Welcome to Glen Ellen
A small, unincorporated town in Sonoma County, Glen Ellen is home to almost 800 people. While a small town, this doesn’t make it a boring or uninteresting place, quite the contrary. Glen Ellen is home to Jack London State Historic Park, as well as the hometown of the late Hunter S. Thompson.
Lay of the land
Just up the road from Sonoma, about 10 miles, Glen Ellen is in the middle of it all, while still offering residents a place to relax. With the Sonoma Creek running through the town, residents have a place to frolic and enjoy nature, all while not being far from more amenities in larger cities. It’s easy to see why Jack London lived here from 1909 until his death in 1916 as it’s a calm, tranquil and relaxing place for one to put up their feet.
Several gourmet restaurants are in the town, which is certainly impressive in a town with fewer than 1,000 people. With a handful of well-run wineries in the town, one doesn’t have to go far to enjoy some great wine. Furthermore, with its central location, there are dozens more wineries within an hour’s drive. With adequate outdoor opportunities, this is a community that one can settle down in and not get bored.
Since Glenn Ellen is not a big town, there are virtually zero opportunities to take public transportation. While cars are king here, one doesn’t have to trek for hours to get to a city or town. No, instead, one can easily get on Highway 12 and get down to Sonoma in about 15 minutes, all on roads that are fun to drive and uncrowded. Highway 101 is a bit further, but it only takes about 20 minutes to hit it, and from here, San Francisco is just an hour away if traffic is light. All in all, when living in Glen Ellen, one is only about an hour away from it all, and a lot closer to many great places.
To live, work and play in Glen Ellen is a dream for many. Being in wine country, it’s natural that many people work in the wineries or at least love to visit them often. A few highlights to check out are the Valley of the Moon Winery, Family Winery, Mayo Family Winery and B.R. Cohn Winery among other places. The wineries in Glenn Ellen are not heavily trafficked, and they are generally more pleasant to visit and check out, though that doesn’t mean one should ignore larger and well-established wineries to the south.
One reason to consider Glen Ellen, among many others, is to enjoy the peace and quiet. With this comes many chances to check out nature, and the local botanical garden, Quarryhill, is a great place to check out. Quarryhill’s collection includes plenty of rare species including Illicium simonsii, Rosa chinensis var. spontanea and Cornus capitata. There is also an impressive collection of Asian dogwoods, magnolias, maples, oaks, roses, rhododendrons and lilies. It’s truly enjoyable place to check out. Since Quarryhill is open to the public, everyone can enjoy the flora and have fun. Fans of hiking can check out Sonoma Mountain, where it’s possible to go to Fairfield Osborn Preserve, an ecological study area full of plenty to see and an area with easily accessible hiking trails.
As mentioned, Glenn Ellen, for such a small town, has plenty of great restaurants such as The Glen Ellen Star, Yeti Restaurant, Olive Vine, Aventine and many others. It’s truly impressive when one considers that the town has better restaurants than cities that are 10 times bigger. And, on top of that, the town offers respite from traffic and crowds that other cities offer.