Capay Valley extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

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HIGHWAY 5 NORTH ●CAPAY VALLEY
(Esparto, Capay, Brooks, Guinda, Rumsey)

Capay Valley is located at the Highway 16 exit off Highway 505 West. 

The long, narrow, rural stretch that is Highway 16 going north leads through scenic farmland.  It snuggles within the California Blue Ridge Mountains and the Capay Hills.  Many more farms than are listed here are open irregular hours. 
 

Annual Events

Capay Valley Almond Festival  Late February or March; in Esparto, Capay, Brooks, Guinda, and Rumsey.  The only five-town event in Northern California, this festival has been held annually since 1915--that makes it more than 100 years old!  Originally scheduled for fall after the harvest, it was eventually moved to the spring, when the almond blossoms are thick throughout the region.  Colorful almond blossoms decorate the landscape across the Capay Valley each year, decorating the highways and country roads that wind through the region’s fertile green hills.  California is the only place in North America that grows almonds commercially.  It is a $2 billion industry, with more than 6,000 Central Valley growers devoting approximately 530,000 acres in the crop.
 

Attractions

Approached from Hwy. 505, beginning in Esparto and heading north:

Manas Ranch Meat Market 
26797 Hwy. 16, in Esparto.

Capay Valley Bed & Breakfast  15875 Hwy. 16, in Capay.  4 rooms + cottages.  Some shared baths.  Pool (seasonal).  This 1898 farmhouse is located on a 142-acre working ranch, with almond orchards and barnyard animals as well as more unusual animals like llamas and zebras.  Facilities include short hiking trails, croquet, horseshoes, and badminton, and bike rentals are available.

WOODLAND-Hwy 16-Brooks-Seka Hills Olive Oil-old truck+view of Cache Creek Casino-c2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers-fnl-400pix
Cache Creek Casino Resort  14455 Hwy. 16, in Brooks
          Séka Hills Olive Mill and Tasting Room 19326 County Road 78, across from Cache Creek Casino, in Brooks.

Guinda Corner Store  7530 Hwy. 16, in Guinda, (530) 796-3770.  Built in 1891, this is the oldest continually operating store in Yolo County.  It features a display of the town’s history and sells local products and handmade goods.  Concerts are sometimes scheduled, with camping available before and after.

Cache Creek Canyon Regional Park  1475 Hwy 16, in Rumsey.  In summer, white-water rafting makes for exhilarating fun.  Campsites are available.

From here you can take Highway 20 on to Clear Lake (about 50 miles) or continue on Highway 16 to Williams and Highway 5.

 

 

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travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers