Sonoma County

Things to do in Sonoma County

With a focus on wine, food and natural beauty, travel to Sonoma County is all about the finer things. An itinerary of things to do in Sonoma County can—and should—be a food-focused one. Make a reservation at one of the county’s renowned farm-to-table restaurants for fresh, five-star meals prepared with local produce, meats and cheeses. Or, check out the farmers’ market in historic Sonoma Plaza to pick up the ingredients for yourself.

No travel to Sonoma County would be complete to without time spent at its vineyards and wineries, but, with hundreds to choose from, trip planning can be daunting. Several tour options are available, including an afternoon outing bike with Sonoma Valley Cyclery. Eco-tourists can check out producers like Benziger Family Winery, who use sustainable, biodynamic practices in their winemaking process. Sonoma County travelers also have easy access to the great outdoors. Stand in the shade of old growth tree in the Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve or set up camp in Sugarloaf State Park. Water-lovers can kayak along the Russian River or catch a glimpse of California’s North Coast at Sea Ranch.

Howard Backen’s barnlike complex near the town of Sonoma houses several salons and lounges; choose between a flight of four, a five-course food-and-wine pairing, or a picnic by the pond.

Affiliated with Barndiva, Artists & Farmers carries artisan-made objets such as quilts stitched from antique saris and burled-wood bowls.

Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in 1895 in Alexander Valley, and since then the 300-acre winery has been producing award-winning wines.

Quivira Vineyards and Winery is a large estate powered by solar energy and biodynamic farming practices. The Coho salmon-filled Wine Creek runs through the property where cows, chickens, and pigs roam freely.

The tasting room at Thumbprint Cellars is a favorite for its loungelike ambience and small-lot wines.

Known for its organic and biodynamic growing practices (the vintners here have forsworn all chemical pesticides and fertilizers), Benziger encompasses 85 acres of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Syrah vines.

Set on a hillside in the Russian River Valley, Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery was launched in 1982 and now produces mostly Pinot Noir, as well as Chardonnay, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc.

This 400-acre wildlife reserve is about a 90-minute drive from San Francisco, and seeks to replicate an African Safari-style experience in the "Sonoma Serengeti." Unlike a traditional zoo, Safari West is a natural habitat that allows visitors to take a two-to-three–hour tour over rugged terrain t

M Clothing is stocked with women's designs from both established and emerging labels.

Easily one of the most beautiful wineries in Sonoma Valley, Matanzas Creek sits amid 1,500 acres of Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah vines.

Originating as a single plot of Chardonnay grapes, the Dutton-Goldfield winery now has 80 vineyards covering 1,000 acres in the Russian River Valley.

Located atop Bell Mountain, this 335-acre winery is the creation of two lifelong friends: Christopher Medlock James and Ames Morison.