Sonoma country represents the best of Northern California, with more than 425 wineries, miles of Pacific coastline, towering Redwood trees and plenty of unique and dreamy resorts and spas. It’s close proximity to San Fran makes it the perfect holiday destination if you’re looking to combine a city break with some ultimate relaxation.
Take the Highway 1 for picturesque cliff top views and breath-taking sunsets, before arriving at one of the many luxury retreats to bed in for the night. There’s a huge range of Sonoma vacation rentals available from Tuscan-inspired casas to country estates fit for a king, so whether you’re in search of an experience steeped in tradition and culture, or modern luxuries, you’re sure to find the perfect pad.
Once you’ve settled in there are plenty of activities to enjoy, so we’ve listed some of our favourites here:
Take A Wine Tour
There are numerous wine tours available which will take you on a journey through the rich history of California winemaking. Buy one of the Chamber’s Area Maps and take a self-guided wineries tour or hire one of several qualified tour guides to assist you. Both will provide you with an unparalleled glimpse of the beauty of Sonoma County and a delicious taste of premium California wines.
For more info on how to choose the best wine tour visit Trip Advisor.
Visit Sonoma Plaza
It’s rare to find an old centre square intact like this one, Sonomans are very proud of it and don’t let chain restaurants be located in their beloved historical Plaza.
The California Flag was born there and Sonomans declared themselves The California Republic, an unrecognised breakaway state that, for twenty-five days in 1846, and militarily controlled the area to the north of the San Francisco Bay.
It’s a great place to spend a day, perusing the many cafes, restaurants, boutiques and the omnipresent bar. The large old trees provide a wonderful respite to the high noon summer sun and every Tuesday the Plaza fills with local farmers and families in the afternoon till dark.
Take A Stroll Through Healdsburg
The charm and genuine down to earth personality of the town are inescapable, from the sounds of jazz and laughter at every town square event, to the enticing aromas of five star cuisine tempting you at every turn, to the country roads winding through rolling hills of world-acclaimed wine growing appellations, Healdsburg is the belle of the trendy wine country ball who prefers to be out in the vineyards sampling zinfandel on the vine.
Take a stroll around Healdsburg and discover the treasures and treats of small town individuality that make Healdsburg so special. World class shopping, renowned art and sculpture, organic locally grown produce and artisanal breads, wines and cheeses, intimate bed and breakfasts, independent bookstores, treasure troves of antiquing and so much more.
Rejuvenate at the Spa
Relaxation is a way of life in Sonoma County, so what better place to indulge in luxurious spa treatments… Massages, facials, and acupuncture are just a few of the ways to alleviate the rigors of travel or just well-deserved overindulgence.
One of our favourites is Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary which has a strong focus on meditation and healing, and they offer interesting and unique treatments such as a one-of-a-kind Cedar Enzyme Bath, a therapeutic bathing ritual involves immersing your entire body in a mixture of soft and fragrant ground cedar and rice bran with living enzymes that stimulate metabolic activity inside and out.
So if you’re looking to cleanse your mind and body, be sure to keep a day free to work on your inner chi.
Picnic in a Nature Reserve
The Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville is an 805-acre nature reserve and provides the perfect setting for a picnic and a walk among the towering redwood trees.
Thanks to the Pioneer Nature Trail, this huge park is actually fairly easy to navigate. As the trail is mostly flat and around 1.5 miles long it’s a great place to take the whole family. Some of the most popular trees include the Icicle Tree, with its mysterious “burl” formations, the Colonel Armstrong Tree, estimated to be over 1,400 years old, and the Parson Jones Tree, towering to 350 feet!
Watch the Sunset from Highway 1
And finally, one of our favourite past times…. Watch the sunset! We’ve seen some magical sunsets during our travels but one that always sticks in our minds is sitting on the cliff tops next to the Highway 1, overlooking the Pacific ocean and watching another day draw to a close. This one was extra special to us, as it was our first destination on this five year long journey around the globe, but I’m sure whatever day and time in your life it will be an equally special moment.
So with plenty to see and do, Sonoma County should be high on your holiday hit list! All that’s left is to Enjoy The Journey ;)