Middletown, resting at the foot of Mt. Saint Helena, has long been a halfway point for people heading to other places–hence the name Middletown. But that’s rapidly changing, and it’s easy to spend a day here enjoying all it has to offer. It’s got a vibrant art scene, great shops, and plenty of places to pick up the absolute best gift for someone you love. Here are a few great suggestions.
It’s true: the holidays in Lake County are beautiful. By Thanksgiving, the last of the yellow-orange oak leaves have fallen, and fall is slowly shifting towards winter. It’s time for short days and long nights, warm evenings by the fire, and, of course, some great local wine. Whether you’re inviting family and friends over for a holiday meal, enjoying a special breakfast, or reading a book on a rainy evening, here are five great Lake County wines you can enjoy on any occasion.
The day’s heat still wavers in the air, hiding behind tent flaps and resting in the still evening. The sun still has an hour to hang around before finally disappearing behind the mountains, and it’s gleefully watching over the hundreds of people milling around The Mercantile in Kelseyville. Here you’ll find winery owners and administrative assistants, school principals and county workers, exterminators and nurses, congressmen and construction workers. This cross-section of folk shows up every year for the same reason, and it’s not to swelter in the early evening heat. They’re all here for the Wine Auction, one of Lake County’s most important charitable events.
Lake County’s home to amazing scenery, kind people, and a host of small businesses. Without them, we wouldn’t be who we are. So take a weekend afternoon to get out and discover something new. We listed eight great businesses here, but don’t worry. Surrounding these wonderful places are dozens more, all waiting for you to discover them.
Just in front of Wholly Bowl, and sitting between Grocery Outlet and the Dollar Tree in Lakeport stands Shoreline Coffee Shop. It’s an unassuming spot, sandwiched next to a wireless store and discount shop. Usually, diners sit inside, but since COVID, tables stretch out in the open-air hallway where customers sit, sipping on drip coffee and forking into plates piled with food. If you’re looking for comfort food, Shoreline is a great place to begin.
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Dale Grable, the owner of Thai American Market, always has a new idea. Since opening his unique Asian store in Nice several years ago, he’s committed to taking the stress out of cooking Asian food. I don’t know if you’ve ever walked into an Asian food store, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be intimidating. None of the labels are in English, it’s difficult to tell the difference between five varieties of fish sauce, and, seriously, is that dried jellyfish?
Fortunately for Lake County, Thai American Market is nothing like that. Dale selects the best of each item, removing the confusion. He grinds and makes his own spices and seasonings. And, if you’ve never cooked Asian before, he’s made it simple by creating meal kits that demystify your favorite foods.