Sonoma Valley: A Beautiful Destination
Stretching 17 miles through rolling vineyards, lush forests, and stunning mountaintop vistas, Sonoma Valley will win you over with its breathtaking beauty, small-town charm, and warm hospitality. Just 45 miles north of San Francisco, Sonoma Valley is the ideal escape for travelers looking to slow down and enjoy the best of California’s food and wine scene.
With 100+ award-winning, locally-owned, artisan wineries, restaurants, and boutiques, there’s enough to keep the average visitor busy for years. But that’s just for starters. The Valley is also a hotspot for history buffs, who will relish how its colonial past is intertwined with the birth of modern California. And lovers of the outdoors will delight in hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails through exquisite regional and state parks.
Glen Ellen: A Worthwhile Discovery
The village of Glen Ellen is off the beaten path, despite its location in the geographic center of Sonoma Valle. This dynamic little community is reason enough to plan a visit to Sonoma Valley this year. Beloved among locals for its beautiful natural scenery, top notch wineries, and historic landmarks, there are many reasons for visitors to Sonoma Valley to go out of their way to discover Glen Ellen. Some examples:
Wine Tasting: Glen Ellen is home to some of the best wineries in Sonoma County. Many of these wineries are family-owned and offer a more personalized and intimate wine-tasting experience than the larger wineries in the area. For excellent, organic Cabernet Sauvignon, Laurel Glen Vineyard is not to be missed; For long lived, beautifully crafted Pinot Noir, make sure to visit Talisman; For a gorgeous estate winery experience, make sure to include Lasseter Family Winery; For a personal experience and lovingly crafted wines, Schermeister is well worth a visit.
Jack London State Historic Park: The former home of famous American author Jack London and his convention defying wife Charmian. Visitors can explore the London’s historic cottage, the House of Happy Walls Museum, Jack’s ingenious farming experiments, and even visit his grave. The park also offers extensive hiking trails and scenic picnic areas. In the summer, Transcendence Theater, a local musical theater group, performs in the ruins of Jack London’s winery, a setting that almost upstages the show for drama.
Culinary Experiences: Glen Ellen is home to several excellent restaurants and cafes, serving up fresh, locally sourced cuisine. The original home of the famed Girl & the Fig is now The Fig Café, still owned by local legend Sondra Bernstein; on just about every foodie’s radar is the Glen Ellen Star, the creation of French Laundry alum Ari Weiswasser; the most recent addition to the local food scene, The Mill at Glen Ellen, has quickly become a local favorite; and Glen Ellen even has an authentic French bakery: Les Pascals, created by French baker Pascal and his wife, also Pascal.
Glen Ellen Village Market: This market is a beloved institution in Glen Ellen, offering a wide variety of gourmet foods, local wines, and specialty items. Visitors can stop by for a quick lunch or stock up on supplies for a picnic or a day of wine tasting.
Overall, Glen Ellen offers a charming and laid-back atmosphere, with plenty of opportunities to experience the natural beauty, delicious food, and fine wines of Sonoma County.