Indulge and Unwind
Small-town charm meets big-city talent up Highway 101.
DISTANCE FROM MARIN 60 miles north
LET’S FACE IT: the bounty of the Bay Area spoils us. Miles of coastline, rolling hills for days, an abundance of produce and a never-ending stream of motivated people making the most of it all. A few places deserve extra-special designation, however, and Healdsburg is at the top of that list. Here visitors can find world-class hospitality, innovative dining and fine wine galore, all situated around a 19th-century plaza that anchors the town. Unscathed by last November’s fires, Healdsburg is open for business and ready for your next adventure.
RIDE Skip the car and take in the surrounding natural beauty with all your senses from atop a new hybrid Giant bike. Cruising down country roads, you can go anywhere from 8 to 17 miles through the Dry Creek Valley and check out small and family-owned wineries including Lambert Bridge, Bella, Dry Creek and Rued Family Winery. Get a close-up of the grapes and vines, learn about the growing process, taste the goods and round out the journey with an alfresco lunch. Prices start at $175. winecountrycyclingtours.com
DINE Attention to detail is everywhere apparent at SingleThread, Kyle and Katina Connaughton’s restaurant, farm and inn. The 55-seat dining space features mesquite wood floors, an open kitchen stocked with Japanese clay donabe ceramics and a layout that feels more like a house than a restaurant. The decor, cuisine and omotenashi concept — spirit of selfless hospitality — all point to the years the duo lived in Japan. Example: every menu has a personal note from Katina and all guests receive a small packet of seeds that relate to something they enjoyed in the meal. A nightly tasting menu, which can be customized to fit dietary preferences and restrictions, starts at $295. singlethreadfarms.com
Photo by William Rohrs
STAY For the best night’s sleep in town no place beats Hotel Les Mars. The 16-room hotel got a nod from Relais & Chateaux and comes replete with all the luxe amenities one could imagine, including Givenchy toiletries, bath salts for every mood, complimentary French breakfasts, and daily wine and cheese receptions. Guest rooms have antique furniture and four-poster beds featuring the hotel’s signature feature — customized mattresses only available through the hotel (yes, you can buy them) and linen from Versai, one of the largest manufacturers of Egyptian-cotton bedding from Italy. Your dreams will never be sweeter. hotellesmars.com