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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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17380 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
This tiny market on the way to or from Sonoma Wine Country is the perfect place to stop for a meal on the go. El Brinquito is Spanish for a small jump, or a leap, and the Market is just a short hop outside of downtown Sonoma. The everyday fare is...
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109 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
$$$$
Sitting at the counter/bar at Bistro Ralph's serves up a great view of the chefs working their magic in the open kitchen. The waiters are delightfully entertaining characters, too. I return again and again for the Lamb Burger with Caramelized...
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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...
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214 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
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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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61 Front St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The pace is a little slower and the number of wineries hit in a day may not be all that's on the list, but biking around Sonoma wine country is a free-flowing, active way to wind through these Sonoma country roads and wineries. Start at Wine...
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641 Limerick Ln, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The tasting room is small, enough for a party of eight, but the diminutive space means more personal attention, which is kind and gracious. The pouring staff want you to enjoy and love the Zins, Chardonnays, and Syrahs as much as they do and will...
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1023 Limerick Ln, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Limerick Lane Winery has a pretty pedestrian name - it is actually on Limerick Lane, which just outside of Healdsburg. What makes this winery special (in addition to the beautiful French country tasting room) are the "Block" Zinfandels are...
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11447 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Inside J Winery in Healdsburg is a special dining room, called the Bubble Room, where former Meadowood sous-chef Jason LaBue builds a tasting menu around the winery's wine cellar from sparking (my favorite) to whites and reds. The dining room is...
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Alexander Valley, California 95448, USA
Head north through Napa Valley’s Calistoga, past Buster’s Barbeque, and just keep going. Have a convertible? All the better. The drive along Highway 128 meanders through the rolling hills and sprawling vineyards of Knight’s Valley and Alexander...
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610 1st St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
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“If you go to our own local market in Napa called the Oxbow, there’s a spice company there, and you get to open up all the lids and smell the spices,” says Pam Starr. “I like to go and be inspired by different smells. They...
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6770 McKinley St, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
The Barlow, a former apple-packing warehouse in Sebastopol, houses a brewery, wine-tasting rooms, galleries, and of course, restaurants.
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1170 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Some of the best Napa Valley winetasting experiences are to be had in the tasting rooms of the smaller wineries along the Silverado Trail. Envy Wines, just north of Calistoga (the northernmost part of Napa Valley), is a great pick if you want...
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1275 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
If you guess this to be an explosion of delicious sweetness in the form of tiramisu cloaked in milk chocolate, then you're right. No, it didn't come from a countryside baker in Italy, but rather aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. Touristy as it...
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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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450 W Spain St, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Ramekins Culinary is a great spot located in downtown Sonoma with a wide variety of activities including a cooking school, but it is also a B&B. It has a beautiful terrace for meals outside.
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18701 Gehricke Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
You can spend days and days drinking wine in Northern California's wine country. But why not try your own hand at blending some of the region's liquid gold? It is a fun way to learn about the properties of wine and your own personal preferences on...
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Jenner, CA 95450, USA
Picture this. You're with your friends. You've gone hiking in the glorious Armstrong Redwoods. Then, you've gone to Sonoma Coast State Beach to watch the sun melt into the horizon for the last time that year. Then you go and eat delicious Indian...
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13690 Arnold Dr, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, USA
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I came across the fig cafe accidentaly. Drove through beautiful Glen Ellen and stopped there for brunch.And I'm so happy that i did!

the fig cafe has all the rightingredients! beautiful location, warm welcoming ambiance and fantastic food.

I had...

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What I love about Sonoma County, California is its dramatic contrasts. That one moment you're sipping on wine in a cozy tasting room on the square in Healdsburg Plaza and the next you're hiking around Lake Sonoma with views like this. The overlook...
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Willow Creek Rd, California, USA
Pomo Canyon Hike goes through redwoods, over wind swept coastal hills. and lands you at ocean waves. The beauty and challenge of this hike is that you must hike up to be rewarded with gorgeous views. The most challenging part is near the start as...
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3611 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA 95465, USA
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When I venture in or near the little town of Occidental Howard's Station Cafe is my favorite place to visit. Either to grab a coffee or smoothie for the road or to sit and linger over a great simple local meal. Bring cash and know they close their...
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19225 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
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North of the little town of Point Reyes Station, the Marshall Store sits on the banks of Tomales Bay. I've been coming here for years after hiking or horseback riding or walking on the beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. The place is super...
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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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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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80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
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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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23240 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
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Since I’m still relatively new to San Francisco, I’m still discovering all of the amazing places just outside of the city. Every weekend I try to hop in a car and explore. My latest discovery is Nick’s Cove, a restaurant and cottages located in a...
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2661 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
If you drive south of Sebastopol on highway 116, also known as Gravenstein highway South, you will find a string of Antique stores. While each of them holds their own special finds, the Antique Society is by far the largest and holds the most...
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20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
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What a great way to spend a spring day in the Bay Area. Hog Island in Tamales Bay has very tasty oysters, a fun staff and a very friendly, comfortable environ. It used to be solely shuck it yourself and bring your own beverages. Although that is...
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U.S. 101, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
The Hog Island Oyster Farm website says it's open rain or shine, and they're not kidding. Lucky for us, we arrived at this funky roadside shack on the shores of Tomales Bay minutes before the skies opened up, giving us just enough time to devour...
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140 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472, USA
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This treasure of a bakery is in a town called Freestone (near Sebastopol) and off a road called the Bohemian Highway, meaning that this is already as California as it gets and an absolute must-see for anyone exploring the coast of the Golden...
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6097 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, USA
Make Matanzas Creek Winery a must see destination on your next trip to Sonoma County, especially if you can get there during the month of June when the lavender is in full bloom and the air is rich with the calm hum of friendly honey bees grazing....
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1240 Duhig Rd, Napa, CA 94559, USA
A replica of the Taittinger-owned Chateau de la Marquetterie in Champagne, Domaine Carneros, perched amid endlessly sprawling vineyards of chardonnay and pinot noir in the Los Carneros growing region between Napa and Sonoma, is like a Disneyland...
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1313 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
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1313 Main, a wine bar in Napa’s downtown, is taking advantage of a newish technology that allows you to extract wine from the bottle without removing the cork by offering difficult-to-find and prohibitively expensive wines like Harlan and...
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3200 Monticello Rd, Napa, CA 94558, USA
When Kenzo Tsujimoto, the CEO of Capcom, one of the largest gaming companies in the world, came to Napa from Japan he had some­thing bigger in mind than simply planting a few rows of vine and making a vanity wine. Street Fighter, you might...
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1260 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
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A Main Street mainstay, this bustling pizza palace has been tossing dough since 2001. Owned by the same family as nearby local favorite Norman Rose Tavern, it has a dedicated following and the pizza and pasta is consistent and satisfying if not...
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2800 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Krug is an important winery for a couple of reasons: Founded in 1872, it is one of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley and it is here that Robert and Peter Mondavi had their infamous disagreement that led to Robert leaving and starting his...
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1991 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573, USA
Inglenook (previously Rubicon) is the epitome of wine tasting in the Napa Valley. The elegant chateau is owned by the Hollywood legend Francis Ford Coppola (mastermind behind The Godfather Trilogy... but you knew that). The Coppola's have gained...
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1400 Schramsberg Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
When you take a sip of Schramsberg's sparkling wine, you are tasting some of the very best in California—and you are also getting a taste of Napa Valley history. Schramsberg has been making wine in the same time-consuming and labor-intensive...
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22 W Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
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Forget Chicago or New York the best dog in the world maybe from the Motor City...but you can get it in Healdsburg. That's right, Detroit native Charles Bell moved his successful The Wurst restaurant to sunny California, wine country and has been...
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1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Established in 1882, the Chateau has been carefully restored and maintained by the Barrett family (Bo,of Bottle Shock fame, is still making the wine) and was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The winery is famous for...
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610 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
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When the famous Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto opened a branch of his eponymous restaurant in downtown Napa it was definitely a game changer for the dining scene, bringing a bit of Vegas-style flash to wine country. To be safe, make a reservation...
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6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
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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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2698 Fremont Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
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Southern comfort food is hardly what comes to mind when thinking about the cuisine of California's Wine Country. Yet, that's exactly what you get at this unassuming diner along scenic Highway 121. Think grandma's recipes inspired by the local...
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23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Down a rural road a few miles from the Sonoma square, behind an auto shop in an industrial building, you'll find one of Sonoma's best-kept secrets: it's not only great wine that comes from the Sonoma Valley, but also high-quality craft spirits at...
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1140 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
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The ingredients may seem familiar, but the flavors and preparation are inspiring, creative and innovative at Torc. Fresh, local and seasonal should be a given in Napa Valley, but it's not enough to carry your ship into the culinary warfare of one...
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579 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
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Owned and operated by the same husband and wife team since 1977, Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro has been serving up the same fresh seafood dishes for decades. Head here for classics like shrimp cocktails, clam chowder, seafood salads, and, of...
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20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
$$$$
Stop at Scribe Winery and pick up a bottle of their newly released rosé to pair with oysters at Hog Island in Marshall, CA. Picnic tables overlook Tomales Bay and must be reserved in advance. Throw the oysters on the grill or eat them raw and don’...
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20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
$$$$
An hour and a half from San Francisco lies Hog Island Oyster Company. With BBQ oysters on the weekend, picnic tables on the water and the best raw oysters I've ever had, it makes for a great day trip from the city. BYOB. Reservations for picnic...
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3431 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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Can't beat a buck for an Oyster! Hogs and Rocks is a great happy hour haunt in the mission. Super lively and fun. I shouldn't be telling you all this!
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19225 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
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Oysters with a spectacular view. They have clam chowder and usually another soup too. Oysters come raw, barbecued, or a few other ways. Just a little over an hour drive north of San Francisco. About 10 miles south lies Point Reyes Station were you...
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1 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, USA
Tucked away on an eight-acre estate at the top of St. Helena’s main street, the Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer could easily be mistaken for a private country manse somewhere in England, or even northern France. Its lush gardens are traversed...