Charles M. Schulz Airport: Fly Direct to Sonoma County

  • Travel
  • by HANA-LEE SEDGWICK
  • on MARCH 23, 2018
  • 748
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If you’re like us, you love looking for every opportunity to visit Northern California’s Wine Country. But did you know how convenient it can be to visit? Many people don’t realize that Sonoma County has its own airport, Charles M. Schulz Airport (STS), located right in the heart of Wine Country in Santa Rosa.

While we admit that Sonoma and Napa are easy to get to from International airports like San Francisco and Oakland, you can’t beat flying directly into the Sonoma County Airport, where you’ll arrive just minutes from popular wineries, top notch dining, and must-visit attractions. It’s now easier than ever to get to Wine Country with five major airlines fly directly into STS. Before you go ahead and book that flight, be sure to read our helpful information for making the best of your trip into Charles M. Schulz Airport.


Sonoma County Airport: A Brief History

Courtesy of Facebook: Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport-STS

The Charles M. Schulz Airport has a long history in Sonoma County. The land was first purchased in 1941, where the runway was then constructed. The following year, the U.S. Army took it over and expanded the land and facilities, adding another runway, taxiways, and buildings. While the airport has had facility upgrades and expansions over the years, two of the hangars constructed by the Army remain in use today. Throughout its history, STS has been a general aviation facility serving private planes and business jets, as well as a commercial airline facility.

In March of 2000, Sonoma County Airport was renamed the Charles M. Schulz Airport in honor of the Sonoma County resident and famous “Peanuts” comic strip cartoonist. The Schulz family have made many generous contributions to Sonoma over the years, including the Snoopy Home Ice Arena and Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Airlines

STS is now serving five major airline carriers, along with daily non-stops to/from the following cities:

Alaska Airlines: Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX), Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (SNA), and San Diego (SAN)
American Airlines: Phoenix (PHX)
Allegiant Air: Las Vegas (LAS) and Phoenix (PHX)
United Airlines: San Francisco (SFO)
Sun Country: Minneapolis (MSP)* Seasonal

It’s Easy and Convenient

Courtesy of Facebook: Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport-STS

STS is not only the closest airport for traveling to/from Sonoma County and to nearby Napa Valley, but it’s also an all-around easy airport to navigate. Expect affordable parking options, a quick walk to the terminal, and shorter lines than most Bay Area airports. Overall, Santa Rosa’s STS is convenient and makes flying in and out of Wine Country as hassle-free as possible.

Wine Flies Free

It’s hard to visit Wine Country without sampling a few of the area’s award-winning wines, but sometimes purchasing bottles to take home comes with shipping fees that can quickly add up. With Alaska Airlines’ “Wine Flies Free” program, up to a case of wine is included as part of your luggage allowance from STS, as long as it’s packed in a protective shipping container. It’s hard to beat an incentive like this.

Transportation

STS offers both short- and long-term parking conveniently located close to the terminal, but if you need to pick up a hotel shuttle, rental car, or taxi, access to all ground transportation is easily found right outside of the terminals. There are over a dozen taxi cab services available from the airport, several bus and transit services, a number of hotel shuttles, and the ride share service, Lyft, which you can easily access via their app on your phone when you land.

For up to the minute traffic information, call 511 or visit 511.org. It’s free and available 24/7.

Car Rental Companies
Avis
Budget
Enterprise
Hertz
National
Sixt

Nearby Hotels

Courtesy of Sandman Hotel

Located within 20 minutes of Charles M. Schulz Airport, a stay at any of these Sonoma hotels and inns will make any visit to Wine Country comforting and enjoyable, regardless of your budget.

The Sandman Hotel
Flamingo Resort & Spa
Vintners Inn
Hampton Inn & Suites Rohnert Park
Holiday Inn Express Windsor
Hilton Garden Inn, Sonoma Airport

Nearby Wineries & Restaurants

Courtesy of Donelan Family Wines

One of the best things about flying into the Charles M. Schulz Airport is its proximity to Sonoma County’s food and wine scene in towns like Sonoma, Petaluma, and Healdsburg, but you’re also just a short drive from all that Napa has to offer. Within minutes from the airport, you’ll find family-owned wineries with welcoming tasting rooms, notable wines made from chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet, and zinfandel, and plenty of delicious farm-to-table restaurants and unique eateries to fuel up between tastings.

Wineries

Inman Family Wines
Donelan Wines
DeLoach Vineyards
Benovia Winery
Harvest Moon Winery
Hook & Ladder Winery

Restaurants

Ca’Bianca Ristorante
Himalayan Cafe & Grill
John & Ash Co.
Russian River Brewing Company
Willi’s Wine Bar
Farmhouse Inn Restaurant

Nearby Attractions

Courtesy of Safari West

Whether you’re looking to get cultured at a museum, zip-line through a forest, or mingle with local farmers, there’s a wide variety of activities close enough to experience shortly after you land.

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
Safari West
Santa Rosa Certified Farmers Market
Sonoma Canopy Tours
Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center

Tours

Courtesy of Getaway Adventures

Regardless if you plan to explore Sonoma or head to Napa, these local wine tours will immerse you into the area’s wine scene and help you discover the area’s best wines — by luxury limo, trolley, bike, or foot. Some will even arrange to pick you up directly from STS.

Beau Wine Tours
Napa Shuttle & Limo
Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley
Pure Luxury Wine Tours
Wine Country Trekking
Getaway Adventures


If you don’t live within driving distance of Sonoma County, we think flying into Charles M. Schulz Airport is the next best thing when visiting Northern California’s Wine Country. With less crowds, affordable parking, and easy transportation options, not to mention its convenient location in the heart of Wine Country, STS is our first choice when visiting Sonoma and nearby Napa Valley.

Cover image courtesy of Facebook: Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport-STS


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Author

Hana-Lee Sedgwick

Hana-Lee Sedgwick, based in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California, specializes in West Coast wine, food and travel. Her work has appeared in publications including Santa Barbara Magazine, The Tasting Panel, and 7×7. She loves to travel, stay active, and share food and wine with friends. Follow her on Instagram at @wanderandwine or visit her blog, wanderandwine.com.

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