Romantic B&B in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley
About 75 miles north of San Francisco lies the Russian River Valley, which was nominated as one of the Wine Regions of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2011. In the heart of this up-and-coming wine country you’ll find the Applewood Inn, an upscale B&B surrounded by massive redwoods. This Getaway includes a winery passport for tastings and tours at 122 nearby vineyards—you’re welcome to stop by as many as you like during your visit.
The Applewood’s main building is the 1922-built Belden House, a Spanish-mission-style mansion with exposed wooden beams, thick stucco walls, and river-rock fireplaces. Seven more guest rooms can be found in the three-story Piccola Casa, and the Gate House has three spacious suites of its own. All accommodations are airy and modern, with thoughtful touches such as European down comforters and plush bathrobes. Venture to the inn’s backyard terrace to take a dip in the swimming pool or jacuzzi.
Sample California cuisine at a candlelit table for two in the Michelin-rated Restaurant at Applewood. Chefs Michelle Cerneant and Tyja Taube use fresh herbs and vegetables from an onsite organic garden to craft entrees such as oven-roasted Alaskan halibut and cocoa-nib-crusted rack of California lamb. Pair your eats with a bottle of wine from the restaurant’s extensive collection. Each morning from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., the chefs whip up complimentary breakfast entrees including Grand Marnier french toast, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and avocado, and huevos rancheros.
Russian River Valley, California: Trendy Wineries and Historic Towns
An up-and-coming wine region in Sonoma County, the Russian River Valley is located about 30 miles east of Napa Valley. Wine Enthusiast magazine praises the Russian River Valley for its “great wine, stunning landscapes, and friendly people.” It’s known for producing world-class chardonnays and pinot noirs.
In the heart of the valley lies the town of Santa Rosa, a former railroad outpost founded in the mid-19th century. Many early settlers were of Italian descent, so the area around the railroad depot became known as Little Italy. Today, Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square retains its old-fashioned ambiance, except the historic brick buildings now house modern restaurants, specialty shops, and antique stores. Visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center to learn more about the life of the Peanuts cartoonist, who called Santa Rosa home for the latter half of his life. The museum’s exhibits range from an in-depth look at animation to the largest collection of Peanuts strips in the world.