travel stories: northern cali

RUSSIAN-RIVER-house3RUSSIAN-RIVER-house2A couple weeks ago we jumped on a quick flight up to San Francisco, rented a car, and did a little road trip through Northern California. I have to say it was just the right amount of travel time with a toddler in tow. A one hour flight = piece of cake, then an hour and a half drive to our first stop… perfect naptime length! We rented this gorgeous house for a couple days on Russian River, and then drove further north to Boonville. All the details and our route after the jump… 

RUSSIAN-RIVER-houseWe found the house initially through Kid & Coe (you can get even more info on it here), which meant it was super kid friendly and stocked with toys, which was great because in toddler land nothing is better than other people’s toys. The house had a beautiful deck overlooking the river and was perched up amongst the redwoods making it feel like a big treehouse. We loved everything about the place except the neighbors that were playing death metal each night around dinner time. Luckily you couldn’t hear it when you were inside the house.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g1 presetThe house was just outside Guerneville, a darling little town with some great restaurants and shops. It’s a bit of wine country nestled right into the giant redwoods. That image above was in an old bank building that has turned into an ice cream shop, pie place, gallery and boutique (Commerce Fine Goods)… all under one roof. One of our favorite things we did while in Guerneville was when we packed a picnic from Big Bottom Market and went for a hike in the redwoods nearby Armstrong Natural Reserve.

archiebooneville4From there we drove up over the mountains to Boonville, to visit our friends as they’ve recently relocated up there and they introduced us to Anderson Valley in the best way possible…with really incredible food. Oh and goats, lots of adorable goats. :) Our friend Shane is the chef at the Boonville Hotel so staying with them meant every meal looked straight out of Bon Appetit magazine and tasted even better. That photo above was a slap up breakfast at their house complete with fresh chive blossoms from their garden. The good news for you is that you can also get a taste of his magic at the hotel each night.

goatsgoat-eyeProcessed with VSCOcam with m5 presetSo about those goats… Anne and Shane took us to Penny Royal Farm where we got to tour the grounds, pet a zillion sweet goats, and then taste the cheese and wine straight from the farm/vineyard. This was definitely a highlight for Archer (and me), that’s him below trying to climb in with a couple of the baby goats.

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with m5 presetpoolsidehealdsberg2minnow-swimAfter a few days in Boonville we headed back south to Healdsberg for a night at Hotel Healdsberg and a day at the pool. I can’t get over Arch in those little swim shorts! After Healdsberg we headed back to SF for the quick flight home, ending one of the best weeks we’ve had as a family of three.

Here’s the cliff notes version of my favorite places from the trip:

GUERNEVILLE:
To Stay:
Rental House (I rented through Kid & Coe)
Boon Hotel is also a great option more so if you don’t have kids.
To Eat:
Big Bottom Market 
Boon Eat + Drink
To Do:
Russian River… beaches, floating, canoeing etc.
Armstrong Woods – hiking
Shopping at The Guerneville Bank Club

BOONVILLE:
To Stay:
The Boonville Hotel
To Eat:
The Boonville Hotel
Stone and Embers
To Do:
Tour Penny Royal Farms

Healdsberg:
To Stay:
Hotel Healdsberg
To Eat (and shop):
Shed

Clothes Sources: My Polka Dot Dress from Asos // Shoes by Dolce Vita // Archie’s swim shorts and rash guard from Minnow Swim // My Swimsuit from Asos

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