A weekend in Winters

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A Friday evening in Winters could start with wine and cheese at the downtown tasting rooms, Berryessa Gap Winery Downtown Tasting Room and Turkovich Family Wines. 

But wine isn’t the only spirit that’s served in Winters. Those who prefer beer can stop at Hooby’s Brewing on Main Street or Berryessa Brewing Company and Green River Brewing & Taproom, both located just outside of town. All three of these establishments serve food as well. Hooby’s Brewing and Green River have their own kitchens, while Berryessa Brewing Company hosts a rotating cast of regional food trucks.

The options for alcoholic beverages doesn’t stop there. Patio 29 Spirits Co. will be serving locally distilled spirits on Railroad Avenue. This family-run tasting room is distilling naturally flavored whiskeys, rums and other spirits.

Alcoholic beverages aren’t the only way to wile away time in downtown Winters. Take some time to go shopping at some of the many boutiques and stores that dot Main Street. 

The Winters Collective brings multiple local vendors under one roof, and is a good place to purchase anything from cut flowers to hand-pressed cards. The Flying Pig, The Farmer’s Closet and Christian’s Corner all sell home decor and interior design pieces as well as fashion items. Adry’s Fiesta Boutique is great for small gifts and formal outfits. Check out jewelry and handbags at Belle Boutique. Look in the windows of ARC Guitar to see not just the instruments, but also a great example of the original interior of these historic buildings.

While you’re walking through historic Winters look out for the lonely parking meter, which has been known to trick a few unsuspecting tourists out of a few quarters. The parking meter has now operated at a loss for the past four years running, in part because the anonymous committee who installed it has donated all of the meter’s funds (and then some) to local nonprofits like the Winters Senior Foundation, the Winters Guerilla Gardeners.

The parking meter isn’t far from the city’s smallest park, located at the center of the historic district. The park has just enough room for a bench, a free little library and a piano. 

While you’re walking look out for the murals. Painted as a part of a summer class with the help of local muralist, they portray visual interpretations of the many layers of the town’s history. The mural from this summer, painted on the side of Winters Market, is easy to spot from the Grant Avenue and Railroad Avenue intersection as visitors come into town from 505.

If it’s later in the week, make sure to stop by the Winters History Museum, run by the Historical Society of Winters. Volunteer docents will talk with you about the latest exhibit and the enormous printing press located in the middle of the room. The museum is free, but donations are appreciated. 

Now that your reservation time has finally come around, head over to dinner. Winters most famous option is the original Buckhorn Steakhouse, located at the historic DeVibliss Hotel building.There are more options all around downtown, all within walking distance. The Putah Creek Cafe serves up pizzas straight from their artisan oven. Preserve, located near the Railroad Bridge, serves a rotating menu of seasonal dishes along with creative cocktails. Visit Ficelle for patio dining and California’s take on tapas. If it’s Monday night, swing by Chuy’s Taqueria for Mexican cuisine. Carboni’s Ristorante, located inside Hotel Winters, will serve up Italian food.

It’s a busy evening, get some rest. Hotel Winters offers a free art gallery featuring local artists. They also have a rooftop bar to take in the sites of Winters and a water wall feature and fire pits to relax out down on their patio. There are other local lodging options available beyond Hotel Winters as multiple homeowners host Airbnb rentals at varying prices.

After a good night’s sleep, check out Winters’ breakfast options. If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, hit up Putah Creek. Their Farmer’s Breakfast is a perennial favorite. For a later brunch, go to Preserve, Green River Taproom or Carboni’s.

If you need some coffee before you can fully function, walk down to Steady Eddy’s Coffee House. They serve lighter breakfasts and lunches, along with smoothies and specialty coffee drinks. If you love their coffee, take some home with you. They sell their freshly roasted beans and other local wares inside. Coffee drinkers sitting on Steady Eddy’s patio on a Saturday morning will see cyclist see cyclists ride in and hitch up their bikes at the racks before grabbing a snack and swinging through the local bike shop, Velocity.

Families with children should stop by the impressive City Park, built through community effort. The park is ADA accessible and has a special section for younger children, along with a rockclimbing wall, two sets of swings and a zipline.

Stop for lunch at Ocean Restaurant for Chinese food, or grab some Mexican food at El Pueblo Meat Market & Deli. El Pueblo serves up a menu that includes homemade salsas and horchata. There are also food truck options at the corners of the Grant and Railroad Avenues intersection. El Verduzco’s Taco Truck is a local favorite, while The Buckhorn BBQ Truck is a new addition. The Pizza Factory has finally reopened, and locals are stopping in for equal servings of pizza and nostalgia. 

If you’re heading up to Lake Berryessa, you will see the Kountry Kitchen, which serves up American and Mexican food, at the beginning of town. 

Lake-goers could also get a picnic lunch at Lorenzo’s Market, which has been family-run for three generations. They have deli sandwiches and salad options.

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