We like to travel. Well, my wife likes to travel, and I like to take pictures of the travel.
But ever since the pandemic, travel’s been hard. But not impossible. We’ve been finding places to explore domestically. Then, our friends Alex & Ben recommended a spot relatively close—Ukiah, California.
I’ve never heard of the city before. It’s north of where we are. About a 1.5-2 hours drive. It’s got wineries, good restaurants, and a state natural reserve (redwood forest). Good for kids, good for adults, so we’re game.
Dry Creek General Store
3495 Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Not everyone needs a pit stop for a long drive. We have a 1.5-year-old who isn’t particularly fond of car seats. So unless they’re asleep, we usually have to stop every 45-60 minutes to reset the clock.
This general store is about 45 minutes away from Ukiah. It’s got a snack, pastries, and hot sandwiches.
9282 W Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Our first stop. We reserve a picnic table here to have lunch with two other families that accompany us on this trip. $35 for wine tasting and $35 for the picnic table (2 hours).
Quaint location, decent wine, and if you need company, they have 9 cats.
This is our home base. 5-6 minutes from downtown Ukiah. 30 minutes from Montgomery State Natural Reserve. 3 rooms, with a huge background and lots of board games and toys. Kids love it = we love it.
The grown-ups get to have fun, too.
Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve
15825 Orr Springs Rd, Ukiah, CA 95482
Follow google maps and it’ll bring you to a small parking lot.
It’s got a restroom, picnic area, and room for around 8-10 cars.
Arrive around 11 am and the parking lot is half-filled.
Left Coast Seafood & Marketplace
110 W Standley St, Ukiah, CA 95482
Delicious food. This is Tuesday noon, plenty room.
Entre is around $20-40 per.
One of the beautiful things about traveling here, and it’s one of the reasons why Alex and Ben recommended this spot, is the chance to take things slow. Unlike visiting a popular touristy city, where I’m lured to cramp a bunch of sites in short periods of time (i.e. binge traveling), we only stop by a spot or two a day in Ukiah. The goal’s to take the place in and ease things out (well, most of the time. Having kids doesn’t really make things easy.)