The Ranch on Sonoma Mountain
6565 Sonoma Mountain Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Once You're Here
We’re excited to share a few of our favorite places with you
Jack London State Historic Park
In 1905, Jack London described what was to become his beloved Beauty Ranch as “acres of the most beautiful, primitive land in California. There are great redwoods, some thousands of years old. There are canyons, streams and many springs. I have been looking for just such a place, and I must say I’ve never seen anything like it.” Jack’s love of Sonoma Mountain (and the valley below) inspired his novel “Valley of the Moon” and a 1914 film adaptation by the same name. At one time, our land shared a property line with Beauty Ranch and old timers recall it was not uncommon for Jack to ride through the Ranch on his daily horseback rides.
Today, Beauty Ranch is a 1,400 acre California state park offering historic buildings guests can explore, such as the ruins of Jack’s dream home and original McMansion, Wolf House. Don’t miss the Pig Palace (especially if traveling with little ones who can’t resist exploring the many pens and enclosures) and other examples of Jack’s innovations to ranching practices. Kristin recommends a visit to the House of Happy Walls, a museum which manages to capture the peculiar spirited enduring love story of Jack & Charmian. Best of all, there are 20 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.
Sonoma State Historic Park
The Sonoma State Historic park is actually six historic 19th century sites, conveniently scattered around the perimeter of the delightful Sonoma Plaza and the surrounding area. Don’t miss the Mission San Francisco Solano, the last and northernmost Franciscan Mission, built after Mexico gained independence from Spain and intended, in part, to prevent Russian explorers from expanding their foothold inland. Notably, the site is the birthplace of the California State Bear Flag.
Sonoma Plaza, or ‘The Square', is known for its old adobe storefronts, meandering alleyways, sunlit courtyards and historic landmarks. When visiting the Square, we enjoy a casual lunch at the Girl & The Fig restaurant. After lunch, we take a stroll around the perimeter of the square, and Kristin has been known to pop into some of her favorite shops
Those traveling with little ones will appreciate a few hours at nearby Sonoma TrainTown. This 10-acre park, once Bowen & Tobin’s happy place, is a dream for the ‘8 and under set’. The manageably-sized park boasts a 4-mile, quarter scale railroad with miniature town and petting zoo, and six railroad themed amusement rides. There is no admission fee (you purchase tickets for rides) and the park is blissfully devoid of concession stands.
It wouldn’t be a trip to wine country without a spot of wine. Sonoma County is home to over 425 wineries. Sonoma is comprised of 18 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), including one of the state’s smallest AVA, Sonoma Mountain (that’s us!) Like much of Northern California, Sonoma Mountain offers an amazing range of microclimates. This variation in climate allows for an impressive variety of grapes to be grown in close proximity including cabernet, pinot noir, chardonnay and Syrah. Even cool-weather Austrian or Germanic varietals (such as our favorite, Gruner Veltliner) grow well on Sonoma Mountain. If you don’t believe us, try Belden Barn’s Gruner which Sonoma Magazine named “one of 8 wines to try before you die.”
Each winery offers unique attractions like gourmet bites, full tasting menus, lawn games, educational exhibits, children’s playgrounds, diverse architecture, gardens and more. There are so many options we couldn’t begin to narrow our list to just a few. Instead, check out the link below, which features 13 fabulous wineries that will not disappoint.
You’ll have a chance to taste wines from the Sonoma Mountain AVA over the weekend.
Where to Stay
Hotels to check out and book as soon as possible
Located just a few blocks from The Lodge and Glen Ellen Village, the Gaige House inn is an elegant blend of vintage and contemporary is included in Conde Nast’s gold list of top hotels in the world. Gaige House featuring 3 suites and 20 thoughtfully appointed guestrooms with a modern flair. The secluded setting along Calabazas Creek includes an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub and is accented with calming fountains, a yoga enclave, private gardens and inviting outdoor spaces.
To reserve your room at the Gaige House, follow the link below and via the hotel website. Be sure to reference Kristin & Philip’s wedding in “Additional Reservation Notes” field while booking. Please note are unable to hold rooms at the Gaige House so kindly book early.
The Jack London Lodge
Situated along the banks of the Sonoma Creek in the center of Glen Ellen Village, Jack London Lodge offers 22 spacious rooms in a tranquil setting surrounded by wooded views. Our quaint hotel boasts accommodations that have been tastefully designed and comfortably furnished. The Lodge features a relaxing outdoor patio with views of the Valley of the Moon, an outdoor pool and spa, and the historic Jack London Saloon.
We are holding all 22 guest rooms at the Lodge. To reserve your room, call 707-938-8510 and let the hotel know you are attending Philip & Kristin’s wedding.
Located less than a mile from Glen Ellen, this elegant, adults-only boutique hotel features 15 guest rooms surrounded by oak and olive trees, and a beautiful terrace with outdoor furnishings overlooking the valley. A stay at Olea is also a culinary experience, as it includes a gourmet, farm to table breakfast.
To reserve your room at Olea Hotel, follow the link below and book via the hotel website. Be sure to reference Kristin & Philip’s wedding in “Guest Requests” section while booking. Please note we are unable to hold rooms at Olea Hotel so kindle book early to avoid disappointment.