Journey 15 miles west to Winters, voted by USA Today as #4 of America’s best small-town culinary destinations. It’s also a gateway for a number of activities such as wine tasting and hiking. Enjoy breakfast and locally sourced coffee at Steady Eddy’s, the locals’ favorite, before an active day! Consider picking up some local varietals at Turkovich Family Tasting Room or Berryessa Gap Tasting Rooms, as well as cheese from local Winters Cheese Company for a mid-hike picnic.
That afternoon, stroll the historic downtown filled with quaint shops throughout its redbrick architecture and small-town charm. Carboni’s Ristorante, Bar, and Market offers an Italian-forward menu complete with homemade pizza and pasta straight from Winter’s regional bounty. Other options include: El Verduzco Taco Truck, Putah Creek Cafe, Hooby’s Brewery, Preserve, Buckhorn Steakhouse, or any number of other locally owned, specialty type dining establishments. Lay your head at Hotel Winters, a boutique suite style property offering countryside luxury and an amazing view from its rooftop bar. You can also find the comforts of home at any number of Airbnbs in the area.
Your third day of exploring Yolo County is a make-your-own adventure. Woodland was once the largest county in California and still serves as the county seat. Steeped in history, Woodland is a cornerstone of California’s (and the world’s) agriculture industry. It’s the perfect place to put your culinary adventure hat on! Start out early and head just 30 minutes north to Morgan’s Mill, a craft coffee bar which roasts its own beans from sustainable sources worldwide. Downtown Woodland sets the stage for unique and diverse global dining experiences with something from just about everywhere in the world. Take a self-guided dining or history tour through the historic Victorian home neighborhoods. Historic buildings such as the Opera House extend the historic architectural experience, along with the well-preserved red brick construction of many of the corridor’s buildings. Quaint and unique shops make for fun strolling (and buying). For something unique, check out Father Paddy’s pub style grub and whiskey vault. More than 60 products from around the world line the bar for your tasting pleasure. For some afternoon California adventure, check out Velocity Island Park , a great place for kids and families to let loose and play at this one-of-a-kind wake board and water park. Peak summer offers another great water experience choice at Cache Canyon River Trips , just over an hour away with guided access to some of the most fun whitewater rafting in the state. Less active but unique is Reiff’s Gas Station Museum, a local haunt where visitors travel back in time to the 1950’s. You’ll want to pose for photos with retro antique cars, jukeboxes, and more.
After a full day of fun, tuck into dinner at any one of Woodland’s 27 restaurants within a walkable stretch. For after-dinner entertainment, consider taking in a performance at the Opera House theater. Overnight at one of a broad variety of Woodland area hotels, ranging from familiar brands to locally owned, independent hotels.
Your final day opens up the window to Yolo’s Countryside area. Activities include exploring wide open spaces dotted with large and small farms, more hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. Afterwards, enjoy restaurants and wineries galore! There are more than 10 locally owned wineries in the area. Each offers a very personal experience in their tasting rooms as well as unique varietals not found anywhere else. Yolo County is a substantial grape growing area with much of its grape volume going to other nearby regions such as Napa Valley. But each winery saves the best for their own visitors.
Finally, don’t forget the Sierra Railroad’s train excursions through the Yolo County farmland and along the Sacramento River. Their new railbikes are definitely a rare experience!
Can’t get enough of Yolo County? Make plans to return in the near future! We recommend venturing out on Highway 128 from Winters west to Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. You might also look to other Central Valley area locations to further your California experience.
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