Truly, there has never been a better time to visit California Wine Country. The views are epic, the food and wine and shopping are top-flight, and local businesses are eager to welcome visitors as they recover from last year's tragic wildfires. Fabulous options abound in every direction but in terms of sorting out an itinerary, you could do a lot worse than follow California Dream Eater on his two-day tour through the region.
Day One of his trek focused on the Napa Valley and began at Bouchon Bakery, Thomas Keller's off-the-charts good pastry emporium right off Highway 29 in Yountville. The next stop: Oxbow Public Market in Napa, a food hall and retail center with all sorts of culinary wonders to consider and consume. Other stops include Artesa Estate Vineyards and Winery, Addendum, Tank Garage Winery, Raymond Vineyards (where you can create your own blend), and dinner at Acacia House—celebrity chef Chris Cosentino's lovely restaurant in St. Helena.
Dream Eater's second day was all about Sonoma County. He began with breakfast at Spinster Sisters in Santa Rosa, a favorite among locals (peek inside the owners' new remodeled lodge, the Astro Hotel). After a quick visit to the Charles M. Schulz Museum, he ventured south to MacArthur Place Hotel for a spa treatment, continued south to the folksy Fremont Diner for lunch, and then headed back north to Russian River Brewing Co. to sample its Pliny the Elder. His trek ended with dinner at The Girl and the Fig, a cozy spot right on the plaza in the town of Sonoma.