...
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680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
Okay okay, I know "I left my heart in San Francisco" is how it really goes, but I just adore this heart shaped rock that formed off of the coast of this heart-stealing city. Take a hike out along Lands End or down by the Sutro Baths and you will...
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One, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
inside the ferry building
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Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA, USA
The view from Alamo Square is not to be missed! You will quickly agree that a trip here is time well spent to enjoy "The Painted Ladies" (the Victorian houses in the foreground), and the sharp contrast they make with the skyscrapers behind them in...
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100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
A fanciful Victorian greenhouse, filled with rare and exotic plants, built in 1878 and located in the Eastern part of Golden Gate Park. It's an absolutely fabulous place to enjoy good weather or bad.
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We who live in the San Franciso Bay Area area blessed in more ways than possible to mention and here's yet another. Andy Goldsworthy, the sculpture, has two of his projects in our Presidio. This is his spire and the other is fallen logs. Thank god...
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Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
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4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
You might have to wait, but it is so well worth it!
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4035 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
An artist and an architect curate a cool mix of practical things here. You’ll find books on furniture and design, and interesting items like wooden radios and pencil sets. Lots of it is handmade. The store also sells chairs and tables that Luke...
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1529 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Nicole Krasinski describes the novel concept of her restaurant State Bird Provisions as “dim sum and a great hors d’oeuvre party morphed into one experience.” She and her husband, chef Stuart Brioza, prepare beautifully executed...
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754 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
This place is tiny, but it's one of my favorite places in my neighborhood. The menu is small so there are only a few choices, but no matter what you get, you'll be happy. Make sure to try the iced coffee. It's made with chicory, the way it's done...
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How would you describe the light from this almost-time-for-sunset time of day? ..A quiet beach day, contemplative, content. At Rodeo Cove in the Marin Headlands, Ca.
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Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA
A few blocks east of Goldsworthy's more prominent Spire is this installation of fallen trees snaking through the still standing ones. Wood Line is located within the cypress grove near the intersection of Presidio Boulevard and West Pacific...
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Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA
Ocean Beach is a massive, four-mile-long stretch of sand. Surfers talk about it in terms of the block they surf. I surf Pacheco or Moraga Street. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
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24898 Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, Burney, CA 96013, USA
only 4 hours up north of san francisco is Burney Falls State Park. The 129 ft falls is a beautiful Oasis set among pristine forest area. There are campgrounds not far from the falls and you can catch Rainbow Trout in the picturesque river..... The...
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490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Cotogna is dangerously close to the AFAR Media offices. This rustic sister restaurant to Quince opened last year, and the roomy bar is a cozy place to sit mid-day with a double espresso served neat in a Heath Ceramics cup. The pastas are all...
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Lands End Trail, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
Land's End in San Francisco is an easy hike with huge payoff. This labyrinth sits just below the Legion of Honor parking lot and the Lincoln Park golf course. You can then scramble down to a beautiful rocky beach.
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3639 Taraval, San Francisco, CA 94116, USA
The Riptide is a fun bar with a brick fireplace. It is a great place to hang out in the winter. They host a surf movie night on Wednesdays. 3639 Taraval St., (415) 681-8433, riptidesf.com. This story appeared in the January/February 2012 issue.
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4500 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Mollusk is a neighborhood surf shop that sells clothing and great boards. They carry my surfboards and handplanes [for body surfing]. They occasionally host art shows and live music. The shop is sort of like the cornerstone of the Sunset. 4500...
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375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
Yesterday I got a glimpse of just how serious San Franciscans can be about the stuff they consume. When it's the best, it's the best! Go have a cup and chill with the the hipsters.
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390 Capistrano Rd, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
I just shot a travel piece for Draft Magazine and loved the dish included at Half Moon Bay Brewery, located just 20 minutes south of San Francisco. Executive Chef Gaston Alfaro told me he loves to play with food and try new things. He made me a...
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Ferry Building, One San Francisco Bay Trail #8, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
Everyone seems to try the famous Secret Breakfast flavor, which has bourbon and conflakes, but it's just one of the many creative and creamy options at this Mission ice cream stop (which now has a new location in the Ferry Building). I like a...
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3674 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
18 Reasons is a new type of community center—one that connects San Franciscans to food and food to community. The goal is to they teach San Franciscans how to cook and eat together. Run by the locally famous Bi-Rite organization in the heart of...
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525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Suppenküche serves delicious, traditional German cuisine in a cozy space lined by long wooden tables and constantly changing art. I highly recommend this restaurant to travelers looking for a undoubtedly good meal in a vibrant neighborhood of San...
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20063 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA
San Francisco is a great starting point for a road trip. Drive north or south on the HWY 1 and you're bound to find fun towns, beautiful winding roads and gorgeous coastal scenery. This cave is about an hour drive south of San Francisco, and then...
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2534 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
If you're in the city and looking for a great spot to gather with friends and celebrate, head over to the Foreign Cinema. If you can snag a table at the outdoor patio, they have movies showing on the big screen. The food is excellent as are the...
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500 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
Located in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, Marlowe's is a great little neighborhood spot with delicious burgers and a wide beer selection. But one treat they are known for are their Brussels sprout chips—they'll turn any veggie hater into...
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3885 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco, CA 94131, USA
Celia Sack’s store devoted to food- and drink-related books also serves as a gathering place for San Francisco chefs, foodies, and visiting authors. For anyone who collects cookbooks or rare first editions, it’s a worthy stop. The staff is...
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3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
There's nothing more San Fransisco (or hipster) than buying a margharita (with pepperoni) and taking it to Dolores Park for some prime people watching. It may be easier than getting a seat in the restaurant. Don't forget the chilli flakes! How I...
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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
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8555 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452, USA
Sonoma and Napa counties have hundreds of wineries that have tasting rooms set among the golden hills of the area. It's rare to find a winery where you can enjoy this scenery as much as the wine served in the tasting room. At Chateau St. Jean,...
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1 Point Reyes-Petaluma Rd, Inverness, CA 94937, USA
As a Native Californian, I have spent a vast amount of time hiking around various parts of the state. As the daughter of a Scot, and a student at University of Edinburgh, the rest of my time to this point has been spent walking through the rain in...
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Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
Leave San Francisco and meander along Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay. It's a little hamlet of a town with a few restaurants, general stores, and a wide open beach. It's a popular surf spot where you'll rarely see any water-destined individual without...
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400 Gate 5 Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
Heath Ceramics was founded in 1948 by Edith Heath. Today it is one of the most lasting examples of midcentury American design. Heath is famous for its tableware collections, as well as its tile. The colors are amazing, and their bud vases make for...
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2601 Monarch St, Alameda, CA 94501, USA
At St. George Spirits, a liquor distiller located inside a huge hangar on the decommissioned Alameda Naval Base, you can learn all about alcohol production—and you can taste all-natural vodkas, gins, Eau de Vie, whiskeys, and more. The tour lasts...
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560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
At the restaurant Nopa in San Francisco's Western Addition, the long bar and communal tables are perfect places to perch on a weeknight. Go early, order an elderflower gimlet or a sparkling, minty Old Cuban (both off-menu). Don't miss the Mission...
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3308 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610, USA
Boot and Shoe Service is the spinoff restaurant to Pizzaiolo, which has been my favorite spot in Oakland since it opened in 2006. Boot and Shoe, its slightly more casual little sister, serves the same pizza--a blistery and crisp crust topped with...
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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The view from the Big Sur Bakery is right on par with the food. In the morning, fuel up on breakfast scones and strong coffee. After a day exploring the Henry Miller Library and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, return at dusk for baby lettuces,...
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442 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
Despite its tongue-in-cheek name, this sweets shop and cafe located in the gritty Tenderloin district is one of my favorite finds in San Francisco. The salted caramels here melt in your mouth. They also have a good variety of coffees from...
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355 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
A killer restaurant in SF. Ordered the pancakes (awesome), coffee (blue bottle), Micheladas w/Salzburger and a duck confit sandwich. Everything was really good. Hipster and trendy and a solid go to.
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30 Ridge Ave, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
I've lived in San Francisco for two years and had always heard rumors of a magical beer garden that you could hike to over in Marin. My friend Marisa and I finally embarked on a Saturday adventure to see if it really existed. There are two main...
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1634 Jerrold Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124, USA
Flora Grubb Gardens is my favorite nursery in the Bay Area—because it's so much more than that. Located in the industrial Bayview neighborhood, Flora Grubb looks like Eden, full of native plants, succulents, and gorgeous ceramic pots. Oh, and did...
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One, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
This is one of my favorite activities in all of San Francisco! The owner of Hiking Yoga, Eric, combines his love of hiking and yoga with his passion for leading tours. While you're hiking the butt-burning hills of SF, expect a little history...
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1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA
I woke up today to the foghorn blare. Fog is no surprise in San Francisco, but on a day it was supposed to be 72 degrees? So, I packed up and took myself to Dogpatch, south of downtown along San Francisco's eastern waterfront. This wonderful...
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6725 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
This venue is temporarily closed for renovations, 10/2018. Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley is a well-curated art gallery and wine tasting room set amidst an eclectic sculpture garden. At this Napa Valley tasting room, originally built in 1904 as a private...
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6126 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, USA
This Napa Valley winery is the only structure in the United States designed by the famed Austrian artist, architect, and ecologist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000). The building's playfulness will put a big smile on your face, and best of...
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6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Oh, Bouchon! Don't let the long line out the door discourage you—these delicious pastries are well worth the wait and the outdoor café tables make for a lovely spot to dig in once you're handed your treats.
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1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
My friends and I were so lucky to get into Oenotri at the last minute. The restaurant serves some of the best Italian food to be had outside of Italy. Their salumi and pastas are made fresh daily right in the restaurant and they own a wood-fueled...
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610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Think of the Oxbow like a high-end shopping mall for food and wine. On the east side of the Napa River, the market brings together a number of epicurean purveyors under one roof (well, technically, it’s three different roofs). The result:...
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875 Rutherford Rd, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Round Pond Estate in Rutherford, Napa Valley, is an absolutely stunning property. You can take a tour of their olive groves and taste their oils on one part of the property and then move over to the winery to sample their wines with delectable...
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8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA
If you're in the Napa Valley, you must make a stop at Frog's Leap Winery. It's an environmentally conscious winery that believes in sustainable farming and using solar power and local resources. When you walk into this winery, it's like you're...
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20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
This is the spot that sold me on the Bay Area. Located right on Tomales Bay, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, it's a great way to end a day in the Point Reyes area. The best thing to do is buy a bag of oysters, don some gloves, and...
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16228 Main St, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
Big Bottom Market is a gem among the gem that is Guerneville, CA. The town is nestled in the redwoods in between the vineyards of the Russian River Valley and the beautiful northern California coast. Big Bottom Market is right in the center of the...
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219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The 36-room h2 Hotel in Healdsburg is the perfect Sonoma base. Guests can explore the green roof, lounge by the creekside pool, or rent bikes for cycling to nearby wineries.
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17000 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville offers easy one-mile hikes and strenuous nine-miles climbs. No matter which you choose, the scenery is spectacular. Look for Parson Jones, the tallest tree in the grove, which measures more...
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1474 Alexander Valley Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
I spied this lovely okra pod and its showy flower in the vegetable garden at Jordan Winery, while enjoying the Estate Tour.
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2100 Denmark St, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Scribe winery founded by 2 young brothers is making Sonoma hip. Appointment only tasting under the trees, 20 ft swings, outdoor dinners with some of the best SF chefs, prohibition era hacienda to become the new tasting room, and just pure hipness...
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20 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is a wonderful day trip from San Francisco. Pack a picnic and reserve a raft from SOAR Inflatables, and spend a summer day moseying down the river. Go early or late in the season to avoid crowds and have...
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214 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
After a day spent floating down the Russian River, happy hour at Mateo's hit the spot. We grabbed seats at the colorful bar and ordered tacones stuffed with olive oil guacamole and black bean puree with homemade chorizo. I paired the food with a...
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7800 Eastside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Last year Copain Winery in Sonoma started hosting guest chef dinners at its tasting room as part of a Supper Club Series. Copain's winemaker, Wells Guthrie, reaches out to some of his favorite chefs and sommeliers, like Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan...
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Fitch Mountain, California 95448, USA
Explore nearby Fitch Mountain and you can find a quiet little stretch of the river, a warm and mellow ribbon that runs 110 miles from all the way up near Willits down to the Pacific, near Jenner. Its name comes from Ivan Aleksandrovich Kuskov of...
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Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
There's something about Healdsburg's grand old Queen Annes, stately Edwardians and rambling California farm houses that suggests another place and time. Walking around the warm, sun-dappled streets, you can't help but imagine the life you'd live...
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Healdsburg Ave & Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The city's annual summer concert series brings out every human within miles, for unseemly levels of pleasantness. Balmy evening, nibbles, smuggled wine, good music -- every town should drop everything and build a plaza.
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25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
With its quiet, leafy streets and chic destination restaurants, the town of Healdsburg is in many ways an intersection of two different vibes. The architecture of Hotel Healdsburg manages to capture them both and blend them seamlessly. It's a...
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25 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
San Francisco summers may be frigid, but just 70 miles north it bakes. Hotel Healdsburg's jewel of a pool offers a welcome refuge from the strains of walking around leisurely and eating like a king.
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21401 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062, USA
Further south, in Santa Cruz, Taqueria Michoacan is located on a busy street and very hard to miss. This bright yellow taqueria, complete with festive murals on the exterior was a great setting for the exceptional taco I devoured here. Look out...