December 19, 2012

Yountville: Villagio Inn & Spa


Wine Country

Villagio Inn & Spa  6481 Washington, (800) 351-1133, (707) 944-8877.  112 rooms.  All wood-burning fireplaces.  Afternoon tea; champagne breakfast; room service.  Pool, hot tub; full-service spa.  A sister to nearby Vintage Inn, this serene Tuscan-style inn is composed of 2-story building clusters.  It is well-located for walking to this town’s prime restaurants, and pathways lined with water features lead through lush gardens.  All guest rooms have private patios or balconies, oversize deep soaking tubs, and a complimentary welcome bottle of wine.  The lavish breakfast buffet includes champagne, delicious flaky pastries, and an omelette station.  Spa Villagio has separate male and female relaxation lounges, each with indoor and outdoor fireplaces, Swiss-style multi-spray showers, a steam room, a sauna, and an outdoor hydrotherapy soaking bath.  Five spa day suites provide privacy and a steam shower, wet bar, and flat-screen TV with Bose sound systems.


More things to do in Yountville.

More things to do in the Wine Country.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

December 17, 2012

Point Reyes Station: Coyuchi Outlet


1 North

Coyuchi Outlet  11101 State Route One, suite 201, (415) 663-8077 x322.  Daily 10-5.  Shop in this atmospheric second-floor outlet for up to 70% off factory seconds and discontinued items along with the complete seasonal line.  Along with sheets and towels, you’ll find pajamas, bathrobes, and baby items. 


More things to do on Highway 1 and in the Point Reyes area.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.  


image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

December 14, 2012

Yountville: Hurley’s Restaurant & Bar


Wine Country

Hurley’s Restaurant & Bar  6518 Washington St., (707) 944-2345.  L-D daily; $$-$$$.  Reservations advised.  With a pleasant dining room dominated by a stone fireplace, this spot serves a seasonal menu and is known for its wild game dishes.  I recently enjoyed a tasty roasted-baby beet salad that was loaded with multi-colored beets and accented with arugula and spiced pecans.  My dinner entrĂ©e was a long-simmered braised wild boar (from Texas) with polenta and tiny, thin onion rings; other enticing options included crispy-skinned rosemary-and-maple roasted chicken with applewood-smoked bacon-potato puree, tamarind and chipotle-glazed buffalo short ribs, and roasted breast of pheasant and brussel sprout leaves.  For dessert, the ice cream sandwich is hard to beat, though the strawberry shortcake in summer and the warm gingerbread cake in winter just might do it.  At lunch, choose from a bargain $20 two-course prix fixe lunch, a burger, and more.  A gluten-free menu is available.  All this, and no corkage fee, too!  Wild Game Week is in November and the Dungeness Crab Festival occurs in December.


More things to do in Yountville.

More things to do in the Wine Country.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

December 12, 2012

Point Reyes Station: Black Mountain Artisans/Weavers


1 North

Black Mountain Artisans/Weavers  11245 Main St., (415) 663-9130.  Thur-M 11-5.  Here you’ll find spectacular one-of-a-kind items handmade by local craftspeople—think knitted fingerless gloves and elaborate crocheted hats. 


More things to do on Highway 1 and in the Point Reyes area.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

December 10, 2012

San Anselmo: Yankee Girl--CLOSED


101 North

Yankee Girl  CLOSED  328 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., (415) 460-0400.  M-Sat 10:30-5:30, Sun 12-5:30.  Located on antiques row, this shop presents a nicely edited collection of antiques.  Decorations and ornaments galore come out curing the Christmas season.


More things to do in San Anselmo.  

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 


image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

December 4, 2012

Monterey: Parker-Lusseau Pastries


1 South

Parker-Lusseau Pastries  731 Munras Ave., (831) 643-0300.  W-Sat 7-4:30; $$.  No cards.  Here at the bakery’s main location is where everything from French desserts to artisan chocolates to wedding cakes are prepared.  The almond croissant and hot chocolate are particularly delicious at breakfast, and soup, sandwiches, and quiche are options at lunch. 

The branch of the popular bakery (depicted above; at 539 Hartnell St., downtown, (831) 641-9188.  M-F 7-5:30, Sat 7:30-4.) is situated within the carefully restored two-story Fremont Adobe, which some believe was once the headquarters of John C. Fremont.  Tiny tables are available inside as well as outside on a small porch and in an adjacent garden.


More Monterey adobes.

All-adobe tour of Monterey.

More things to do in Monterey.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.  


image ©2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers