Historic Winters, California

Historic Winters, California

Last week my friend and I made a short trip to Winters for some much-needed inspiration. I have noticed that since the high of the New Year in January I have fallen into a bit of an inspiration slump. I have tons of projects I want to accomplish on the home front (ie: teen lounge, backyard fire pit and lights, kitchen counters, kids bathroom, cleaned up master bedroom, landscaping in front yard…the list is a little bit endless) as well as fiber arts projects as well as travel opportunities as well as…EVERYTHING. And sometimes when there are too many “things” on my mind I am unable to accomplish ANY of them. Enter inspiration SLUMP. Basically, the slump from which all things seem impossible and too much of all things difficult. I am sure you too have felt this way from time to time. When I hit these slumps, one of the things I need to do is leave the environment I’m in, even if for just a few hours, and find clarity and inspiration.


After we had dropped of our respective kids and completed all necessary mom duties, we headed up to Winters. This tiny historic town (boasting slightly over 7,000 people) is a mere 30 minutes from where I live and approximately 60 miles from San Francisco. I have driven by the exit to Winters hundreds of times over the last decade. I had heard from friends that historic Winters is artsy and cool and funky and worth the stop. So off we went.

The beautiful Buckhorn Steakhouse on Main Street. And yes, the sky was super blue that day. You would never know it is February (where is the rain????)
Old time Jaguar that was far more stunning than this photo. And TINY!

Inspiration hit us around every corner!

My friend and I have mused for years about opening a general store/home store/little restaurant/all of the above and part of why we chose to come to Winters was to see what places like Preserve and Buckhorn are doing with their outdoor seating and indoor appointments. While it is unlikely we are ever going to pursue a BIG endeavor like the ones listed above, there is a chance we may try something smaller in our town. Maybe. MAYBE. So inspiration trips are key!

The old brick and arched windows/doors is my favorite. And the color of trim on the doors and windows was a perfect shade of bluish Eucalyptus.

The historic Opera House – still in use!
These planters contained the most amazing succulents I have ever seen all clumped together. Clearly Winters is doing right by their succulents…Also, Preserve Market is beautiful both inside and out.

After wandering for a bit we were starving, so we headed into Putah Creek Cafe for brunch. It was super homey and inviting and they made me the best looking/best tasting hot chocolate EVER. I had a omelette and it was everything I didn’t know I needed that morning. Putah Creek also has the most amazing pizza oven outside on the sidewalk that is used throughout the day. I wish we had been able to stick around for afternoon pizza.

Thank you Putah Cafe for this giant mug of hot chocolate with fresh chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream. I mean…come ON!


Historic Winters, which is basically the area around Main Street for roughly two blocks, is NOT large. But it is infused with character and history and charm. Think quality not size! We roamed in and out of spaces, taking photos of what inspired us most.

This upright piano was outside against a brick wall. Someone had even hung an oil painting and flower arrangements flanking it, like it was in someones living room!

These planters that a restaurant is using to divide the sidewalk from seating are genius. They look to be some kind of steel truss (like you would see holding up bridges or the like) and filled with succulents and herbs and flowers. Such a great idea for repurposing industrial products.

Eventually we made it over to Cloth Carousel, a treasure box of all things yarn and fiber arts. Basically I was in heaven. I wanted to buy one of everything but settled on one skein of yarn and a tassel making tool.

Is it bad if I just keep the skein of yarn and don’t make anything with it? It is so pretty just to hold!

This is the way to do edging between a sidewalk and a building. No need for mulch, just throw in some ivy and asparagus ferns and a few potted plants. Perfection.

We finished our time in Winters admiring this gorgeous garden that is used by one of the restaurants in the area. Major garden goals…

Garden goals

After all of the inspiration in Winters we took a slow drive up to Lake Berryessa (I had never been there even though I have lived relatively close to it for the past 13 years. Yikes!). It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies and the Lake was pretty stupendous looking. It was also the first time I had seen the famous Glory Hole (sadly we have NOT had enough rain lately and water was no where near flowing over the top of the hole as it did in 2017). It was just the kind of day I needed to hit a reset button for myself. Sometimes I forget that I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscaping in the United States because my head is stuck looking at a phone or a monitor, or I am too distracted by my to do list. This little inspiration trip reminded me to just leave it all behind sometimes for a few hours and LOOK with my eyes and my heart. This trip to Winters will not be my last. I am excited to add it into my inspiration rotation (also in my rotation is Carmel-by-the-Sea, Port Costa and the Berkeley Hills). If you are in the northern Bay Area I encourage you to take a short trip to Winters, soap up the charm and history, have a pizza and grab some yarn. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect day?!







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Transplanted from NYC to the Bay Area with 4 kids, a husband and a children's accessory company called Trulaaluu. I am inspired by my family, adoption, my friends, good design, running, beautiful spaces, social media connections and creating. Welcome to Dwelling by Design.
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