Wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike will find a great base of operations in the town of Kenwood (pop. 1,028), located in eastern Sonoma County at the north end of the picturesque Sonoma Valley.
Wine tasting — and more — is available at in-town tasting rooms or in the world-renowned wineries along the outskirts of town.
Shop for hand-made folk art, artisan wine racks, and garden and pet supplies at Swede's Feeds. You'll recognize it by the colorful metal-welded animal sculptures standing in the store's front yard: at times the metal menagerie has included a 10-foot-tall dinosaur or 12-foot-tall giraffe.
South of town, Wildwood Nursery features sculptures scattered on trails throughout five lushly-forested acres. The nursery showcases more than 250 varieties of Japanese maples, many of them rare, as well as dogwoods, ginkgos, conifers, edible plant starts, and bonsai-style beech, maple, and evergreen trees.
Kenwood offers a range of lodging options, including bed and breakfast inns, vacation rentals, and winery cottages. The Kenwood Inn & Spa, a Mediterranean villa-style resort, consistently receives awards from Conde Nast Traveler and other travel publications.
Pick up picnic supplies at the Kenwood Market. If dining out, enjoy relaxed dining at the Italian trattoria-style Café Citti, or burgers, barbecue, pizza, and other New American cuisine at Palooza Brewery & Gastropub, which features local wines and 16 micro-craft beers.