The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Planning your trip to Northern California wine country

Planning this trip THE BEST WAY From LAX, American, United, Southwest and Virgin America have nonstop flights. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $96. Healdsburg is about 50 miles north of San Francisco, about 1 1/2 hours' drive, on U.S. 101. All the wineries mentioned are within 10 miles of the center of town. WHERE TO STAY Hotel Healdsburg, 25 Matheson St.; (800) 889-7188, The sleek luxury hotel is on the town square. Airy guest rooms have 6-foot soaking tubs, flat-screen TVs and a modern sensibility. Rates from $397. WHERE TO EAT Oakville Grocery, 124 Matheson St., Healdsburg; (707) 433-3200, At the downtown Healdsburg grocery, visitors find things like grilled aged cheddar and young asiago, applewood smoked ham and brie, and roast turkey with pesto mayo for picnics. Sandwiches start at $7.95. Jimtown Store, 6706 State Highway 128, Healdsburg; (707) 433-1212, The store would be too precious if it weren't filled with truly cool things such as fortune-telling fish and terrific food, including a prosciutto and brie sandwich slathered with fig tapenade. Sandwiches start at $8. Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, in the Hotel Healdsburg; (707) 431-0330, Slowly braised Kurobuta pork cheeks, farm rabbit cannelloni, spring pea ravioli, everything served in this elegant minimalist space is local and amazing. Entrees around $28. Bistro Ralph, 109 Plaza St., Healdsburg; (707)433-1380. Come for the martinis (a local favorite) and stay for the food. Ralph's does wine country comfort food: rib-eye, roast chicken and the "plate of a thousand fries." Entrees about $20. WHERE TO TASTE WINE AND PLAY BOCCIE Seghesio, 14730 Grove St., Healdsburg; (707)433-3579, Davis Family, 52 Front St., Healdsburg; (707)433-3858, Amphora, Family Wineries, Kokomo, Papapietro Perry, Peterson, 4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg. Amphora, (707) 431-7767; Family, (707) 433-0100; Kokomo, (707) 433-0205; Papapietro Perry, (707) 433-0422; Peterson, (707) 431-7568. Pedroncelli, 1220 Canyon Road, Healdsburg; (707) 857-3531, Armida, 2201 Westside Road, Healdsburg; (707)433-2222, TO LEARN MORE For more information about the area, visit On For a look at boccie in action, bounce on over to

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