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A Charming In-Town Garden Sanctuary for
Your Wine Country Stay in Santa Rosa

So Much to Do Nearby, It’s Hard to Know Where to Start!

Santa Rosa Area Parks

The Santa Rosa area is home to some spectacular parks, three of which are within easy biking distance from the cottage. All offer hiking, biking and picnicking, while some feature fishing, boating and a variety of family activities. Annadel State Park is highlighted below, and be sure to follow the links for information on Spring Lake and Howarth Parks (great family activities).

Annadel State Park- The park offers miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and trail riding. For wildflower lovers, Annadel Park offers a great variety of flowers from early Spring until early Summer, especially on a hike around Lake Ilsanjo. The best months to see the park's wildflowers are April and May, but there are some plants in bloom as early as January and as late as September. 

Lake Ilsanjo offers excellent fishing for black bass and bluegill. Black bass weighing nine pounds and more have been caught here. A purple plastic worm is a favored bait for the bass, while the bluegill favor garden worms, small crayfish, and grubs. If you are 16 years of age or older, you must have a California fishing license. Ledson Marsh dries up by late August or early September and so no fish are found there.

Location - The park is located east of Santa Rosa and south of Highway 12 at 5201 Channel Drive (enter via Montgomery Drive), Santa Rosa, CA 95409

Facilities and Activities- Horses and bicycles are allowed only on designated trails. Off-trail riding is not permitted. Drinking water should be carried on the trails. The water in Hunter Springs is suitable for horses only. Motor vehicles are allowed only on the entrance road and in the parking lot within the park. Dogs are allowed only on Channel Drive and in the parking lot. They must be kept on leash at all times and are not allowed on the trails.

Two additional nearby parks include Spring Lake Park and Howarth Park. Click on the links to learn more.

Food & Wine

Within walking distance of Sally's Garden Cottage, in Montgomery Village, are various eateries, including some outstanding restaurants.

Come and taste the Sonoma County difference. The local food movement is strong here and many restaurants feature locally sourced menu items. Wine country chefs frequently use local produce, organically grown vegetables, cheeses, olive oils, meats, fish, wines and beers in creating their menus.  Even an average restaurant in Sonoma County offers above average food because with all the competition, they just have to! Prices vary, but it is easy to find a great restaurant at an affordable price.

The area is home to many farmer's markets. The closest farmer's market is Wednesday & Saturday from 9am-1pm at the Veterans Memorial parking lot, 5 minutes drive from Sally's Garden Cottage. It's fun to see what the farmers are harvesting each week.

To visit local artisanal producers and family farms: www.farmtrails.org

To search for Sonoma County wineries by region, by name or by feature: www.sonomawine.com

Sonoma County is also great craft beer country:  www.winecountrybeer.com

The Arts in Sonoma County

Sonoma County, with its fantastic climate and thriving art community attracts artists of all types.  Galleries, studios, and performing arts venues connect artists with the public. For seasonal information see: http://sonomacounty.ca.gov  then select "visitors"

Coastal Redwoods

Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve is a majestic hidden grove of ancient redwoods, left standing when the rest of the area's trees became the railroad ties for the Transcontinental Railroad in 1868. Armstrong Woods has wonderful trails for walkers, hikers, cyclists and horses. The reserve is 805 acres of old growth redwood trees and you'll find it easy to spend the day taking in the natural beauty there.

While visiting, be sure to seek out these interesting local sites and attractions:

Russian River

The Russian River rises in the coastal mountain ranges of Mendocino County in Northern California, flows through valleys in Mendocino County and Sonoma County, and empties into the Pacific Ocean at Jenner-by-the-Sea.

The river takes its name from Russian trappers who explored the river in the early 19th century, when Russia maintained trade colonies along the Northern California coasts. In the late 19th century, loggers were drawn to the river for the redwoods that line its shores. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Russian River Valley became a popular summer resort destination for vacationers from San Francisco and Napa. The main resort town on the river is Guerneville.

Towns of Interest

Bodega Bay - This scenic coastside town is a 45 minute drive from Santa Rosa. Between Jenner and Bodega Bay, find miles of sandy beaches and tidepools awaiting your exploration. Bodega Bay is home to small fishing crafts, serene parks, campgrounds, tasty restaurants, wine tasting shops, art galleries, and a UC Davis marine laboratory. Many visitors make the trek to Bodega Bay just to see the school house site of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.

Healdsburg - Just 15 minutes north of Santa Rosa, Healdsburg is rapidly becoming a favorite destination for tourists interested in wine tasting. With dozens of tasting rooms, hundreds of shops and restaurants and a distinctly upscale flair, the town feels like an updated version of Sonoma.  

Occidental - Occidental lies within the rolling hills that surround the mighty Russian River. The town's quiet, relaxed setting calls you to enjoy their unusual shops and boutiques, art galleries, and foliage filled nurseries. The remote, isolated town has a quirky charm and is small enough to be covered on foot in just minutes.

Guerneville - Guerneville is the heart of the Russian River Resort area. It is home to a variety of restaurants and shops, all in close proximity to Russian River, Alexander and Dry Creek Valley wineries. Guerneville also plays home to the Russian River Wine & Food Festival, Russian River Blues & Jazz Festival on the River, and more!

Sebastopol - Once known as the center of Gravenstein Apple country, Sebastopol is rapidly seeing its landscape transform into vineyards like much of Sonoma County. The town lies west of the Hwy 101 corridor and is the largest municipality in what is known as “West County.” Although the Chamber of Commerce wouldn’t say this, most locals would tell you the town is well known for its high concentration of hippies and healers. Because of the town’s charm, it is a sought-after place to live, and property values are high. Sebastopol sports a vibrant downtown, including a selection shops, cafes and interesting businesses, including at the nearby Barlow Center.

Sonoma County: A Biker’s Paradise

Due to its moderate climate, great weather and beautiful countryside, Sonoma County has become a favorite of biking enthusiasts from around the nation and even abroad.

Santa Rosa is bike-friendly, with bike lanes crisscrossing the city and ample bike paths and bikeable parks to keep bikers busy for quite a while. Some guests have even biked to nearby wineries, although it’s enough of a distance that we wouldn’t suggest it–especially if you plan to do some wine tasting on the same trip. Some resources for bikers include:

Nearby Northern California Beaches

Lying between Jenner and Bodega Bay, California Pacific Coast Highway One leads to at least ten Pacific beaches with stretches of unspoiled pristine sands that are home to fascinating tide pools, birds and miles of hiking trails along the bluffs of the Northern California Coast. Book a whale watching tour January through April and experience the magnificent presence of a gray whale, or watch the curious seals and sea otters along the shoreline year-round. The river estuary at Jenner and other rich wetland areas provide some of the best bird watching opportunities on the Northern California coast.

Fishing Out of Bodega Bay

Located just a few short miles south of Jenner is the only commercial fishing port between San Francisco and Fort Bragg in beautiful Bodega Bay. The quaint fishing village is a treasure trove of art galleries, gift shops, and wharf-side restaurants, but if you fancy deep sea fishing, sportfishing, or whale watching excursions, this is the place for you!

Book a sportfishing excursion and find yourself standing on the deck of a sleek fishing vessel, proudly holding up your catch. In these waters land Salmon, Halibut, Ling Cod, or even pots filled with Dungeness Crab! Click here for more information on planning your fishing excursion.

Hot Air Ballooning

Wine Country Balloons is Sonoma County's original, oldest established Hot Air Balloon touring company, offering the highest five star rated, FAA-PUC safety-certified service with 35 years experience. You can often view the redwoods, Russian River, Majestic Mountains, the Pacific Coast, S.F. Skyline and lush vineyards. There is no sense of motion or perception of height as you drift with the gentle early morning wind currents.

After your 'Nature Walk in the Sky’ celebrate with a gourmet champagne brunch, chosen from a full menu, accompanied by your pilot. Private flights for two can be accommodated along with larger groups. Weddings and special event coordination available. Each year there is a hot air balloon festival in Windsor: https://www.facebook.com/SonomaCountyBalloons

Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayak right from your rooms! Kayaks may be rented for all or part of your retreat. Imagine kayaking the calm flowing waters of the lower Russian River. There is plenty of user-friendly, flat water kayaking. No experience is necessary!

Overnight boat storage is available at the compound, so you can set out in the moonlight, or at dawn, or sunset, or whenever the spirit moves you. A quiet paddle among the osprey, pelicans, harbor seals and river otters, is an extraordinary, life-affirming experience. Try Water Treks, or call John with Lotus Kayaks at 707-865-9604.

Enjoy a leisurely paddle down the Russian River from Burke's Canoe Trips in nearby Forestville. Burke's provides canoes, paddles and life jackets for your trip through the redwoods to the town of Guerneville. View the scenic Russian River, marvel at the wildlife and stop to picnic and sunbathe on a sunny beach. Burke's shuttles weary paddlers back to their cars every half-hour until 6:00 pm. The best months for canoeing are generally May through October.

Santa Rosa is Home to 7 Golf Courses

  1. BENNETT VALLEY GOLF COURSE (Public), 3330 Yulupa Ave , Santa Rosa, CA 95405-8647, Phone: (707) 528 3673
  2. FAIRGROUNDS GOLF CENTER (Public), 1350 Bennett Valley Rd , Santa Rosa, CA 95404, Phone: (707) 577 0755
  3. FOUNTAINGROVE RESORT & COUNTRY CLUB (Resort), 1525 Fountaingrove Pkwy , Santa Rosa, CA 95403, Phone: (707) 579 4653
  4. SANTA ROSA GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB (Private), 5110 Oak Meadow Dr , Santa Rosa, CA 95401, Phone: (707) 546 6617
  5. WIKIUP GOLF COURSE (Public), 5001 Carriage Ln , Santa Rosa, CA 95403, Phone: (707) 546 8787
  6. MAYACAMA (Private), 1240 Mayacama Club Drive , Santa Rosa, CA 95403, Phone: (707) 569 2900
  7. OAKMONT GOLF CLUB (Semi-Private), 7025 Oakmont Dr , Santa Rosa, CA 95409-6399, Phone: (707) 539 0415
  8. NORTHWOOD GOLF COURSE, 19400 CA-116, Monte Rio, CA. Rated one of the top ten 9-hole courses in the US, designed around magnificent Coastal Redwoods by Dr. Alister MacKenzie, famed designer.  www.northwoodgolf.com    707-865-1116

Santa Rosa Tennis Courts

Tennis Courts at Galvin Community Park, 3330 Yulupa Avenue, Santa Rosa CA, 95405

Description: 12 lighted tennis courts are available and open to the public daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 p.m. These courts are for tennis only. Bikes, skates, skateboards, animals, food and drinks are prohibited.

La Cantera Racquet & Swim Club (707) 544-9494

3737 Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 

Description: Sonoma County's Largest Club, 12 Courts-4 lighted, 4 swimming pools, state of the art fitness facilities, active junior tennis program, beautiful creekside setting, tennis and swim instruction, a full service tennis club.

Hiking Options within 30 minutes   

Whale Watching

If you plan on boarding a whale watching excursion, consider the Oceanic Society Cruise led by expert naturalists. Their whale watching boats give the viewer a unique look-out point from which to spot the incredible migration of the magnificent gray whale.

Their trip rounds out at 12,000 miles between their Arctic feeding grounds and Baja, California breeding grounds.

Wine Tasting and Much More…