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Sonoma, California

Sonoma County

A wine lover's Eden

Introduction

Sonoma County marks the birthplace of California's wine industry and is of wild contrast to San Francisco just an hour away, reached via a spectacularly beautiful coastal drive. Visitors are greeted with beautiful rolling vineyards, vivid green farms and wild cliffside beaches, with world-class food and wine to boot.

Outdoor adventure

Illustrious Napa has long dominated in the wine country stakes, and Sonoma is happy to remain in the background. In turn, sweeping vineyards and family farms play host to a more laidback, countryside culture, where exquisite food and wine is matched only by the spectacular scenery. Public transport is not Northern California's forte, but spectacular coastal drives more than make up for it – specifically the Pacific Coast Highway, where farmlands play host to grazing cows, giving way to winding cliffside trails with miles of remote sandy beaches dotted with sea stacks. Add in the fact that Sonoma is home to acres of Redwoods, some of the world's oldest trees, and you're met with an outdoors that rivals its big name neighbours. Explore it with hiking around forests and vineyard trails, biking among endless hills, kayaking through stunning Bodega Bay and some when-in-Rome Californian surfing.

Culinary delights

Food and wine is, unabashedly, Sonoma's highlight, and visitors flock here accordingly. Farm-to-table food is a draw throughout the county, while the vineyards' hospitality is such that no-appointment tours and tastings are the norm, rather than the exception. Expect a countless variation of wineries, from family-owned remote vineyards to enormous acres that offer sensory wine and food pairings, showcasing the region's best Chardonnays and Cabernets alongside ultra-fresh garden-to-table produce. There are over 400 world-leading wineries to enjoy, while Michelin-starred restaurants compete for your attention with authentic taco trucks with hand-me-down recipes kept secret in the family for generations. 

Top places to stay in Sonoma County

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma

Grand & elegant hotel

A Michelin-starred restaurant, a championship level golf course and an award-winning spa all combine to ensure you make the most of your stay in picturesque Sonoma wine country.

Timber Cove, Sonoma County

Contemporary lodge

A coastal retreat that will tick all of your Wine Country boxes – Timber Cove puts a sleek, modern twist on rustic charm without forgetting its mid-century heritage.

The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa  

Contemporary hotel

Situated deep in Californian wine country, the Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa is a deluxe retreat whose amenities add a luxurious touch to your stay among world-class vineyards. Expect rustic-chic style rooms and suites alongside a wine bar and a spa and restaurant, both award-winning.

Farmhouse Inn, Sonoma

Small & intimate hotel

Farmhouse Inn is luxurious, but its location in the heart of the laidback Sonoma wine country means it retains oodles of countryside charm. Culminate days spent exploring the extensive wineries with a tasting menu in the Michelin-starred restaurant and a treatment in the luxury spa.

See all places

Sonoma County articles

Just back from: Northern California

Wexas Travel’s Claire Benktander recently drove from San Francisco to the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. Read her review for an insight into this spectacular road trip, taking in dramatic coastlines, redwood forests and vineyards, paired with, of course, world-class food and wine.

California Dreaming

Wexas USA specialist Patrick Griffin brings us off the beaten track of California to give his expert recommendations on the Golden State's wines and desert enclaves.

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