How to Have a Romantic Getaway in Sonoma County

  • Lodging
  • by DEVIN PARR
  • on FEBRUARY 1, 2021
  • 6585
  • 0
Courtesy of Olea Hotel
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If date night is starting to look like bingeing on Netflix over take-out before falling asleep on the couch lately, it may be time to plan a romantic getaway with your significant other. With world-class wines, scrumptious eats, zen-worthy spas, and well-appointed hotels, all in a spectacular Wine Country setting, Sonoma County is the perfect place to reconnect with your partner. Plus at only an hour north of San Francisco, it’s an easy escape for a week or a weekend.

To make it even more effortless for you, we’ve compiled a round-up of our top places for couples to stay, eat, sip, and play, so get planning that long overdue romantic getaway. Your love life will thank us later.

Where to Stay

Kenwood Inn & Spa

10400 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452, (707) 833-1293
Courtesy of Kenwood Inn & Spa

The very location of this luxury hotel – nestled in Sonoma Wine Country’s “Valley of the Moon” – says romantic getaway. With only 29 rooms and suites, each with its own entrance, fireplace, and featherbed, private terrace or balcony, couples will find pure relaxation after a day exploring Wine Country; that is, if they choose to leave the room at all.

Insider Tip: If all that romance leaves you hungry, take advantage of the complimentary Wine & Cheese Mini-Picnic. Packed in your own picnic box, you can take this selection of wine and cheese tastings, as well as freshly baked cookies, with you on your romantic adventures.

Gaige House

13540 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 935-0237
Courtesy of Gaige House

This tranquil hideaway, set along the Calabasas Creek in Glen Ellen, promises guests deep relaxation, meditation, and reflection. Modern Asian accents influence the hotel’s amenities, including meditation areas, private karesansui Zen rock gardens, deep granite soaking tubs, and calming fountains, making a stay here truly feel like a vacation away from it all.

Insider Tip: Each of Gaige House’s 23 rooms and suites offer the ultimate in relaxation, but to make your romantic weekend away even more special, book the spacious and luxurious Gaige Suite. Amenities like an in-room fireplace, shower for two, and King bed are extra inviting, but it’s the private deck with a sitting area and fire pit that will leave a lasting impression. Grab a blanket, sip wine, and cozy up together while listening to the soothing sounds of nature, and we guarantee you’ll be feeling the love in no time.

Olea Hotel

5131 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 996-5131 Holiday Cocktail Recipe
Courtesy of Olea Hotel

This boutique hotel set among oak and olive trees offers everything you and your significant other will need in a home base for your romantic getaway. Start your day with a complimentary multi-course breakfast and end it cozying up with a glass of wine by the outdoor fire pit, or taking a cleansing dip in the pool, heated year-round and lit for a romantic evening swim.

Insider Tip: Olea Hotel has some amazing VIP partnerships with other businesses in the area. The helpful front desk staff will be happy to assist with arranging exclusive, curated, and discounted activities for you.

WineCountry Perks: Book with us to receive a $25 spa credit and complimentary wine tasting passes. Just use code ‘WINECOUNTRY’ when booking.

Vintners Resort

4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, (707) 575-7350 Holiday Cocktail Recipe
Courtesy of Vintners Resort

Located in Santa Rosa on 92 acres of vineyards and serene gardens, Vintners Resort isn’t just a warm and welcoming place to rest your head, it’s a romance-inspiring destination. Offering first-class concierge services, a rejuvenating spa, and breathtaking grounds on which to explore, Vintners Resort is a wonderful option for couples seeking romance and seclusion with the added convenience of being in the heart of Wine Country. Regardless of how you fill your days, you’ll want to end it with a fabulous meal at the resort’s own fine dining restaurant, John Ash & Co.

Insider Tip: Vintners Resort celebrates love on the regular by offering special romance-driven packages for couples. Be sure to check their website for such deals before booking – especially when Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Where to Sip

Papapietro-Perry Winery

4791 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-0422
Courtesy of Papapietro-Perry Winery

Located in Healdsburg, Papapietro-Perry Winery is known for its acclaimed pinot noir wines and authentic, unpretentious ambiance, making it a welcoming place to sip with your sweetie. Cozy up on the covered deck then savor the epic views of the surrounding vineyards and Dry Creek Valley — a fantastic way to kick-start your day of wine-fueled romance in Wine Country.

Insider Tip: At Papapietro-Perry, they know how to appreciate good food and wine, which is why the winery offers charcuterie plates and chocolates to pair with your wines.

Moshin Vineyards

10295 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 433-5499
Courtesy of Moshin Vineyards

This family-owned and operated winery, situated on 10 acres in the Russian River Valley, is a hidden gem you and your significant other will love discovering. Specializing in estate-grown pinot noir, they also produce chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, zinfandel, and red Bordeaux blends, which can be sampled from the estate’s converted 1920s bungalow. Rumor has it, the bungalow was filled with love letters which were discovered during its renovation – rather fitting for a romance-themed getaway, don’t you think?

Insider Tip: At Moshin, they utilize sustainable farming practices and have a unique four-tier gravity-flow, solar powered winery. The team is enthusiastic about their facility and practices, so if you’re curious about sustainable winemaking or how gravity-flow works, don’t be afraid to ask.

Landmark Vineyards

101 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, CA 95452, (707) 833-0218
Courtesy of Landmark Vineyards

Nestled in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains in Sonoma Valley, Landmark offers guests the chance to learn about the different expressions of Sonoma chardonnay and pinot noir in a gorgeous setting. Take in any of the winery’s different tasting experiences, from an insider’s production tour and tasting, cheese and charcuterie pairings, and an intimate 360-degree vineyard view tower tasting.

Insider Tip: Take to the winery’s on-site bocce ball court, surrounded by stunning views of Sugarloaf Ridge, to spice things up with a little friendly competition with your honey.

Hanson of Sonoma Distillery

22985 Burndale Road, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 343-1805
Courtesy of Hanson of Sonoma | Nat and Cozy Grantz

This family-owned and operated distillery, located a mere five minutes from downtown Sonoma, is known for their award-winning organic vodkas, craft cocktails, and whiskey, as well as their unique pairing experiences. Nothing says romance like chocolate and caviar, so treat your partner to the Hanson Vodka & Chocolate Truffles or Hanson Martini & Caviar pairings for a decadent experience.

Insider Tip: Peruse the distillery’s al fresco weekend dining menu, which features wood-fired pizzas cooked in their custom pizza oven, located out in the “Spirits Garden,” surrounded by a lush garden and pond – the perfect spot for a romantic nibble.

Russian River Brewing Company

725 4th Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 545-2337
Courtesy of Russian River Brewing Company

Wine not your thing? Head to this iconic Sonoma brewery, originally founded by Korbel Champagne Cellars in 1997 and known best for its creation of the award-winning “Pliny the Elder,” one of the first commercially brewed double or Imperial IPAs in America. The brewery was ultimately sold to its first employee, Vinnie Cilurzo, and his wife Natalie, so you can say its success – and welcoming vibe – has been fueled by lots of love (and hops).

Insider Tip: Feeling spent after a day of wine tasting? Snag a pizza and some beer to go from their extensive take-out menu, and cozy up at your hotel for a low-key night in with your honey.

Where to Eat

the girl and the fig

110 West Spain Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-3000
Courtesy of the girl and the fig

Featuring a seasonal, Provençal-inspired menu, house-made award-winning charcuterie, local artisan cheese, an outdoor patio, and an antique bar, you are bound to have the perfect date night here. Says one fan of the romantic, French-style setting, “You forget that you’re in Sonoma!”

Insider Tip: Bring home a few goodies from the on-site retail shop, featuring limited production and curated items like bath and home products, sea salts, oils, and vinegars, and, of course, wine. All are available for sale online too.

Kendall Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens

5007 Fulton Road, Fulton, CA 95439, (707) 571-8100
Courtesy of Kendall Jackson

With enchanting vineyard views, delectable food, and world-class wines in an elegantly rustic setting, this well-known winery is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. Book one of the wine and food pairings to enjoy a farm-to-table experience highlighting ingredients from their culinary gardens, paired with a selection of limited-release wines, or opt for a pop-up picnic for two while enjoying the vineyard views.

Insider Tip: Engage all of your senses with a private tour of Kendall-Jackson’s seven sensory gardens and expansive four-acre culinary gardens with Master Farmer Tucker Taylor.

Vella Cheese Company

315 2nd Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-3232
Courtesy of Vella Cheese Company

Voted Sonoma’s “Best Local Food Brand” in 2020 by the Sonoma Index-Tribune’s People’s Choice Awards, Vella Cheese has been making handmade gourmet cheese for nearly 90 years. Vella’s cheeses aren’t just delicious; they are also all natural, and thoughtfully produced using local, sustainably-farmed dairy, solar power, waste diversion, composting, and other environmentally-friendly practices.

Insider Tip: Pick up one of their curated cheese boxes, with themes like “Little Italy” and “Box of Jacks,” to sip alongside a bottle of local wine for a romantic couple’s picnic.

SingleThread Restaurant

131 North Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 723-4646
Courtesy of SingleThread

If you are celebrating a milestone anniversary or are simply looking to add the crown jewel to your romantic getaway, booking a reservation at this three-Michelin-starred, 55-seat restaurant in Healdsburg is a must. Here, you will dine on an 11-course, seasonally-inspired tasting menu, starting with canapés on the delightful rooftop garden, and culminating in a bespoke hospitality experience in the main dining room that incorporates California-driven wine pairing options as well as unique non-alcoholic pairings.

Insider Tip: SingleThread recently took their cellar online, inviting wine lovers to purchase wine and sake from an extensive collection, hand-selected by their wine team. Bottles can be picked up or shipped to you so you can up the romance factor at home by creating your own food-and-wine-themed date night.

What to Do

Sonoma Valley Bike Tours

1254 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 996-2453
Courtesy of Sonoma Valley Bike Tours

While driving is an easy way to explore Sonoma Valley and its surrounding vineyards, there’s just something extra fun (and romantic) about cruising around on two wheels. During a guided tour with Sonoma Valley Bike Tours, you’ll do just that as you bike along scenic roads, passing historic wineries and vineyards along the way. Of course, the experience wouldn’t be complete without a picnic lunch, as well as stops for wine tastings throughout the day.

Insider Tip: If you and your partner are less of the adventurous types than you are the “sit by the pool with cocktail in hand” ones, don’t fret: Sonoma Valley Bike Tours offers optional pedal assist e-bikes to make the journey even more user-friendly and leisurely, so all you have to do is sit back, steer, and enjoy the ride.

Sonoma Canopy Tours

6250 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, CA 95465, (888) 494-7868
Courtesy of Sonoma Canopy Tours

While Sonoma may be known for its laid-back vibe, a little adrenaline rush never hurt anyone, so grab your partner for a breathtaking bucket-list adventure through the famous California Coastal Redwoods. These guided eco-adventures are offered through various courses, from the “Classic” to the “Challenger,” and feature zip lines, sky bridges, and other unique, natural elements.

Insider Tip: If your idea of a romantic getaway includes the outdoors, book the overnight Treehouse Adventure, which includes a stay in your very own tree house, as well as an eco tour with fourteen ziplines and eight sky bridges, a guided hike, and gourmet dinner and breakfast.

Up & Away Ballooning

367 Windsor River Road, Windsor, CA 95448, (707) 836-0171
Courtesy of Facebook: Up & Away Ballooning

If you’re up for it (pun intended), there are few things more romantic than a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Sonoma countryside, offering sweeping views of vineyards, the winding Russian River, and, on clear days, the Pacific Ocean, Napa Valley, and San Francisco. We hear marriage proposals are common in hot air balloons, so plan accordingly!

Insider Tip: Feeling a little thirsty after your balloon flight? Book the “Ballooning, Bikes & Brews” experience for a nine-mile round trip hybrid bike excursion to many of Sonoma County’s local breweries.

Courtesy of Unsplash | Christian Bowen

Whether you’re surprising your Valentine with a picture-perfect romantic weekend in Sonoma Valley, or you’re simply making plans for a future anniversary vacation, Sonoma County makes it easy to experience the romance of Wine Country any time of year.


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Author

Devin Parr

Devin Parr is a San Diego-based freelance writer and consultant specializing in wine, travel and lifestyle. In addition to covering the global wine industry, she is the resident expert in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, serving as the region’s ambassador on behalf of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association. She holds a certification in wine expertise from the Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy, as well as the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma. In 2017, she was named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers. Follow her adventures at @thesocalwinegal and www.devinparr.com.

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