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In search of 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 seek advice from Sonoma because the laid-back and genuine neighbor of Napa, and our Bay Space associates love Sonoma and all the time inform us if IYKYK. It’s not solely identified for its wine but in addition its farm-to-table delicacies, numerous geography, and open areas.

7 best things to do in sonoma

An enormous 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 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 the place Life Opens Up.

Is your go to to Sonoma is an element of a bigger journey? You’ll need to try these articles.

  • Redwood Nationwide Park Information
  • California Coast Street Journey
  • Huge Sur Information
  • San Francisco Bucket Record

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 approach I might 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.

Wine and Artwork Pairing at Paradise Ridge Vineyard

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

If you happen to love artwork paired together with your wine, then it is advisable to go to Paradise Ridge Vineyard, which is just 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 attractive vineyards.

We liked the origin story of how they began to include artwork into the winery. Rene, co-owner and one in all 5 children that runs the vineyard, instructed us his dad had proposed to his mother in a sculpture backyard. A few 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 fundamental constructing, then strolled via the sculpture backyard to view the artwork.  I actually liked 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
Korbel Vineyard + Korbel Delicatessen & Market

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 contemporary and yummy, and we loved our time on the out of doors patio.

They provide complimentary tastings for as much as 3 champagnes, however it is advisable to name and make a reservation forward of time.

Buena Vista Vineyard

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.

Francis Ford Coppola Vineyard

300 Through Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441, map

If you happen to’re in search of greater than wine, try 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’ll be able to 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

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

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

Chateau St. Jean Vineyard

8555 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452, map

If you happen to’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 environment.

Different Wineries to Test 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: Try their information to wineries you need 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

2. Cedar Enzyme Tub at Osmosis

209 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472, map

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

Once we first heard concerning the cedar tub, we imagined a cedar tub full of water, however we had been shocked to seek out ourselves buried in a mix of floor cedar and rice bran. The pure fermentation that’s occurring 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 gorgeous. We spoke with Michael Stusser, who based the spa. He studied as an apprentice in Japan, which helped him design the attractive Zen gardens. Enjoyable truth, the property was once a junkyard they usually left one of many previous automobiles there as a tribute to the house.

Native Tip: They’ve a locker the place you may maintain your belongings once you’re within the spa. We simply introduced our telephones with us and throughout the Cedar Enzyme Tub, 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

3. Forest Bathing + Wine Tasting with Ecowisdom

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 individuals’s psychological well being deteriorating from being overworked.

The concept is that you just decelerate and mindfully stroll and meditate in a forest atmosphere. 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 tub. 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 tub, moderately than tea, we did a wine tasting, since wine is among the few drinks the place you style the earth. If you happen to strive it, tell us for those who can style the redwood spice.

Even after I bought 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 stable 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

4. Benefit from the Apple Path + Apple Gleaning

Earlier than Sonoma grew to become grape nation, apples had been the star. It’s nonetheless one of many widespread crops, and for those who’re visiting in late summer season to fall, you need to strive their apples. Gravensteins are the most well-liked selection, and each August they have a good time with an annual pageant. Try the apple path right here.

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

Since voluntourism is rising in popularity for vacationers, you may as well spend time apple gleaning in an orchard. Gleaning is once you volunteer to select apples which might be distributed to individuals in want. We had been alleged to on this journey, however we stored getting rained out.

Native Tip: In addition they glean different vegetables and fruit all year long.

apple gleaning sonoma apple picking sebastopol
photograph courtesy of Sonoma County Tourism

5. Drive to Bodega Bay

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 may stroll alongside the cliffs and generally spot migrating whales. You too can head to the seaside to take browsing classes or constitution a fishing boat.

If you happen to noticed Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (tackle linked above), you may as well 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 good place to go birding.

Extra: The Final California Coast Street Journey

the birds bodega bay potter school

6. Sonoma Coast State Park

If you happen to’re in search of seaside 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 widespread 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 all the time good to have money with you in case it is advisable to pay for entry and/or parking.

sonoma coast beaches

7. The Barlow

6770 McKinley St, Sebastopol, CA 95472, map

The Barlow is an open-air market that covers 4 metropolis blocks the place you’ll discover 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 dwelling to the Barlow household who constructed amenities 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 neighborhood the place individuals can store, drink, and play collectively.

Native Tip: If you happen to see any fruit on the bushes within the public areas, then you definitely’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

  • Armstrong Redwoods State Pure Reserve – See the 1400-year-old tree. At present closed to the general public.
  • River Rock On line casino

Healdsburg

  • The Hand Fan Museum
  • Healdsburg Plaza – Individuals say it seems to be kinda just like the Gilmore Ladies city.
  • Healdsburg Museum and Historic Society
  • Russian River Rose Co, Healdsburg – nursery and show backyard

Petaluma

  • 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

Santa Rosa

  • Charles M Schulz Museum – Often known as Snoopy’s home to the native children.
  • Youngsters’s Museum of Sonoma County – Go “fishing” in a miniature Russian River.
  • Harvest Honest
  • Luther Burbank Residence and Gardens
  • Museum of Sonoma County
  • Pacific Coast Air Museum
  • Trione-Annadel State Park – nice for mountain climbing and biking

Sonoma (metropolis)

  • 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 Could to September. See others within the space through the hyperlink.
  • First Thursday Sonoma Artwork Stroll – First Thursday of the month.
  • Normal Joseph Hooker Home
  • Normal Vallejo’s Residence, 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’ll 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
cline cellars winery

Greatest Locations to Eat

Quite a lot of eating places in Sonoma County are farm-to-table and supply the whole lot regionally. 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 few 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) – greatest taco ever based on 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 Goodies, Sonoma (💰💰, Desserts)
restaurants in the barlow sebastopol sushi kosho
boon guerneville restaurant
brot guerneville restaurant

Excursions in Sonoma

If you happen to want to go on a tour and have all the main points taken care of for you. Test these out:

  • Sizzling Air Balloon Over Sonoma County
  • Gourmand Wine and Meals Pairing Tour
  • Guided Wine Tour with Picnic
  • Kayaking, Biking, and Wine Tasting
  • Wine Tasting and Biking in Healdsburg

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 outlets. For different choices, verify 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 loads 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 sneakers is essential exterior of Summer season when it may be wet.
  • If you happen to plan on doing loads of wine tastings, try the Sonoma County Tasting Move.
  • For extra guides and sources, try SonomaCounty.com.

How you can 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 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.

BY CAR

  • From SF – Sonoma is just an hour away from San Francisco making it a simple drive from the town. You need to pay a toll on the Golden Gate Bridge once you enter SF however not once you depart.
  • 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 Categorical – 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 journey 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’ll join with buses to Santa Rosa or Healdsburg

Steadily Requested Questions

What’s the greatest time of 12 months to go to Sonoma?

The height season is June via 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 want shoulder months like November and Could for fewer crowds. Through the winter, it’s after harvest season, so you might have all of the locals’ consideration. You get to fulfill the proprietor and maker since issues are nonetheless small and family-owned vs companies in Napa.

What’s there to do in Sonoma apart from wine tasting? What’s there to do in Sonoma underneath 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. If you happen to’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 often costlier than Sonoma. With that stated, you may simply spoil your self and make a dent in your pockets in Sonoma by staying in a 5-star lodge, consuming pre-fixe meals, and occurring wine tasting excursions in personal cellars.

How far aside are Napa and Sonoma?

Town of Sonoma and the town of Napa are solely 14 miles aside, however every county has distinct climates, landscapes, and circumstances.

Do you want a automobile in Sonoma?

Usually having a automobile 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 suppleness. If you happen to select to go to with out a automobile, 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 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 basic rule of thumb is when doubtful, go dressier over informal. You need 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 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.

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

What wine is Sonoma identified for?

Sonoma is greatest identified 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 good spot to discover and the encircling cities and communities even have their very own distinct downtown experiences.

Is Napa or Sonoma nearer to San Francisco?

Each the town of Sonoma and the 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 may discover between San Francisco and Sonoma, together with Sausalito, Berkeley, Mill Valley, and Napa. You too can try J V Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Alcatraz, the San Rafael Farmers Market, or Level Reyes Lighthouse.

Extra Assets

  • Santa Rosa / Sonoma County Road Map
  • Day Hikes Round Sonoma County: 125 Nice Hikes
  • Napa & Sonoma Journey Information
  • 100 Issues to Do in Sonoma County Earlier than You Die

The photographs from Cline Cellars and our Airstream had been taken by Joe Hendricks from our sixth 12 months anniversary shoot.

Are you able to consider some other issues to do in Sonoma that may’t be missed?

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7 best things to do in sonoma

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“Discovery consists not of looking 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 could be discovered each close to and much and hope to encourage others to discover regionally. They discover a brand new metropolis in depth yearly and presently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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