Enjoy Sonoma County, America’s Premier Wine, Spa and Coastal Destination
Sonoma County features more than 300 wineries, miles of rugged Pacific Ocean coastline and some of the most fertile earth in California. This scenic area truly embodies the organic, natural and deliberate life that typifies wine country.
Wine enthusiasts already know of Sonoma County’s famed wineries and 15 distinct wine-growing areas that allow vintners to produce a stunning array of wines in an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. Many visitors are pleasantly surprised to find that wine tasting in Sonoma County is a casual, friendly affair without pretense.
Many tasting rooms in Sonoma country offer free wine tastings, and often the person pouring the wine is the winemaker, eager to talk about their wine product and how it is made. One of the best luxury hotels anywhere can be found in Sonoma County – the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.
“America’s premier wine, spa and coastal destination” offers more than wine. The rugged mountains of western Sonoma County, where the Russian River flows past redwood-topped ridges, stand over the 80 kilometers/50 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, offering stunning views along California’s famed Highway 1. Coastal towns like Bodega Bay entice seafood lovers with the bounty from the ocean, with Dungeness crab sold from the back of boats and salmon and cod appearing on local menus.
Further inland, Guerneville serves as both the West Coast’s “favorite gay and lesbian playground” and the entry point to the famed Armstrong Redwoods, a stand of old-growth redwoods where it is possible to get far from the madding crowds and enjoy the ancient giants in solitude.
Quirky small towns typify west Sonoma County, with the “Bohemian Connection” encompassing bastions of freethinkers in Occidental, Freestone and Monte Rio. Excellent inns, small wineries, artisan foods and even a spa that has gone “green” are to be found along the Bohemian Highway.
Ranching and organic farms and orchards give way to orderly rows of grapevines and the cities and towns of Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Glen Ellen, Boyes Hot Springs, Kenwood and more. Michelin-rated restaurants, fine hotels, fun Bed & Breakfasts, unique inns, quiet spas, and even an African-style tent safari are the order of the day.
Just 65 kilometers/40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the city of Petaluma invites visitors to explore the southern portions of Sonoma County with river-front access to the historic downtown, lined with shops, restaurants and nightlife.
Sonoma County is noted as having more artists per capita than anywhere else in California, and the profusion of galleries, studios and world-class performance venues bear this out. The Green Music Center, located on the Sonoma State University campus, is the newest addition to the Sonoma County arts scene, and the acoustic perfection of the Weill Concert Hall is already drawing favorable comparisons with Tanglewood.
At the extreme southern end of Sonoma County, the San Pablo Wildlife Refuge offers expansive views of the marshes and wetlands that drain into the San Pablo Bay and to the San Francisco Bay.
Of course, Sonoma County isn’t all wine and wildlife, as the furious racing action at Infineon Raceway shows. NASCAR, Indy-Car, and motorcycle racing are big draws as some of the biggest names come to compete on a road track with 11 challenging turns. Those wanting to experience racing on a more personal level can suit up and jump in a real race car at a driving school at the track.
Sonoma County offers direct air service at the airport named after long-time Santa Rosa resident Charles M. Schulz (creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip). Direct flights to and from Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego and Seattle are offered daily on Alaska Airlines. Sonoma County is also about 60 minutes from San Francisco and Oakland international airports, and 90 minutes to Sacramento international airport.
Sonoma County, located 50 kilometers/30 miles from San Francisco, is America’s premier wine, spa and coastal destination, featuring more than 300 wineries and 80 kilometers /50-plus miles of stunning Pacific coast.
To receive a free visitors guide or additional information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, please visit www.sonomacounty.com or call (800) 576-6662.