It’s time for some more solo travel! Because, heck, sometimes you just need to get away, right? Especially if work has been stressful or life has been dealing you some challenges, solo weekend trips are the best when you need a little R&R in your life. Why? Because you’re on your own schedule, and there’s no stress to entertain someone else. You can do as little or as much as you want without feeling guilty. We’re lucky here in San Francisco in that we’re super close to wine country, which is my usual go-to when I need a quick escape. And I found the ideal place... click through to see for yourself.
Welcome to Madrona Manor. This Victorian mansion was built in 1881 and acts as a wine-country bed and breakfast today. Located in Dry Creek Valley, it has 22 guest rooms in total: some in the mansion and others in carriage houses around the property.
It’s a secluded eight-acre estate surrounded by beautiful flower gardens and orchards. It also has a veggie and herb garden that’s used by the manor’s chefs when planning meals for the in-house restaurant (which is worth a reservation, BTW).
One of my favorite things about Madrona Manor is its wrap-around front porch.
The porch is the best spot to enjoy coffee in the morning, a book in the afternoon, or a glass of wine at night. Plus, you can’t really beat that view.
I got to stay in a second-floor master suite during my visit. It has original antiques, a chandelier, a cozy fireplace, a King-sized bed, and a clawfoot tub.
To add to the relaxation factor, the suite comes with a private balcony. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast in the morning or tackle a creative project or book in the afternoon.
I mean, come on? It’s kind of hard to not chill out with that balcony view!
Oh, and did I mention that this place has the most magical pool?
So what can you do in Dry Creek Valley? Well, this is one of my favorite places to visit. If you can tear yourself away from Madrona Manor, there are a lot of great locations to explore.
First up: Put the Dry Creek General Store on your list, especially if you want to stock up on a few snacks and beverages before heading to the manor. It has local pottery, knickknacks, picnic essentials, and more!
Another great thing about this area: You can easily drive (or bike) around. You'll get to explore Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley by way of beautiful tree-lined country roads. TRAVEL TIP: Take a slight detour (or what I like to call the scenic route) and go over Wohler Bridge. You’ll get an epic view of the Russian River, and driving over the old, one-lane bridge is an experience in and of itself.
Make sure to be on the lookout for all the awesome wineries while you're driving around. During my visit, I checked out the Ferrari-Carano Winery. It made my list when I read reviews about their gardens, but they also have some great wines and a beautiful outdoor terrace.
Then, head over to the nearby Alexander Valley to check out the oh-so-Instagrammable Jordan Winery. The ivy on the chateau is to die for. I can only imagine it’s even more beautiful when everything changes color in the fall. TRAVEL TIP: This is an appointment-only winery, so make sure to book reservations early!
And if you're visiting on a hot summer day, make the drive out to Lake Sonoma. You can rent a boat or a kayak and explore the reservoir. TRAVEL TIP: In a hurry? Drive over the bridge or make a quick pit stop at the Lake Sonoma overlook for some fantastic panoramic views.
Dreamy, right? And hey, we all deserve treating ourselves to a weekend getaway every now and then. So pick a place, pack up a good book, your camera, and a journal, and get ready to unwind. With a glass of wine in hand, of course.
Tag us in your travel adventures on Instagram @BritandCo!