A Weekend Away in the Santa Clara Valley

CordeValle guest room (Photo courtesy of CordeValle)

1 Cordevalle Club Drive, San Martin

Perfectly positioned in the picturesque foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this luxury resort recently unveiled a $20 million renovation that includes not only gorgeously updated guest rooms, but new tennis and pickleball courts, a revamped pool and charming bocce gardens. The resort is probably best known for its award-winning golf course, designed by internationally acclaimed golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., which features meandering creeks, sycamore trees and stunning views in all directions. If you decide to venture out of your uber-luxe room — and leave the king beds, flat-screen TVs, fireplaces, walk-in closets and giant tubs for soaking — you’ll definitely want to visit the Spa at CordeValle. After a day spent wine tasting, what is better than a stress-melting massage? Speaking of wine tasting, a visit to the on-site winery (it’s privately owned and transportation to and from can be arranged through the hotel) is a must — top tip: ask for a packed lunch to take with you and spend the day enjoying the grounds and the vino.

Djerassi Sculpture Hikes
2325 Bear Gulch Road, Woodside

Located on a 583-acre ranch, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program is nestled in the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains and offers guided hikes featuring more than 170 site-inspired sculptures donated by artists over the last 40 years (these hikes aren’t offered year-round so check the website for available dates). In the fall, the center also offers walking meditation and sound immersion experiences led by Djerassi’s hike program director. While the hikes aren’t for the timid (guided excursions last from 3.5 to 6 hours), the experiences are one-of-a-kind.

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park
3050 Hecker Pass Highway, Gilroy

Whether you are spending a weekend in the area or venturing down for the day, kids and adults alike won’t want to miss Holiday at Gilroy Gardens (runs through December 31). During the month of December, the 28-acre park is transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland. Visit Santa, ice-skate under the stars, take a walk through the music-and-light tunnel, feast on holiday-themed food and drink (think warm gingerbread martinis!) — you can even rent an igloo for a night.

handful of dark wine grapes
Photo by Maja Petric

Follow the Santa Clara Wine Trail

CordeValle is surrounded by the wineries of the Santa Clara Wine Trail — a good excuse to see more of the surrounding area. Keep in mind, these are small, family-owned operations and visiting hours are extremely limited (some only open every other weekend) so be sure and book ahead of time.

Church Creek Cellars

Clos LaChance Winery

Creekview Vineyards

Heller Winery

Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery

Martin Ranch Winery

Miramar Vineyards

Tank House Winery

Verde Vineyards