"Sonoma - Heart of the Wine Country" Top 5 Page for this destination Sonoma by Rixie

Sonoma Travel Guide: 272 reviews and 657 photos

Sonoma is a pretty little historic town located 50 miles northeast of San Francisco in the heart of the Northern California wine country. Established in 1823 as the last of the 21 California missions, it is set in a valley among rolling hills and vineyards.

The Sonoma Valley, also known as The Valley of the Moon, today is famous for its fine wines. A friendly rivalry exists between Sonoma Valley and the nearby Napa Valley, known locally as The Other Valley. Well, maybe the rivalry isn't so friendly after all... :)

Tourists flock to Sonoma on weekends and in summer to go winetasting at local wineries, to attend annual events like the Vintage Festival and the Salute to the Arts, or simply to escape from the San Francisco fog and relax in the Plaza.

During the summer months, a Farmer's Market is held every Tuesday evening in the Plaza in front of Sonoma City Hall. It's a festive occasion, with live music and vendors selling fresh produce, handicrafts, and takeaway food. The crowd is a lively mixture of tourists and local families. Buy yourself a bouquet of sunflowers, a bag of beautiful red tomatoes, and a homemade peach pie; sit on the grass and listen to the music. My current favorites: Petaluma cheese, and Beezolio's skin balm made from beeswax and olive oil.

Sonoma Plaza is a wonderful place to picnic or people-watch, and there are always places where you can find a private moment in the middle of the crowd.

This mural, on the side of the Lynch Building on First Street West, reflects Sonoma's cultural heritage and the importance of the grape harvest to the Valley.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Sunshine, wineries, history, natural beauty, friendly people
  • Cons:The shops close early
  • In a nutshell:Small Town with Artistic Flair
  • Intro Updated Jun 27, 2010
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Reviews (49)

Comments (23)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Interesting tips about your home town. I never knew that Jack London lived near Sonoma – too bad about his new house burning down, but the ruins are impressive.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Hi, Laverne!~ I see it's a great place to visit.... Thanks for sharing! ><><><><

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Agreat page, Rixie. i want to try and make it up here this year.

  • Roadquill's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Great Sonoma page, Karl

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2010 at 2:11 AM

    We were running late when we passed by Sonoma without stopping - just as well - I might still be in that Bookshop! Looks as though we missed lots of treats. Will be back for more>

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    your restaurant tips make me salivate far too much - urrrrghh

  • kymbanm's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    LOL, I sense a conspiracy here! Let me verify our schedule of events and get back to you :) Enjoy the wedding BTW!

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    excellent reviews of restaurants. I have noted all of them for future trips to Sonoma.

  • SAMARATI's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2007 at 10:43 PM

    Girl & the fig arguably serves the best restaurant food is Sonoma.

  • Callavetta's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2007 at 6:41 PM

    This is a great Sonoma page! I'm putting several of your tips on my must see list. Thank you!


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