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Sonoma Valley Scenic Drive

garden at Jack London Historic State Park, image
Photo caption
Tour Jack London Historic State Park in Glen Ellen for a glimpse into the later years of the writer's life.


Trailing oaks, budding grapevines, and tall blue gums mark stretches of Highways 12 and 121 as they traverse Sonoma Valley. Allow a day to enjoy this 18-mile route, starting in the north. Area code is 707.

  • JACK LONDON STATE HISTORIC PARK The author and his family lived from 1905 to 1916 in these rolling woodlands about a mile up London Ranch Road near the intersection of Highway 12 and Arnold Drive. Take in valley views before ambling half a mile to the ruins of London's Wolf House, which burned before he could move in. A separate trail skirts a vineyard and ascends gently past slender redwoods to a reedy lake. 2400 London Ranch Rd., 938-5216,
  • WINE COUNTRY CHOCOLATES & TRUFFLES Inside a welcoming storefront at Jack London Village, customers taste wine-spiked ganache by the tiny spoonful. Port, zinfandel, and cabernet are among 16 types of chocolate truves offered. 14301 Arnold Dr., 996-1010,
  • OAK HILL FARM In a red barn on Highway 12 near its intersection with Madrone Road stand bouquets of gorgeous native flowers alongside pristine organic fruits and vegetables. (Opens for the season in April.) 15101 Sonoma Hwy., 996-6643,
  • SONOMA PLAZA Is it lunchtime? From the plaza, you'll discover a panoply of places to eat. At Taste of the Himalayas—down a cobblestone alley—you can dine on succulent tandoori and airy naan in a $10 lunch buffet (464 First St. E., 996-1161).
  • CORNERSTONE GARDENS South of Sonoma, watch for a leafless tree clad in blue spheres—the unofficial mascot of this sprawling complex of gardens, artifacts, high-end salvage, and a fourwinery tasting room. 23570 Hwy. 121, 933-3010,
  • CLINE CELLARS Sip spicy rhône blends and zinfandels free of charge, then visit the winery's free museum housing 70-year-old scale replicas of all 21 California missions (24737 Hwy. 121, 940-4000, Across the road, find Italianate wines and an olive press at the new Jacuzzi Family Vineyards (24724 Hwy. 121, 931-7575,

Photography courtesy of Chrissypan/Wikipedia


This article was first published in March 2008. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.