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Beneath the high ceilings of Cast Away's yarn shop, towering shelves overflow with bundles of color-coordinated wool, cashmere, and alpaca yarn. Cobblers' tool shelves, iron baby bathtubs, and even a dingy retired from its maritime duties catch the runoff, creating a homey space peppered with vibrant colors for a distinctly bohemian feel.
At the center of this antique bliss is a pair of vintage armchairs, where customers can recline and survey how-to books or familiarize themselves with the supplies for one of Cast Away's staff-taught classes. Though the calendar implies a steady buzz of activity, the shop's proprietor doesn't stop there. She regularly books notable authors and designers for workshops and special lessons that center around projects such as knitted afghan squares and lace vests that add old-timey charm to an outfit without forcing one to wear steel gauntlets.
111 4th St.
The sun slowly dips on the horizon, glazing the waters of the Russian River with a rippling coat of light as the water snakes through the forest to the coast. High above the tips of the ancient, sunset-drenched trees, the hum of a small airplane piloted by Rob Clark—a seasoned commercial pilot with 33 years of experience under his belt—punctuates the bird song emanating from their branches.
The natural world feels closer than the altitude would suggest on North Coast Air’s scenic air tours, which fly high above the coastline from San Francisco to Sonoma County. When they aren’t regaling passengers with anecdotes about the land’s natural history, Rob and his team of FAA–certified pilots share their passion for flight during individualized flight-instruction programs. Dedicated to helping students to become aviators in their own right, the team patiently teaches the skills necessary to attain a pilot’s license or complete the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.
5010 Flightline Dr.
Harnessing a background in both art and education, The Pottery Studio's owner aims to create a community gathering space where kids and adults can channel their individual creative urges into decorative or functional pottery, tiles, and mosaics. Amateur artists can grab provided brushes, dip them in eco-friendly and water-soluble paints, and then coat clay in any of more than 60 hues. Idea books are on hand to help aid in the design as one maneuvers stencils and sponges across mugs and plates, or kids and pets can learn to create a lasting impression without super-gluing themselves to the garage door by making clay hand- or footprints. Once ready, the professional staff dips each earthenware masterpiece into a clear glaze, fires it inside a kiln, and readies it to be picked up within one week. The pro potters also encourage each visiting artisan to bring coffee and snacks, and during evening hours, bottles of wine can tag along to refill adults' juice boxes.
632 Fourth St.
With its sprawling, emerald vineyards, slate-colored lakes, and winding rivers, the Sonoma Valley seems unfairly intended for birds. However, Sonoma Valley Balloons' FAA-certified balloon pilots with more than 30 years of experience rebel against Mother Nature, lifting their hot air crafts from the ground and navigating them along the morning sky's gentle air currents with little sensation of motion and wind. Because of this, passengers have commented that they didn't realize the balloon had lifted off the ground, and that they had no perception of height as there is nothing connecting them to the ground.
As the aerostat soars over the picturesque valley and Russian River with the sight of the Pacific coast to San Francisco Bay, geysers, and giant redwood trees in the distance on clear days, passengers can merely gaze in awe at the views or finally retrieve their long-lost frisbees. All pilots are fully insured and licensed by the California Public Utilities Commission and United States Department of Transportation, ensuring a safe, professional flight.
269 Aviation Blvd.
Shira Steiger loves Healdsburg. Not only has she spent the last 12 years of her life living there, she has dedicated herself to running Segway of Healdsburg, a business that allows people to experience the local scenery with all their senses. In order to expose guests to their beloved area, she has designed tours that traverse the lush redwood forests and the microclimates of wine country, exposing guests to crisp arborous smells, tastes of local wines, and the calls of wild Segways. Before the tours, Shira’s experienced staff lead guests through 20 minutes of instruction, allowing riders to get their Segway legs before roaming through the countryside.
Healdsburg Ave. & Grant Ave.
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