Sonoma is rightfully known for excellent wineries. Plan a tasting itinerary here and add outdoor activities for a memorable vacation.
Walk around Sonoma Plaza, the 8-acre (3-hectare) square at the town center. Return in winter when the plaza radiates with more than 100,000 dazzling yellow lights. Each frond of an iconic Canary Island palm appears to glow in front of the equally illuminated roofline and arched windows of historic City Hall, built in 1908. Enjoy music, holiday treats and chatting with friends.
Across from the plaza’s northeastern corner are Sonoma State Historic Park’s art and exhibits. Learn about General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, who founded Pueblo de Sonoma in 1835. Sit on a plaza bench next to the general’s statue as he seemingly admires the town that has grown from his original vision. Browse in the coffeehouses, restaurants, wine tasting rooms and boutiques surrounding the plaza.
Sonoma County has over 425 wineries, with nearly unlimited choice of varietals. Enjoy wine and history in town at Buena Vista Winery, one of California’s oldest wineries, founded in 1857. Since that time, California wines have earned reputations as among the world’s best. Discover unique tastes from small family-owned operations such as Stuhlmuller Vineyards in Healdsburg or well-known flavors from giants such as E&J Gallo Winery, with several spots in Sonoma and Napa valleys.
Sip and chat in diverse Sonoma Valley settings, such as the lavender fields of Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa, the creek-side red chairs of Truett Hurst Winery in Healdsburg and the castle-style gothic architecture of Ledson Winery in Kenwood.
Hike in the hills above the valley or bathe in geothermal springs. Learn about one of America’s favorite authors and his love of nature at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen. Rent bikes to explore more of the area.
Drive to Sonoma from the international airports in San Francisco and Oakland in less than 1.5 hours. Use Sonoma County Transit buses or bikes to get around.