If I only had 24 hours in Sonoma County, one of the first places I’d go is Glen Ellen, a cozy village tucked away between vineyards and valleys in the Sonoma Valley.
This sweet little town is home to some of wine country’s most intriguing destination locations. From the rich history of Jack London State Park, to the laid back luxury of the Olea Hotel, you are sure to experience the magic of Sonoma County.
10 a.m. Hike at Jack London State Historic Park
Start your day in Glen Ellen off with a hike at one of the most fascinating sites in Sonoma County.
Jack London Park is a historical treasure trove and natural wonder with more than 39 acres to explore.
I particularly love strolling through Beauty Cottage where Jack and Charmian London lived for many years and admiring Charmian’s closet, filled with evening wear from the 1920s and ’30s.
You can also walk through the ruins of the Wolf Mansion or partake in a docent led hike to really learn about the history of this magical property.
1 p.m. Lunch
Continue your day at Jack London with a picnic lunch by the lake (Glen Ellen Village Market is a great place to pick up supplies), or for a more international hit, check out the highly rated Yeti restaurant for Nepalese and Indian food.
3 p.m. check in at Olea Hotel
This boutique, family-owned hotel has a cult following for their excellent service and gourmet breakfasts. Centrally located about three minutes from the heart of Glen Ellen, Olea is a perfect spot for couples looking for a romantic getaway.
Olea’s careful attention to detail is shown in amenities like complementary local wines, on-site massage, luxury linens, and a hot tub tucked away in a quiet garden. Set into an oak studded hillside and surrounded by olive trees, the look of the property is classic Glen Ellen country charm with a clean lined modern aesthetic in the rooms. I particularly liked the design of the bathrooms, with artisan tiles and see through glass sinks.
4:30 p.m. Massage at Olea
This was one Olea amenity I couldn’t wait to try. With an Asian themed massage room located in the lobby area, just across the way from my room, the location couldn’t have been more convenient. The massage itself was relaxing and included a house blend of essential oils, perfect for stress relief and calming the mind. Couples massage and other massage styles are also available on request.
6:30 p.m. Dinner at the fig café
This local favorite always delivers with their attention to service, flavor, and quality. Their house cocktails are always divine, so I started with a fig syrup and sparkling wine concoction. It was so good I decided to stick with the fig theme and chose the Fig and Arugula Salad with a fig and port vinaigrette as a starter. The Mt. Lassen Trout entrée never fails to please, accompanied by perfectly cooked potatoes and a drizzle of lemon chive sour cream. Dessert at the fig café is a must, especially their delicious butterscotch pot de crème with cacao nib brittle.
8:30 p.m. Wine at Olea’s fire pit, then a dip in the hot tub
What better way to wind down after a delicious dinner than with a glass of complementary wine by the Olea fire pit surrounded by fairy lights and olive trees? A dip in their secluded hot tub under the oaks brought the night to a close and was a perfect and relaxing way to end a wonderful day in Glen Ellen.
9 a.m. Breakfast at Olea
The continental breakfast at Olea, which is included in the price of a stay, is unlike any continental breakfast you might have experienced at any other hotel or bed and breakfast. Prepare yourself for a one of a kind gourmet experience: a three-course breakfast that is delicious from start to finish.
Imagine house made Granola with a freshly made pastry, followed by a fruit smoothie shooter with seasonal fruit and then, not just one, but two entrées: sweet and savory. On my recent visit I practically inhaled the poached farm egg (perfectly cooked), on a cheesy grits fritter with wilted mustard greens, creole butter emulsion and bacon. Then I did the same to the whole wheat strawberry pancakes with lemon mascarpone and basil seed syrup. If you like breakfast, Olea’s version is not to be missed!
Written by Sonoma Insider Heather Vuchinich