Often standing in the shadows of Napa, Sonoma provides a more laid-back, small town vibe than its more popular neighbor. Anchoring the Sonoma Valley, the town makes a good jumping-off point for exploring nearby wineries, including the few dozen in town. The town also has important California historical sights as well as a charming town square.
As you head north, you’ll find a number of small, family-owned wineries and charming small towns. Glen Ellen, outside of Sonoma, is a town right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. At the valley’s north end, Santa Rosa is the workaday urban center known mostly for its traffic. If you’ve more than one day, explore the quieter, rustic side of Sonoma County, which extends along the Russian River Valley from Healdsburg to the sea.
Sonoma is located about 30 minutes by car west of Napa Valley. Sonoma Highway/Highway 12 is lined with wineries and runs from Sonoma to Santa Rosa, then to western Sonoma County; Arnold Drive has less traffic (but fewer wineries) and runs parallel, up the valley’s western side, to Glen Ellen.
Tours & Tickets
Discover the wineries of Napa, Southern Sonoma or Northern Sonoma on a 6.5-hour wine tour with an expert guide and a small group of wine enthusiasts. You’ll ... Read more
Napa or Sonoma, California
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Experience beautiful Sonoma Valley in a totally unique way – from the air! Enjoy an exhilarating 1-hour hot air balloon ride from Santa Rosa over gorgeous ... Read more
Santa Rosa, California
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)
Discover why beautiful Muir Woods and the Californian wine country are two of San Francisco's most popular day-trip destinations on this great value tour ... Read more
San Francisco, California
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)
Get an inside look at a Sonoma winery with a wine tasting at Dry Creek Vineyard. Just a 10-minute drive from downtown Healdsburg, Dry Creek Vineyard offers two ... Read more
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)