A Perfect Day in Middletown, California

By Greta Zeit Owner/Innkeeper of Backyard Garden Oasis Bed and Breakfast Inn

winefieldGetting to Middletown is half the fun of your trip!  The drive to Middletown, whether from the Bay Area, Sacramento or points North, is one of the most beautiful drives in the country.  Middletown is in Northern California Wine Country.   Lake County now hosts more than a dozen Wineries and thousands of acres of vineyards, producing grapes which are used in Lake, Napa and Sonoma Wines.  These wineries are yet undiscovered by the great majority of tourists, so you can get the kind of personal attention that will leave you feeling spoiled and pampered.

After a full day of driving and visiting wineries along the way, you can settle into your cottage and unwind and prepare for your dinner at Boar’s Breath Restaurant in Middletown, just 4 miles down the highway, in town.  A recent guest summed it up, “I come from San Francisco and know good food and good restaurants and Boar’s Breath  was unique because every single dish was done perfectly!!”  I agree.  Whether it’s their crabcakes or grilled salmon, NY steaks, a variety of salad selections, soups or chocolate brownies or cheesecake … they are done perfectly.  The restaurant is located at the center of town in an historic stone building built in the 19th century and restored and retrofitted in the 1990’s and reopened as Boar’s Breath in 1997, owned and operated by Frank and Suzie Stephenson.

oasiswaterfountainReturning home to the Oasis, you will rest comfortably in your king-sized bed as you look through the skylight above at the trees and the stars.  In the winter, the fireplace creates comfort, warmth and romance.  In the summer an overhead fan and air conditoning create a refuge from the heat.  When the weather permits, you can open the sliding glass door and enjoy the sounds of the frogs and the birds.

Morning is greeted with a hearty breakfast, including harvests from the garden.  Omelettes with varied fillings, fresh garden salsa, french toast, fresh berries, oj, coffee and many specialties and requests are served by the Hostess in the Dining Room of the Main House.  “Breakfast is always an intimate meeting of strangers who leave as friends.”

After breakfast, a massage at the Oasis will provide the relaxation to bring to the rest of your day.  There are so many choices of fun things to do in the area … walking along country roads, hiking, both easy and challenging, mountain biking, golfing at any of the golf courses in the area, attending a concert at Konocti, or a day at the spa, either Harbin Hot Springs or in nearby Calistoga.   And then watching the birds and wildlife in the area or here at the Oasis might be just enough to do!

There are several good choices for lunch in town, Shaingri-La Chinese,  Ting’s Thai Restaurant, Perry’s Deli, Havy’s Mexican Restaurant, Mt St Helena Brewery, La Parilla Mexican Restaurant.

downtownmiddletownAnd don’t forget shopping in downtown Middletown, not very big, but there are some unique shops to visit, The Bunk House …and Sylvie’s and the Methodist Church Thrift Store.  And don’t miss Hardester’s Market, which includes not only an excellent bakery and deli but an Ace Hardware store as well.  Of course, there is everything a market has in between.  

Dining in Calistoga and the Napa Valley is a short, albeit windy, drive from the Oasis.  A meal at Brannan’s or the Calistoga Inn is always memorable.

Returning home again to the Oasis, you can enjoy a private soak in the outdoor hottub under the stars, before enjoying a deeply relaxing night’s sleep.



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