How to Have a Romantic Getaway in Sonoma County

  • Lodging
  • by DEVIN PARR
  • on FEBRUARY 1, 2021
  • 2529
  • 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.

COVID-19 Note: Sonoma County is again welcoming visitors! Please note that existing regulations limit some activities, like wine tasting and in-person dining, to outdoors only. Be sure to confirm hours and guidelines with each of these businesses before visiting, and check out our pandemic news page for further information.

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 + Ryokan

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

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: Book a private Shinrin-Yoku session during your romantic weekend away. Translated roughly to “forest bathing,” these guided meditative walks through the surrounding forests provide a purposeful sensory experience that will have you and your partner feeling centered, reconnected, and ready for romance.

Olea Hotel

5131 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 996-5131 Holiday Cocktail Recipe - Sparkling wine with elderflower and ginger
Courtesy of Olea Hotel

This adults-only 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.

The Gables Wine Country Inn

4257 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 585-7777
Courtesy of The Gables Wine Country Inn

This historic Inn, located in the heart of Sonoma County, is a warm and welcoming departure from a traditional hotel. Offering first-class concierge services, a three-course breakfast, and a glass of wine upon arrival, The Gables Inn is a unique option for couples seeking a bed-and-breakfast-like experience. The Inn also offers in-room massages for singles and couples, so you can really unwind, together or alone.

Insider Tip: Guests are given a Wine Passport when they check in, so be sure to visit some of the 100+ participating Sonoma County wineries for a complimentary tasting for two.

Where to Sip

Sonoma-Cutrer

4401 Slusser Road, Windsor, CA 95492, (707) 237-3489
Courtesy of Sonoma-Cutrer

Old World Burgundian winemaking traditions meet modern California innovation at this Russian River Valley winery, whose philosophy says “the good life, like good wine, is not primarily of any one element but is a perfectly unique balance of all elements.” Sip beautifully-crafted chardonnay and pinot noir on their vast terrace or while challenging your partner to a game of croquet.

Insider Tip: Pick up a “Pinot Picnic” set and find your own secluded sanctuary either back at your hotel or in the gorgeous surrounding areas, and nosh on Big Bottom Market salami while sipping on award-winning wine and snuggling up with your significant other.

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 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 a seat to dine at the open-air Farm-to-Table Dinner series (2021 schedule available soon), and enjoy the beauty of a Sonoma County evening with a private dinner experience fueled by the day’s harvest from their culinary gardens and the bounty of local purveyors, all paired with Kendall-Jackson Estate Wines.

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

Ramekins Culinary School, Events & Inn

450 West Spain Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 933-0450
Courtesy of Ramekins

The way to your spouse’s heart is often through their stomach, so head to the kitchen for some culinary bonding as you roll up your sleeves to create something delicious together. Located a short distance from the Historic Plaza in Sonoma, this foodie haven is a culinary school and event venue offering private cooking classes that champion farm-to-table cuisine and premium wines. Learn how to create delectable dishes from scratch and then take to the romantic, European-inspired courtyard to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Insider Tip: Book a room at the adjoining Seven Branches Venue and Inn for the ultimate culinary-themed romantic getaway, right in the heart of Sonoma.

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.

Abbot’s Passage Winery & Mercantile

777 Madrone Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 939-3017
Courtesy of Facebook: Abbot’s Passage Winery & Mercantile

The latest project from sixth generation vintner Katie Bundschu and family, this unique concept, nestled among 100-year-old vines in the heart of Glen Ellen, seeks to highlight hidden gem vineyards across Sonoma County and beyond. In addition to small-lot, co-fermented wine blends, the Mercantile retail concept features carefully curated apparel, gifts, and provisions for the “modern-day adventurer.”

Insider Tip: Can’t get away to Sonoma Valley for romance? Head to Abbot’s online store to browse one-of-a-kind gift items that you likely won’t find anywhere else, like hand-crafted jewelry, office and outdoor gear, and home goods. Your significant other will surely appreciate it.

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.

At-Home Experiences

Romantic getaway not in the cards? Fortunately, many Sonoma County wineries are offering exceptional interactive experiences that bring the vineyard to you, in the comfort (and intimacy) of your home. While COVID-19 necessitated the introduction of virtual wine tastings, we suspect these will endure as a new way to experience Wine Country wherever you are.

Enriquez Estate Wines, led by owner, winemaker, and Mexican-American wine industry trailblazer Cecilia, offers Virtual Party Packs, which include a virtual, private wine tasting experience with Cecilia herself. Gary Farrell Winery has created an alternative to live virtual tastings with at-home, self-guided tasting kits that feature harvest and crush videos as well as recommended pairings to accompany the wines. Book a virtual couples date with husband-and-wife team Robert and Laura Schermeister of Schermeister Winery as they guide you through a selection of their native-fermented, sustainably farmed wines, or design the virtual tasting of your dreams with the J Vineyards & Winery Bespoke Virtual Tasting experience.

Courtesy of Unsplash | Christian Bowen

Whether you’re surprising your Valentine with a picture-perfect romantic weekend in Sonoma Valley, you’re making plans for a future anniversary vacation, or your romantic escape simply means enjoying a virtual wine tasting from your living room for a few hours, Sonoma County makes it easy to experience the romance of Wine Country any time of year.


8 Cozy Boutique Hotels in Sonoma County

7 Sonoma County Bed and Breakfasts Worth Checking Into


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, and is currently pursuing her 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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