Paradise Ridge Winery
4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Paradise Ridge Winery, with a panorama of the Russian River valley and hillsides over the Pacific Ocean, pairs art and nature together to create a utopia among the oak groves and grassy fields. Visitors arrive to find life-size sculptures awaiting in the meadow at the entry, followed by four acres of an ancient oak grove filled with sculptures amid the rocks and grassy clearings. More sculpture stands outside the wine-making building. A European courtyard marks the entry to the building and inside is a mahogany bar by a master craftsman. The cellar holds an historical tribute to its Japanese winemaker, the wine king. See photographs and artifacts about one of the first Japanese immigrants in the US who arrived at this paradise in 1867 and discovered new wine-making methods. Taste some of these utopian delights yourself.
The Museum of the American Indian
22 Novato Blvd.
Novato, CA 94927
The Museum of the American Indian sits on an actual Miwok site, so if you love living history, this village is your spot. The museum offers tours, field trips, storytelling, lectures, private classes and summer camp for children, including scholarships for Native American children. Many Miwok live in the territory. The Miwok, skilled in clamshell bead making and basketry, hunted and gathered. Currently, visitors will see childbirth and cradle baskets in an exhibit called “Precious Cargo.”
The Bolinas Museum
48 Wharf Road
Bolinas, CA 94924
The Bolinas Museum offers fine art in a coastal country setting, although the town is known historically for the Hitchcock film “The Birds.” The Bolinas Museum offers more art than just film with several galleries and a courtyard. The permanent collection and permanent gallery actually changes several times a year and has featured local artists. Enjoy paintings, three-dimensional art, photography and work on paper by contemporary and historical talents of the 19th and 20th century. The family history room houses photography, documents and objects which show the connection to San Francisco and the area’s preservation and evolution.
The Schulz Museum
2301 Hardies Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
The Schulz Museum features cartoonist Charles Schulz’ cartoon “Peanuts” yet offers a unique place of self-discovery in a park labyrinth in the shape of Snoopy’s head. See the cartoonist’s life-size wrapped dog house given as a gift from environmental artist Christo. Schulz’s actual desk, along with personal books and memorabilia, stand on permanent display in a re-creation of his studio at One Snoopy Place in Santa Rosa. Japanese artist Otani also pays tribute with clever designs on permanent display. The museum received a nursery wall by Schulz himself in his formative years while living in a bungalow in Colorado Springs in 1951.
Marin History Museum
1125 B St.
San Rafael, CA 94901
The Marin History Museum celebrates its 75th year yet it’s an unassuming Victorian tucked into a foothill of San Rafael, housing the story of an iconic Marin woman named Louise Boyd, an heiress who used her good fortune to become an arctic explorer and adventurer. She was a tomboy who grew into an independent photographer and patriot, secretly helping the American government in World War II with communication between ships and allied pilots. At 67, she became the first woman to fly over the North Pole. Visitors will also enjoy the bistros, cafes and boutiques of Fourth Street, a hike into the foothills, a drive to the coast and the national seashore.
Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for Examiner.com via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on Examiner.com.