Is it some kind of great coincidence that the City of Sonoma has been named ‘Happiest Place in California” in years past, and has also been named the number one wine destination in the United States? We think not. It’s not a mystery that Sonoma County is world famous for churning out some of the most incredible wines on the face of the planet, and it’s not surprising that the views and wineries, and wine, and friendly people can all play a role in making this such a must-visit destination.
Located just to the Northeast of San Francisco, and just west of the other incredibly famous wine-producing city of Napa, the City of Sonoma has roughly 10,000 people and is filled with a rich history, some beautiful old buildings, and wineries that go on as far as the eye can see. Whether just passing through to explore the famous grape-growing region for an afternoon, or staying for an extended weekend, the perfect way to begin your journey is to visit the Sonoma Plaza. Take a peaceful stroll down the adobe line homes, stores, and offices, and soak up some sun in the beautiful little courtyards. This is not the type of place where being in a rush is going to get you anywhere. Let the pace of the city embrace you as you explore some of the historic landmarks, boutiques, cafes, and of course tasting room. Did we already say that the wine is amazing? Yes. You must drink the wine, and you must sip it and enjoy. This is a wine drinkers paradise, and rightfully so.
Looking for the best wineries to visit? Here are a few of our favorite.
- Madrone Vineyards Estate
777 Madrone Road, Glen Ellen CA 95442
- Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
23555 Arnold Drive, Sonoma CA 95476
- Chateau St. Jean
8555 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood CA 95452
- St. Francis Winery
100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa CA 95409
- Ledson Winery & Vineyards
7335 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood CA 95409
In between visiting one of the many wineries that are easily accessible from the plaza, and surrounding areas get lost in the enchanting world of high blue skies, rustic old buildings, rolling hills that encircle the city, and the lively, but slow-moving pace of the place.
For a great and convenient way to get to and from the many vineyards and wineries, check out one of the many tours that are offered. It makes it easy for you to get from place to place, without the worry that you have perhaps sampled one too many. Plus it’s great fun, and you will most likely meet some very friendly people who are there for the exact same reasons as you; kick back, relax, taste some of the best wine in the world, and soak up the good life. What else is there?
If you get your fill of wine (does that really happen?), and would like to try something a little more adventurous, it’s also worth signing up to take hot-air balloon ride. The views of the rolling hills landscape are simply breathtaking, and gaze in awe of the wonders of Napa Valley. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience, and is well worth it for those who are looking for a slight detour from the vineyards. One of our favorite to-dos was something you should never do after a wine tasting. Audi hosts their Sportscar Experience at Sonoma Raceway, which is an experience that is worth every penny spent. Taking these German beasts to the road and track alongside race instructors is one experience you should definitely look up.
Whether you are visiting the City of Sonoma for their wines, history, or just the natural beauty of the area, you will not be disappointed. Everything is top-notch, and caters to those looking for an easy-paced vacation.