From Santa Rosa, wind north into the Dry Creek Valley for intimate
wineries and cutting-edge restaurants.
Length of trip: 1 day
Total mileage: 63mi/101.4km
Santa Rosa. Stop by the California Welcome Center © for free information and tips. Visit pretty Annadel State Park , where you can take a hike then a dip in Lake Ilsanjo. See where street pavers for early San Francisco streets came from along the park’s aptly named Cobblestone Trail.
Healdsburg (15.1mi/24.4km; 18 min). Hot apple fritters with maple crème fraiche? Start the day with an amazing outdoor breakfast at Bovolo (Thur-Sun only). Then check out all the goodies in the shop windows surrounding Healdsburg’s main plaza.
Healdsburg (1.7mi/2.8km; 4 min). Green-thumbers (or wanna be ones), take Dry Creek Road west to The Gardener for gorgeous plants, pots, and designer outdoor furniture. Or just come to stroll through the glorious gardens.
Jimtown (5.6mi/8.9km; 12 min). Retrace your route to Healdsburg Avenue and head north (soon becomes Alexander Valley Rd.) to reach this tiny village—really just an excuse for one of the coolest general stores around. Jimtown Store , here since 1895, has antiques, sock monkeys and other retro toys, great foods and local vintages (tastings too!), and box lunches perfect for a wine country picnic.
Geyserville (6.5mi/10.4km; 10 min). Follow State 128 north past postcard-perfect vineyards to another hamlet, Geyserville, along the Russian River. Step inside a century-old former bank building to sample the big reds of Meeker Vineyards . At Locals , sample vintages from 10 award-winning local wineries.
Santa Rosa (22.7mi/26.7km; 29 mi). Twist south on Geyserville Road to Via Archimedes (formerly Souverain Rd.) and the lovely Francis Ford Coppola Winery . Continue south on U.S. 101 to a Santa Rosa favorite, the Charles M. Schulz Museum , with 6,000 original cartoon strips, including hundreds of early Peanuts drawings.
Santa Rosa (11.7mi/18.9m; 22 min). End the day with an optional drive east on Mark West Springs Rd. to Safari West . Join a guided driving safari through this 400-acre preserve, home to hundreds of exotic mammals and birds, many of them endangered, including rhinos, cheetahs, and elegant gazelles.