How to Have A Summer Vacation in Sonoma County

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Boasting hundreds of wineries, miles of pristine coast, and lush forested parks—all within 50 miles of San Francisco’s Golden Gate—Sonoma County is a vacationer’s paradise and the heartbeat of Northern California wine country. Outdoor enthusiasts, wine aficionados, and those who simply enjoy relaxing in luxury will discover a multitude of attractions in an idyllic setting and climate. Here’s a small list of activities to kick off your Sonoma County adventure.

Where to Stay

Image Source: Yelp

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
100 Boyes Blvd
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 238-5910
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 753 reviews
Check Availability

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn is truly a one-stop vacation destination for the entire family. Just minutes from downtown Sonoma, the Inn proudly offers several on-site dining options, an 18-hole golf course, and a natural mineral water spa. As one of the most kid-friendly places to stay in Wine Country, the Sonoma Mission Inn has a babysitting service, and also offers cribs by request.

Insider tip: be sure to bring a swimsuit to the Willow Stream Spa, and have a dip in the Watsu pool. Rumor has it that they play music underwater for the guests.

Where to Eat

Image Source: Yelp

Catelli’s Restaurant
21047 Geyserville Ave
Geyserville, CA 95441
(707) 857-3471
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 239 reviews
Reservations: Recommended

Whether you are tasting your way through Alexander Valley or exploring the wineries of Dry Creek, be sure to make Catelli’s in Geyserville a stopover. Owned and operated by third generation siblings, this Italian-American inspired eatery delivers the flavor of Tuscany, right here in Northern California. Belly up to a table and order the delicious lasagna, or go for the famous chicken parmesan.

Insider tip: Try the exquisite house-made ravioli, and pair it with the Gewürztraminer from nearby Alexander Valley Vineyards.

Image Source: Yelp

Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar
403 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-9191
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 1,035 reviews
Reservations: Recommended

Any vacation in Sonoma County wine country must include a visit to Healdsburg. While this charming small town is famous for its collection of five-star restaurants, there is one in particular that always gets mentioned when talking to local foodies: Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar. Work up an appetite exploring Healdsburg’s downtown square, then stroll a couple of blocks to Willi’s for an intimate dining experience. The crab cakes are especially delicious, and the Hog Island oysters come from nearby Tomales Bay.

Insider tip: Bring a date to dinner. Willi’s small plate-style dishes are great for sharing.

Image Source: Yelp

The Girl & The Fig
110 West Spain St.
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-3634
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 1,871 reviews
Reservations: Recommended

Located on the northwest corner of the historic Plaza in the city of Sonoma, The Girl & the Fig has been proudly serving French-inspired fare to happy patrons since 1997. Make a reservation, or settle into one of the cozy couches in the lounge with a glass of wine while you wait for your table.

Insider tip: The signature Fig and Arugula salad is a must, and the large serving of Wild Flounder Meunière will satisfy the healthiest appetites.

What To Do

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Wine Country Vespa Tours
518 College Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 523-2371

There is hardly a better way to experience the Sonoma County countryside during a wine tasting adventure than from the seat of a self-piloted Vespa. Wine Country Vespa Tours will provide a new Vespa, riding gear, and an itinerary fit to satisfy wine enthusiasts and adventurers alike. Sweep through vineyard-lined back roads on the way to small, lesser-known wineries, taste freshly pressed olive oil, and sample delicious fare from boutique shops all over Sonoma County.

Insider tip: Be sure to bring a comb, brush, or a baseball cap to tend to your case of helmet hair.

Image Source: Yelp

Sonoma Train Town
20264 Broadway – Hwy. 12
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-3912
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 115 reviews

For family fun with a little bit of history thrown in, head to Sonoma Train Town. Just a mile or so from the Sonoma Plaza, Train Town has plenty of activities for kids, train enthusiasts, and curious adults to enjoy. The park features several rides, including a real train that stops midway through the tour so passengers can explore a tiny village or grab a snack at the concession stand.

Insider tip: Bring a stash of quarters so the little ones can feed the animals in the petting zoo.

Image Source: Sonoma Zipline Adventures

Sonoma Zipline Adventures
6250 Bohemian Hwy.
Occidental, CA 95465
(888) 494-7868
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 432 reviews
Reservations: Required

Located a short drive up the Bohemian Highway from the sleepy town of Occidental, Sonoma Zipline Adventures offers a unique outdoor adventure experience in the majestic Northern California Redwoods. Guests are treated to a “pre-flight” orientation by a professional staff, then guided through one of two courses that include canopy zip-lines, sky bridges, and rappelling to the forest floor. Photos of the adventure are also available for purchase in the gift shop.

Insider tip: Clothing with zippered pockets will come in handy for cash and other small personal items.

With the perfect combination of fine dining, charming accommodations, and award-winning wineries, Sonoma County stands at the top of California wine country destinations. Whether visiting for the weekend, a few days, or the entire summer, travelers will find their own brand of recreation in this special part of the world.


WineCountry Staff