Northern California’s Anderson Valley is a very special place for us — it’s where Mike’s ancestral home is, it’s where we got married, and it’s where we go when we have time for a weekend getaway. As we’re prepping for an upcoming visit, we thought we’d share our best Anderson Valley travel tips. Because who doesn’t love awesome wines that’ll give you some major sommelier cred, popular local beers, and staggeringly giant trees!?
You may not have thought you’d ever visit this part of Northern California — it’s kept a bit of a secret for a reason — but you’re about to learn that there’s lots of stuff to do in Anderson Valley…
Tell someone you’re going to Anderson Valley, and a frequent response is “Anderson Valley… Like the brewery?” And the answer is yes! Exactly like the brewery…
People all over the country love this flavorful beer. Maybe you will to? They have a fun indoor/outdoor tasting room, and a nearby field dedicated to the majesty of disc golf.
We once told an Anderson Valley local that we were heading to Napa to wine taste. She looked at us like we had just shot her dog, and asked “Why the hell would you go there!?” She had a good point… Wine-tasting in Anderson Valley makes Napa look like a giant tourist trap. Anderson Valley is a glorious pinot region, the people are amazing, and the wineries aren’t slammed with thousands of visitors.
We recommend stringing a few places together to make for a perfect afternoon. There are plenty of great choices, but here are some of our favorite can’t-miss spots…
If you’re going to hit one winery in Anderson Valley, it’s hard to beat Goldeneye. Yes, there’s a tasting fee and the bottles are pricey, but it’s well worth it for the fantastic wines and the gorgeous setting. It’s a Dash and Dine family favorite.
We’ve been a fan of Husch for a long time. There’s no tasting fee at this cozy little tasting room, and they have a lot of mid-range wines to purchase. We even featured two of their reds at our wedding!
This is a new favorite for us in Anderson Valley. We had a bottle at dinner one night, and then visited the tasting room the very next day. You will have a hard time choosing which one of their delicious wines is your favorite.
This is one of Megan’s favorite wine tasting spots. Not only is it a charming location, but the wines are great, and there are usually dogs to pet!
Feeling peckish while you’re wine-tasting? Hit up Pennyroyal Farm and order a cheese tasting along with your vino. If you have the time, ask for a tour of their property. The tour includes adorable goats!
Their tasting menu is free and extensive — we bet there are a couple types of wines you may have never tried before. Navarro also serves up juices for kids and non-drinkers, and they have picnic benches and amazing views, so you could bring along a picnic and make it your lunch spot.
After bravely tasting half the wines in the Anderson Valley, Megan found some of her favorites at Lichen Estate. This one is a can’t miss.
All the wines at Philo Ridge are vegan and delicious. We particularly like their whites. (We served their Chardonnay at our wedding!)
We like this winery so much that we’ve been members of the Foursight wine club for the past couple years.
If you like pinots, you should visit Balo. If you like drinking pinots while playing bocce ball, then you should DEFINITELY visit Balo.
PLACES TO EAT:
Table 128 at Boonville Hotel
The Yorkville Market has healthy food, Friday night happy hours, and regular weekend brunches. Blink and you’ll miss Yorkville, so this is your only option for food for miles.
Lauren’s features local ingredients, a dynamic menu, sweet staff, and sometimes live entertainment, right in the heart of Boonville.
Lizbby’s serves traditional Mexican food. They relocated from a locally-loved spot in Philo to new digs in Boonville, and changed half their name to reflect the move… As you do.
Located inside one of Anderson Valley’s nicest places to stay is Anderson Valley’s nicest places to get pizza… along with anything else on the menu. This place is fantastic!
Boont Berry Farm features local ingredients and healthy food (for lunch only).
Lemon’s Philo Market is a small grocery store with delicious sandwiches made-to-order in the back.
A cute little cafe in the middle of Boonville with sandwiches, wraps, and hipster coffee. Eat at the Mosswood Market, or grab some picnic options to eat at a winery or in Hendy Woods.
Speaking of which…
Hendy Woods is a state park located in Anderson Valley along the Navarro River. It’s known for its old-growth coast redwoods, and they are pretty damn impressive. They’re also really hard to capture if you’re trying to take a selfie in front of one. Go for a hike and get lost in all the beauty.
The redwood forest along the Navarro River is fun if you want to go hiking near (or through) water. There’s also a beach campground!
Those are our suggestions for things to do in Anderson Valley. If you have any more, we’d love to hear them in the comments. And feel free to ask us questions! We love to help people explore this hidden gem.