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Things To Do in Sonoma

Welcome to Cool Sonoma, your online guide to the best things to do in Sonoma, a centuries-old Spanish Mission town set in the heart of California’s Wine Country. Wine lovers, foodies, and all who enjoy history, warm weather, and beautiful outdoor settings can find lots to enjoy in Sonoma and the surrounding region. At Cool Sonoma, we are dedicated to making online booking simple and fun so you have easy access to the top Sonoma tours, activities, and attractions.

Locals use the name Sonoma in reference to the town, the valley, or Sonoma County. It’s the same with Napa—a town, a valley, and a county. But Sonoma County is almost double the size of Napa County, and has a longer wine-making history. The town of Sonoma is a quaint village of around 11,00 people about 60 miles northeast of San Francisco at the southern end of the Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley’s larger, older wine-country sibling. Both valleys run roughly north and south parallel to each other, separated by the Mayacamas Mountains. The western boundary of the Sonoma Valley is formed by the Sonoma Mountains, but Sonoma County extends all the way to the Pacific Ocean coastline where cooling ocean breezes are perfect for the grapes used in the famous Sonoma pinot noirs.

Sonoma, Healdsburg and many other cities and towns along with around 425 wineries and tasting rooms are ready for you to explore in Sonoma County. The Sonoma Valley is home to about 200 wineries, and Napa Valley with over 400 more is within perfect day-trip range only 14 miles to the east. Cool Sonoma brings you all the top Sonoma attractions, so look around, enjoy great photos of some of America’s most beautiful vineyard lands, and organize your Sonoma/Napa itinerary all right here in one place.

Plan ahead from home or after you arrive in California and fill an afternoon visit or a longer stay with things to do in Sonoma—on Cool Sonoma, all availabilities are updated in real time and our 100% secure online booking system delivers instant confirmations along with all necessary vouchers and details right to your smart phone. With Cool Sonoma as your local connection and our courteous customer service team always there to help via phone, text, email, or chat, the best Sonoma Valley attractions are at your fingertips!

Sonoma Valley Attractions

Visitors will have no trouble finding excellent tours and attractions in Sonoma and the Sonoma Valley. The area is known for having a more laid-back rural feel than Napa, with less traffic and congestion, and far lower prices for winery tours and wine. And wine history goes deep in Sonoma. Northern California’s first commercial winery was established near the village of Sonoma by Hungarian immigrant Agoston Haraszthy (1812–1869), referred to as the father of California viticulture.

In 1856, Haraszthy purchased a small vineyard northeast of town and founded Buena Vista—now a California Historic Landmark, the original 1857 winery is still operating. A second historic Sonoma winery, Gundlach Bundshu, is California's oldest continuously family-owned winery. In March of 1858, Joseph Gundlach purchased 400 acres in the hills east of Sonoma and christened it Rhinefarm. Gundlach planted his vineyards with rootstock gathered in Germany and France while on a honeymoon trip to Europe during the summer of 1858.

With this amazing history on offer, the obvious top Sonoma Valley attraction is wine touring and especially visits to classic family-owned estates. Buena Vista in Sonoma and the renovated Buena Vista tasting room in downtown Napa, the Benziger Family Winery, the Ferrari-Carano Winery in Dry Creek Valley, and many more tempt visitors with expansive grounds, magnificent estate buildings, and endless settings for a scenic picnic lunch. Many tours combine visits to both Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries, so you can easily take in all the best that wine country has to offer.

Float high above rows of lush grapevines in a hot air balloon, cruise from vineyard to vineyard aboard an electric scooter, or do a bicycle tour through the countryside with tasting stops along the way. From trains to trikes, trolleys to private luxury tours, there are many entertaining ways to explore the best of California’s wine country. Back in town, the Sonoma Plaza combines history and beautiful grounds with upscale food and delightful wines. Regional cuisine, charcuterie treats, cheeses, craft olive oils, chocolate and many other delicacies along with boutique shopping are what the plaza and surrounding historic Sonoma downtown blocks are all about.

Seasonal and specialty tours, Sonoma/Napa combo tours, day trips, outdoor activities, winery luncheons, craft breweries and distilleries—you can find it all in Sonoma. Cool Sonoma puts wine country right at your fingertips and our secure reservation system makes booking your trip a simple matter of a few scrolls and clicks on any mobile device.

Recommendations: The Best Things to Do in Sonoma

The Napa Valley extends for 30 miles along the course of the Napa River; at 17 miles long, the Sonoma Valley is not as long as the Napa Valley. But it is much wider and the overall Sonoma County wine region is far larger than the Napa region. There are 15 sub-appellations, or distinct wine regions, within the Sonoma Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area), only one fewer than Napa. Several valleys including the Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and the Russian River Valley to the north produce a wide diversity of grape varieties. This means getting out of town and exploring the area on a day trip by car or private limo is an excellent choice for picking up a true sense (and taste) of wine country. With many transportation and tour possibilities available here on Cool Sonoma, there is no reason to miss this Sonoma must-do.

A wine-country hot air-balloon ride is an incredible way to take in the expansive vineyards, elegant estates, and rolling hills of the Sonoma and Napa Valleys. Soaring through the cool morning air as mist drifts across meadows and between endless rows of vines is breathtaking, and the flight is a guided tour that delivers both an aerial view and an inside look at the lush wine country landscape. Getting a feel for the bigger picture is a great way to complement ground-based tours, and the experience will leave you with a better sense of the scope of grape and wine production in the region and the effort it takes to bring a bottle of fine wine to the table.

For an amazing way to spend a day or afternoon, take a bicycle out on the winding country roads between the vineyards and pedal up to a rustic winery for lunch and a tasting session. Biking along at a leisurely pace lets you smell the fragrant breezes coming off the verdant fields, see the vines and grapes up close, and delight in being outdoors in a setting of unique beauty. If a relaxing ride is more your style, hop aboard a replica San Francisco cable car for an open-air tour of historic Sonoma landmarks, stops at several popular wineries, and a scenic lunch break.

Explore Sonoma to enjoy the fascinating history of California winemaking in a friendly small-town atmosphere. Down-to-earth locals, expert winemakers, a farm-to-table food culture led by internationally-known chefs, luxury spas, and a multitude of outdoor adventures on the hills and rivers are just highlights of one of America’s most attractive visitor destinations.

Cool Sonoma makes it easy to connect with your wine country favorites. You can book with confidence—all information is fully encrypted and secure, every booking is confirmed based on real-time availability, and our skilled team has decades of experience and a reputation for delivering easy online access to high-quality tour and activity providers. Go Cool Sonoma for the best of California wine country!