5 Travel Gems That Will Enhance Your Trip Find the special moment in your next trip by trying one of these experiences. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Touring & Tasting
While these destinations are great, there are some gems found at each that can make them extra special.
“ V. Sattui is famous for its Italian marketplace, featuring more than 200 artisanal cheeses, house-cured meats, and locally baked breads.”
When you travel, you sometimes get surprised not by the original destination, but by how great an accommodation, a view or a restaurant is. It's these moments that stick in your memory long after you've returned home. Here are five destinations that have some fantastic gems you don't want to miss.
Wine & Roses
Spa: The Spa at Wine & Roses provides a tranquil setting with its own quiet outdoor patio under the shade of mighty oak trees. Ranked number 19 in Spa of America’s Top 100 Spas of 2012, it offers a tempting menu of body treatments, facials, and more. The Wine & Roses Ultimate Treatment begins with a grapeseed body scrub, followed by a rinse in a private outdoor shower, a luxurious massage, and a wrap in body butter. A face massage during the wrap completes the experience. Nearly all of the products used at the spa are “green,” and the technicians are true professionals. There are also a salon and The Nest, an attractive retail boutique featuring therapeutic spa and salon products as well as intriguing gifts.
2505 W Turner Rd.
Lodi, CA 95242
V. Sattui Winery, Artisan Foods & Italian Marketplace
Italian Marketplace: V. Sattui is famous for its Italian marketplace, featuring more than 200 artisanal cheeses, house-cured meats, and locally baked breads. Sandwiches, salads, and other foods are made fresh daily under the direction of Executive Chef Gerardo Sainato. All this—plus a portfolio of more than 60 wines—gives guests everything they could ask for in an al fresco wine country experience.
1111 White Ln.
St. Helena, CA 94574
Fountaingrove Inn Hotel and the Steakhouse @ Equus
Steakhouse: Pretty much everything has been refreshed at Fountaingrove’s popular restaurant—including its name! The Steakhouse @ Equus features a new menu of old favorites. Created by the restaurant’s new executive chef, Doug Mahoney, the menu showcases premium meats with a modern twist. The quality steaks include a bone-in porterhouse steak for two, cooked to perfection and carved tableside. To accompany the steak, there are great sides, such as Creamed Spinach and Kale, Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes, and Baked 5 Cheese Mac. Non-beef steaks, such as yellowfin ahi and brick of chicken, and freshly made pasta dishes round out the menu. The extensive wine list is sure to satisfy the palate of a sommelier. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as room service.
Oceanview Restaurant: Lined with windows overlooking the bay is The Tides Wharf Restaurant,. In 1961, Alfred Hitchcock selected Bodega Bay as the location for his legendary film The Birds. The Tides Wharf was used both as a set and as a backdrop for numerous scenes. Today, besides offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, The Tides Wharf features a fish market, snack bar, and covered outdoor cocktail area right on the bay. For more intimate dining, the Bay View Restaurant & Lounge is located up the hill, with an elegant Italian menu and indescribable sunsets. The Bay View hosts monthly winemaker dinners featuring many top Sonoma and Napa Valley vintners serving four-course wine and food pairings. A one-night exclusive room rate is offered to winemaker dinner guests.
Bike Ride: Rent a bike and head just west to The Grand Traverse Commons. This serene 480-acre wooded park, once a mental asylum, is now a popular gathering place. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons holds many unique shops restaurants, galleries, and tasting rooms. After a morning of exploration, head north up M-37 along The Old Mission Peninsula. Home to the area’s second wine trail and offers plenty of breathtaking views. Near the tip, you’ll find the charming village of Old Mission, and the Mission Point Lighthouse, built in 1870. On your return, take Peninsula Drive, and hug the shoreline southward from Bowers Harbor. At the peninsula’s base, the main campus of Northwestern Michigan College is home to the family-friendly Dennos Museum Center and one of the world’s largest collections of work by Inuit artists of the Canadian Arctic. Back in town, you’re faced with one more decision: where to have dinner. With 150-plus choices, this may not be easy, but you really can’t go wrong.