But right beside the road, near Fairfield, we found an unexpected oasis, where life slows down quite a bit, and art and agriculture come together.
Suisun Valley truly is a pleasant surprise. Urban sprawl has taken over nearby areas, but Suisun Valley has retained its rural charm. Farms and vineyards dominate the landscape, and the area's beauty has attracted many artists here as well.
"It has an amazing feel out here," explains potter Joni Anderson. We're going to check it all out; from a legendary fruit stand, to a couple of wonderful wineries, to a fascinating community of artists and artisans.
Suisun Valley is located just north of Interstate 80, roughly halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento. It's about a 45 minute drive northeast from San Francisco.
As soon as we leave the highway, we're amidst farmland and ranchland, some with trees, some with cattle, and some with very unusual sculptures. Phillip Glashoff and his son Chad both sculpt using mainly recycled metal objects and they've put many of their larger pieces on display here at their sculpture ranch.
"We mimic each other as we go through life," explains Phil. "He uses my style, I use his. And we collaborate a lot." Chad's work is generally abstract, while Phillip's tends to be more whimsical. Chad quips, "One man's trash is another man's treasure!"
The Glashoff Sculpture Ranch is open by appointment only. A little farther into the valley, Phillip has a gallery with regular hours. It features many of the Glashoffs' pieces, plus the work of several other artists. The gallery is located at a quaint junction called Mankas Corner, which has become something of an art hub. >>click for more from KRON site>>
- Glashoff Gallery 2527 Mankas Corner Rd. (707) 427-8164 www.glashoffgallery.com
- Vintage Café 2522 Mankas Corner Rd. (707) 425-3207
- Vegetable Patch Owners Doug or Doreen Lum 2820 Rockville Rd. (707) 427-8164
- Billy Hines Iron Art by Design 2525 Mankas Corner Rd. (707) 428-9977
- Clay Station 2529 Mankas Corner road (707) 422-4942 www.dragonware.biz
- Ledgewood Creek winery 45896 Abernathy Rd. (707) 426-4424 www.ledgewoodcreek.com Wooden Valley winery 4756 Suisun Valley Rd. (707) 864-0730 www.woodenvalley.com