Every tourism destination craves attention in a crowded field, especially today with so many messages coming at us from all over. But the three devastating fires that we had in September weren’t exactly the national media exposure we wanted only because there are over 1300 people who would probably prefer that their homes are still intact. But a question that we get is very simple: why should I come to Lake County and spend my valuable vacation time? Isn’t most of everything burned down?
The simple answer is: no. The fact is all of the businesses and services a visitor to Lake County could be interested in are still standing. None of our wineries burned down, only a very few restaurants at the south end of the County were damaged and there are still many thousands of acres of beautiful wild lands for those seeking an incredible outdoor adventure.
In fact, President Barack Obama just declared the 330,780 Berryessa Snow Mountain area the newest national monument and its size makes it arguably the largest national monument in all of California. This destination has plenty of pristine space for horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and hunting.
Come Fly with Us
If you’re really looking for an outdoor adventure, how about an air adventure? Crazy Creek Aviation offers both glider and a biplane rides where you can soar over the beauty that is Lake County. You can go for a peaceful, serene float through the cleanest air in California, or opt for something a little wilder where very qualified pilots will doc loops and other daredevil stunts. Crazy Creek’s sheds were burned by the Valley Fire, but none of their planes were damaged and their spirit was elevated, as yours will be by supporting this local business while enjoying an adventure of a lifetime.
Wanna go for a Boat Ride?
Let’s say you want to experience Clear Lake first-hand, there are ways to do that as well. Bassin’ with Bob’s outstanding fishing guide service guarantees that you’ll catch the bass fish that Clear Lake is so well known for, even now during the winter. If you’d rather do something less interactive, Eyes of the Wild’s pontoon boat tours offer incredibly expert guide services focused on the hundreds of birds and other wildlife that inhabit this region.
The Lap of Luxury
Of course you can enjoy all the man-made beauty of Lake County as well with two limousine services in the area as well as Frontier Wine Tours. One of the places you’ll absolutely want to stop is the brand new Boatique Winery which combines the passions of owners Madi and Robert Mount - beautiful vintage wooden boats and terrific wines. Even if you never try their wines, though they’re terrific, a visit to this winery is a feast for the eyes with an incredible collection of beautiful vintage wooden boats in a setting that overlooks acres of vineyards and natural lands.
See an Eagle While Making a Birdie
The Moore Family are some of the incredible people of Lake County and you may recognize that name as the one that adorns the family vineyard. They have invested further in this area by opening Black Rock Golf Course which just opened their new restaurant on the property. This 18-hole gem takes golfers along a beautiful set of greens nestled among pine trees and other native species.
The restaurant on the property has been established by Chef Matthew who has spent the last quarter century in San Francisco and Las Vegas, both great dining areas. The reports are already in and people are raving about both the golf and the food and, yes, a few people have even spotted an eagle in the trees.
Closer to the Featherbed Railroad is another new eatery, Fresh & Bangin’, right in nearby Lucerne. Created by head chef John Arslanian and his partner, Scott Price, the incredible food that they’ve been bringing along with a huge selection of the best beers from the North Coast have been a giant hit with our guests.
Many of the people who are eagerly awaiting your visit have been personally affected by the Valley Fire. Servers, winemakers and thousands of other local residents have lost their homes and are vowing to rebuild. We’re a tough lot here in Lake County and the incredible determination and positive outlook that we have has also made the news.
One of the best ways you can help Lake County rebuild is to come and visit, see the vast majority of the area that is still beautifully intact and untouched by fire, and witness the positive spirit of the people who are focused on rebuilding their homes and communities.
A Lake County vacation has always been a unique experience but now is something more - you get a great, relaxing and memorable vacation so you’re doing well. But you’ll also be doing good by helping a community rebuild. So, do you have your reservations yet?
Written by Anthony B. Barthel
A blog about happenings in Lake County.