Nothing recharges the spirit more than a weekend spent with good friends. Girls’ getaways are a much-needed break from the day-to-day grind, and it’s amazing what good conversation and contagious laughter (not to mention shopping and wine!) can do for the soul.
Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe are popular getaway locations in California, but there’s another lesser-known area worth considering: Yolo County. It has all of the amenities of its big-name counterparts — wine, scenery, shopping and spas — without the big-name price tag or crowds.
Davis is much more than a college town. In fact, there are plenty of things to do in Davis, which has a quaint, walkable downtown area lined with shops and restaurants. To start your ladies’ weekend, hit the Davis Farmers Market on a Saturday morning. There are loads of fruits and veggies plus fresh-baked breads and pastries, gourmet food products such as honey and wine, and local crafters specializing in everything from jewelry making to woodworking.
You and your gal pals can pick up some picnic items and take a stroll through one of the many parks or green spaces in Davis. The U.C. Davis Arboretum, for example, has more than 100 acres of gardens with picnic spots along its paths. You can also explore the town of Davis via bicycle. Davis has more than 55 miles of dedicated bike baths and a 12-mile bike loop. There’s also a self-guided historic bike tour. If you don’t have your own bike, no worries — you can rent one from several locations around town.
A little retail therapy is also a worthy pastime. There are numerous shops in Downtown Davis, including independent bookstore The Avid Reader, fashion boutique Pinkadot, and charming gift shop Crème de la Crème.
Hungry? Davis has plenty of great restaurants to enjoy. Some to consider are The Mustard Seed, a longstanding spot for seasonal dishes and California wine; Sophia’s Thai Kitchen, which serves fruity cocktails in its tropical bar; and Seasons Kitchen and Bar, a refined choice showcasing locally grown ingredients.
If it’s wine you’re after, you’ll find it at Great Bear Vineyards. Just ten minutes from Downtown Davis, they tastings, pairings, farm-to-fork dinners, concerts, and other special events. You can also sip wine at Davis Wine Bar, which pours local and international wines; and Cork it Again/Nashoba Wines, which offers tastings and bottles.
You’ll need a place to rest your head, and luckily, there are plenty of lodging options in Davis. A good bet is the Aggie Inn, a boutique hotel with cottages and modern design. Other choices include Best Western Palm Court, The Vine Inn and Hilton Garden Inn, all of which are located in the heart of Downtown Davis and have easy access to restaurants and shops.
With its tasting rooms and farm-to-table restaurants, the Yolo County town of Winters has all the makings for a great girls’ getaway. It’s smack dab in the middle of Northern California’s agricultural heart, meaning great food (and wine!) is at your fingertips. The historic downtown area is home to several tasting rooms all within one block of one another: Turkovich Family Wines, Berryessa Gap Vineyards, and L’Apero les Trois, which serves French-style aperitifs.
If you’re craving a great meal, Winters has you covered. Putah Creek Café serves hearty American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a relaxing streetside patio. Nearby Preserve showcases the area’s bounty, serving dishes with seasonal, local ingredients. Buckhorn Steakhouse an iconic spot that dishes up signature meats in a historic building. It’s also home to The DeVilbiss Room, a moody, modern cocktail bar.
Hotel Winters is a good bet for an overnight stay. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s a boutique hotel with oversized guest rooms and a tranquil courtyard. It also has its own spa, ZenTerra, which offers massages and facials and features a Zen room with zero -gravity lounge chairs where you and your friends can chill out. The hotel’s onsite restaurant, Carboni’s Ristorante, serves refined Italian-inspired dishes including pizza and pasta.
If you’re looking for a more structured jaunt through Winters, check out the tours offered by Yolo365. Their themed tours include Discover Winters Wine Tour, Discover Winters Beer & Bars Tour, and Discover Winters Spirits, Porches & Patios Tour. You can also curate a private tour just for you and your friends!
There are plenty of other ways to spend a girls’ weekend in Yolo County as well! A popular choice for wine lovers is a trip to Clarksburg, which has wineries with views of the Sacramento River. The Old Sugar Mill is a charming, historic space home to 14 tasting rooms. They also host special events such as food trucks, live music and holiday celebrations. Another wine tasting option is the Sacramento River Cruise, a private tasting cruise along the water, complete with cheese and charcuterie. The River Fox Train, which departs from West Sacramento, is another idea for a gals’ day out. They offer wine and beer tasting excursions through the scenic Yolo countryside. There’s even a train dedicated to boba tea tasting!
There are lots of amazing spots in Northern California to treat yourself to some “girl time.” But none have the charm of a weekend in Yolo County. From world-class wineries to farm-to-table eateries, quaint shops to natural attractions, Yolo County is a great choice for a girls’ getaway. Best of all, there are numerous lodging specials in Yolo County, so you can save while you sip & savor!
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