It took us forever to get out of San Fran, mostly due to the long weekend traffic and a shopping spree at REI that lasted a few hours. The drive from San Francisco to Sonoma is supposed to take about an hour… at our pace we took about two days. That’s just the way we roll right now.
A bunch of vineyards and cellars have their tasting rooms right in the middle of Sonoma, surrounding the pretty little town square. We parked the van in the plaza and headed for a really great tasting at Highway 12, followed by a few glasses at a little wine bar down the street and then headed off to find a campsite for the night.
We got lucky and found a spot at a nearby campground just in time for ‘Funky Fridays’, featuring Sonoma County’s best rock n roll cover band.
The next day we chose a couple of wineries to check out. First stop VJB Cellars. I would highly recommend this place if you are visiting the area. The wines were great of course, but the best part about it was the little piazza they have created. It was the perfect spot to enjoy their wines along with a selection from their deli and some really good wood fired pizza while being serenaded by the live opera singers.
We chose a really nice Zinfandel from VJB and after settling on our favourite chardonnay at Sonoma-Cutrer, we were ready for the road again.
We once again chose the coast road and found ourselves winding our way north along Highway 1 up above the fog that rolled in from the Pacific ocean.
As we passed through the Sea Ranch area we pulled off to check out the Sea Ranch Chapel. A really interesting little spot recommended to me by the author of my favourite book ‘Handmade Houses: A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design’. It’s designed and built by local people using local materials and is just there for anyone who cares to use it for a bit of quiet time.
Continuing north we were disappointed to find that every single camp spot was taken, it being the last long weekend of the summer. But it was really a blessing in disguise as we settled for a great little spot right near the Point Arena lighthouse. Perched right on the edge of the cliffs we could hear the ocean but couldn’t see it through the fog. It was cold and windy outside, a perfect excuse to get cozy in the van and have a movie night.