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SONOMA WINE COUNTRY VACATION TRAVEL GUIDE (at a glance)
ABOUT SONOMA COUNTY: Sonoma Country is conveniently located less than 30 miles north of San Francisco. Boasting over 200 of the world's most award-winning wineries, 76 miles of scenic coastline, pristine beaches, the mystical Russian River, majestic redwoods, 21 challenging golf courses, a thrilling road course and drag strip, more than 40 spas, outstanding theaters, fascinating museums, shopping, botanical gardens, galleries, diverse festivals, farm markets and incredible eateries. For the active and inquisitive you'll find traditional and non-traditional spa experiences, unique meeting and event venues, 21 challenging golf courses, a thrilling road course and drag strip, exotic African safaris, excellent equestrian facilities, outstanding theaters, fascinating museums, diverse festivals and quaint historic towns with over 700 incredible eateries, farm markets and ethnic restaurants. This national and international first class meeting and leisure travel destination also includes miles of scenic Pacific Ocean coastline, pristine beaches, the mystical Russian River, majestic redwood groves, thriving wetlands, tranquil inland lakes and rolling mountain's natural splendor.
VALLEYS & VINEYARDS: Sonoma Country's vineyard-lined valleys open up creating wide expanses with abundant wineries and easy access to the area's towns and villages. Sonoma County's northern-most town is Cloverdale. Located in the Alexander Valley, close to dozens of wineries and Lake Sonoma, Cloverdale features the largest public park on the Russian River and charming downtown with antique shops and multicultural events on the Plaza. For an old west feel, Geyserville features buildings dating from the 1800's and the first collective tasting room in California. Situated between the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys, European ambiance abounds in the charming town of Healdsburg. World-class restaurants, art galleries, boutique shopping and luxurious accommodations welcome visitors any time of year. Windsor is the newest hot spot for dining and shopping in Sonoma Country. Clustered around the Town Green and Old Downtown, Windsor offers unique shops, restaurants, festivals, and musical entertainment for every age group. Santa Rosa, home to the California welcome center and the perfect central headquarters to experience sonoma country. Santa Rosa's central location blends relaxed urban appeal and dozens of nearby wineries. A "must" stop for all visitors, the California Welcome Center is housed in the historic Railroad Square and features visitor information and expert staff to assist visitors. "Peanuts" fans will enjoy the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, giving visitors a chance to view original artwork and memorabilia. Snoopy's Home Ice Arena, Gallery and Gift shop are popular visitor stops. From tranquil to thrilling, Sonoma Country offers a plethora of entertainment options. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens and Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts blend musical talent with the famous horticulturalist's gardens and sculptures. Or take a ride on the wild side and experience the African Savannah in Sonoma Country. Safari West, a wildlife preserve where the whole family can experience and learn about animals in wild habitat, offers up close and personal encounters with giraffe, gazelle, oryx, ostrich, African antelope and cheetahs. Founded in 1835, the town of Sonoma is the site of California's oldest Plaza. Stroll around the picturesque town square, visit the historic mission and enjoy chic boutiques and restaurants, art galleries and artisan food products including breads, cheeses and olive oils. The charming villages of Glen Ellen and Kenwood are home to award-winning wineries, eclectic shops and the famous Jack London State Park.
RUSSIAN RIVER REGION: The Russian River resort towns are defined by the meandering river, majestic redwood trees and an eclectic mix of people who celebrate diversity. The towns are full of history and local color abounds with unique festivals all year round. The slow, flat river is a favorite summertime spot where lounging on the beach or drifting along on a flotilla of rafts gives visitors a chance to soak up the Sonoma Country sun. Explore the estuary where the river meets the ocean near Goat Rock State Beach and view the abundant marine life up close and personal. Or take an easy walk past wildlife on the Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands Trail. The Russian River Valley is a haven for outdoor adventurers where visitors can camp, hike, swim, canoe, kayak or fish at secluded spots along the river's shore. Music and art abound in the Russian River Valley. Enjoy the many free summer concerts, or the famous Russian River Blues and Jazz Festivals, both held on the Russian River, Stumptown Daze, and a winter holiday parade of lights on the Main Street of Guerneville.
CLOVERDALE is a desirable destination as well as a gateway to both the Alexander Valley and Mendocino Coast. This wine country hamlet is surrounded by acres of vineyards that afford spectacular views. A township since 1867, Cloverdale still has many fine vintage homes, churches and businesses. A newly redesigned downtown invites visitors to stroll through the many shops and fine restaurants. The Russian River embraces the outskirts of town and offers swimming, canoeing, and fishing. Guests enjoy access to abundant wineries.
FORESTVILLE is a peaceful country location only 15 minutes from Healdsburg, 12 mi. west of Santa Rosa and Hwy. 101. Forestville is situated along the lower Russian River offering small artisan shops and excellent restaurants ... many excellent wineries are located in the Russian River Valley appellation. Take a short drive to the Pacific Coast and enjoy the breathtaking view where the historical Russian River meets the sea, stopping at the majestic redwoods in Armstrong Woods State Park. Enjoy a canoe trip or a picnic at one of the many beaches.
GEYSERVILLE is the perfect location to hike to wineries, bike to wineries, drive to wineries ... all in the quaint, quiet hamlet of Geyserville, the Wine Capital of Sonoma County. World class lodging and dining can also be found in this, the wine country’s last outpost. Stop in and browse at the George Bosworth & Son Mercantile, a mid-20th century hardware/apparel and general store.
GUERNEVILLE is a small tourist town situated between the Russian River and the surrounding hills. There is lodging, dining, shopping, activities, entertainment and more for vacations or weekend getaways. The Russian River runs right next to Guerneville. If you drive in along River Road you will follow the river most of the way. The famous Armstrong Redwoods are just five minutes outside of Guerneville. Drive twenty minutes past Guerneville and you will arrive at the mouth of the river and the spectacular Sonoma coast.
HEALDSBURG offers quaint small town charm with an amazing variety of recreation opportunities, wine tasting, shopping, eateries, and sight seeing. Located only 65 miles north of the Golden Gate, visitors are destined to trade the big city buzz for tranquil surroundings that invite leisurely strolls around the town plaza or a wine and food experience to top any other in the world. We have it all!
KENWOOD is a small town in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. It is best known for its world class wineries, restaurants and convenience to a multitude of vacation options. The popular hamlet is centrally located, so you can easily visit: Historic Sonoma Town Square (15 minutes); Historic Railroad Square in Santa Rosa (15 minutes); Calistoga in the Napa Valley (35 minutes); Bodega Bay (60 minutes); San Francisco (60 minutes); Mendocino (2 hours); Sugar Loaf State Park (5 minutes); Jack London State Park (10 minutes).
OCCIDENTAL is a small town nestled in the redwoods of Sonoma County between Freestone and Monte Rio in Northern California. It is approximately 68 miles north of San Francisco, 117 miles from Sacramento and 113 miles from San Jose. As of the 2000 census, the population was 1,272. Occidental is a pretty little community with a two-block-long main street and plenty of charm. It's just minutes from the spectacular Sonoma Coast, Bodega Bay, world class wineries, the Russian River recreational area, the Armstrong Redwood Reserve and numerous picturesque coastal towns, such as Jenner-by-the-Sea.
SANTA ROSA is a delightful discovery of bountiful cuisine, enchanting bed and breakfast inns, cultural arts, history and challenging golf courses. Within minutes you will find Sonoma Coast vistas and the redwood forests. Santa Rosa, the largest city in Sonoma County is nestled in the center of famous Sonoma Wine Country. This warm and friendly city is the perfect location for travelers to stay for a relaxing and adventurous vacation.
SEBASTOPOL is an echanted forested town deep in the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country. Just 35 miles north of San Francisco, begins your adventure into Sonoma County. Start off driving through rolling hills filled with farms and vineyards. The air changes as you continue to drive north and west towards Sebastopol. Feel the mellowing affects of the ocean breezes and escape the summer heat or winter doldrums. Prepare to enter the storybook land of your imagination!
SONOMA Although many people already know Sonoma County for its award wining wineries this county offers many more attractions that make it the perfect vacation or getaway experience. Just 35 miles north of San Francisco, among 1,604 square miles, you will find a wild and dramatic Pacific coastline, the winding Russian River, vineyards, majestic old growth redwoods, historic towns, delightful inns and fine hotels. The beauty of the area has attracted artists and craftsman colonies, rejuvenating spas and some of the finest dining experiences in the United States. Visiting Sonoma can be relaxing and rejuvenating or fast paced and exciting depending on your tastes and desires; and it will always be memorable.
English Tea Garden Inn | Old Crocker Inn | Auberge on the Vineyard | Vintage Towers | Case Ranch Inn | Hope-Merrill House
Applewood Inn | Santa Nella House | Camellia Inn | The Irish Rose Inn | The Raford Inn | Inn at Occidental
The Gables Wine Country Inn | Avalon A Luxury B&B | Hidden Oak Inn | Sonoma Orchid Inn