Discover Sonoma County
Come explore Sonoma County’s dynamic and diverse offerings. From its internationally proclaimed wineries, amazing cuisine, and charming hotel and inns—to its magnificent coastline, redwoods, and sculpture gardens—Sonoma County truly has something for everyone!
Sonoma is home to California’s oldest winery and historic landmark, Buena Vista Winery and Vineyards. The region is considered the birthplace of California’s wine country, with grapes planted as early as 1812 on the Sonoma coast settlement of Fort Ross. Its diverse landscape, with its varied climates and soil conditions, produces outstanding harvests from several grape varieties. Only in this unique territory (with 12 appellations and subsequent microclimates) can one savor a coastal Pinot Noir and an inland Cabernet all on the same trip.
Sonoma’s wine scene is leisurely and fun loving with an eclectic feel. The County spans 52 miles wide and 47 miles long with scenic splendor—dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, magnificent redwood forests, and peaceful countryside. Sonoma County’s impressive array of natural wonders, outdoor and cultural activities, acclaimed restaurants, and charming yet elegant accommodations has earned it the Travelers’ Choice ® 2012 award for the No. 1 wine destination in the United States.
Wine preferences of the region are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Red Meritage, Zinfandel, Syrah (or Shiraz), Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurtzstraminer, Riesling, and Sparkling Wine.
Sonoma County Activities
Unique activities, exquisite spa services, gracious accommodations, outstanding cuisine, and a fabulous art scene complement Sonoma’s wineries. Only in Sonoma can you choose between whale watching and a ride in a vintage aircraft. Recreational enthusiasts can opt for cycling, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, golf, canoeing, kayaking, or fishing. Art and music enthusiasts have dozens of galleries and events to choose from, and Sonoma is rich with parks, beaches, gardens, and picnic spots.
Sonoma’s chefs (and its residents) are passionate about food with homegrown ingredients, and Healdsburg is no exception. The climate is ideal for year-round growing, providing an abundance of local produce. Foodies will revel in Scopa’s family-style dining, heralded for its fresh food and casual dining experience. If you are looking for a popular local spot, Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar will fit the bill. Its tapas and small plate menu features items such as shellfish, ceviche, steamers, and skewers from the grill.
For a more chic dining experience, BarnDiva specializes in sustainable sourced food, creating menu items such as caramelized day boat scallops and crispy pork belly. Visit the Hoffman House, an award-winning local landmark in Geyserville, for breakfast, lunch, or to host an event. If you crave rustic Italian food, make Rustic at Francis Ford Coppola Winery your dining destination. There are some amazing cafés in Healdsburg and Geyserville, and over 55 highly ranked restaurants ranging from Californian to Mediterranean cuisine that will satisfy any craving.
Healdsburg and Geyserville offer a wide range of accommodations, from romantic country garden inns to hotels that are luxurious and serene. Like the wineries themselves, the lodgings in this area are infused with personality. For a getaway on a private country vineyard estate, Healdsburg Country Gardens Lodging offers a peaceful escape and a local experience. If contemporary luxury is more your style, the Duchamp hotel will delight and surprise you. Hotel Les Mars (one block from Healdsburg’s historic town square) brings romantic French living to northern California, while Hotel Healdsburg (located on the western edge of the town square) continues to make Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List of
World’s Best Places to Stay.” Other notable accommodations include Haydon Street Inn B&B, Geyserville Inn, Bella Villa Messina, Bellal Luna Inn, and Honor Mansion – A Wine Country Resort.
This area is all about fun! Your day can be filled with outdoor recreation amidst the beauty that abounds, a walking tour of historic homes, or frequent stops at the local shops, where you will find homegrown luxuries like Dry Creek Olive Oil or Estate Grown VerJus. If shopping and cooking classes are more your style, you will find dozens of clothing stores, boutiques, and antique and collectible shops with handcrafted items in Healdsburg. Healdsburg is also home to the “roving” culinary program that unites talented chefs to create unique and fabulous cuisine in a demonstration and hands-on presentation.
Combine your love of art and gaming at Geyserville’s River Rock Casino, where you can enjoy live entertainment and be amazed by the Native American cultural arts collection. If there’s time, extend your travels down the back roads and visit Railroad or Badger Park, just a couple of Healdsburg’s numerous parks and recreation spots.
From world-class to roadhouse dining, Russian River boasts an impressive array of dining establishments. If romance and superlative food speak to you, schedule a night at River’s End and savor its Oysters Epiphany while overlooking awe-inspiring ocean views. Is live Jazz and Blues more your style? Main Street Station serves fabulous foods in its award-winning premier acoustic music venue…dine to the sounds of jazz in a casual, friendly setting. Other outstanding restaurants and eateries include Ono’z Café, Farmhouse, Chef Patrick’s, and Coffee Bazaar.
From rustic cabins to luxurious hotels, Russian River offers a full range of accommodations for you and your pets. Charming cottages, romantic enclaves amidst lofty redwoods, and sustainable hotels with luxurious design await you here. Ferngrove Cottages, Applewood Inn, Boon Hotel & Spa, Case Ranch Inn, Cottages on River Road, and Dawn Ranch Lodge are just a few of the sanctuaries to escape to.
Activities and Events
From wine tasting and shopping to kayaking and horseback riding, Russian River amazes and overwhelms with its choices. There is even a Historical artillery society! Choose adventure activities from Bodega Bay Adventures, Burke’s Canoe Trips, or Chanslor Ranch’s fishing, kayaking, or horseback riding. For a wine country Eco-adventure, EcoRing offers over 100 pre-planned activities, or you can customize your own. Jerry Knight’s Historic River Theater is a Rock n’ Roll nightclub with live music and film premiers. Complete your trip with a visit to the Pacific Coast Air Museum or, for a rush of adventure that will last a lifetime, spend your days surrounded by redwoods propelling down a zipline at 25 mph!
You will find international and local cuisine in Santa Rosa, each featuring locally grown food and showcasing the wines of Sonoma County. Whether you crave gourmet coffee and scrumptious desserts or authentic Italian cuisine in a boisterous atmosphere, Santa Rosa delivers! Stark’s steakhouse serves certified Angus beef and sustainable seafood in a casual yet elegant setting. LoCoco’s Cucina Rustica, voted best Italian Restaurant, serves up a true taste of Italy with old world charm. For a specialty, organic coffee or tea, try A’Roma Roasters Coffee & Tea. Other notable eateries in the area are Jack and Tony’s Restaurant & Whisky Bar, La Gare Restaurant, Khoom Lanna Thai Restaurant, Station 1870 Wine Bar, Three Square’s Café, and John Ash & Co.
Santa Rosa offers a complete range of lodging options, from the historic Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa to the luxurious Hilton Sonoma Wine Country hotel. Other lodging options include the beautiful Vintners Inn, the elegant and hospitable Fountaingrove Inn, historic Hotel La Rosa, and the romantic Tuscan villas of the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa.
Activities and Events
Santa Rosa’s bustling downtown, with its three distinct shopping centers, offers an incredible array of choices, from specialty shops and jewelry stores to sporting goods. This city is passionate about maintaining a thriving local economy. Unique to the area is the Go Local Santa Rosa program, consisting of local businesses, residents, and organizations working toward a thriving local economy. Be sure to take advantage of the Go Local rewards when shopping in Downtown Santa Rosa, Coddingtown Town Mall, or Railroad Square. Take a walk along almost any public street and enjoy the works of local artists, whose displays are made possible by the Art in Public Places program. Enjoy the whimsical Charlie Brown and Snoopy Bronze Tribute Statues featured around the district, or visit some of the other museums and attractions, such as the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County.
Petaluma, named the Restaurant Capital of Sonoma County, has over 140 restaurants and delis with influences ranging from down-home American cooking to exotic Turkish cuisine. If you are a localvore, head over to Central Market for the best-of-the-best in farm-to-table dining. Lilly Kai Chinese Cuisine offers exceptionally fresh Chinese food, earning it the People’s Choice for Best Chinese Food in Petaluma. Sample a variety plate to experience a range of flavors, or savor a small plate of Spicy Salt and Pepper Calamari. Other top restaurants in the area are Cucina Paradiso, Real Döner Turkish Cuisine, Wild Goat Bistro, Tea Room Café, Graffiti, Traxx Bar and Grill, and Graziano’s Ristorante & Lounge.
Visitors preferring a ranch or garden-style setting can choose between the fully furnished cottages of Della Fattoria Ranch Cottage or the newly restored garden cottages of Garden Valley Ranch. To experience a boutique hotel with French charm, book your stay at The Metro Hotel. Sheraton Sonoma County – Petaluma offers beautiful views of the mountains and the Petaluma River.
Activities and Events
Petaluma, with its tranquil setting, active downtown, and handsome Victorian architecture, is an ideal vacation spot. Shop at 60 outlet stores located in the Petaluma Village Premium Outlet, attend the Spring Antique Fair, or take a leisure boat ride and dock in historic downtown. Art lovers can meander through any of the 15 art galleries, viewing photographic works from the Barry Singer Gallery or the high-end pieces from Riverfront Art Gallery. If eclectic artwork is your style, a visit to Calabi Gallery will astound you with its collection of paintings, sculptures, and graphic exhibits. A visit to McNear’s Mystic Theater is a fun evening of live music entertainment, and for non-stop racing action, visit the Petaluma Speedway. Other local activities include hiking, biking, and kayaking.
Sonoma is brimming with outstanding cuisine and chefs that are passionate about enjoyable food. Whether fine or casual dining is on your agenda, Sonoma offers exceptional selections based on fresh local products. For a casual dining experience, select from The Red Grape, Rin’s Thai Restaurant, the Fig Café and Wine Bar, the Swiss Hotel Bar & Restaurant, Maya, and Murphy’s Irish Pub. For a fine dining experience, make a reservation at Santé Restaurant at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Glenn Ellen Inn Restaurant, The Girl and the Fig, the Depot Hotel Cucina Rustica, Carnero’s Bistro & Wine Bar at The Lodge at Sonoma, or the Saddles Restaurant at MacArthur Place Inn. Café La Haye continues to impress diners with its charming atmosphere and perfection of simple foods, while Della Santina’s traditional, family recipes from Lucca, Italy remain a popular choice for visitors. For delicious farm driven cuisine and a cozy outdoor patio, El Dorado Kitchen is a must visit.
Accommodations in Sonoma Valley range from Inns and B&Bs to upscale hotels. If a Bed and Breakfast is your style, book a stay at one of the several “Best Of” favorites as voted by local residents. A Victorian Garden Inn is a historical farmhouse bed and breakfast full of charm. Surrounded by gardens, vineyards, and orchards, the Beltane Ranch provides comfortable, private accommodations with breathtaking views. Other B&Bs in the “Best Of” category include: The Cottage Inn and Spa, Bungalows 313, Thistle Dew Inn, The Inn at Ramekins, Above the Clouds, and The Trojan Horse Inn.
Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury at The MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa. Its individually designed Inns and Suites are located among its seven acres of stunning gardens. The natural hot springs of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa will seduce and relax you before retiring to your signature suite. Additional luxury hotels and Inns include the Kenwood Inn & Spa, the Gaige House Inn, the Lodge at Sonoma, and the Ledson Hotel.
Activities and Events
Sonoma Valley is full of fun things to do, from its outdoor activities to its festivals and tournaments. You may enjoy visiting one of its historic sites or museums, or taking a wine country bike tour from Goodtime Touring Company, Sonoma Valley Bike Tours and Rentals, Sonoma Valley Cyclery, or Wine Country Cyclery. For movies and live entertainment, head over to Sebastiani Theatre for unique documentary film presentations. A visit to the Leaderglass glass blowing company will astound you with its beautiful and functional pieces created using thousand-year-old glassblowing techniques. Complete your stay with a rejuvenating massage from Body Karma or the Garden Spa at MacArthur place. Your visit to paradise will keep you returning year after year…