Lodging in Cloverdale
» Your stay at one of our Wine Country Inns includes a Free Wine Tasting Passport for Two - click for details.
Auberge on the Vineyard
English Tea Garden Inn
Old Crocker Inn
Vintage Towers Inn
Cloverdale wins Budget Travel's "The Coolest Small Towns In America" -
In Budget Travel's 2010 fifth-annual celebration of hometown escapes
across the USA, the magazine spotlighted 10 places that somehow pack in more personality than cities triple their size. How? It all comes down to the people, according to Budget Travel.
Cloverdale is located in the northern portion of Sonoma County, and is the farthest city north in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, about 85 miles north of San Francisco. U.S. 101 runs through the town, as does State Route 128. The city has a total area of 2.52 square miles, all of it land. Cloverdale is located in the Wine Country, being part of the Alexander Valley AVA.
Cloverdale is a gateway to the three surrounding wine appellations: Alexander Valley, Anderson Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Mendocino County wine. Cloverdale is home to popular annual events, fine restaurants, B&B inns and hotels, and panoramic views of the wine country. Cloverdale has a colorful history dating back to the opening of a trading post and tavern for traveler's and pack-trains.
Cloverdale is ground zero for Sonoma County's highly regarded zinfandels—but that doesn't mean locals flaunt it. The area's 156 wineries are mostly family-owned and low-key. Downtown Cloverdale is a neat collection of rambling Victorians and feed stores turned art galleries, all anchored by the green-and-white 1923 Pick's Drive-In, the go-to spot for burgers and floats.
Every Friday in summer, the town plaza, a cobblestoned stretch shaded by magnolias, transforms into a freewheeling block party. "Everyone picks up dinner at the farmers market and gets wine from one of the vineyards' stands," says Mary Stuart, organizer. "The band starts playing boogie-woogie, and it turns into one big party."
Cloverdale began as an early stage stop, known as Markleville, on the Rancho Rincon de Musalacon Mexican grant. In 1856 R. B. Markle and W. J. Miller bought 759 acres (3.1 km2), which included the present site of the town from Johnson Horrell. In 1859, James Abram Kleiser bought Markle's interest, and the town was laid out. The town was incorporated when the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad arrived in 1872. By 1878, the railroad service provided three trains a day between Cloverdale and Ferries of San Francisco Bay.