The main attraction at Safari West, Santa Rosa, Calif, Giraffe (All photos: Vansh A. Gupta | Siliconeer)

A peek into the roots of California, beaches of Marin, wildlife sanctuary, Napa vineyards, delicious cuisine that’s as fresh as it can get, the list is endless. Northern California is a tourist haven, writes Vansh A. Gupta. – @siliconeer #siliconeer #travel #safariwest #sonoma #nature #norcal

Never judge a book by its cover, looks are often deceptive. Safari West is like a critically acclaimed movie with a great poster but has little action and lacks special effects.

The first part was a walking tour with a docent who shared interesting facts about porcupines, monkeys, a cheetah, and birds. The colorful and vibrant birds did steal the show for the most part.

Hungry for some real action, with expectations running high for the Jeep tour, we boarded and buckled up.

What could have been an adventurous movie through the wild, (read African Safari), with lions, elephants and the likes, turned out to be an educational documentary about “wild herbivores” with giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes, zebras, ostrich and the likes. The two hour ride felt like a 20-hour-roller-coaster ride after about an hour into the Jeep tour.

It felt like those animals were the spectators and we were the show. The giraffe was allowed to touch, lick and get close to us, while the docent strictly instructed us to keep our hands, bodies and head, inside the vehicle at all times. And then it all ended, just like that!

The gut-wrenching Jeep tour had a bright side though, it worked our appetite, Sonoma beckoned to have lunch, and we gladly obliged.

Along with delicious pizza, and ice cream, Sonoma is packed with attractions. The Mission, Toscano Hotel, and City Hall, the barracks, the original flag of California, its like going back in time and yet enjoying the modern lifestyle with freshly-made bruschetta!