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

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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.

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Image Source: Yelp

The Farmhouse Inn
7871 River Rd
Forestville, CA 95436
(707) 887-3300
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 607 reviews
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Located just outside the small town of Forestville in the heart of Russian River Valley is one of Sonoma County’s most beloved bed and breakfast destinations, The Farmhouse Inn. Stay in one of the Inn’s 25 cozy rooms and dine at the in-house Michelin-starred restaurant. Breakfast is included, so be sure to make a reservation (try the Eggs Benedict).

Insider tip: Couples on a romantic getaway might consider reserving a second floor Barn Room for maximum privacy.

timber-cove-inn
Image Source: Yelp

Timber Cove Inn
21780 Highway 1
Jenner, CA 95450
(707) 847-3231
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 575 reviews
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Perched high on a bluff next to the famous Pacific Coast Highway, and overlooking the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean, lies the Timber Cove Inn. It’s all about the views at this breathtaking destination, where guests can explore the grounds, cozy up to the fireplace in the lounge, or watch the sunset from one of several ocean view rooms.

Insider tip: Visit nearby historic Fort Ross and learn a bit about this part of Coastal California in the 1800’s.

Where to Eat

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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.

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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.

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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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Image Source: Yelp

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.

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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.

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Image Source: Yelp

Sonoma Canopy Tours
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 Canopy tours 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.