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.
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
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.
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.
As one of the larger producers in Sonoma, this winery is big enough to be split between two different sites: Villa Fiore, an Italian-inspired structure makes exclusively white wine, while the Mountain Winery Estate at 1,200 feet elevation makes the reds.
Located atop Bell Mountain, this 335-acre winery is the creation of two lifelong friends: Christopher Medlock James and Ames Morison.
Baksheesh focuses on fair-trade, handcrafted gifts from the developing world, including carved beechwood bowls from Haiti and djembe drums from Burkina Faso.
This winery’s Mission-style visitors’ center (dominated by an adobe bell tower that rings on the hour) is a lovely place to while away an early afternoon.