Things to Do
With our fabulous climate – boasting sunshiny days spring through fall, and even into winter – and the proximity to hundreds of wineries, miles of California cycling routes, charming downtown Cloverdale, bustling Healdsburg, the Russian River, Lake Sonoma, redwood forests, and the dramatic Mendocino and Sonoma coastlines, there is no end to the possibilities of what to do during your stay at Auberge on the Vineyard.
Quaint – okay, okay, some say sleepy – downtown Cloverdale is a straight shot from Auberge on the Vineyard; three minutes by car, ten minutes by foot, and something in-between by bike, depending on how fast you push those peddles. And if those transportation options don’t appeal, there is always the affordable Mr. Taxi.
Don’t miss the town’s galleries where you can meet local artists and browse a plethora of unique offerings including jewelry, sculptures, paintings and textiles. Cloverdale also features plenty of interesting local shops such as Kelly Voss’ Vintage Clothing and 14feet, a home décor and furniture store, and Estate on the Boulevard Antiques. As you amble through the town, enjoy the sculptures dotting your way – the Sculpture Trail is a year-round exhibit and a favorite of tourists and locals alike.
Need a quick pick-me-up? Feel free to sidle up with the locals at Plank Coffee or order a gourmet sandwich, salad, or soup at Savvy on First. If you are in the mood for a blast from the past, head over to Pick’s Drive In for great burgers, shakes, and soft-serve ice cream. It’s the real deal. Ruth McGowan’s Brewpub is another hot-spot, with its own take on ‘pub grub’ and live music on weekend nights. For a special evening out, try our favorite Piacére Ristorante Italiano. Delizioso! These are just a few of the satisfying eateries in town.
Music & Theater
The four-plex Clover Theater, in the heart of downtown Cloverdale, is sure to please everyone with its mix of blockbuster and independent films. Also nearby is the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center where you will be wowed by professionally polished stage plays, top-notch musicals and literary and live music events.
Did we say live music? Count yourself lucky if your visit falls June through August because that’s when the Cloverdale Arts Alliance stages its free Friday Night Live outdoor concerts and farmers market. Each week, Friday Night Live brings an explosion of family fun, food, wine, beer and superior musical acts from all parts of the USA, performing their original music in styles ranging from blues, soul, rockabilly, swing, folk, Afro-beat and more.
Just a short and scenic drive 15 minutes south is the town of Healdsburg – famous among tourists and locals for its upscale shopping and dining and down-home charm. Wine tasting rooms, galleries and the beautiful town plaza round out the mix. For music lovers, there are free summer concerts every Tuesday evening on the plaza and the Healdsburg Jazz Festival heats things up in late May/early June. Healdsburg is definitely worth an afternoon or evening of your time.
Even closer to Cloverdale is the tiny (don’t blink!) Geyserville – home to a handful of tasting rooms, shops, galleries, and several lively restaurants. The mystery? How do they pack all that energy into one pint-sized town?
Travel just 45 minutes northwest of the inn to discover Lake County. Dotted with vineyards and wineries, orchards, farm stands, and charming small towns, Lake County is home to Clear Lake, California’s largest natural freshwater lake. Known as “The Bass Capital of the West,” and famous for Mt. Konocti – a volcanic peak that towers over the lake – this area offers more than 100 miles of shoreline to explore. Visit the quaint towns of Kelseyville and Lakeport, and enjoy the scenic drive along the way for a fabulous day trip!
If you are in the mood for another kind of scenic drive, you can arrive on our rocky coastline in just over an hour. On the Sonoma coast is Bodega Bay (made famous in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, “The Birds”) – a popular place to slurp some hearty clam chowder in one of its many fine seafood restaurants, or go whale watching on the blustery Bodega Head. Further north, in Mendocino County, is the coastal town of Mendocino, a popular tourist destination with shops, galleries and restaurants all in a spectacular ocean front setting.
“Sure,” you say. “Shopping, art, dining, wineries – and all that jazz; but is there anything for outdoor enthusiasts to do?” The simple answer: of course there is! The better answer is that Cloverdale is a recreational enthusiast’s dream come true.
The bicycling in this area is unrivaled, from scenic wine country peddling to the stuff of road warriors. Just minutes from Auberge on the Vineyard, casual cyclists can spend an afternoon spinning around town and through River Park. Adventurous cyclists may choose to roam farther afield to the country roads of the lovely Dry Creek, Alexander and Anderson valleys, with their many wineries and other attractions that provide welcome rest stops.
If you’re more into sweating than sipping, you will be thrilled to know this area boasts serious training routes frequented by world-class competitive cyclists and popularized by organized rides and races, such as Levi’s GranFondo – which departs from Santa Rosa (30 minutes away by car) – and Cloverdale’s own Asti Tour de Vine, hosted by the Cloverdale Rotary Club.
Wanna get wet? The scenic Russian River is practically at our back door. There are several nearby river beaches where you can splash about in the sparkling waters and dry off under the warm sun. Rather float? The Rivers Edge Kayak & Canoe, located in Healdsburg, can set you up.
If you prefer lakes to rivers, just over the hill from Auberge on the Vineyard is the beautiful Lake Sonoma, where you can rent boats for lounging, skiing, fishing or paddling.
On the Beaten Path
In addition to boating, Lake Sonoma offers 40 miles of easy to challenging hiking and equestrian trails – all boasting expansive lake views and plentiful birds and wildlife – along oak-and-madrone-studded hillsides. Also nearby are lush Redwood forests that offer great hiking adventures, such as the breathtaking Armstrong Redwoods State Nature Reserve, about an hour’s drive from Auberge on the Vineyard. And just a bit further are many miles of trails that skirt along the bluffs of the spectacular and dramatic Sonoma and Mendocino coastline.
The Sky’s the Limit
For the more adventurous spirit, just five minutes up the road is the Cloverdale Airport, home of NorCal Skydiving. Our consistently sunny weather and calm winds make Cloverdale an ideal spot for this particular sport. Jump tickets start at just $25, while video-taped tandem rides for the novice thrill-seeker start at $199 for the package. Our guests receive a 10% discount.
Why, you ask, would someone jump out of a perfectly good plane? To see the Alexander Valley from a different point of view of course! What a rush!
We could go on…but we’re pacing ourselves. In addition to these helpful links to wineries, restaurants, events and nearby communities, your innkeeper will gladly direct you to all the latest and greatest happenings in and around Cloverdale and Auberge on the Vineyard during your visit. Just ask!