Sonoma County may be famous for wine, but that’s certainly not all this region offers. Some of our favorite things about Sonoma include outdoor adventure, live concerts, artisan cheese and spectacular views, too. So, rest assured, this summer guide to Sonoma County includes all of the above and more.
Keep reading to start planning your summer activities in one of the most picturesque settings of California—bicycling, camping and vineyard tours included.
Located just north of Guerneville, Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve preserves 805 acres of coast redwoods in Sonoma County. The tallest tree in the forest stands 310 feet tall and the oldest is over 1,400-years-old. Beginner hike options include The Discovery Trail, which offers several Braille interpretive panels, and the Pioneer Nature Trail, which is a wheelchair accessible, self-guided nature trail, but the options range from easy, one-mile hikes to strenuous 9-mile hikes with hundreds of feet of climbing. For more information on the reserve, click here.
Headquartered just one mile south of Sonoma Plaza in Sonoma, Sonoma Valley Bike Tours offers bike rentals for self-guided excursions as well as guided tours. Their half- and full-day guided tours include multiple local winery visits along the way as you pedal through some of California’s most beautiful scenery.
Broadway Under the Stars is a live performance series hosted by Transcendence Theatre Company in the beautiful Jack London State Historic Park. The award-winning series of Broadway-inspired concerts and performances showcase talent from New York stages and Hollywood screens, and the evening includes local pours from numerous Sonoma wineries, food from local vendors, as well as pre-show music. To see the calendar and buy tickets, click here.
Enjoy a winery picnic.
Nearly every Sonoma County vacation includes a few winery visits, but during the summer, we recommend turning those visits into picnics. At Gundlach Bundschu Winery—California’s oldest family-owned winery—you can enjoy weekend tastings through the summer on the Vista Courtyard under the trees and overlooking the water. Chateau St. Jean offers the picnic-style Bottles and Bites group tasting; Landmark Vineyards hosts Wine & Cheese Picnics which allow you to build your own picnic basket; and Dry Creek Vineyard boasts beautiful picnic grounds complete with bocce courts.
Located deep in the redwood forest, Sonoma Canopy Tours offers two unique courses both with guided eco tours, which include multiple zip lines, sky bridges, a majestic spiral staircase, a rappel to the forest floor and more. The experiences last about two and a half hours and include environmental education, thrilling activities and jaw-dropping scenery. For full details, click here.
Vineyard Adventures is a program of Sonoma County Winegrowers that invites guests to embark on self-guided agritourism experiences at some of the county’s incredible vineyards. To begin on your adventure, simply go to any of the participating wineries—there are eight total in six different wine-growing regions—and ask about Vineyard Adventures inside the tasting room. Then, you’ll receive a map to guide you while you taste the grapes, touch the vines and experience winegrowing and winemaking first-hand. To see the list of vineyards, click here.
Bohemian Creamery is a small storefront and creamery located just one mile from downtown Sebastopol. Overlooking the Laguna de Santa Rosa, their team raises goats and produces handmade artisan cheeses using goat, cow, sheep and water buffalo milk. When you book a tour, your group can enjoy an introductory class on cheese-making as well as a tasting of all the cheeses. For more information, click here.
Each August at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University, Taste of Sonoma brings together the county’s best chefs, most iconic wineries, and most innovative food and drink pairings for a full day of eating and revelry. The event schedule includes the main tasting event, educational seminars and wine talks as well as VIP experiences and the Visa Signature Lounge. Get all the details and buy your passes here.
Located along Coast Highway 1, this 195-acre Sonoma County park borders the Gualala River and Mendocino County and provides expansive Pacific Ocean and estuary scenery. The forested campground is nestled along the river and amongst the redwoods within walking distance of the crashing surf. For full details on camping at Gualala Point, click here.
What are you doing this summer?
If you have a favorite thing to do in Sonoma County during the summer, tell us about it in the comments below!