Travel Better.

We sent foodie photographers Gemma and Andrew Ingalls to Sonoma County to test the area's renowned green living. Based in Healdsburg and armed with an itinerary that ranged from wineries to creameries, with the occasional Michelin-starred restaurant in between, they captured what it really means to live farm to table.

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  • The wood fences along the area's main artery, Dry Creek Road.

  • The sleek, natural elegance of the pool and gardens at Hotel Healdsburg.
    This is shot from our room, which had amazing views of the hotel's gardens.

  • Biking is one of the best ways to tour the area. Here's Gemma passing by the mustard-lined vines just outside Healdsburg.

  • The delicious beet tartare salad at Spoon Bar is made with local beets and goat cheese. Kenny Rochford, of the nearby Medlock Ames wine estate, pulls beets from his kitchen garden for pickling.

  • Carrie, the owner and gracious host of Jimtown Store, welcomed us with hibiscus iced teas and then sent us packing with a bag full of local and house-made provisions, such as pepper jelly and fig tapenade.

  • The bounty of bottles we procured at the various vineyards along Dry Creek Road.

  • We loved the patina on this retired work truck in Geyserville.

  • At h2hotel, a green hotel in the Healdsburg town center, Spoon Bar lets you exchange your foraged fruit for credit toward delicious cocktails. We sampled a Meyer lemon and vodka concoction with a rosemary garnish.

  • We went foraging for black trumpet mushrooms near Sonoma's famous Chalk Hill vineyard with Jimtown chef Peter Brown, who is lucky enough to live on the property. He's the tour guide to get, since he knows all the secret spots.

  • The kids were out with their parents on a vineyard off Dry Creek Road. They're quite helpful when it comes to weeding and fertilizing the soil between the vines.

  • Gemma was given green tea before her treatment at Osmosis Spa, tucked away in the little town of Freestone.
    She indulged in their warm cedar sawdust 'bath' while looking out over a Zen meditation garden.

  • From Freestone we drove towards the coast and Bodega Bay, where we enjoyed a seafood stew from the Michelin-starred Terrapin Creek Cafe — clearly a family business.

  • Dusk falls over the vineyards of Medlock Ames.

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CHEAT SHEET

where

Northern California wine country, land of redwoods, rolling vineyards and the Russian River. And just an hour drive from San Francisco.

Why go

The days when the Napa and Sonoma were a pale imitation of Tuscany and Provence are long past — today the region is a mecca for modern epicureans with numerous high-quality restaurants and a prolific eco bent.

How

Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and stay on the 101 — or find a connection to the Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport.

Tablet Tip

You'll find great wines and excellent restaurants anywhere you go, but what's special about the Sonoma side of things is what's a little bit uncivilized about it — in between tastings and reservations you might find time for a public swim in the Russian River or a hike through the redwoods at Austin Creek.

HOTELS

Hotel Healdsburg

HOTEL HEALDSBURG

From $350

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h2hotel

H2HOTEL

From $255

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The Carneros Inn

THE CARNEROS INN

From $350

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More hotels in Napa/Sonoma Valley →

GUIDE

Preston of Dry Creek Vineyards

9282 West Dry Creek Road

Medlock Ames Vineyard

3487 Alexander Valley Road

Chalk Hill Vineyards and Winery

10300 Chalk Hill Road

Terrapin Creek Cafe

Restaurant

Dry Creek Kitchen

Restaurant

Spoon Bar

Restaurant

B&B Saloon

Nightlife

Silos

Nightlife (Napa)

Jimtown Store

Shopping

Osmosis Spa

Sports/ Fitness

Spoke Folk Cyclery

Sports/ Fitness

California Wine Country on Pinterest