Safari with wildebeest by Ray Mabry

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Trendy Guide to Visiting Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

I spent several seconds trying to come up with the correct title for this blog entry. The Hipster Guide, the Hip Guide? Well, I'm too old to be a hipster or know what they like. Besides I'm not a fan of man buns. And hip seems like too old of a word. But here we go with where to stay, where to eat, and what to do for those of you ahead of the crowds. Astro Motel Stay Astro Motel in the South of A District. An old motel completely refurbished to mid-20th century style. Think orange, turquoise, and pink. Safari West is an African animal preserve in the hills. You can spend a wild night glamping among the antelope and giraffes. No guarantee you'll sleep through the night listening to the nocturnal predators. Eat Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro is so unpretentious from the outside. It's nothing like that inside with organic chicken cordon blue and a Kobe-style beef burger. Sonoma County and French wines at reasonable prices. An old-time road house with up-to-date eats. Spinster Sisters is right next to the Astro Motel. Unique California cuisine is the best description in sort of a casual cafe/wine bar setting. They will cater to the currently hip diets: vegan, GF, etc. though not sure about Paleo. This has been the trendiest restaurant in town since it opened about five years ago so I hope that still falls within the hipster guidelines. The Jade Room is so chic it's not even open yet as I write this, but should be soon. This place has been the new, anticipated hot spot for several months now. It's supposed to be a oyster & wine bar with a sort of a cool, but casual vibe. Stark's Steakhouse has been the top happy hour joint for quite awhile now. The Starks also own a funny named, but excellent restaurant called Bird & Bottle that has just started up what sounds like a great happy hour if you're okay with $4 martinis and margaritas made with quality booze plus $2 tacos. Get there before it gets as crowded as Stark's Steakhouse does at 5 pm. Drink Coffee at Acre, Aroma Roasters, Atlas, or Flying Goat. There's no reason to go to Starbucks. Aroma Roasters is the coolest as they have music on weekend nights. Of course, it's jazz or folk or something else that goes with coffee. Wine tasting at Siduri Winery's warehouse (appt required). This is where the stuff is made and the Pinot Noir stuff is top-rate. You'll find a light industrial setting, not vineyards, not a fancy pants tasting "experience." Beer at Brew Coffee and Beer. Yes, a combo you don't see every day. Coffee, beer, breakfast, lunch. If you're looking for a brewery (there are several) everyone will be at Russian River Brewery so you should go to Hen House or Cooperage (where the locals go). Better yet go to Plow, home of the best pilsner around (IPAs are so yesterday). Cocktails at Jackson's Bar & Oven in Railroad Square. This is is as trendy as Santa Rosa gets. If you are in your 20s and work in Santa Rosa at a white collar job you are here after work -- at least that's what it seems like when I walk by and look in the window. I won't go in myself as I'd be the only one not ID'ed to buy a drink and that would be weird. Whiskey at Jack & Tony's in Railroad Square. There are several hundred whiskies from all over the world available and you can do a flight. Maybe you should use Lyft (does anyone still ride with Uber)? If you love rare Scotch you have just found heaven. Hang Out Montgomery Village Shopping Center Montgomery Village is an old-fashioned open air shopping center built post-WWII. The hip don't go to the mall. Check out Copperfield's Books, Sonoma Outfitters, and Sur La Table. The Village is home to one of my favorite restaurants, SEA Thai Bistro (Thai food is kinda trendy). There are several other restaurants, food stores, knickknacks, and lots of clothing, of course. If you want to be cool stay out of the Lucky Supermarket, Ross, and Cattlemans Restaurant. Railroad Square is part of downtown Santa Rosa that was spliced off by the building of the US101 freeway in the 1950s. This west side stayed undeveloped and what you might call funky. A lot of it looks a hundred years old, a lot of it is. There are a dozen restaurants, a couple of coffee shops, and several lodging options here plus there's a commuter train stop that runs from San Rafael to the Sonoma County Airport. For shopping you'll have antiques, vintage clothing, and art. South of A Street Art District (or SOFA) is to be home to the Astro Motel and Spinster Sisters Restaurant listed above. In 2017 the San Francisco Chronicle declared this the new trendy neighborhood to visit in Santa Rosa. This area had high crime a decade or two ago then the artsy types moved in and now it has character. Start your day at Atlas Coffee and Criminal Baking, have lunch with a craft beer at The Naked Pig, get a tattoo at True Till Death, dinner at Spinster Sisters, then back to your room at the Astro Motel. It doesn't get more stylin' than spending a day like this.

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Safari West turns 25! Although we do what we can to let our animals live their wildest lives, sometimes they need a helping hand. Sometimes hand-rearing a young animal like this bongo is the best way to ensure it gets all the care and nutrition i

Safari West turns 25! Although we do what we can to let our animals live their wildest lives, sometimes they need a helping hand. Sometimes hand-rearing a young animal like this bongo is the best way to ensure it gets all the care and nutrition i

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Join @KVIERob for a visit to the heart of @SafariWest and experience close encounters with some of the world’s most beautiful birds. https://t.co/2adQeO7BXr

Join @KVIERob for a visit to the heart of @SafariWest and experience close encounters with some of the world’s most beautiful birds. https://t.co/2adQeO7BXr

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Safari West welcomes playful baby giraffe named 'Remi'

Santa Rosa's Safari West has expanded with a new addition. Remi - named after Safar West Founder Peter Lang's granddaughter - was born at Safari West on August 18 weighing in at 120 pounds and standing 6' tall. She was born to mother Ka

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Wine Country glamping resorts offer all the joy, none of the hassle

parks, hiking trails, river kayaking and the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are literally minutes away. Safari West, Santa Rosa Although many glamping resorts offer safari- style tents, only Safari West offers a real African wildlif

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Juan Elizalde and family embark on a safari adventure

Bianca Araneta-Elizalde shared their super fun experience at Safari West, a 400-acre private wildlife preserve located in Sonoma County, California. “Venturing out of the city and into the wild side. We took all the kids out on a mini safari, to

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New National Geographic-affiliated cruise to take tourists down California coastline

destroyed if it wasn’t for the actions of Safari West’s founder, Peter Lang. Drive time SF to Safari West: 1 hour and 14 minutes less Go on a safari: Pretend you’ve jet-setted to Africa for the day with a visit to Safari West in Santa

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Ambassador Cheetah Dies at Safari West in Sonoma County

at Sonoma County's Safari West's exotic 400-acre wildlife preserve's cheetah program, died on Feb. 27, a Safari West spokeswoman said in a

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An Adults-Only Valentine's Outing at Safari West

. Helping out this animal-helping destination? You may have seen that Safari West was right on the edge of the Tubbs Fire in the fall of

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St. Valentine's Day Dining & Event Guide 2018 - North Bay Edition

, a hot-air balloon ride over vineyards or a Rumble in the Jungle at Safari West. We've also included some events preceding Feb. 14 -- a

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Your Week's Weather Forecast For Concord

events going on nearby. Valentine's Day Rumble In The Jungle: Safari West, Santa Rosa Wine & Chocolate Walk 2018: Benicia Sinatra Sings The

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Giraffes, zebras, and wildebeest, oh my! Have an adventurous day at Safari West in California!

Giraffes, zebras, and wildebeest, oh my! Have an adventurous day at Safari West in California!

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Sean and I spent the day at Safari West today, which is an amazing 400 acre animal preserve in… https://t.co/3AJWCz6EB0

Sean and I spent the day at Safari West today, which is an amazing 400 acre animal preserve in… https://t.co/3AJWCz6EB0

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Karibu Rafiki – Safari West Gnus! -

Karibu Rafiki – Safari West Gnus! -

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RT @TheFilharmonic: had an AMAZING weekend in Napa Valley! thanks to @SafariWest @jamescolewinery @romeomarquezjr & @spiritairlines for mak…

RT @TheFilharmonic: had an AMAZING weekend in Napa Valley! thanks to @SafariWest @jamescolewinery @romeomarquezjr & @spiritairlines for mak…

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had an AMAZING weekend in Napa Valley! thanks to @SafariWest @jamescolewinery @romeomarquezjr & @spiritairlines for… https://t.co/8d9O1Klx8t

had an AMAZING weekend in Napa Valley! thanks to @SafariWest @jamescolewinery @romeomarquezjr & @spiritairlines for… https://t.co/8d9O1Klx8t

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Safari West Wildlife Foundation Moves Forward

interest shown to keeping the Safari West Wildlife Foundation steady. To learn more on how to plan your visit to the Safari West, click here

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: Featuring our community partners & friends: Bird & The Bottle Safari West Third Street Aleworks Charles M. Schulz Museum Fogbelt Brewing

: Featuring our community partners & friends: Bird & The Bottle Safari West Third Street Aleworks Charles M. Schulz Museum Fogbelt Brewing

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The Travel Guys take Santa Rosa! Follow their adventure through Santa Rosa: https://t.co/aMQ7DNz8ai Featuring commu… https://t.co/OIjVmZ3v5S

The Travel Guys take Santa Rosa! Follow their adventure through Santa Rosa: https://t.co/aMQ7DNz8ai Featuring commu… https://t.co/OIjVmZ3v5S

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A Sonoma County Bucket List Staycation – From Ordinary To Extraordinary With TripAdvisor Attractions @TripAdvisor

hills just off of the 101 freeway a few minutes north of Santa Rosa is Safari West, an African adventure right in the heart of wine country.

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Safari West: After the Fire…Hope Emerges

In all the years I’ve lived in Sonoma County, I had never been to Safari West. Combination of lack of time, so many things to do and the “

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New "Travel Guys" in Santa Rosa, at https://t.co/7S3YrOXTpY (click on "episodes"). Debuting on TV this month.… https://t.co/haJBtO0WM2

New "Travel Guys" in Santa Rosa, at https://t.co/7S3YrOXTpY (click on "episodes"). Debuting on TV this month.… https://t.co/haJBtO0WM2

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A remarkable testimony of triumph from @SafariWest owner Peter Lang. Videography: John Beck https://t.co/q9aJD6qbSr

A remarkable testimony of triumph from @SafariWest owner Peter Lang. Videography: John Beck https://t.co/q9aJD6qbSr

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7 Adventurous Destinations For 2018 [Sponsored]

adults can act like children. On 400 acres in Sonoma County, Safari West has gathered more than 1,000 animals from 90 species in a peaceful

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Zebras. Safari West, Santa Rosa, CA.

Zebras. Safari West, Santa Rosa, CA.

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Here is to Safari West for saving all their animals during the October Firestorm!

Here is to Safari West for saving all their animals during the October Firestorm!

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Photos of the week: November 20, 2017 - November 26, 2017

Chronicle photographers spent this week shooting life at Safari West in Santa Rosa, Cardinal Newman High School football team’s semifinal

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@kwf334 @SafariWest thanks man! - the squirrel worrier

@kwf334 @SafariWest thanks man! - the squirrel worrier

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Come visit the Sonoma Serengeti and meet the man who saved 1,000 animals from the wildfires. Safari West owner Peter Lang fiercely protected his Santa Rosa wildlife preserve in the face of the recent wildfires. Please consider visiting and purchasing Safari West holiday gift cards, a portion of the proceeds benefit North Bay Fire Relief Fund and the Safari West Wildlife Foundation. www.safariwest.com PC: @rachidphoto

Come visit the Sonoma Serengeti and meet the man who saved 1,000 animals from the wildfires. Safari West owner Peter Lang fiercely protected his Santa Rosa wildlife preserve in the face of the recent wildfires. Please consider visiting and purchasing Safari West holiday gift cards, a portion of the proceeds benefit North Bay Fire Relief Fund and the Safari West Wildlife Foundation. www.safariwest.com PC: @rachidphoto

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