Sonoma is often described as the quieter sister of Napa Valley, but the top-notch wine region home to 400 wineries—spread out in an area about double the size of Napa—offers more than just smaller crowds. With charming towns, idyllic rolling hills, exceptional dining, a wide range of accommodations, and world-class wineries, Sonoma is a unique destination in its own right.
To get to Sonoma, first check and see if you can fly directly into Santa Rosa, where the quaint Sonoma County Airport (STS) is located. If not, flying into the San Francisco airport (SFO) is a good option, from which you can drive the hour-and-a-half over the Golden Gate Bridge into the laid-back wine country. While fall is Sonoma’s most popular season (a.k.a. when the grapes are in harvest), winter offers greater availability to otherwise exclusive tastings and experiences as well as holiday events. If you're looking for a warm weather trip, spring brings farms in bloom and summer offers additional outdoor activities, especially on the coast.
The Barlow Market is a 12-acre outdoor market district home to over 30 makers who offer a taste of Sonoma through local food, wine, beer, and spirits. Try Seismic Brewing, Pax Wines, Two Dog Night Creamery, and finish off with a stunning dinner at Fern Bar.
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