The following content is created in partnership with Sonoma County Tourism. It does not reflect the work or opinions of the NBC Bay Area editorial staff. Click here to learn more about Sonoma County.
The world’s been housebound for 14 months. But with that time came an opportunity for reflection: Maybe there are joys in life you never got to experience. And for those you have, maybe those pleasures are ripe for renewal.
Sonoma County is ready to provide an entrée back into the joys of life—new and old. Whether you’re looking to re-connect with nature, indulge in fine, local wine and gourmet cuisine, or get your leisure on, Sonoma County is ready for you.
Here are some ways to re-connect with life in Sonoma County.
If you’re up for an outdoor lark, the Riverfront Regional Park is a great place to start. Here you can hike alongside the Russian River and gawk at the redwood trees—the tallest in the world, with some towering over 370 feet. And if you’d like a different perspective of those redwoods, Sonoma Zipline Adventures lets you zoom right through them.
If biking is your thing, Getaway Adventures has rentals ready—yet another way to experience the redwoods.
The arts and culture
Sonoma County has something to arouse just about any sense—sight, taste, and smell, in particular. For instance: You’ll find many outdoor sculptures and art, such as the Love Me sculpture, a giant heart made of mirrored steel. You’ll find that piece sitting above the vineyards at the highest hill at The Donum Estate. There, its Sculpture Park features many pieces by contemporary artists, including Keith Haring and Yayoi Kusama.
After your art walk, you’ll no doubt want to wind down and wine-up, this being a winery after all. And if you’d rather do your wine tasting elsewhere, no problem: Sonoma County boasts almost 60,000 acres of vineyards and more than 425 wineries (though not many feature outdoor art).
The wine and food
Note that Sonoma County vineyards can lend themselves to more than just drinking. You can hike through one, for instance. Alexander Valley Vineyards lets you explore the vines, all while taking in a panoramic view with a wine country lunchbox.
And when a lunchbox simply won’t do, several Sonoma County wineries feature fine restaurants on-site. At the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyersville, for instance, you can indulge in anything from a Neapolitan pizza to the Armenian dish Rack of Lamb Madame Bali. Then there’s another Francis to visit—the St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa. Famous for its pairings, you can enjoy, among other options, the 2018 Pinot Noir served with Green Garlic Risotto (made with maitake mushrooms, pecorino Romano, and watercress) or the 2016 Port served with Warm Chocolate Cake (vanilla-infused strawberries, Chantilly, and candied hazelnuts).
If nature, culture, wine, and cuisine still doesn’t fill your me-time quotient, you’ll find other ways to achieve ultimate relaxation in Sonoma County. At the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, guests can bathe in several different pools fed by geothermal waters 1,000 feet below the hotel. Beyond that, the hotel’s Willow Stream Spa offers an array of tailored massages and “prescription” facials.
In fact, deep tissue massages, scrubs, and facials are also offered at many other top-rated Sonoma County hotels—plus, they come with panoramic views and manicured lawns. Among them, The Bodega Bay Lodge, Flamingo Resort, and Boon Hotel & Spa.
Life Opens Up in the best ways in Sonoma County. Click here to read more on the adventures you can find in California’s wine country.