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Yorkshire Times
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Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
9:00 AM 25th March 2020

California Here I Come – After Covid-19 !

Just 35 miles east of San Francisco, the Tri-Valley is one of California’s hidden viticultural, culinary and outdoorsy gems.

Home to award-winning wineries, delightfully-diverse restaurants, charming downtowns and unspoiled hiking trails, the Tri-Valley offers gorgeous sunshine, idyllic countryside and California charm year-round.

Mt. Diablo Fog at Sunrise
Mt. Diablo Fog at Sunrise
From cycling through verdant valleys and boutique shopping to wine blending and ice cream trails……why not start preparing for that trip of a lifetime once Coronavirus has become a distant memory!

Here you can discover a 48-hour guide to Tri-Valley.

DAY 1
Morning

For rustic comfort food, Sideboard is your place. Not only will you fall in love with the cosy chairs and al fresco patio, but their weekend menu consists of French toast with banana berry syrup, huevos rancheros, breakfast pudding with goat cheese and beignets, the perfect start to your day.

Head to Lake Del Valle for a breath of fresh air. Deep in a valley framed by oak-covered hills, with sailboats and sailboards skimming over its waters, Del Valle feels like it belongs somewhere in the Mediterranean.
The centrepiece of the park is a lake that is perfect for swimming, windsurfing and boating. Del Valle is also the eastern gateway to the Ohlone Wilderness Trail, 28 miles of scenic backcountry.

Afternoon
Stop by Salt Craft to try one of the best sandwiches in the Bay Area. Salt Craft is where al fresco dining is not an option, and it has been holding its own amongst several long-standing restaurants that line Downtown Pleasanton’s charming Main Street.

Its signature Chef’s Lamb Pastrami Sandwich on Coffee Rye is award-winning and mouth-watering. Known locally for their house-made breads baked fresh daily and their cinnamon rolls served each weekend, it’s no wonder they have won so many awards.

Uncork your inner winemaker and learn about the history and craft of winemaking at Wente Vineyards.....
Wente Vineyards
Wente Vineyards
the oldest family-owned winery in the US. In this session, visitors can taste, evaluate and blend estate blocks of wine to create their very own bottle.

Imagine having the finest wines, finest barrels and the tools needed to create an amazing wine you can keep to sip over a delicious dinner or give as a special gift.

Evening
Located in the heart of Downtown Pleasanton, Sabio on Main stands out as a local pioneer in elevated farm-to-table cuisine with a flair for local California flavours.

Named for Spanish Alfonso X, known as El Sabio (The Wise One), Sabio is committed to creating a vibrant approach to dining out that fosters camaraderie through shareable small plates designed to complement social drinking.

Just what el Sabio commanded of Spain’s taverns over 800 years ago, in essence creating the first tapas.

If you’re looking to sample the local brews, grab your ‘passport’ and explore the Tri-Valley Beer Trail. Like a pub crawl through the region, collect stamps in each of the four cities to win a souvenir to take home.

Start at Pleasanton, a city that became famous for its hops in the 1800s and home to the region’s oldest brewery, Main Street Brewery. Easily make your way through the region using ride-sharing apps, or the Blue Brew Bus, which offers guided tours throughout the Tri-Valley.

DAY 2
Morning

Basque Boulangerie Café is a great spot to grab a delicious breakfast from a local landmark. Opened in the 90s by French immigrants, Basque Boulangerie is uses old world European tradition of hand crafted baking to create pastries, baked goods and desserts hand-crafted using quality ingredients.

Home to California’s largest premium outlet, a modern shopping centre and cute one-of-a-kind boutiques, shopping is a great way to spend a morning in Tri-Valley.

If visitors want designer brands on a budget, The San Francisco Premium Outlets is the place to be, with over 180 brands featuring big names like Coach, Guess, Kate Spade and Fossil. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Tri-Valley is also home to several locally-owned boutiques offering a variety of trendy, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Afternoon
No trip to California is complete with a meal at In-N-Out Burger. Luckily, there is one right in the heart of Pleasanton.

This iconic California burger chain has a notoriously simple menu: burgers, shakes, fries and ice cold drinks. Known for its 100% beef patties, fresh-baked buns and hand-cut fries.

Take a leisurely bike ride through some of the winding country roads that make Tri-Valley so idyllic.
Tri Valley Cycling
Tri Valley Cycling
The Pleasanton Loop is a relatively flat cruise around town featuring lakeside views, vineyards and most important – great food and drinks.

Feel free to stop at Rubino Estates Winery for authentic Cal-Ital style wines, or one of the Beer Trail stops, like BottleTaps where you can end your ride with one of their delicious Banquet Pretzel Boards.

Evening
Say farewell to the Tri-Valley with one last indulgence – dinner at Range Life. This neighbourhood restaurant, bar and market is surrounded by rolling hills, oak trees and vineyards in a renovated 1800s brick building.

A warm space that’s both rustic and modern, Range Life is perfect for family dining, date life or a much-deserved cocktail. Be sure to try their grass-fed ribeye steak.

If you liked the Beer Trail, then spend your final evening exploring the fabulous Wine Trail. Sip your way through lush vineyards on the Livermore Wine Trolley.....
Livemore Vineyard
Livemore Vineyard
or for a quieter night, explore the museums and galleries that dot the valley, including the Blackhawk Museum and Harrington Art Gallery.

Where to stay – Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa is the perfect place to stretch your legs on you California road trip.

The Purple Orchid
The Purple Orchid
A sprawling property in Livermore with 10 uniquely designed suites, all with fireplaces and private hot tubs; the resort is the perfect base for a wine country adventure.

For more information - visittrivalley.com