On the lookout for the very best issues to do in Sonoma? This was our second go to, and we found there’s a lot extra to Sonoma than wine.
Folks wish to check with Sonoma because the laid-back and genuine neighbor of Napa, and our Bay Space mates love Sonoma and all the time inform us if IYKYK. It’s not solely identified for its wine but additionally its farm-to-table delicacies, numerous geography, and open areas.
A giant thanks to Go to California for sponsoring this put up and Sonoma County for internet hosting our journey. All opinions are all the time our personal. This put up could comprise affiliate hyperlinks, the place we obtain a small fee on gross sales of the merchandise which might be linked at no extra price to you. Learn our full disclosure for more information. Thanks for supporting the manufacturers that make Native Adventurer potential.
Final Up to date: November 19, 2021
There are three distinct areas in Sonoma County: the pacific shoreline, redwood forests and rivers, and fertile valleys and vineyards. Amongst these areas, you’ll discover over 30 small cities, villages, and cities the place Life Opens Up.
Is your go to to Sonoma is a component of a bigger journey? You’ll wish to try these articles.
Greatest Issues to Do in Sonoma County CA
Let’s begin with the apparent. Jacob is allergic to wine, so it’s good to have choices that don’t contain wine. However there was additionally no manner I’d skip out when I’ve the right DD.
Wineries cowl lower than 6% of land in Sonoma however nonetheless quantity to over 60k acres of vineyards and 400+ wineries. Due to the various landscapes, you’ll find over 50 grape varietals. We highlighted those we visited plus different notable wineries we have to come again for.
In case you love artwork paired together with your wine, then you want to go to Paradise Ridge Vineyard, which is barely 10 minutes away from downtown Santa Rosa. As we drove onto the property, large-scale artwork installments greeted us among the many backdrop of the gorgeous vineyards.
We liked the origin story of how they began to include artwork into the winery. Rene, co-owner and certainly one of 5 children that runs the vineyard, instructed us his dad had proposed to his mother in a sculpture backyard. A number of the items are from Burning Man, they usually actually have a portion of The Empyrean Temple, a 40-foot sculpture, which was supposed for use at Burning Man 2020.
We began our go to with a tasting on the predominant constructing, then strolled via the sculpture backyard to view the artwork. I actually liked their glowing Shiraz.
Native Tip: Each Wed from Might to Oct they host a wine and sunsets occasion with stay music. They a number of seatings at 5, 5:30, and 6.
Afterward, we headed over to Korbel Vineyard for some meals and bubbly. They’ve a delicatessen and market, which is the place we had our lunch. The sandwiches and salads have been so recent and yummy, and we loved our time on the out of doors patio.
They provide complimentary tastings for as much as 3 champagnes, however you want to name and make a reservation forward of time.
Buena Vista was based in 1857 and is the oldest industrial vineyard and California’s first premium vineyard.
In case you’re in search of greater than wine, try Francis Ford Coppola Vineyard. They not solely produce over forty wines, however in addition they serve meals at their restaurant to pair together with your wine. You may take a dip in both of their two swimming swimming pools and take a look at their enormous assortment of film memorabilia.
Benziger Household Vineyard is among the first wineries to combine biodynamic farming, and you may even take a Biodynamic Winery Tram Tour.
In case you’re seeking to spoil your self, head to Chateau St. Jean Vineyard, the place you may fake you’re royalty for the day. The grounds are picturesque, they usually have a European chateau and gardens ambiance.
Different Wineries to Verify Out
- Bartholomew Property Vineyard
- Cline Cellars
- Ferrari-Carano Winery
- Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves & Winery
- Gundlach Bundschu Vineyard
- Hamel Household Wines
- Jordan Winery & Vineyard
- Jacuzzi Household Vineyards
- Lake Sonoma Vineyard
- Larson Household Vineyard
- Ledson Vineyard
- Medlock Ames
- Nicholson Ranch
- Pangloss Cellars
- Ravenswood Vineyard
- Repris Wines
- Roche Vineyard
Native Tip: Take a look at their information to wineries you need to go to in the course of the holidays.
Osmosis Day Spa and Sanctuary was the spotlight of our journey. We did the Cedar Enzyme Bathtub, which is a follow from Japan, and Osmosis is the one place you get this therapy in North America.
After we first heard in regards to the cedar bathtub, we imagined a cedar tub full of water, however we have been shocked to seek out ourselves buried in a mix of floor cedar and rice bran. The pure fermentation that’s taking place via the enzymes leads to a heat therapy that improves circulation, relieves joint and muscle ache, and cleanses your pores and skin.
Along with that, the remainder of the property is completely beautiful. We spoke with Michael Stusser, who based the spa. He studied as an apprentice in Japan, which helped him design the gorgeous Zen gardens. Enjoyable reality, the property was once a junkyard they usually left one of many outdated automobiles there as a tribute to the house.
Native Tip: They’ve a locker the place you may preserve your belongings while you’re within the spa. We simply introduced our telephones with us and in the course of the Cedar Enzyme Bathtub, our therapist helped us snap a number of photographs.
Have you ever heard of forest bathing, also referred to as shinrin-yoku? It was developed in Japan within the 80s and is a part of preventive well being care and therapeutic after they noticed folks’s psychological well being deteriorating from being overworked.
The thought is that you just decelerate and mindfully stroll and meditate in a forest surroundings. Like meditation or yoga, in the event you’re a newbie, it helps to have somebody information you thru it. Oftentimes in Japan, you finish having tea constructed from what was foraged throughout your forest bathtub. You are taking all of it in via meditation after which style the land.
Jenny from Ecowisdom confirmed us tips on how to forest bathe with a Sonoma twist at Zephyr Vineyards. Close to the tip of our forest bathtub, somewhat than tea, we did a wine tasting, since wine is among the few drinks the place you style the earth. In case you attempt it, tell us in the event you can style the redwood spice.
Even once I bought residence, it helped me decide up the day by day behavior of meditating once more.
Native Tip: It was wet throughout our expertise so having a stable rain jacket and waterproof boots helped.
Earlier than Sonoma grew to become grape nation, apples have been the star. It’s nonetheless one of many in style crops, and in the event you’re visiting in late summer season to fall, you need to attempt their apples. Gravensteins are the preferred selection, and each August they have fun with an annual pageant. Take a look at the apple path right here.
In any other case, you may go to a U-Choose farm within the Sebastopol space, store on the farmer’s markets, discover a native cidery, or attempt some apple pie.
Since voluntourism is rising in popularity for vacationers, you too can spend time apple gleaning in an orchard. Gleaning is while you volunteer to choose apples which might be distributed to folks in want. We have been presupposed to on this journey, however we saved getting rained out.
Native Tip: In addition they glean different vegatables and fruits all year long.
Subsequent, we headed to the picturesque Bodega Bay. Bodega Head is a well-liked rock cliff overlooking the ocean, the place you may stroll alongside the cliffs and generally spot migrating whales. You can too head to the seashore to take browsing classes or constitution a fishing boat.
In case you noticed Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (tackle linked above), you too can see their filming areas right here at Potter College and the Inn on the Tides. I haven’t seen it but, however I’ve been itching to since visiting and watching Schitt’s Creek make references to it.
Doran Regional Park is a good place to go birding.
In case you’re in search of seashore time, head to the Sonoma Coast State Park. It truly encompasses 17 miles of the coast from Bodega Head to Vista Path and has a number of seashores and rocky cliffs.
Schoolhouse Seashore, Wright’s Seashore, or Goat Rock Seashore are in style spots for sundown. We needed to spend a while on the seashore, however because it was wet all the time, we ended up simply seeing Schoolhouse Seashore from above.
Native Tip: It’s all the time good to have money with you in case you want to pay for entry and/or parking.
The Barlow is an open-air market that covers 4 metropolis blocks the place one can find eating places, outlets, breweries, cideries, galleries, and extra.
We had a scrumptious lunch at Kosho Sushi, grabbed espresso at Taylor Lane Natural Espresso. I additionally couldn’t resist stopping at California Sister Floral, an excellent cute plant store subsequent to Taylor Lane.
The realm was once residence to the Barlow household who constructed services to course of apples into applesauce. A number of the unique buildings are nonetheless there. In 2012, new buildings have been added and native makers got here to create a neighborhood the place folks can store, drink, and play collectively.
Native Tip: In case you see any fruit on the bushes within the public areas, you then’re free to choose them. – Duskie, Farm to Pantry
Map of Issues to Do in Sonoma
Extra Issues to Do in Sonoma County
- Armstrong Redwoods State Pure Reserve – See the 1400-year-old tree. At present closed to the general public.
- River Rock On line casino
- The Hand Fan Museum
- Healdsburg Plaza – Folks say it appears to be like kinda just like the Gilmore Women city.
- Healdsburg Museum and Historic Society
- Russian River Rose Co, Healdsburg – nursery and show backyard
- Helen Putnam Regional Park
- Mystic Theatre – stay music venue and theatre
- Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park
- Petaluma Historic Library and Museum
- Rancho Obi-Wan – the world’s largest Star Wars memorabilia assortment.
- Rivertown Revival Competition
- Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue
- Windrush Farm
- Charles M Schulz Museum – Also referred to as Snoopy’s home to the native children.
- Youngsters’s Museum of Sonoma County – Go “fishing” in a miniature Russian River.
- Harvest Truthful
- Luther Burbank House and Gardens
- Museum of Sonoma County
- Pacific Coast Air Museum
- Trione-Annadel State Park – nice for climbing and biking
- California Missions Museum (temp closed)
- Cornerstone Sonoma – a market with gardens, shops, wine tasting, eateries.
- Depot Park Museum
- Farmer’s Market – Sonoma Plaza has one Tuesday 5-8 pm Might to September. See others within the space through the hyperlink.
- First Thursday Sonoma Artwork Stroll – First Thursday of the month.
- Basic Joseph Hooker Home
- Basic Vallejo’s House, Sonoma State Historic Park
- Mission San Francisco Solano
- Overlook Path – 2.5 mi spherical journey straightforward path that provides you views of the valley.
- SIFF – Sonoma Worldwide Movie Competition
- Sonoma Plaza – 8-acre park with outlets, eateries, 20+ tasting rooms, and you may pattern cheeses on the Cheese Manufacturing unit. It’s additionally a Nationwide Historic Monument.
- Sonoma Valley Museum of Artwork
- TrainTown Railroad
- Watch a race at Sonoma Raceway
Misc Cities and Cities
- Florence Ave, Sebastopol – Showcase junk artwork of Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent
- Graton On line casino & Resort, Rohnert Park
- Jack London State Historic Park, Glen Ellen
- Kruse Rhododendron State Pure Reserve, Cazadero
- Russian River – Float, Tube, Kayak, or Boat down.
- Sonoma Botanical Backyard, Glen Ellen – Initially named Quarryhill Botanical Backyard
- Salt Level State Park, Jenner
- Sandy Cove Seashore, Jenner
- Sea Ranch Chapel, Sea Ranch
Greatest Locations to Eat
A number of eating places in Sonoma County are farm-to-table and supply all the things domestically. Which means you get seasonal dishes and the freshest meals. Though Healdsburg is understood for its world-class eating places, you’ll find nice meals all over the place. Listed below are a number of the eating places to take a look at within the space
- Boon Eat + Drink, Guerneville (, New American) – Farm-to-table California bistro based by Chef Crista Luedtke
- BROT, Guerneville (, German) – A contemporary German spot from Chef Crista
- Sushi Kosho, Sebastopol (, Sushi Bars) – Yummy sushi and Japanese dishes
- Taylor Lane Natural Espresso, Sebastopol (, Espresso)
- The Pharmacy, Santa Rosa (, Espresso, Tea, Breakfast)
- Della Fattoria, Petaluma (, Bakeries)
- Divine Mom Tea n Espresso, Petaluma (, Espresso & Tea)
- Basque Boulangerie Cafe (, Bakeries)
- Bravas, Healdsburg (, Tapas)
- The Chocolate Cow, Sonoma (, Ice Cream)
- El Molino Centrale, Sonoma (, Mexican) – finest taco ever in line with native Chef Duskie
- The Woman & The Fig, Sonoma (, French)
- Hog Island Oysters Co (, Seafood) – self shuck oyster offers
- J Vineyards, Healdsburg (, Wineries) – tasting menu
- The Kefiry, Sebastopol (, Beverage Retailer) – do a complimentary kefir tasting
- Candy Scoops, Sonoma (, Ice Cream)
- Valette, Healdsburg (, New American)
- Wild Flower Bread, Freestone (, Bakeries)- well-known whipping cream scones
- Wine Nation Sweets, Sonoma (, Desserts)
Excursions in Sonoma
In case you favor to go on a tour and have all the main points taken care of for you. Verify these out:
Greatest Locations to Keep in Sonoma
Throughout our go to, we stayed on the Highlands Resort in Guerneville. We stayed in a cute cabin with a fire and jacuzzi. Plus, it was a number of minutes strolling distance from nice meals and outlets. For different choices, examine the map beneath.
- Don’t simply go for the wine. Everyone knows Sonoma is understood for its vineyards, however they’re additionally well-known for loads of different issues like their apples and farm-to-table eating.
- There are plenty of smaller communities. Do some little bit of planning to take advantage of your time in every city.
- Sonoma has a Mediterranean local weather and has delicate winters.
- Attempt to discover all three areas to see the variety of the county.
- Having a rain jacket and waterproof sneakers is vital exterior of Summer season when it could be wet.
- In case you plan on doing plenty of wine tastings, try the Sonoma County Tasting Go.
- For extra guides and assets, try SonomaCounty.com.
Easy methods to Get to Sonoma
The Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) is in Santa Rosa and is handy for flying out and in of the county. Because it’s a smaller airport, solely a handful of airways fly right here, together with:
- Alaska Airways: Burbank, Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland, San Diego, and Seattle
- Avelo Airways: Burbank and Las Vegas
- American Airways: Dallas Fort Price, Los Angeles, Phoenix Sky Harbor
- United Airways: Denver and San Francisco
Different close by airports
- San Francisco Worldwide (SFO) 1.5 hrs and 75 miles away
- Oakland Worldwide (OAK) 1.5 hrs and 76 miles away
- Sacramento Worldwide (SMF) 2 hrs and 119 miles away
- Discover rental automobiles right here.
- From SF – Sonoma is barely an hour away from San Francisco making it a straightforward drive from town. It’s important to pay a toll on the Golden Gate Bridge while you enter SF however not while you go away.
- From Sacramento – Take US-80 West to Ca-12/121 West. The drive takes roughly 1.5 hours.
- From Seattle/Portland – Take US-5 or US-101 South. The drive from Portland takes almost 10.5 hours.
- Sonoma County Airport Specific – from SF or Oakland airports with 4 stops in Sonoma County
- Golden Gate Transit – buses from San Francisco to Petaluma and Santa Rosa
- Ferry – from the San Francisco Ferry Constructing to Larkspur Ferry (then take the Golden Gate Transit or trip a SMART prepare to Sonoma County)
- Greyhound – from San Francisco to Santa ROsa
- Sonoma County Transit – buses that run all through Sonoma County
- Sonoma-Marin Space Regional Transit (SMART) – clear diesel trains from San Rafael in Marin County to Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport
- Amtrak – trains run to Martinez and you may join with buses to Santa Rosa or Healdsburg
Steadily Requested Questions
What’s the finest time of yr to go to Sonoma?
The height season is June via October. It’s the very best climate and also you get to be there throughout apple season too. Sadly, it’s the busiest time to go to. We favor shoulder months like November and Might for fewer crowds. In the course of the winter, it’s after harvest season, so you will have all of the locals’ consideration. You get to fulfill the proprietor and maker since issues are nonetheless small and family-owned vs firms in Napa.
What’s there to do in Sonoma apart from wine tasting? What’s there to do in Sonoma below 21?
As we’ve reviewed on this put up, Sonoma is a lot extra than simply wine. There are many out of doors locations to discover, scrumptious eating places, and quaint cities. In case you’re visiting with your loved ones, fly a white on the coast, go on a safari at a wildlife protect, or try the native museums.
Is Sonoma cheaper than Napa?
General, Napa is usually dearer than Sonoma. With that mentioned, you may simply spoil your self and make a dent in your pockets in Sonoma by staying in a 5-star resort, consuming pre-fixe meals, and occurring wine tasting excursions in personal cellars.
How far aside are Napa and Sonoma?
The town of Sonoma and town of Napa are solely 14 miles aside, however every county has distinct climates, landscapes, and situations.
Do you want a automotive in Sonoma?
Typically having a automotive is useful if you wish to discover a number of cities in Sonoma. They’re fairly unfold out, and we all the time like having the liberty and adaptability. In case you select to go to and not using a automotive, you are able to do guided wine excursions, so that you don’t have to fret about having a DD or use buses to journey between cities.
What’s Sonoma identified for?
Sonoma is understood for wine, apples, farm-to-table eating places, and exquisite landscapes that span forests, rivers, valleys, hills, seashores, and rocky cliffs.
What ought to I put on to Sonoma? Are you able to put on denims to a vineyard? What’s wine nation informal?
A normal rule of thumb is when doubtful, go dressier over informal. You wish to be snug, although, because you’ll almost definitely be visiting a number of spots. It additionally helps to have layers for when it will get cooler.
Wine nation informal contains sundresses, informal skirts, and slacks or denims with a dressier prime. I like to recommend snug sneakers, whether or not that’s wedges, flats, or boots. Keep away from gymnasium shorts, cut-off denims, shorts, sports activities tees, and flip flops.
In case you plan on going to a pleasant restaurant, you’ll have to costume up extra (typically jacket required for males).
What wine is Sonoma identified for?
Sonoma is finest identified for pinot noir from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.
How a lot does wine tasting price in Sonoma?
Between $20-30 is normal for many tastings, however you’ll find methods to do it on a funds or splurge on unique experiences.
What number of wineries are there in Sonoma?
Greater than 425!
Does Sonoma have a downtown?
Sure, downtown Sonoma is a good spot to discover and the encompassing cities and communities even have their very own distinct downtown experiences.
Is Napa or Sonoma nearer to San Francisco?
Each town of Sonoma and town of Napa are about an hour away from San Francisco.
What’s there to do between Sonoma and San Francisco?
There are a number of spots you may discover between San Francisco and Sonoma, together with Sausalito, Berkeley, Mill Valley, and Napa. You can too try J V Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Alcatraz, the San Rafael Farmers Market, or Level Reyes Lighthouse.
The images from Cline Cellars and our Airstream have been taken by Joe Hendricks from our sixth yr anniversary shoot.
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“Discovery consists not of searching for new lands however in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Native Adventurer, which is among the prime 5 journey blogs within the US. They consider that journey will be discovered each close to and much and hope to encourage others to discover domestically. They discover a brand new metropolis in depth yearly and presently base themselves in Las Vegas.
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