This is a continuation of my out-of-print guidebook--WEEKEND ADVENTURES IN SAN FRANCISCO & NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. It features travel destinations throughout Northern California and presents them in small, easy-to-digest chunks along with plenty of photos so you get the picture. Even more great weekend adventures await you at my BERKELEY AND BEYOND website at www.berkeleyandbeyond.com.
Located atop a small hill and reached via a promise-filled drive up a narrow vineyard-lined road, this small family-run winery is a little like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Only here it is mostly liquid red gold in the form of delicious wines—especially the Zinfandels and Syrahs. Two picnic tables are provided.
Pluto’s 482 University Ave./Cowper, (650) 853-1556. L-D daily; $.
Almost everything served here is made fresh in-house. The procedure is to get a mini-menu and figure out what you want, then move around to the food stations.
Salads come in big and bigger with your choice of seven toppings and are tossed in a giant bowl right before your eyes. Many people find that to be enough, but you might consider sharing a salad and also ordering to share a made-to-order sandwich on freshly baked bread or perhaps a few sides—mac & cheese, onion rings, or mashed potatoes with gravy. A selection of housemade cakes and cookies provide a sweet conclusion. In cold weather, avoid the wall-side tables by the front door unless you plan to remain bundled up.
Operating within a former livery stable dating from the 1890s, this brewpub features natural brick walls, dramatic bronze-hued pressed-tin paneling, and antique church pews recycled as bar seats. Its design is inspired by Berlin’s oldest bar. The dining area is spread over two stories, and a large, two-level beer garden with heaters and a fire pit is in the back. House brews are available along with tasty pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven and a variety of salads and sandwiches. Live jazz is scheduled some evenings. Update plus more images.
The Woodsman Hotel & Lodge1121 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd., (530) 926-3411. 43 rooms. Some fireplaces; some kitchens. Continental breakfast (served across the street at a sister inn).
Guests know they have arrived when they see the roadside chainsaw-carved woodsman, welcoming them to the spacious, woodsy grounds. Situated amid fragrant tall pines and within walking distance of several restaurants, this updated old-time motel features knotty-pine walls but also white down duvets, lovely lace curtains, and theme-appropriate decorations. A few detached cabins are available, and a wide-open, high-ceilinged barn of a communal room provides guests with a gathering space, fireplace, and pool table.