Life opens up in Sonoma County, just 30 miles north of San Francisco. Acclaimed food and wine, relaxing spas and stunning natural beauty combine to create a wine country experience like no other. Taste a diverse terroir at more than 425 wineries, hike among towering redwoods, and get to know inviting small towns.
Sonoma County stretches from the Pacific coast, with 55 miles of coastline, to the Mayacamas Mountains, with almost 65,000 acres of vineyards and endless opportunities for recreation and relaxation. One of the region's most celebrated recreational sites, the 700-acre Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, preserves the beautiful Sequoia sempervirens, or coastal redwood. Visitors to the reserve can walk amongst the towering redwoods, with the tallest resident tree measuring 310 feet tall and the oldest tree at 1,400 years of age, as well as explore the visitor center and gather at its picnic facilities. Sonoma Canopy Tours gives guests panoramic views of the trees via a unique canopy course of seven ziplines, two skybridges, unique spiral staircase and 80-foot rappel.
Visitors to Sonoma County can be transported to the African landscape when visiting the Safari West Wildlife Preserve. The preserve welcomes more than 60,000 visitors each year for safari truck tours, private animal encounters, educational presentations and even overnight stays in comfortable tent cabins. Visitors can view more than 400 exotic mammals, including zebras, giraffes and cheetahs; as well as reconnect with nature in the preserve's peaceful setting. Finally, no visit to Sonoma County is complete without a visit to the fun, whimsical Charles M. Schulz Museum, which preserves, displays and interprets the art of internationally renowned cartoonist Charles M. Schulz and his beloved Peanuts characters. Schulz called Sonoma County home for more than 40 years; the museum showcases his original strips and memorabilia and celebrates Schulz's career and influence on the comic strip genre.
A celebrated culinary scene, featuring award-winning restaurants recognized for their wine country cuisine, complements Sonoma County's wine culture. Sonoma County is home to more than 500 restaurants, which range from Michelin- and Zagat-rated establishments to casual wine country eateries serving freshly-harvested, locally-grown produce. Housed in Santa Rosa's Vintners Inn, John Ash & Co. Restaurant specializes in local seasonal fare paired with wine; the restaurant works with more than 30 Sonoma County farmers and producers, as well as its own gardens to create its innovative menu. Located in the Russian River resort region, the Farmhouse Inn focuses on organic and sustainably-farmed ingredients in its daily-changing menu. For a casual, relaxed dining experience, head to Tides Wharf Restaurant in Bodega Bay. Tides Wharf was made famous in the early 1960s as a backdrop for scenes in Hitchcock's film The Birds, but this restaurant's delicious seafood, steaks and pasta make this coastal eatery a fun stop for groups.