The Best of Sonoma County
Collected by AFAR Traveler , AFAR Contributor
Encompassing wine country with its orchards and tasting rooms, as well as coastal towns and wild places, Sonoma County can offer very different experiences in the same trip. Sample the local wines and farm-to-table fare, and hike the trails along the bays and beaches of the Pacific.
23570 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
Cornerstone Sonoma is a collection of shops, galleries, and gardens that offers an unusual experience in the Sonoma wine country. The series of walk-through gardens showcase the work of some of the world's best landscape architects and designers....
214 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
After a day spent floating down the Russian River, happy hour at Mateo's hit the spot. We grabbed seats at the colorful bar and ordered tacones stuffed with olive oil guacamole and black bean puree with homemade chorizo. I paired the food with a...
107 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
There are numerous wonderful wine tasting locations in Healdsburg. It is both possible and enjoyable to spend an afternoon walking around the square meandering from tasting to tasting. A small gem of a tasting room just a block off the square is...
Willow Creek Rd, California, USA
Pomo Canyon Hike goes through redwoods, over wind swept coastal hills. and lands you at ocean waves. The beauty and challenge of this hike is that you must hike up to be rewarded with gorgeous views. The most challenging part is near the start as...
500 Ragle Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
Ragle Ranch is used well be locals as a family friendly park with soccer fields, baseball fields, sand volley ball, tennis courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas. In addition to all this there are local trails. The hikes are neither to long nor...
3611 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA 95465, USA
When I venture in or near the little town of Occidental Howard's Station Cafe is my favorite place to visit. Either to grab a coffee or smoothie for the road or to sit and linger over a great simple local meal. Bring cash and know they close their...
10 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, USA
We stopped in to Flying Goat Coffee in Healdsburg to feed our caffeine fix during a day of wine touring. The coffee was terrific, and the highlight was definitely my aztec mocha. It was spicy with just the right amount of chocolatey coffee...
19225 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
North of the little town of Point Reyes Station, the Marshall Store sits on the banks of Tomales Bay. I've been coming here for years after hiking or horseback riding or walking on the beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. The place is super...
8555 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452, USA
Sonoma and Napa counties have hundreds of wineries that have tasting rooms set among the golden hills of the area. It's rare to find a winery where you can enjoy this scenery as much as the wine served in the tasting room. At Chateau St. Jean,...
7800 Eastside Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
Copain Winery in Sonoma started hosting guest chef dinners at its tasting room as part of a Supper Club Series. Copain's winemaker, Wells Guthrie, reaches out to some of his favorite chefs and sommeliers, like Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan...
1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
The Ferry Building in San Francisco is a must for any food lover, and Cowgirl Creamery is one of my favorite stops. This producer of artisanal cheeses is a place to pick up cheese for a snack or picnic and to ask questions about California cheese....
23240 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
Since I’m still relatively new to San Francisco, I’m still discovering all of the amazing places just outside of the city. Every weekend I try to hop in a car and explore. My latest discovery is Nick’s Cove, a restaurant and cottages located in a...
2661 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol, CA 95472, USA
If you drive south of Sebastopol on highway 116, also known as Gravenstein highway South, you will find a string of Antique stores. While each of them holds their own special finds, the Antique Society is by far the largest and holds the most...
20 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The Russian River Valley in Sonoma County is a wonderful day trip from San Francisco. Pack a picnic and reserve a raft from SOAR Inflatables, and spend a summer day moseying down the river. Go early or late in the season to avoid crowds and have...
8600 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436, USA
My mother is such a good sport when she visits. She knows I have to be constantly moving outside to feel alive and on this visit, I thought a fun way to be active in the wine country region of the Russian River, would be to take her out on a 10...
Inverness, CA, USA
Explore the natural beauty of West Marin, with plenty of small towns to explore. At Point Reyes Station, stop at the CowGirl Creamery to grab a picnic lunch while exploring the small shops, or head to Point Reyes National Seashore. Later stop in...
2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, USA
The hike through Jack London State Historic Park to the top of Sonoma Mountain runs through redwood groves, meadows, and vineyards. Vigorous blackberry bushes provide some sustenance -- but bring water, because it gets hot up there in the summer....
20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
What a great way to spend a spring day in the Bay Area. Hog Island in Tamales Bay has very tasty oysters, a fun staff and a very friendly, comfortable environ. It used to be solely shuck it yourself and bring your own beverages. Although that is...
2605 Adobe Canyon Rd, Kenwood, CA 95452, USA
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park has numerous hiking trails from mellow meadow trails that are great for nature walks with kids, to heavier hikes up to the vistas of Bald Mountain. There are also family friendly camping grounds and an observatory for...
61 Front St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
The pace is a little slower and the number of wineries hit in a day may not be all that's on the list, but biking around Sonoma wine country is a free-flowing, active way to wind through these Sonoma country roads and wineries. Start at Wine...
140 Bohemian Hwy, Freestone, CA 95472, USA
This treasure of a bakery is in a town called Freestone (near Sebastopol) and off a road called the Bohemian Highway, meaning that this is already as California as it gets and an absolute must-see for anyone exploring the coast of the Golden...
Nicasio Reservoir, California 94946, USA
Start the day off right in Point Reyes Station with coffee and a scone at the Bovine Bakery. There's loads of bicycle parking in the park to the right of the bakery and cyclists come in from every direction, to fuel up at this same intersection....
Napa, CA, USA
The Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area represents more than 15,000 acres of tidal sloughs, baylands, and wetland habitats that serve as resting points for migrating birds and are home to hundreds of waterfowl and other creatures on the...
1 Bear Valley Visitor Center Access Road, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956, USA
Point Reyes is a special location with hiking trails, historic farms, and the small towns of Inverness and Point Reyes Station with lovely local food finds and little shops. To get to the lighthouse just follow the road signs from Inverness, and...
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