The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary with a Focus on Wellness
Sonoma County has so much to offer, it can be difficult to choose what to do. There’s wine tasting. Great food. Amazing nature. And especially important to me, an impressive lineup of unique wellness experiences.
With this in mind, as a local Sonoma County-an, I have created my perfect weekend in Wine Country with a focus on wellness, leaving room for indulgence, of course … because, well, isn’t that also part of wellness?
The Farmhouse Inn, located in the Russian River Valley near Forestville, is small, exclusive and worth every dime. This boutique hotel mixes luxury with that unique Wine Country quaintness, creating a beautiful, light and calm environment – a perfect space for relaxation and a little indulgence. With a high-end restaurant and spa onsite, you could essentially never leave the premises.
For me, I’d start the morning with a brisk easy hike (or run if you are so inclined), enjoying the crisp morning weather and beautiful surroundings. I recommend the Santa Rosa Creek Greenway Trail from Willowside Road to Fulton Road. It is located in Sebastopol (a 16-minute drive from Farmhouse Inn) and is an easy 4.2-mile flat-terrain paved trail, with views over nature, grapevines, a creek and horses. For the unpaved version, follow the sign for the Ewok trail.
As you are already in Sebastopol, why not explore and grab lunch or a coffee. Sebastopol has gone through many changes, originally an orchard town and known for the Gravenstein apple. In the ’60s, it was populated by hippies who declared the town a nuclear-free zone and the sign still stands proudly. Sebastopol is now evolving into a more sophisticated Wine Country destination, but without losing its history; it still has a unique flavor of hippie and farm town.
Drop by The Barlow, which is a buy-local, artisan and sustainable outdoor market, featuring local food and wine. I recommend going to The Farmer’s Wife and grabbing a hummus salad and their famous fries. If you fancy something lighter, head over to The Nectary, which is just a 10-minute walk from The Barlow, for one of their plant- and flower-based beverages and dishes. The Nectary is perfect when you need to restore, rejuvenate and revitalize your body.
Head back to Farmhouse Inn for an afternoon of luxurious relaxation at the in-house spa, the Wellness Barn. There you can find an array of treatments for couples and individuals. I recommend a massage and/or the Ultimate Farmhouse Glow facial. Finish the day relaxing by the pool before heading to your room to get ready for dinner.
A little tired after the fresh air and massage? Fear not! You can enjoy a Michelin dinner at the Farmhouse Inn’s restaurant! Amazing cuisine just steps away from your bed. The food is Sonoma County farm-to-table at its very best. I recommend taking full advantage of their expertise and get the wine pairing with the meal – one of the best wine pairings I have ever had!
The next day, head out on a morning bike ride to Bricoleur Vineyards for a yoga class. Bricoleur has public yoga classes every Sunday morning from spring to autumn, and private classes to suit your specific needs can also be booked. Classes are taught in the covered pavilion with incredible views over the vineyard. Adventures in Cycling arranges public and private guided tours, or if you want to explore on your own, Sonoma Valley Bike Tours will deliver your bike to the Farmhouse Inn.
After yoga, make sure you have a reservation for one of the spectacular food and wine experiences Bricoleur offers!
I recommend the Essentials Picnic; a beautifully prepared alfresco picnic lunch paired with exceptional wines, enjoyed in the gorgeous surroundings of the vineyard. You can also try the seasonal six-course wine and food pairing in the tasting barn. Chef Charlie Palmer has teamed up with Bricoleur to create a sampling of six wines along with perfect pairings for you to enjoy.
Bike back to the Farmhouse Inn, park the bike and head to downtown Healdsburg for a bit of people watching in the square and shopping in the quaint boutiques. If you are in the mood for an extra wine tasting, I recommend dropping by Lioco Wine Co.’s tasting room for a glass … all in the name of wellness of course, and then head over to the Montage Hotel for a 5-course tasting menu at their Hazel Hill Restaurant. The French-inspired, locally sourced, farm-to-table restaurant is set in gorgeous surroundings with incredible views, and the menu is a seasonal tribute to the Sonoma County bounty.
Drink plenty of water before bed and get a good night’s rest!
Plan Your Own Personal Wellness Itinerary
Whether you want complete relaxation or outdoor activities; a beach day or forest exploration, there is a wellness experience tailored to your needs and wants in Sonoma County. If you are looking for something unique and different, it is always worth asking the concierge at the hotel you are staying at for that local-knowledge touch. You can also download the Sonoma County App to start creating your personalized wellness itinerary in real-time, complete with step-by-step directions.
Written by Nina Jarnum