7 Greatest Issues to Do in Sonoma Valley

On the lookout for the perfect issues to do in Sonoma? This was our second go to, and we found there’s a lot extra to Sonoma than wine.

Individuals wish to confer with Sonoma because the laid-back and genuine neighbor of Napa, and our Bay Space mates love Sonoma and at all times inform us if IYKYK. It’s not solely recognized for its wine but in addition its farm-to-table delicacies, various 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 at all times our personal. This put up might comprise affiliate hyperlinks, the place we obtain a small fee on gross sales of the merchandise which can be linked at no extra value 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.

Is your go to to Sonoma is a component of a bigger journey? You’ll wish to take a look at these articles.

  • Redwood Nationwide Park Information
  • California Coast Highway Journey
  • Huge Sur Information
  • San Francisco Bucket Listing

Greatest Issues to Do in Sonoma County CA

1. Wineries

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 proper 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.

4545 Thomas Lake Harris Dr, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, map

Should you love artwork paired together with your wine, then it’s essential go to Paradise Ridge Vineyard, which is simply 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 beloved the origin story of how they began to include artwork into the winery. Rene, co-owner and one in all 5 youngsters that runs the vineyard, advised us his dad had proposed to his mother in a sculpture backyard. A few of the items are from Burning Man, and so they also 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 by means of the sculpture backyard to view the artwork.  I actually beloved their glowing Shiraz.

Native Tip: Each Wed from Could to Oct they host a wine and sunsets occasion with stay music. They a number of seatings at 5, 5:30, and 6.

paradise ridge love sculpture - things to do in sonoma

13250 River Rd, Guerneville, CA 95446, map

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 had been so recent and yummy, and we loved our time on the outside patio.

They provide complimentary tastings for as much as 3 champagnes, however it’s essential name and make a reservation forward of time.

18000 Outdated Vineyard Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476, map

Buena Vista was based in 1857 and is the oldest industrial vineyard and California’s first premium vineyard. 

300 Through Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441, map

Should you’re in search of greater than wine, take a look at Francis Ford Coppola Vineyard. They not solely produce over forty wines, however additionally 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 large assortment of film memorabilia.

1883 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, map

Benziger Household Vineyard is among the first wineries to combine biodynamic farming, and you may even take a Biodynamic Winery Tram Tour.

8555 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452, map

Should you’re trying to spoil your self, head to Chateau St. Jean Vineyard, the place you possibly can faux you’re royalty for the day. The grounds are picturesque, and so they have a European chateau and gardens environment.

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 it is best to go to throughout the holidays.

paradise ridge winery

paradise ridge wine santa rosa + best things to do in sonoma

art at paradise ridge winery santa rosa + best things to do in sonoma county

209 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472, map

Osmosis Day Spa and Sanctuary was the spotlight of our journey. We did the Cedar Enzyme Bathtub, which is a apply from Japan, and Osmosis is the one place you get this remedy in North America.

Once we first heard concerning the cedar bathtub, we imagined a cedar tub full of water, however we had been shocked to search out ourselves buried in a combination of floor cedar and rice bran. The pure fermentation that’s taking place by means of the enzymes leads to a heat remedy that improves circulation, relieves joint and muscle ache, and cleanses your pores and skin.

Along with that, the remainder of the property is completely gorgeous. 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 truth, the property was once a junkyard and so they left one of many outdated automobiles there as a tribute to the area.

Native Tip: They’ve a locker the place you possibly can hold your belongings whenever you’re within the spa. We simply introduced our telephones with us and throughout the Cedar Enzyme Bathtub, our therapist helped us snap just a few photographs.

osmosis spa sanctuary sonoma

osmosis day spa - best things to do in sonoma county

cedar enzyme bath osmosis day spa sanctuary sonoma valley

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 once they noticed folks’s psychological well being deteriorating from being overworked.

The concept is that you just decelerate and mindfully stroll and meditate in a forest surroundings. Like meditation or yoga, for those who’re a newbie, it helps to have somebody information you thru it. Oftentimes in Japan, you finish having tea made out of what was foraged throughout your forest bathtub. You’re taking all of it in by means of meditation after which style the land.

Jenny from Ecowisdom confirmed us methods to forest bathe with a Sonoma twist at Zephyr Vineyards. Close to the top of our forest bathtub, fairly than tea, we did a wine tasting, since wine is among the few drinks the place you style the earth. Should you strive it, tell us for those who can style the redwood spice.

Even after I obtained dwelling, it helped me decide up the every day behavior of meditating once more.

Native Tip: It was wet throughout our expertise so having a strong rain jacket and waterproof boots helped.

forest bathing in california with ecowisdom + best things to do in sonoma valley

red car wine forest bathing with ecowisdom + best things to do in sonoma

Earlier than Sonoma turned grape nation, apples had been the star. It’s nonetheless one of many well-liked crops, and for those who’re visiting in late summer season to fall, it is best to strive their apples. Gravensteins are the most well-liked selection, and each August they have a good time with an annual competition. Take a look at the apple path right here.

In any other case, you possibly can go to a U-Choose farm within the Sebastopol space, store on the farmer’s markets, discover a native cidery, or strive some apple pie.

Since voluntourism is gaining popularity for vacationers, it’s also possible to spend time apple gleaning in an orchard. Gleaning is whenever you volunteer to select apples which can be distributed to folks in want. We had been imagined to on this journey, however we saved getting rained out.

Native Tip: Additionally they glean different fruit and veggies all year long.

apple gleaning sonoma apple picking sebastopol

photograph courtesy of Sonoma County Tourism

17110 Bodega Ln Bodega, CA 94922, map

Subsequent, we headed to the picturesque Bodega Bay. Bodega Head is a well-liked rock cliff overlooking the ocean, the place you possibly can stroll alongside the cliffs and generally spot migrating whales. It’s also possible to head to the seaside to take browsing classes or constitution a fishing boat.

Should you noticed Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (tackle linked above), it’s also possible to see their filming places right here at Potter Faculty 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 superb place to go birding.

Extra: The Final California Coast Highway Journey

the birds bodega bay potter school

Should you’re in search of seaside time, head to the Sonoma Coast State Park. It really 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 well-liked spots for sundown. We needed to spend a while on the seaside, however because it was wet your entire time, we ended up simply seeing Schoolhouse Seashore from above.

Native Tip: It’s at all times good to have money with you in case it’s essential pay for entry and/or parking.

sonoma coast beaches

6770 McKinley St, Sebastopol, CA 95472, map

The Barlow is an open-air market that covers 4 metropolis blocks the place you will discover eating places, retailers, 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, a brilliant cute plant store subsequent to Taylor Lane.

The realm was once dwelling to the Barlow household who constructed services to course of apples into applesauce. A few of the unique buildings are nonetheless there. In 2012, new buildings had been added and native makers got here to create a group the place folks can store, drink, and play collectively.

Native Tip: Should you see any fruit on the bushes within the public areas, you then’re free to select them. – Duskie, Farm to Pantry

taylor lane organic coffee

the barlow golden state cider + best things to do in sonoma

the barlow sebastopol

Map of Issues to Do in Sonoma

Extra Issues to Do in Sonoma County

Guerneville

Healdsburg

Petaluma

Santa Rosa

Sonoma (metropolis)

Misc Cities and Cities

cline cellars winery

Greatest Locations to Eat

Plenty of eating places in Sonoma County are farm-to-table and supply every thing domestically. Meaning you get seasonal dishes and the freshest meals. Though Healdsburg is thought for its world-class eating places, you’ll find nice meals in all places. Listed here are a number of the eating places to take a look at within the space

restaurants in the barlow sebastopol sushi kosho

boon guerneville restaurant

brot guerneville restaurant

Excursions in Sonoma

Should you desire 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 just a few minutes strolling distance from nice meals and retailers. For different choices, examine the map under.

highlands resort guerneville

where to stay in sonoma guerneville

Important Ideas

  • Don’t simply go for the wine. Everyone knows Sonoma is thought for its vineyards, however they’re additionally well-known for loads of different issues like their apples and farm-to-table eating.
  • There are a variety of smaller communities. Perform a little little bit of planning to benefit from your time in every city.
  • Sonoma has a Mediterranean local weather and has gentle winters.
  • Attempt to discover all three areas to see the range of the county.
  • Having a rain jacket and waterproof footwear is necessary outdoors of Summer season when it is likely to be wet.
  • Should you plan on doing a variety of wine tastings, take a look at the Sonoma County Tasting Go.
  • For extra guides and assets, take a look at SonomaCounty.com.

Tips on how to Get to Sonoma

BY AIR

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 Value, 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. 

BY CAR 

  • From SF – Sonoma is simply an hour away from San Francisco making it a simple drive from town. It’s important to pay a toll on the Golden Gate Bridge whenever you enter SF however not whenever 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.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 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 practice 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

Continuously Requested Questions

What’s the greatest time of yr to go to Sonoma?

The height season is June by means of October. It’s the perfect climate and also you get to be there throughout apple season too. Sadly, it’s the busiest time to go to. We desire shoulder months like November and Could for fewer crowds. Through the winter, it’s after harvest season, so you’ve got 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 moreover wine tasting? What’s there to do in Sonoma beneath 21?

As we’ve reviewed on this put up, Sonoma is a lot extra than simply wine. There are many outside locations to discover, scrumptious eating places, and quaint cities. Should you’re visiting with your loved ones, fly a white on the coast, go on a safari at a wildlife protect, or take a look at the native museums. 

Is Sonoma cheaper than Napa?

General, Napa is often dearer than Sonoma. With that stated, you possibly can 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 non-public 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?

Usually having a automotive is useful if you wish to discover a number of cities in Sonoma. They’re fairly unfold out, and we at all times like having the liberty and suppleness. Should 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 recognized for?

Sonoma is thought 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 common rule of thumb is when doubtful, go dressier over informal. You wish to be comfy, although, because you’ll most certainly 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 high. I like to recommend comfy footwear, whether or not that’s wedges, flats, or boots. Keep away from health club shorts, cut-off denims, shorts, sports activities tees, and flip flops.

Should you plan on going to a pleasant restaurant, you’ll have to gown up extra (usually jacket required for males). 

What wine is Sonoma recognized for?

Sonoma is greatest recognized for pinot noir from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.

How a lot does wine tasting value in Sonoma?

Between $20-30 is commonplace for many tastings, however you’ll find methods to do it on a price range 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 superb 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 just a few spots you possibly can discover between San Francisco and Sonoma, together with Sausalito, Berkeley, Mill Valley, and Napa. It’s also possible to take a look at J V Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Alcatraz, the San Rafael Farmers Market, or Level Reyes Lighthouse.

Extra Sources

The photographs from Cline Cellars and our Airstream had been taken by Joe Hendricks from our sixth yr anniversary shoot.

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7 best things to do in sonoma

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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 high 5 journey blogs within the US. They consider that journey may 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 at present base themselves in Las Vegas.

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