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Searching 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.

Folks prefer to check with Sonoma because the laid-back and genuine neighbor of Napa, and our Bay Space pals 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, various geography, and open areas.

7 best things to do in sonoma

An enormous thanks to Visit California for sponsoring this submit and Sonoma County for internet hosting our journey. All opinions are all the time our personal. This submit 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 need to try these articles.

Greatest Issues to Do in Sonoma County CA

1. Wineries

Let’s begin with the plain. Jacob is allergic to wine, so it’s good to have choices that don’t contain wine. However there was additionally no means 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 will discover 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

In the event you love artwork paired together with your wine, then it’s worthwhile 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 youngsters 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 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 liked their glowing Shiraz.

Native Tip: Each Wed from Could to Oct they host a wine and sunsets occasion with reside 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 have 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’s worthwhile to 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 business vineyard and California’s first premium vineyard. 

300 By way of Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441, map

In the event you’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 possibly can take a dip in both of their two swimming swimming pools and take a look at their enormous 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

In the event 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, they usually 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: Try their guide to wineries you must 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 Tub, which is a apply from Japan, and Osmosis is the one place you get this therapy in North America.

Once we first heard in regards to the cedar tub, we imagined a cedar tub crammed with water, however we have been stunned to seek out ourselves buried in a combination of floor cedar and rice bran. The pure fermentation that’s taking place by means of the enzymes ends in 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 attractive Zen gardens. Enjoyable truth, the property was a junkyard they usually left one of many previous automobiles there as a tribute to the area.

Native Tip: They’ve a locker the place you possibly can maintain your belongings while you’re within the spa. We simply introduced our telephones with us and throughout the Cedar Enzyme Tub, our therapist helped us snap a number of 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 after they noticed individuals’s psychological well being deteriorating from being overworked.

The concept is that you simply 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 comprised of what was foraged throughout your forest tub. You’re taking all of it in by means of meditation after which style the land.

Jenny from Ecowisdom confirmed us how one can forest bathe with a Sonoma twist at Zephyr Vineyards. Close to the tip of our forest tub, reasonably than tea, we did a wine tasting, since wine is among the few drinks the place you style the earth. In the event you attempt it, tell us for those who can style the redwood spice.

Even after I obtained residence, it helped me choose 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 grew to become grape nation, apples have been the star. It’s nonetheless one of many widespread crops, and for those who’re visiting in late summer season to fall, you must attempt their apples. Gravensteins are the preferred selection, and each August they rejoice with an annual pageant. Try the apple trail here.

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

Since voluntourism is gaining popularity for vacationers, you too can spend time apple gleaning in an orchard. Gleaning is while you volunteer to choose apples which can be distributed to individuals in want. We have been presupposed to on this journey, however we stored getting rained out.

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

apple gleaning sonoma apple picking sebastopol

picture 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. You can even head to the seashore to take browsing classes or constitution a fishing boat.

In the event you noticed Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (handle 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 superb place to go birding.

the birds bodega bay potter school

In the event you’re in search of seashore 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 widespread spots for sundown. We wished 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 it’s worthwhile to 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 can find 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 world was residence to the Barlow household who constructed services to course of apples into applesauce. A few of the authentic buildings are nonetheless there. In 2012, new buildings have been added and native makers got here to create a neighborhood the place individuals can store, drink, and play collectively.

Native Tip: In the event you see any fruit on the bushes within the public areas, then you definately’re free to choose 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

Quite a lot of eating places in Sonoma County are farm-to-table and supply every thing regionally. Meaning you get seasonal dishes and the freshest meals. Though Healdsburg is understood for its world-class eating places, you will discover nice meals in every single place. Listed below are among 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

In the event you want 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 hearth and jacuzzi. Plus, it was a number of minutes strolling distance from nice meals and retailers. For different choices, verify the map beneath.

highlands resort guerneville

where to stay in sonoma guerneville

Important Suggestions

  • 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 quite a lot of smaller communities. Perform a little little bit of planning to profit 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 shoes is necessary outdoors of Summer season when it is perhaps wet.
  • In the event you plan on doing quite a lot of wine tastings, try the Sonoma County Tasting Pass.
  • For extra guides and assets, try SonomaCounty.com.

Methods 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 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 cars here

BY CAR 

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

Regularly Requested Questions

What’s the finest time of 12 months 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 want shoulder months like November and Could 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 moreover wine tasting? What’s there to do in Sonoma below 21?

As we’ve reviewed on this submit, Sonoma is a lot extra than simply wine. There are many out of doors locations to discover, scrumptious eating places, and quaint cities. In the event 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 often costlier 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 happening wine tasting excursions in non-public cellars.

How far aside are Napa and Sonoma?

The 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?

Typically 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. In the event you 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 understood for wine, apples, farm-to-table eating places, and delightful 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 unsure, go dressier over informal. You need to be comfy, although, because you’ll almost 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 fitness center shorts, cut-off denims, shorts, sports activities tees, and flip flops.

In the event you plan on going to a pleasant restaurant, you’ll have to gown 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 value in Sonoma?

Between $20-30 is normal for many tastings, however you will discover 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 superb 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 a number of spots you possibly can discover between San Francisco and Sonoma, together with Sausalito, Berkeley, Mill Valley, and Napa. You can even try J V Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Alcatraz, the San Rafael Farmers Market, or Level Reyes Lighthouse.

Are you able to consider every 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 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 might 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 at the moment base themselves in Las Vegas.

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