From world-class wineries to unforgettable views, this Northern California jewel offers much to explore.
Sonoma County is most well-known for its award-winning winemaking regions. But this Northern California gem offers much more for visitors, including delectable dining, unforgettable outdoor adventures, historic sites and plenty of opportunities to take part in local arts and culture.
Tour and Taste
Sonoma County encompasses 18 American Viticultural Areas, which are home to more than 425 wineries producing more than 60 grape varietals. There are tasting and tour experiences to suit wine novices, experts and everyone in between. Explore wine-growing valleys throughout the county and discover scores of wineries, from high-end wine chateaus to charming mom-and-pop operations. Learn about wine-and-food pairings at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens or through a multi-course meal at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. Browse movie memorabilia at the stately Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which has been owned by the famed director for decades. Learn about California’s wine-making history at Buena Vista Winery, known as the state’s oldest premium winery. Take a tram through the biodynamic vineyards at Benziger Family Winery. Or stroll the gothic archways and spires of the modern castle that is Ledson Winery & Vineyards. Sonoma County also boasts a growing number of craft breweries, distilleries and cider houses.
A wine and food pairing with a view at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa
Discover Sonoma County’s Restaurants
Looking for a place to pair some of Sonoma County’s stellar wines with food? Sonoma County is known for its award-winning eateries (some with Michelin stars) that celebrate local ingredients. Whether your schedule calls for a quick bite from a farmers market or food truck, or a sit-down meal at an award-winning bistro, there are plenty of opportunities for fresh, delicious and innovative fare. Local chefs are passionate about using the best Sonoma County has to offer – just-picked organic produce, handcrafted artisan cheeses, sustainably farmed meats and fresh Pacific Ocean seafood – to please the palate of even the most demanding diners. One restaurant that celebrates all these aspects of Sonoma County's dining scene is SingleThread, which uses ingredients from its nearby farm and boasts three Michelin stars and AAA's Five Diamond rating.
Sipping craft beers and sampling pub fare at Brewsters Beer Garden in Petaluma
Discover more than 80 kilometers of dramatic Pacific Ocean coastline that make up Sonoma County’s western edge. Go beachcombing, walk bluff-top trails or just relax on the shore at Sonoma Coast State Park. Keep an eye out for migrating whales, and visit the colony of sea lions that summers at Goat Rock Beach each year. Fly a kite on the beach at Doran Regional Park, or walk the six public-access trails at The Sea Ranch. The Russian River and Lake Sonoma also beckon with opportunities to fish, swim or simply relax. Get out on the water in a canoe, kayak, paddleboard, ski boat, personal watercraft or sailboats, available for private rental or guided tour.
Kids playing on one of Sonoma County’s beaches
Go for a Hike
Sonoma County includes more than 60 nature parks and many kilometers of hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous. Stroll along the serene, majestic coastline at Bodega Head and Sonoma Coast State Park. Or, get your heart pumping on the rolling hills of Shiloh Ranch, with a peak elevation of 352 meters. (The views are worth the exertion.) Take your hike to heart-pumping heights via Sonoma Canopy Tours, which offers seven zip lines, two sky bridges, a spiral staircase and a 24-meter rappel – all through a canopy of towering redwood trees. Sonoma Canopy Tours also offers a treehouse experience, where you can stay overnight in an eco-friendly yurt perched in the trees.
Rappelling above the treetops at Sonoma Canopy Tours
Hop on a Bike
Sonoma County is a welcoming destination for bicyclists of all skill levels. Visitors can rent bikes or join guided bicycle tours. Take a leisurely ride past vineyards and along country roads, stopping for tastings at wineries and craft breweries. Or, take on more challenging routes that twist high into scenic mountains or wind along the breathtaking Pacific Ocean coastline. Look for wildlife during a wetlands bike tour. Or, relish the views of wildflowers while pedaling through meadows and hillsides.
The perfect setting for a romantic picnic
Get a History Lesson
See the last-built and northernmost of California’s Spanish missions (Mission San Francisco Solano) at Sonoma State Historic Park. Tour Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park to learn about California’s Mexican Period. Explore a former Russian colony perched high on a coastal bluff at Fort Ross. Visit the final home of adventurer and noted author of "The Call of the Wild," Jack London, at Jack London State Historic Park. And, tour Luther Burbank Home & Gardens to learn about Luther Burbank’s contributions to horticulture in Sonoma County and beyond.
Historic cabin at Jack London State Historic Park
Sample Local Art and Music
Sonoma County offers a wide range of art galleries, museums and outdoor sculpture. Public art is abundant, from whimsical recycled-object sculptures on Sebastopol’s Florence Avenue to more than 30 creations along the Sculpture Trail in Geyserville and Cloverdale. The Museum of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa also celebrates local artists in its galleries and sculpture garden. Take in a live music performance in a variety of venues, from small stages in local pubs, farmers’ markets and festivals, to Sonoma County’s two world-class concert halls. See nationally and internationally known performers on stage at Green Music Center on the Sonoma State University campus and at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa.
Upcycled "junk art" pieces by artist Patrick Amiot in Sebastopol
Relax at a Spa
Finally, take some time just for you. With more than 40 spas and wellness centers, Sonoma County is a prime destination for relaxation. Soak in a cedar enzyme bath, get a skin refresh with a Crushed Cabernet scrub or visit a massage therapist for a soothing indulgence.
A moment of zen at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone
Fly into San Francisco International Airport (SFO), rent a car and drive about 90 kilometers (just over an hour) north to Sonoma County. You can also catch a connecting flight into Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa.