7 Finest Issues to Do in Sonoma Valley

In search of the most effective issues to do in Sonoma? This was our second go to, and we found there’s a lot extra to Sonoma than wine.

Individuals prefer to seek advice from Sonoma because the laid-back and genuine neighbor of Napa, and our Bay Space buddies love Sonoma and all the time inform us if IYKYK. It’s not solely recognized for its wine but additionally its farm-to-table delicacies, numerous geography, and open areas.

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 include affiliate hyperlinks, the place we obtain a small fee on gross sales of the merchandise which can be linked at no further 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.

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 Street Journey
  • Huge Sur Information
  • San Francisco Bucket Record

Finest 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 manner 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 could 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 case you love artwork paired along 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 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, advised us his dad had proposed to his mother in a sculpture backyard. A number 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 primary constructing, then strolled by 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 dwell 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 outside patio.

They provide complimentary tastings for as much as 3 champagnes, however you want 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 industrial vineyard and California’s first premium vineyard. 

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

In case 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 in addition 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 large assortment of film memorabilia.

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

Benziger Household Vineyard is without doubt 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 case you’re trying to spoil your self, head to Chateau St. Jean Vineyard, the place you’ll be able to fake you’re royalty for the day. The grounds are picturesque, and so they 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: Try their guide to wineries it is 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 follow from Japan, and Osmosis is the one place you get this therapy in North America.

Once we first heard in regards to the cedar bathtub, we imagined a cedar tub stuffed with water, however we have been shocked to search out ourselves buried in a combination of floor cedar and rice bran. The pure fermentation that’s occurring by 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 totally 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 and so they left one of many previous automobiles there as a tribute to the area.

Native Tip: They’ve a locker the place you’ll be able to preserve your belongings whenever 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, also called 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 thought is that you simply decelerate and mindfully stroll and meditate in a forest surroundings. Like meditation or yoga, in case you’re a newbie, it helps to have somebody information you thru it. Oftentimes in Japan, you finish having tea created from what was foraged throughout your forest bathtub. You are taking all of it in by 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 top of our forest bathtub, relatively than tea, we did a wine tasting, since wine is without doubt one of the few drinks the place you style the earth. In case you strive it, tell us in case you can style the redwood spice.

Even once I bought dwelling, it helped me choose 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 grew to become grape nation, apples have been the star. It’s nonetheless one of many widespread crops, and in case you’re visiting in late summer time to fall, it is 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 trail here.

In any other case, you’ll be able to 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 may as well spend time apple gleaning in an orchard. Gleaning is whenever 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: In addition they glean different vegatables and fruits 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’ll be able to stroll alongside the cliffs and generally spot migrating whales. It’s also possible to 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 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 superb place to go birding.

Extra: The Final California Coast Street Journey

the birds bodega bay potter school

In case 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 widespread spots for sundown. We wished to spend a while on the seashore, however because it was wet the complete time, we ended up simply seeing Schoolhouse Seaside 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.

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 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 world was once dwelling to the Barlow household who constructed amenities to course of apples into applesauce. A number 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 case 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




Santa Rosa

Sonoma (metropolis)

Misc Cities and Cities

cline cellars winery

Finest Locations to Eat

Numerous 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 could find nice meals all over the place. Listed below 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

In case you desire to go on a tour and have all the small print taken care of for you. Verify these out:

Finest 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 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 numerous 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 delicate winters.
  • Attempt to discover all three areas to see the range of the county.
  • Having a rain jacket and waterproof sneakers is necessary outdoors of Summer season when it may be wet.
  • In case you plan on doing numerous wine tastings, take a look at the Sonoma County Tasting Pass.
  • For extra guides and assets, take a look at 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 simple drive from the town. It’s a must to pay a toll on the Golden Gate Bridge whenever you enter SF however not whenever 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.


  • 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 experience 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

Continuously Requested Questions

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

The height season is June by October. It’s the most effective 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 Might for fewer crowds. In the course of the winter, it’s after harvest season, so you’ve gotten 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 moreover 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 outside 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 take a look at the native museums. 

Is Sonoma cheaper than Napa?

General, Napa is usually dearer than Sonoma. With that mentioned, you’ll be able to 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 the town of Napa are solely 14 miles aside, however every county has distinct climates, landscapes, and circumstances.

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 all the time like having the liberty and adaptability. In case you select to go to with no 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 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 basic rule of thumb is when doubtful, go dressier over informal. You wish 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 consists of 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 fitness center 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 recognized for?

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

How a lot does wine tasting price in Sonoma?

Between $20-30 is commonplace for many tastings, however you could find methods to do it on a finances 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’ll be able to 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 pictures from Cline Cellars and our Airstream have been taken by Joe Hendricks from our sixth yr anniversary shoot.

Are you able to consider another 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 without doubt one of the prime 5 journey blogs within the US. They imagine that journey might 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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