Sonoma County

Sonoma County Travel Guide

Napa Valley’s fresher, folksier sibling to the west, Sonoma County is the present-day epicenter of California Wine Country cool. Scores of oenophiles travel to Sonoma County each year for its world-class vineyards, set against a backdrop of rolling fields and a rugged coastline. They stay to experience farm-to-table dining destinations that have gained the region its international cache. From the bustling Santa Rosa to the quaint Glen Ellen, Sonoma County comprises 22 cities brimming with 19th-century history. It’s also home to a number of state parks ripe for hiking, camping and fishing. Traveling to Sonoma County takes 45 minutes from San Francisco, but it’s already a world away from its urban buzz. Use Travel + Leisure’s Sonoma County travel guide to start exploring.

Things Not to Miss in Sonoma County

• Taste vintages at one of more than 250 wineries
 • Take in the untamed natural beauty of the Russian River Valley
 • Catch a glimpse of California history with a visit to Sonoma Plaza and browse its summertime farmers’ market
 • Indulge your inner foodie with reservations at one of the county’s top-tier restaurants

When to Go to Sonoma County

The mild, maritime-influenced climate that makes Sonoma County prime grape-growing territory also makes it traveler-friendly throughout most of the year. Visit Sonoma County and you can find daytime temperatures that hover around 71 degrees, dropping once the sun goes down. Plan your Sonoma County travel for the springtime and catch its International Film Festival in March. In May and June, the county pops with color thanks to its lavender and wildflower blooms.

Articles about Sonoma County

As I pulled up the gravel road leading to Scribe Winery, I could already see the signs that this place is different. Groups of twenty- and thirty-somethings sat at picnic tables in the mid-afternoon sunlight while their dogs bounced around in the ...
As I pulled up the gravel road leading to Scribe Winery, I could already see the signs that this place is different. Groups of twenty- and thirty-somethings sat at picnic tables in the mid-afternoon sunlight while their dogs bounced around in the ...
As I pulled up the gravel road leading to Scribe Winery, I could already see the signs that this place is different. Groups of twenty- and thirty-somethings sat at picnic tables in the mid-afternoon sunlight while their dogs bounced around in the ...
As I pulled up the gravel road leading to Scribe Winery, I could already see the signs that this place is different. Groups of twenty- and thirty-somethings sat at picnic tables in the mid-afternoon sunlight while their dogs bounced around in the ...
Think of Sonoma County and you undoubtedly think of light, well-balanced pinots and rich chardonnays. But between the vineyards, a new batch of distilleries are cropping up—and they’re making spirits just as complex as the area’s wines. Here, the ...
In Sonoma—land of marathon wine tastings and chardonnay-fueled dinners—Healdsburg now offers a refreshing chance for your liver to recover without compromising the fun. Pioneering it all is SHED, a grange hall, fermentation bar, and marketplace ho...
THE HILLS ARE FRAGRANT WITH EUCALYPTUS, the lavender-scented valleys planted with row after row of grapevines. It's little wonder visitors are drawn to California's Napa and Sonoma valleys. They come to eat well at beautiful bistros and sleep well...
It makes sense that Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of winter; after all, what’s more romantic than escaping the cold and cozying up with a loved one?And when you’re with someone special, a ski chalet with a roaring fireplace is every bit as w...
What do you do when your yard is the neighborhood embarrassment?When spring is on its way and your garden still looks post-nuclear?The only sensible option is to hop in the car and seek seedlings. And that's exactly what brings my husband, Greg, a...
Where to Stay Sherman House 2160 Green St., San Francisco; 415/563-3600; doubles $340-$800. Manka's Inverness Lodge Callendar and Argyle Ways, Inverness; 415/669-1034; doubles $145-$425. Sandpiper House Inn 5520 S. Hwy. 1, Elk; 800/894-9016 or 707...