Sonoma County will blow you away with its beauty, food, hospitality, and of course, wine. To be completely honest with you, I think it might be my favorite part of California! Although I loved other areas, Sonoma County just had a strong, community feel to it. You could tell that everyone loved hard and really loved not only the people around them but the city, as well. It was just an amazing time and I cannot wait to go back as soon as I possibly can. We were only in Sonoma County for two days, so I am not an expert by any means, but I do have this Sonoma County Travel Guide written up, based on my experiences. If you are headed to Sonoma County, definitely check out some of these places. I promise you will love everything I’ve mentioned below!
Sonoma County Travel Guide
What to know
- Sonoma County is huge! I had no idea that it could take an hour or more to get from Guerneville to Healdsburg just for dinner!
- There are so many wineries…and it’s really hard to choose where to go.
- Sonoma County is also known for its beer (and it’s amazing!).
- Some prefer Sonoma County over Napa Valley because it can be more quaint and personalized.
What to do
Have a spa day // I was hesitant to have a spa day while we visited because I was worried that I would regret not fitting in as many wineries as possible, but now looking back, I am so very thankful that I scheduled a spa day for us at Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. Osmosis is known for their amazing massages and relaxing Cedar Enzyme Bath. It was an experience unlike any other in my life and I would go back in a second!
Drink wine // You are in wine country, so you have to drink some wine, right? Well, our amazing hotel, Applewood Inn gave us a complimentary wine pass, which includes over 100 wineries. The staff even took time to draw us a map of some of their favorite must-see wineries that were close to the hotel. We also went to a few other wineries on our one. Two of our favorites were Silver Oak and Notre Vue. I have an entire post on Notre Vue and I cannot wait to share more about Silver Oak (especially their new winery in Alexander Valley!
Visit a brewery // We got a chance to tour and eat + drink at Bear Republic Brewing Company and it was amazing! You guys, I am not a huge beer drinker, but Ian is which is why we went and I fell in love with not only their food but also the beer. I really wish we could find their beer in Georgia! Founded in 1995 by third and fourth generation Sonoma County residents, Bear Republic now offers a diverse menu, family-friendly atmosphere, and 14 freshly brewed beers on tap. I highly recommend checking it out when you are in the area! Plus, it was really nice to take a short break from wine and switch it up to beer.
Where to stay
Our hotel, Applewood Inn was amazing and I could have spent all day relaxing on the property. Located in Guerneville, Applewood Inn is a luxury wine country bed and breakfast at the Russian River Valley. They focus on romance, great eats, and even better service. Applewood Inn is a secluded, peaceful refuge to unwind, rejuvenate and reconnect. They have peaceful fountains throughout the property, many gorgeous plants, and the most relaxing pool and hot tub. Their mission is to: “create a romantic and joyful enclave where guests escape the real world to reconnect with themselves and their partners.” Each day that I am away from Applewood Inn only emphasizes my urge to go back even more.
Where to eat + drink
Girl & The Fig // We drove an hour for the Girl & The Fig and it was 100% worth it. Focusing on “Country food with a French passion,” this restaurant is a favorite amongst Sonoma County locals and visitors. I have a full blog post that I linked to their name, so go check it out. I highly recommend having dinner here when in Sonoma County!
Bear Republic Brewing Company // Bear Republic serves the perfect food after a day of touring wineries and tasting lots of wine. From nachos to salads and wings, there really is something for everyone. While we were there, we tried the wings and they were amazing! One of the locals told us that he normally does not eat wings, but every time he comes to Bear Republic, it’s all he gets (of course, with a few beers, as well!).
Applewood Inn // Applewood Inn has THE best breakfasts. Seriously gourmet breakfasts. I know they also serve dinner in the summer months and everyone loves them, as well. I wish they were serving dinner while we were there! Don’t miss a breakfast here while you are staying at Applewood Inn.
Boon Eat + Drink // Boon Eat + Drink was recommended to us by Applewood Inn. They said that it is a place they personally go for dinner and that we would love it. They were right! The restaurant was small, but the food will knock you off your feet. Very good!
Day 1: Our first stop was Notre Vue. We had an amazing tasting here with Pete, the winemaker, Michael, and one of the owners. It was a great time! Then, we headed to Bear Republic Brewing Company for a tour, a flight of beer and a really tasty meal. Once we were satisfied, we headed to check in at Applewood Inn. We were greeted with champagne, we received a tour of the hotel, and then we put our luggage up. For dinner, we zoomed over to The Girl & The Fig. It was amazing! We picked up a bottle of wine on the way back to Applewood Inn & enjoyed it in the hot tub!
Day 2: Our day started with a gourmet breakfast at Applewood Inn. Then, we drove to Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary for our amazing cedar enzyme bath and massage. After our massage, we hung out at Silver Oak with our family friend, Nate Weis, who also happens to be the Director of Winemaking. After, we made a stop at Korbel because we heard the tour was fantastic and finished the day off at Boon Eat + Drink before heading back to Applewood Inn to relax by our fire pit with a bottle of wine.
Next time, we will definitely spend more time in Sonoma County – it was definitely a highlight of our trip! I hope this Sonoma County Travel Guide will help you out in your travels.