A historic city in northern California, Sonoma is just over an hour north of San Francisco. There are hundreds of wineries and vineyards located throughout Sonoma, but it is also known for world-class art galleries, 19th-century buildings, and multiple restaurants, boutiques, and spas. The perfect weekend getaway, here’s how you can spend the better part of 48 hours in Sonoma.
The Best Things To Do On A 48-Hour Trip To Sonoma
Things to do in Sonoma
No trip to Sonoma would be complete, of course, without visiting some of its award-winning wineries. At Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, you can stroll through five acres of beautiful gardens while taking a tour or enjoying a private tasting of their red and white varietals. Free, guided winery tours are available by appointment and offered daily at 10am. Then hop over to J Vineyards & Winery, which was named “Best Winery Tasting Room in the West” by Sunset Magazine. This modern and sophisticated vinery offers food and wine pairing in the Bubble Room, and offers tours of the two vineyards, the fermentation room, bottling line, and specialized Coquard press. A J Tour & Tasting costs $30 per person and last approximately 1.5 hours. Tours begin at 11:30am and 2:30pm daily.
After a long day of wine tasting, relax and recharge at some of Sonoma’s world-class spas. Soak in the mineral baths and Watsu pool at The Spa at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, choose from more than 30 types of garden-based treatments at the Garden Spa, and indulge in a mocha scrub at the Spa at Farmhouse Inn.
Other fun things to do in Sonoma include a visit to Safari West—a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary that offers guided, open-air jeep tours. Enjoy nature with a stroll through Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, which has more than 800 acres of coastal redwood trees. Visit the California Missions Museum and learn about the fascinating local history, and pop into the Charles M. Schulz Museum to discover the history behind the cartoon “Peanuts.”
Take in a Sonoma sunset at Sonoma Coast State Beach, or head to the Sonoma Raceway to take in a Nascar or motor sports event. If you happen to be in town during late March to early April, you should check out the Sonoma International Film Festival, a five-day event that highlights over 90 films alongside the best wine from local wine makers.
Where to eat in Sonoma
Sonoma is home to plenty of restaurants, diners, and cafes, which offer premium-dining selections. When you need a break from all of your wine tasting adventures, these are some great restaurants you need to try during your stay in Sonoma.
Start your day off with breakfast at Sunflower Caffe, a funky restaurant that features a cute outdoor patio. Their menu includes everything from a duck-pork sausage breakfast burrito and roasted mushroom toast to their signature Sunflower Scramble, which features farm eggs, goat cheese, spinach, olive oil, tomato coulis, and fresh herbs. Another place to check out is Basque Boulangerie Café, which offers an assortment of delicious breads, pastries, buns, and everything else you can imagine.
If you’re craving French fare, The Girl & The Fig is an adorable rustic bistro with an outdoor patio that offers an award-winning wine list, cheese and charcuterie platters, If you have room, try their ice cream sundae with chocolate croutons, compressed figs, port syrup, and whipped cream. Another great local spot is The Red Grape Pizzeria, an Italian restaurant that serves up different kinds of pizza—you can even create your own. Popular favorites include the Pears and Gorgonzola, Prosciutto and Goat Cheese, and the prized Sonoma Pizza made with pepperoni, fennel sausage, sautéed mushrooms, red onion, pepper jack, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
For dinner, treat yourself to something special in Sonoma. One of the top dining spots for dinner is Madrona Manor Restaurant in Healdsburg, which has a Michelin Star and is located on a stunning 8-acre estate. The restaurant captures the rich culture of wine, food, and nature and has a stellar wine list, along with elegant, candlelight dinners that serve up caviar, Foie Gras, Japanese Wagyu, and more. Another dinner spot you must try is the Farmhouse Inn, which also has a Michelin Star and is located two miles from the Sonoma wineries. The restaurant sources its food from local artisan farmers and ranches, offering unique dishes such as the Manila Clam Marrow Bone, Wild Alaskan Halibut, and an artisan cheese plate.
This article was written by Kamala Kirk.
Photo credits: Mission Sonoma/Flickr;