Sonoma Wine Country Travel Planner
Sonoma County Wine Country offers a wealth of activities and events throughout the year. Following is a partial list of “Things to Do” to help you plan your visit. Each of our member inns offers concierge services including assistance with tickets and reservations.
Sonoma County’s location has made it the perfect place for award-winning wines. Guests can visit vineyards, tasting rooms and caves and enjoy diverse medal-winning wines in one of the most picturesque wine regions in the world. A number of companies offer wine tours in a variety of vehicles or you can hire a driver for your car.
Explore the characteristic flavors of Sonoma County – from the finest wines, artisan cheeses and meats to the freshest, seasonal fruits and vegetables from the many farms. This agricultural diversity is reflected in the many fine restaurants throughout Sonoma County that pride themselves on the farm-to-table freshness and variety of their offerings. Enjoy a leisurely gourmet dinner, a more casual meal, or a splurge at the Michelin Starred Farmhouse Inn, Madrona Manor, and Terrapin Creek and a number of Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants.
Sonoma County towns boast a rich range of shops and stores from unique, individual shops with art objects, collectibles, one-of-a-kind clothing and craft emporia to enclosed malls and factory outlets.
Pamper yourself or your loved one with a treatment from one of our local spas. Choose from a full day experience to a simple massage, facial, foot treatment, manicure/pedicure. Your host inn can suggest a local spa or private in-room massage therapist.
Whether your preference is for distance, ruggedness, or incline, hiking choices are available throughout Sonoma County. We have many state and county parks, including Annadel and Spring Lake Park in eastern Santa Rosa, and the giant redwoods in Armstrong Woods.
Sonoma County offers many bike paths and bike lanes, and they get daily use by those who choose biking as their preferred transportation. Our county roads provide scenic rides and excellent training and conditioning for competitive cyclists. There are bike rental shops in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Cloverdale with all the essentials for a safe ride. Several bike-touring companies provide everything, including escort, lunch and an itinerary.
Horseback riding is available in a variety of locations – the coast, vineyards, the Redwoods or scenic trails. If you prefer a horse-drawn wagon, that is also possible and some wineries use wagons and carriages for tours and picnics.
Sonoma County offers a variety of golf courses to tempt you. From the wind swept ocean beauty of Bodega Bay, the Redwoods course on the Russian River to the world-class courses nestled in the Mayacamus Mountains, we have something for all levels of play. Lessons and driving ranges are close at hand. Ask your host inn to help set up a tee time on a course nearby.
Spectacular early morning views over Sonoma County are offered by a number of hot air balloon companies operating near the Sonoma County Airport, north Santa Rosa.
Most travelers fall in love with the Russian River’s meandering course as it flows past river towns and ancient redwoods to Jenner, where it empties into the sea. Kayaking, canoeing, swimming, inner tubing, fishing, rafting and sunbathing are favorite river pastimes. You can usually spot harbor seals and shy, cow-eyed pinnipeds at the mouth of the Russian River at Goat Rock State Beach near Jenner.
Launch your boat at Monte Rio beach and Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville, Forestville River Access, Steelhead Beach in Forestville, Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach and Cloverdale River Park. Bring your own kayak or canoe, or rent one at any of the public beaches.
There are miles of shoreline for rock fishing and surf fishing and party boats are available at Bodega Bay and Lake Sonoma. The Russian River salmon start their annual migration in late September. By late November the steelhead are running and continue through March. Spring is the best time for catfish. Shad appear in mid-April. As the days lengthen and the weather warms, bait your hook for bass.
Perhaps Sonoma County’s most defining and well-known geographic feature is its 58 miles of beautiful, rugged Pacific coastline. The Sonoma Coast offers some of the best surfing north of Santa Cruz for the advanced or beginning surfer. Surfing for the advanced surfer is best July through March and for the beginner year-round surf can be found. Doran Regional Park offers a two-mile stretch of sandy beach and a great view of Point Reyes. With plenty of space to spread beach blankets, towels and umbrellas, this is one of the best family beaches for picnics, sand castles, or kites.
- Safari West – a 400-acre private wildlife preserve near Santa Rosa. Guests experience this wild animal park from a safari jeep.
- Occidental Zipline/Sonoma Canopy Tours – Two unique courses that feature ziplines, bridges and ravines and Redwood forest views. All ages and all abilities.
- Luther Burbank Estate – Luther Burbank Home and Gardens showcase the famous horticulturist’s many contributions and the wonder of plants. The gardens are open year-round. Tours of the estate are scheduled April-October.
- Farm Trails – You are never far from a farm in Sonoma County. Orchards, vineyards, pastures, nurseries, vegetable and animal farmsteads and ranches are located all over the county. Pick up a Farm Trails Guide and Map at a Visitor’s Center and find pick-your-own flowers, berries and apples, pumpkins and Christmas trees, and llama and ostrich farms, and cheesemongers.
- Wild Mushrooms – Guided mushroom tours are a great way to enjoy the beautiful woodlands, get a little exercise and gather mushrooms with certified mycologists. Our local Gourmet Mushrooms has supplied our area’s best mushrooms to local restaurants for 30 years.
Sonoma County is home to many museums and galleries. The Charles M. Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa is a tribute to the cartoonist and his medium. Healdsburg features a fan and a wine museum. Our towns have local history museums highlighting their area. Art galleries and the October ARTrails Open Studio Tour have something for every taste. Throughout the year each town hosts a variety of cultural shows, fairs, and festivals.
The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa and the Green Center at Sonoma State University host live concerts and stage productions, including the Santa Rosa Symphony. There are local community theaters in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Healdsburg and Cloverdale. And Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and Cloverdale have movie theaters.
Many wineries host concerts throughout the year, some under the stars. Also scheduled in the towns are numerous outdoor music concerts and festivals. Each town also offers weekend music year-round associated with the local breweries, pubs, or restaurants. Ask your host innkeeper for the latest schedules.
Sonoma County Annual Events
For a calendar of local events go to: