A Weekend Visit to Beautiful Clear Lake and the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake
Located just 2.5 hours north of the San Francisco Bay Area (and the same distance northwest of Sacramento), the rustic and beautiful Clear Lake area makes an ideal weekend destination. For a friendly rural ambiance, warm weather in the summers, ample outdoor activities and first rate accommodations at the Tallman Hotel, Lake County is hard to beat.
Using the map above, your adventure starts at the Golden Gate Bridge (A) on Friday and proceeds up Highway 101 two hours to the town of Ukiah (B) before continuing to the Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake (C). Saturday is spent exploring the many wonders and lovely wineries around the Lake (C and D). On Sunday, your circular return takes you back through the Napa Valley (E).
Why Clear Lake?
Lake County is geographically large (bigger than Rhode Island) and geologically diverse with volcanic remains, thermal geysers and the largest natural lake entirely within California. One of the oldest lakes in North America, Clear Lake was a center of Native American habitation. Today, the population is only 65,000, and there are only seven stop lights in the whole county!
Before Prohibition, Lake County was one of the largest grape growing areas in California, but the vines were then replaced with walnuts and pears. Vineyards are now back in a big way, with nearly 9000 acres planted, 150 winegrape growers, 4 designated AVAs, and over 30 quality wineries. Lake County grapes are known as “Wines with Altitude” because of the perfect volcanic soils at elevations between 1400 feet at the lake level to over 3000 feet above sea level.
The outdoor life is what attracts many people to Lake County. These activities include kayaking, boating, fishing, hiking, biking and more. Visits to local wineries hearken back to earlier, less commercial times when the Napa and Sonoma Valleys were growing to prominence. And the hotels and restaurants (including our own) replicate this authenticity and warm hospitality.
You may want to plan your trip around one of the many annual local events in the County: Wine & Chocolate in February, the Heron Festival in April, Wild West Days in June, the Lake County Fair on Labor Day weekend, the Pear Festival and Wine Auction in September, Konocti Challenge (bike ride) and Harvest Festival in October, the unique People’s Choice wine competition in November and more.