Wine Country Staff Picks

  • Towering redwood trees

    The Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve: A Woodland Sanctuary

    August 06, 2018

    Just a short 20-minute drive from our hotel, the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is the perfect spot to shed the burden of constant emails, texts, and meetings in order to reconnect with the natural splendor we so often lose sight of. Be sure to check out the Colonel Armstrong Tree, which stands at 310 feet and is the tallest in the reserve, as well as the Parson Jones Tree, which is the most ancient at some 1400 years old. There are also lots of great hiking trails to choose from, though our favorites are probably the Discovery and Pioneer Nature Trails. Since the park is open to visitors from 8 A.M. till an hour after sunset, you should have no trouble finding a time to go. Best of all, whenever you’re ready to return to civilization, the luxurious comfort of the Farmhouse Inn awaits.

  • Canoe on a lake

    Charting a Course Down the Russian River

    July 03, 2018

    Summertime is adventure time here in Sonoma County, and if you’re in the mood for some outdoor thrills, we have just the thing for you. Burke’s Canoe Trips offers guests the chance to experience a beautiful and energizing ten-mile, self-guided canoe journey down the Russian River. All along the route, you’ll discover ideal spots to picnic, swim, or just sit back and marvel at the wonders of the wild (in addition to the gorgeous foliage, you’re most likely to see ospreys, otters, turtles, egrets, and Great Blue Herons). The tour departure point is conveniently located less than a mile from our hotel, but don’t think you can just wander over anytime and grab a canoe. These tours are very popular, so it’s best to call ahead to book a reservation. Whether you’re looking to take a solo trip or enjoy the day with friends or family, Burke’s has just what you need to reconnect with the splendor of the great outdoors.

  • Assorted fruits and vegetables at market

    The Forestville Certified Farmers Market Welcomes You

    June 03, 2018

    The Sonoma Valley is renowned for its wine-making, but that’s not all we’re good at. With its mild temperatures and fertile soil, the valley also produces some of the most delicious fruits and veggies anywhere on the West Coast. Now that the Forestville Certified Farmers Market has opened for another season, you can see exactly what we mean every Tuesday from 4 to 7 P.M. Exciting new additions to this year's market include Ortiz Brothers of Santa Rosa (organic veggies and gorgeous flowers), Rojas Family Farm (grapes, oranges, and other fruits), Min-Hee Hill and Gardens of Sebastopol (pickles, salsas, kimchee, and fruits and veggies). In addition to organic produce, you’ll also find beer and wine vendors and local artisans selling handmade jewelry and other crafts. When you’ve had your fill of shopping, settle down at one of the many picnic tables under the cool shade of the oaks, or head back to the comfort of the Farmhouse Inn, less than ten minutes away.

    Address: 6990 Front St, Forestville, CA 95436

  • Glass of wine being poured on wood table outdoors

    The Famed Sparkling Wines of Iron Horse Vineyards

    May 08, 2018

    Among the most renowned wine-making regions in the world, Sonoma County is home to many outstanding vineyards. One of our favorites is Iron Horse Vineyards, which was founded in 1976 by Audrey and Barry Sterling and even today remains a family-owned and operated business known for its world-class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and various sparkling wines. Iron Horse is especially proud to have been served at official White House functions during every presidential administration from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama and hopes to continue the tradition for many years to come. Visitors to the vineyard are treated to varietal samples in the open-air Tasting Room perched atop a hill overlooking 300 acres of immaculately manicured vines. Best of all, this enchanting attraction is located less than 15 minutes by car from our hotel. Iron Horse does recommend calling ahead for reservations, though, in order to ensure your time there is as fun and informative as possible.

    Address: 9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472

  • Close up on pink apple bossoms with apple

    Fun Flourishes at the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival & Parade

    April 03, 2018

    Springtime in Sonoma Valley heralds many returns, with flowers blooming and festivals flourishing. On Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22, the charming town of Sebastopol, a scenic 20-minute drive from our hotel, will be hosting its 72nd annual Apple Blossom Festival and Parade. The celebration kicks off at 10 A.M. on Saturday with the parade itself, then continues till 6, with live music by popular local bands; artisans and merchants selling handcrafted jewelry, clothing, leather goods, and other specialty items; local and regional artists dealing in paintings, drawings, and photographs; wine tastings featuring the best Sonoma Valley vineyards; and food vendors serving up candy, ice cream, barbecue, sandwiches, Thai food, German faves, and other tasty eats. Sunday festivities run from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and feature many of the same exhibitions, plus the Blues Music Explosion with special guest Terrie Odabi, a blues and soul vocal sensation whose explosive debut on the Bay Area music scene has invigorated both industry professionals and everyday fans.

    Address: Ives Park and the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St., Sebastopol, CA 95472

  • Orange and black monarch butterfly perched on purple blossoms

    Butterflies and Bucolic Splendor on the West County Trail

    March 06, 2018

    Now that winter is behind us and temperatures are climbing comfortably into the mid-sixties, we’re excited to head back to the great outdoors for some of that natural beauty that’s made Sonoma County landscapes nearly as famous as its wines. If you’re as fond of biking as we are, we highly recommend the five-and-a-half-mile West County Trail that runs between Forestville and the nearby town of Sebastopol. This level, paved path runs through various pastoral settings, including farms and vineyards, affording you and your loved ones the opportunity to take in the bucolic charm of the land at your own pace. Once in Sebastopol, consider checking out the 9-acre Hallberg Butterfly Gardens, which are open to visitors from April 1 to October 31 each year. Tours are available to the general public on Fridays and Sundays from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M., and it’s best to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

    The Hallberg Butterfly Gardens are located at 8687 Oak Grove Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

  • Peeled oranges in a bowl

    Join the Fun at the Annual Citrus Fair

    February 04, 2018

    If you’re looking for a fun and quirky day-trip during your stay at the Farmhouse Inn, considering checking out the Cloverdale Citrus Fair, held in the nearby town of Cloverdale from Friday, February 16, through Monday, February 19. A scenic half-hour’s drive will put you in the midst of this annual favorite, which features massive 3-D exhibits crafted from citrus fruits (no, really), a family-friendly carnival, gourmet food, and handmade merchandise from local artists and artisans. The crowning of the Citrus Fair Queen will occur on Friday evening, and the annual parade will enliven the town streets the following morning at 11 A.M. Special musical and theatrical performances will be staged throughout the long weekend, including the soulful tunes of southern rock band Double Standard, the country-and-western dance stylings of the Kick’n Country Girls, and the kid-friendly comedic antics of Duelling Dames. Once you’ve had your fill of the festival, you’ll be more than ready to head back to the luxury of the Farmhouse Inn, where all the comforts of home await.

    Location: Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds, Citrus Fair Dr. & S. Washington St., Cloverdale, California 95425

  • charles schulz museum

    You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

    January 08, 2018

    In 1950 Charles Schulz launched Peanuts, a Sunday morning comic that would eventually become the most successful strip of all time, reaching a peak readership of more than 350 million in 75 countries during its 50-year run. Add to that the many televised holiday specials and endless merchandise, from Snoopy dolls to Charlie Brown lunch boxes, that features the Peanuts gang, and it’s easy to see why Schulz’s creation has become a permanent part of American culture. During your stay with us, we encourage you to take a quick 15-minute drive to the city of Santa Rosa, where the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center offers you a chance to relive many of your fondest childhood memories as you explore not only the artwork of Schulz himself, but also the delightful and awe-inspiring tributes to the Peanuts gang rendered by renowned artists from around the world. See the evolution of Snoopy hewn in 3.5 tons of wood by Yoshiteru Otani, tour a life-size replica of Charles Schulz’s very own artist’s studio, and laugh at rare strips catalogued, contextualized, and displayed for your viewing pleasure at this one-of-a-kind cartoon museum.

    Address: 2301 Hardies Ln, Santa Rosa, CA 95403


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