In search of 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.

Individuals wish to consult with Sonoma because the laid-back and genuine neighbor of Napa, and our Bay Space buddies love Sonoma and at all times inform us if IYKYK. It’s not solely recognized for its wine but additionally 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 publish and Sonoma County for internet hosting our journey. All opinions are at all times our personal. This publish might include affiliate hyperlinks, the place we obtain a small fee on gross sales of the merchandise which are 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 a component of a bigger journey? You’ll need to take a look at 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 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.

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

In the event you love artwork paired along with your wine, then it is advisable 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 attractive vineyards.

We beloved the origin story of how they began to include artwork into the winery. Rene, co-owner and considered one of 5 children that runs the vineyard, instructed us his dad had proposed to his mother in a sculpture backyard. Among 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 major constructing, then strolled by 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 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 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 it is advisable 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 on the lookout for 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 along with your wine. You possibly can take a dip in both of their two swimming swimming pools and take a look at their big assortment of film memorabilia.

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

Benziger Household Vineyard is likely one of the first wineries to combine biodynamic farming, and you’ll 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 may fake you’re royalty for the day. The grounds are picturesque, they usually have a European chateau and gardens environment.

Different Wineries to Examine 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 it’s best to go to through 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.

After 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 mix of floor cedar and rice bran. The pure fermentation that’s occurring by 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 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 hold your belongings if you’re within the spa. We simply introduced our telephones with us and through the Cedar Enzyme Tub, our therapist helped us snap a number of pictures.

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, often known 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 thought is that you just decelerate and mindfully stroll and meditate in a forest setting. 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 constructed from what was foraged throughout your forest tub. You are taking all of it in by meditation after which style the land.

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

Even once I acquired residence, 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

Earlier than Sonoma turned grape nation, apples have been the star. It’s nonetheless one of many in style crops, and for those who’re visiting in late summer time to fall, it’s best to strive their apples. Gravensteins are the most well-liked selection, and each August they have fun with an annual competition. Try 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 strive some apple pie.

Since voluntourism is gaining popularity for vacationers, you can even spend time apple gleaning in an orchard. Gleaning is if you volunteer to choose apples which are distributed to folks in want. We have been imagined to on this journey, however we saved getting rained out.

Native Tip: Additionally they glean different vegatables and fruits 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 may stroll alongside the cliffs and generally spot migrating whales. You may also head to the seashore to take browsing classes or constitution a fishing boat.

In the event you noticed Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (deal with linked above), you can even see their filming places 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.

the birds bodega bay potter school

In the event you’re on the lookout for 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 Seaside, Wright’s Seaside, or Goat Rock Seaside are in style 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 Seaside from above.

Native Tip: It’s at all times good to have money with you in case it is advisable 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’ll 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 world was once residence to the Barlow household who constructed services to course of apples into applesauce. Among the unique constructions are nonetheless there. In 2012, new constructions have been added and native makers got here to create a neighborhood the place folks can store, drink, and play collectively.

Native Tip: In the event you see any fruit on the timber within the public areas, you then’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

A variety of eating places in Sonoma County are farm-to-table and supply all the pieces regionally. Which means 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 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 choose to go on a tour and have all the small print taken care of for you. Examine 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, 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 a number of smaller communities. Perform a little 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 range of the county.
  • Having a rain jacket and waterproof footwear is necessary exterior of Summer time when it is perhaps wet.
  • In the event you plan on doing a number of wine tastings, take a look at the Sonoma County Tasting Cross.
  • For extra guides and sources, 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 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 barely an hour away from San Francisco making it a straightforward drive from town. It’s a must to pay a toll on the Golden Gate Bridge if you enter SF however not if 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 practically 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 journey 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’ll join with buses to Santa Rosa or Healdsburg

Often Requested Questions

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

The height season is June by 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 choose shoulder months like November and Could for fewer crowds. Throughout 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 in addition to wine tasting? What’s there to do in Sonoma underneath 21?

As we’ve reviewed on this publish, 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 take a look at the native museums. 

Is Sonoma cheaper than Napa?

Total, Napa is often costlier 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?

Town of Sonoma and 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 at all times like having the liberty and adaptability. In the event you select to go to and not using 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 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 normal rule of thumb is when unsure, go dressier over informal. You need to be snug, although, because you’ll probably 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 snug footwear, 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 costume up extra (typically jacket required for males). 

What wine is Sonoma recognized for?

Sonoma is finest 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 customary 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 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 may also take a look at J V Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Alcatraz, the San Rafael Farmers Market, or Level Reyes Lighthouse.

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 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 likely one of 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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