Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen

After our morning adventures (part one of this post), we headed north about 15 minutes to the small town of Glen Ellen. Our first stop was Jack London Village, where we enjoyed a chocolate tasting at Wine Country Chocolates. This elicited a happy dance from our 3 year old, who has developed quite an appreciation for chocolate!

We each had a sample of the dark chocolate ganache that they use to fill their truffles (yum!) as well as 3 tastings of chocolates with varying levels of cocoa. And of course, we got a little treat for the road. (Note the happy dance is in progress)
Our final destination of the day was Jack London State Park. Once the home of Jack London, this 1400 acre estate was left to the state when his wife passed away in 1955 and is a beautiful glimpse into the authors life. We began our visit with a short half mile walk to the Wolf House remains. The home was meant to be London's dream home, but was destroyed in a fire just weeks before completion.

There are two paths to the Wolf House, one is a dirt path that is an easy walk and suitable for a good off-road stroller. The other path is the paved service road, which is also a beautiful walk and easy for strollers.
One of my favorite parts of the Wolf House were all of the fireplaces. My heart sunk a little (which my husband felt was a bit dramatic..haa) at the thought of this home being destroyed.
Here is a picture of the home shortly before completion (c/o Jack London Park )
During his time on the ranch, London developed a real passion for farming and living off the land. As you walk through what he referred to as "Beauty Ranch", you can see the remnants of the old winery building, as well as the silos, barns and pig palace that were part of this working farm that employed more than fifty workers in 1916.

Sherry Barn was originally built in 1884 for the Kohler and Frohling winery, and later converted by London to house his English Shire mares.

Lower left and upper right pictures show remains of the winery building.
I just love a nice Oak Tree. This one is next to London's cottage, which you can tour for a small fee.
For lunch, we had a picnic just beyond the silos...not a bad view! I highly recommend stopping by the Glen Ellen Village Market, which has delicious sandwiches for $8...and they are easily large enough to share. We had the Cajun Turkey Panini, and were very happy with the choice.
More picnic fun.
One last shot of the beautiful scenery as we headed back to the car.
What are your favorite family friendly spots in Sonoma?
If you missed it, make sure to check out part one of our day trip to Sonoma.

The details: Jack London State Park is located in Glen Ellen, which is about an hours drive from Berkeley. There are a number of wineries in the area (which we unfortunately did not have the time for) that would be a great addition to the trip.

The facts: Sandwich at Glen Ellen Village Market: $8, Chocolate Tasting: free!, Jack London State Park: $10 per vehicle. The park is not supported by the state, so the fee helps keep this beautiful space open to the public. 

No comments:

Post a Comment