Where to begin when planning your Bachelorette Weekend?!
I'm going to be honest with you, getting started with planning my Bachelorette Weekend was probably one of the biggest stressors for me and my girls. One, because I didn't give us very much time to plan...getting engaged in January and planning a wedding for the end of April didn't give us many weeks to plan, and not a whole lot of weekends to choose from to get away. And the second reason Bachelorette weekend planning was such a stressor was the question "where can we go?". And third, once we picked Sonoma, there were sooooo many options of where to stay, what to do, how we'd get there, etc. So that's why I've decided to share this blog post with you! I needed something so straight to the point to help us navigate and plan the weekend, I hope this can be that for you. Wether or not you're just planning a girls weekend, a weekend away with your significant other, or a family getaway I am so proud of the weekend that us girls put together!
How we chose Sonoma!
Before Taylor and I were even engaged, my sister had asked me where I'd want to go for my Bachelorette weekend someday. I had told her without a breath, Sonoma! It just seemed like the perfect vibes for me and my crew. It's laid back, beautiful, and there's wine!! haha. So when I got engaged, and the wedding date was set, the planning began. I was actually involved in the planning one of my friend's, Alyssa and my sister, Karley because travel and adventures is one of my favorite things so I wanted to be a part of it. I had also been to Sonoma before, Healdsburg specifically, for a bachelorette weekend, so I kind of couldn't shake the idea of how perfect that had been and that I wanted to do it again. And it seemed about the same distance of a flight for everyone in the group flying from San Diego, Portland, and LA.
Where to Stay?!
So as I mentioned, I had been to Sonoma once before for a Bachelorette Weekend. It was so memorable, but one of the greatest parts of those memories was where we stayed. As we started planning my weekend, I was so hopeful this home that I had stayed in prior would be available, and it was! It's called Pezzi King Estate, and the rolling hills of vines, the greenery, the views, all of it provides so much serenity! And as much as I was looking forward to a weekend of celebration with my best friends, I also wanted each girl to feel like they had a special place to retreat. My personal favorite room (I've stayed in now twice) has french doors that opens up to the deck and the views that surround the home. We arrived in rain, but the home was still perfect and cozy as we made a fire and played some Bachelorette games and enjoyed some wine (See in my Bachelorette Weekend Part 1 Blog). But the next two days that we spent there the sun was shining, so we spent our very last morning just exploring the grounds! The beautiful property makes for a perfect setting for some fun photoshoots too. (We're such girls!) To book at Pezzi King Estate, or any of the other Wilson Artisan Wine lodging options you can visit HERE.
How to plan your Wine Day!
Besides finding where to stay in Sonoma, planning where to go is pretty tricky. Because we were staying in Healdsburg, we narrowed our Wine tasting day pretty much down to tasting in Healdsburg, also know as Dry Creek Valley. This helped a little, but there are so many options for exquisite wine. But somehow, I think we nailed it with our first try! Obviously spending time in Healdsburg or Sonoma County could take days to try all of the incredible wines and visiting all of the gorgeous venues, and we had only set one day aside, so below I'll share our wine day stops, but first, you need a driver. 😉
I had looked at some recommendations and all pointed me to Pure Luxury Transportation, and I'm so glad. They had plenty of options of vehicles for different sizes of groups, but we decided to do the 8 Passenger Mercedes Sprinter van. It was perfect and actually very spacious. We had 8 of us total and we still had plenty of space. The service we had working with Pure Luxury to set up our driver, our day of plans, and picking the right vehicle for us was an added bonus to the experience, shout out to Gina, thanks for helping us!!
We had the Van come to Pezzi King to pick us up for a 10:45am departure for a day ahead filled with good wine. Obviously having a driver might be a bit of a luxury, but it was especially important to me for this day of our weekend that all girls would feel free to partake in tastings and that no one would have to feel like the chauffeur for the day. The Van pulled up in front of the house and we all became so giddy… probably really silly, but to see something so nice that we would get to comfortably spend the day in was exciting! We were greeted by Steve, our driver, and he was the biggest sweetheart! I highly recommend requesting Steve if you go out for a day with Pure Luxury. He was an absolute gentleman, very helpful and accommodating, and a great driver of course, and knows his way around well!
The van was stocked with Champagne and waters which was perfect for kicking off our wine tasting day, but also helpful to remind us to drink some water too. We had so much fun playing music and riding in class… or should I say, Luxury. 😉 If you're looking for a ride/driver to book for your wine tasting in the Sonoma area (they book for Napa too), we (all 8 of us girls) highly recommend using Pure Luxury Transportation. You can't go wrong with their customer service and their several options of vehicles that will accommodate any size group!
First Stop on the Wine Tour!
Okay, so we hit it out of the ball park with our first stop of our Wine Tour for the day. We decided to only do 3 Wineries to really be able to enjoy the ambiance and wine at each stop. We also included a lunch stop too, which I cannot wait to rave about in few more paragraphs! But our first stop was Dry Creek Vineyards. Oh my goodness. So much beauty. We were greeted by Darren, who was so attentive and kind to us girls and seriously gave us such an incredible experience down to the details. It was so great that I decided to really step into adulthood and become a wine club member there! haha. Shhh. I haven't had a chance to tell Taylor yet! 😬 😂
We first started our wine experience at Dry Creek Vineyards with a delicious Chenin Blanc under the arbor and by the gorgeous Cherry Blossoms. We had some perfect opportunities for photos, which always makes this gang of girls happy!
Then Darren took us into the tasting room… or perhaps you'd call it a cellar, and we sat down at a beautiful table and cozied up with blankets, as it is a cellar and they keep it at the perfect temperature! We then began tasting some other divine wines from a fabulous Sauvignon Blanc (my fav), a true rosé, and some amazing Dry Creek Zinfandels. We even had chocolates to pair with. See why I became a member? Haha. Needless to say, we really did kick off our Wine Tour day right, I actually wish we could've spent just a few minutes longer there, but it was time to move onto the next! So thank you Darren and Dry Creek Vineyards for being such an incredible host, and even down to the details of the personalized wine tasting menu (see below)! You can book with them HERE!
Second Stop on the Wine Tour!
The second stop definitely called for some bubbles! I love me some bubbles! Alyssa found the perfect spot on the map for us to stop and be able to enjoy such a treat, and it wasn't really far from our first stop at all. We enjoyed some of the most delicious sparkling wine I've ever tasted at Amista Vineyards. I'm actually truly regretting that I didn't walk away with a bottle or two, but hopefully there will be a next time. 🙏
We did the Sparkling flight, where we all got to taste three absolutely perfect bubbles that hit the spot. Okay, so my mouth is watering right now… maybe I really should have brought some home! One very unique thing that we loved was that they brought out popcorn to pair with the champagne!!! How cool is that?! It actually pairs so well and makes for a fun snack even us gluten free gals could enjoy!
This is vineyard has a gorgeous setting that would make for a fun place for music on the lawn and picnics, so I asked if they do something like it, and they do in the summer! And as I've mentioned before and as you can tell by the pictures, this group of girls doesn't mind a good spot to take photos! We had plenty of opportunities here in a gorgeous overgrown wild flower field, the vines, and even some cacti! If you're looking to spend some time on your wine tour day filling your glass with some bubbles, stop by Amista Vineyards, check them out HERE!
I'm so sad to say that I don't have a single picture of our very picturesque lunch stop. We had a small window for our lunch, but we had heard that picking up some food from The Dry Creek General Store was the thing to do! It was SUPER close to our first two stops, so we picked up some sandwiches, chips, waters, cookies… you name it to take to our last winery for a picnic! Gluten Free friends, the best part of this place… they have GLUTEN FREE BREAD!!!!! It was heaven. I also loved that this allowed for each girl to choose and pay for their own individual choices as the group eating and paying thing can become tricky on group trips! We got everything to go and headed out to our last winery for the day. (We ended up returning for lunch on our last day too because none of us could stop talking about the selection of food and options there!)
Third Stop on the Wine Tour!
We had read a lot about Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves. It sounded like a great place to picnic, rest in the sun, and then sample some more really good wine! The experience was just that. The sun was really shining by the time we arrived at Bella so we sat and ate our sandwiches, while being greeted by some of the friendliest faces that started us on our first glass while we ate in the sun. They had hula hoops, lawn games, and mats to relax on, it would definitely be a spot to go lounge for a few hours on the weekend if I was a local!
Once lunch was finished, we began our Wine Tour and Tasting, which also included the Wine Caves! Chris was our host and he took us on a walk around the property which felt so nice to move, and then he took us to the wine caves which were so fun to be in. We ended the tour in a tasting room inside the cave— and when I say cave, I mean we were under the hill that was growing the vines, so cool!!
In the tasting room we continued to taste the Bella Vineyard specialties, and Chris, a very smart man and host even gave us Peanut Butter Cups to pair with! Yes! Another place we wish we could've spent more time at, but we also had a special dinner to head back and get ready for! If you're looking for a nice picnic setting our wine caves to tour, reach out to Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves HERE!
Dinner in Healdsburg!
After a day of wine tasting, which three vineyards was perfect for us, Steve from Pure Luxury Transportation safely delivered us back to Pezzi King where we took a little rest and then freshened up for a night out in Healdsburg! By a night out, I mean dressing up and going to a very nice dinner. We went to the very infamous and very delicious Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen. All the girls dressed in black and I dressed in White! (A quick shoutout to Lulus.com for all of my white dresses I've been able to wear during this season of life!)
It was so dark so sadly we really don't have that many pictures from the evening, but the memories will forever live with me none the less. When we were seated they poured some Champagne for each of us as they heard it was my Bachelorette Weekend. We dined on incredible food and cocktails. Our server Dawn was top notch, and the chef, Scotty even came out to say hello! They were extremely accommodating to us gluten free eaters too! I do have to say though, dessert was my favorite part of this meal, we went all out. The Palmer Estate Lemon Meringue was my hands down absolute favorite! I'd say for a true fine dining experience, Dry Creek Kitchen is a must! Make your reservations HERE!
Sunday morning we woke up once again to the most picturesque views, and enjoyed coffee on the deck, and some exploring of the Pezzi King Vineyards in the sunshine. This was the perfect opportunity for some good photos too!
We decided to head into downtown of Healdsburg to do a little looking around. It's such a gem of a place! We grabbed some coffee at SHED (totally worth checking out especially if you love artisanal food options, interior decorating, or some fresh fruits and veggies!), and then did some window shopping. But as I mentioned earlier none of us could forget about our incredible lunches the day before at the General Store, so we went back and sat at the picnic benches there in the sunshine. After lunch it was time to head back to the house and pack up and head on our way back to San Francisco.
If you read part 1 of our weekend, you know it was a bit of a journey getting the weekend started, but thankfully getting home was not a problem! We even stopped for some quick last group photos of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The goodbyes were sweet knowing that only a short few weeks we'd be together once more because… I'm getting married!!!!
I hope this blog is helpful to you as you navigate through many incredible options if you have a chance to visit this beautiful area of Sonoma. As some have asked, this blog was not sponsored. I am genuinely sharing my experience and my opinions!
And just a few more pictures since I had all of my favorite girls in one place for a whole weekend, I just want to celebrate that…
Please share you Bachelorette Weekend experience below in the comments!! Or share some of your favorite Vineyards or places to stay in this area!