While not as spectacular as Woodland in numbers or wow factor, Winters has some very well kept up turn of the 20th century homes. They are in the downtown area around First Street. The town is small enough that it can be walked rather easily on a warm spring or fall day.
Winters is fairly compact. The historic district essentially consists of Railroad Avenue running east to west and Main Street running north to south.
Aside from the Winters Opera House, Buckhorn Restaurant and other buildings at the corner of Railroad and Main there are other things to see. Walking north down Main you will see several older businesses interlinked with wine bars. On a corner is the magnificent First Bank of Northern Dixon (below). In addition, the City has encouraged painting of murals on some buildings like the one below that appears on Railroad Avenue. The old Winters City Hall is on 318 First Street.
The walk takes only about fifteen to twenty minutes but provides a good overview of what the town has done to make it a more attractive destination as well as the work that remains to be done.
Driving north from Winters to Lake Berryessa Lake Solano Park was a totally unexpected surprise.
In this area Putah Creek which comes down from Lake Berryessa flows into tiny Lake Solano, then continues on its way to Davis. This park which is run by Yolo County has a variety of recreational options. There is overnight camping, picnic tables for day use, a short hiking trail and great wildlife viewing.
Perhaps the most magnificent thing about this little park just off of State Highway 28 is its wildlife. As a narrow lake flowing off of busy Putah Creek the area is a resting place for many birds and small animals. There is a thin metal walking bridge over the lake where you can view wildlife easier. With use of my binoculars I could see a feral pig and black tail doe. Also several species of local birds including meadowlarks and ducks.
Day use is posted as $ 5 but there was no one there on this November day to collect the fee. Camping apparently is not allowed during the winter months.
The Buckhorn Grill has been an institution in the Sacramento area for sometime. When I last went there if anything the crowd of people waiting in line is getting greater. The Buckhorn has some of the best tri-tip anywhere. They slowly char roast it until it is very tender and just about melts in your mouth. There is quite a wide menu selection of meats and salads.
I chose the Prime Rib. It came with soup or salad, veggies, sourdough bread, and a choice of garlic mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, baked potato or french fries. I had the prime rib cooked medium rare. It was 13 ounces of sure eating pleasure and this is from someone who ordinarily doesn't eat much beef. They also have other steaks, filets, rib eye steak and pork ribs.
They have a wide selection of beers and wines.
If you are planning on going on a weekend night I would go early.
Favorite Dish: Prime Rib which is cooked in some great herbs and spices. You can order it any size from nine ounces to thirteen ounces.
I arrived in Winters around 1 pm. There were only a few choices for lunch. I picked Cody's because of the goofy memorbilia out front and the fact that I could have my order to go.
Cody's from what I learned is a family run business. I didn't find out how long it had been operated in this spot but from the crowd of folks inside and ordering lunches to go the word must have gotten out that it was good.
I ordered a hamburger to go. I was pleased that she asked me how I want it cooked. There was a big tempting salad bar there but I passed on the salad as well as fries and the desert. The hamburger arrived fresh and juicy. Eating it across the street in Rotary Park as opposed to my car was a good idea because I definitely would have made a mess if I chose the latter.
The inside of the restaurant looks like an old time cafe. Deer heads on the wall and simple tables. The place also sells fudge and best of all serves Gunther's ice cream.
Favorite Dish: Juicy cooked to order hamburgers. If I was a little more famished I would have gone for the Gunther's Ice Cream as well.