Near Home In Northern California
Collected by Vanessa Petersen , AFAR Local Expert
While I love traveling to far of places, there are adventurers and unexpected experiences lying in my own corner of the world--the place called home. This Wanderlist is to remind myself to embrace that traveling spirit at home and see that everyday surroundings are not always so ordinary.
2300 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
The beautiful boutique Nest on Fourth Street in Berkeley, takes me right back to France even before I walk in. The displays of the books, fabrics, gifts, jewelry and artwork through through the glass windows was enough to make my heart leap when I...
557 Summerfield Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, USA
East West uses a wonderful collection of fresh local ingredients to create wonderful meals. There is something for the vegetarian and the meat lover. From salads and falafel dishes to burgers and sweet potato fries there seems to be something to...
8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA
Before there can be quality wine, or even quality grapes, there needs to be quality dirt. Frog’s Leap Winery is located in one of the most coveted patches of dirt in the Napa Valley — Rutherford. Which is why, when you visit, owner John Williams...
8761 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
My friends and I have made it an annual habit to taste our way through the wine regions of Dry Creek and Alexander Valley during "Winter WineLand". The Wine Road has three annual weekend events that connect wineries around Sonoma County for one...
1712 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
The best time to hit the mineral-fed pools at Indian Springs is just before closing, right around 9:30 p.m. Grab a float noodle, place it behind your neck, float on your back in the 102-degree water, and look up at the stars. No matter how cold...
1603 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA
Using Sightglass coffee, Bartavelle serves the BEST latté in Berkeley! Opened in late 2012 this unassuming café already has a local following. Small place with stand-up only zinc counters inside plus outdoor seating. The small plate menu uses...
1 Pilot Rd, Carmel Valley, CA 93924, USA
While many visit Carmel By The Sea for a weekend getaway, near by Carmel Valley is my preference for a weekend retreat as home base. It feels more worn in a beautiful livable sort if way. After an afternoon of exploring the shops and tasting rooms...
1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
Just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods National Monument, a 554-acre park; old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, cover 295 of those acres. Peaceful and lush, the forest is ideal for simply communing with...
2605 Adobe Canyon Rd, Kenwood, CA 95452, USA
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park has numerous hiking trails from mellow meadow trails that are great for nature walks with kids, to heavier hikes up to the vistas of Bald Mountain. There are also family friendly camping grounds and an observatory for...
2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, USA
The hike through Jack London State Historic Park to the top of Sonoma Mountain runs through redwood groves, meadows, and vineyards. Vigorous blackberry bushes provide some sustenance -- but bring water, because it gets hot up there in the summer....
17000 Armstrong Woods Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
If you travel through California I highly recommend taking the trek up to see the great Redwood trees. These tall and ancient Sequoias hold a special wonder. If you aren’t able to make it up to the “Valley of the Giants” in Humboldt County there...
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
Point Reyes is a special location with hiking trails, historic farms, and the small towns of Inverness and Point Reyes Station with lovely local food finds and little shops. To get to the lighthouse just follow the road signs from Inverness, and...
Oakland, CA 94611, USA
Looking for a great afternoon or evening hike, high above the clouds of the East Bay? Need a few good labyrinths and a volcano to make it desirable? It so happens, I've found your place. Located on the border of Oakland and Contra Costa, the...
71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
16228 Main St, Guerneville, CA 95446, USA
Fuel up for a hike at the nearby Armstrong Redwoods reserve at the Big Bottom Market in Guerneville. You'll find snacks, such as cured meats, artisanal pickles, and local cheeses, to enjoy in the picnic area. For something heartier, order the...
3401 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
Beautifull is one of my favorite cafes in San Francisco. The food is delicious and always seems to recharge my energy for the rest of the day. The cafeteria style of serving makes a quick lunch break or a meeting with friends easy to arrange. I...
107 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
There are numerous wonderful wine tasting locations in Healdsburg. It is both possible and enjoyable to spend an afternoon walking around the square meandering from tasting to tasting. A small gem of a tasting room just a block off the square is...
219 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
H2hotel has a playful mix of modern rooms and overall architecture made with an earthy feel and natural materials. The crowning example is their living roof, which can be seen through the large, curving windows on the fourth floor. Each room has a...
43 Arsenal Ave, Stinson Beach, CA 94970, USA
Parkside Cafe is a wonderful place to stop and have a meal. The local ingredients and creative cooking make a delicious combination. The cafe is a short walk from the beach and easily found in the small coastal town of Stinson Beach.