Sonoma Travel Guide

USA  #2 in Best Wine Vacations

Best Things To Do in Sonoma

Sonoma is all about the wine. Everywhere you turn, you'll spot undulating hills lined with rows of grape vines punctuated by grand architecture. Places like Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, Cline Cellars and Ravenswood Winery are some of the top-rated establishments. But travelers looking for a city fix will find it at the buzzy and historic Sonoma Plaza. Need a breath of California's ocean air? Head to Sonoma Coast State Park to traverse the area's many coastal trails. No matter how you spend your time in Sonoma, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything but rest and relaxation. 

How we rank Things to Do

Updated July 11, 2017

  • #1
    Sonoma Plaza
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    #1 in Sonoma
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Centered in the heart of town, the historic Sonoma Plaza is a must-do. Once a Mexican military station and a Spanish mission village, the 8-acre park is now lined with more than 100 shops, dozens of eateries, and more than 20 tasting rooms. What's more, it's a National Historic Monument.

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  • #2
    Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
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    #2 in Sonoma
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Back in the 1920s, Valeriano Jacuzzi – of the Jacuzzi bath and spa family – bought a 161-acre plot of land in Northern California, which would one day become the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. Today, the vineyards contain common grape varietals like chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, as well as some more

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  • #3
    Buena Vista Winery
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    #3 in Sonoma
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located less than 3 miles east ofSonoma Plaza, the Buena Vista Winery is one of the region's most centralized wineries – though its rolling hills and the rustic elegance of its architecture lend it a French country ambiance. And speaking of the French, the Champagne – which the winery gets

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  • #4
    Jack London State Historic Park
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    #4 in Sonoma
    Hiking, Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located on 1,400 acres, Jack London State Historic Park – named for the author of works like "The Call of the Wild" and "White Fang" – features 20 miles of trails. The land, which London referred to as "Beauty Ranch," also features his old home, a museum about London and

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  • #5
    Sonoma Coast State Park
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    #5 in Sonoma
    Beaches, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sonoma Coast State Park is a swath of land that extends for nearly 20 miles along the Pacific Ocean from Bodega Head to Vista Trail. A number of sandy beaches, rugged shorelines and coastal prairies dot the area. Although a number of gorgeous beaches line the park, the California Department

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  • #6
    Benziger Family Winery
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    #6 in Sonoma
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    As its name suggests, this winery has been family-owned and operated since 1980. Aside from its familial leadership, Benziger is perhaps best known for its biodynamic farming and winemaking. In fact, all of its wines are certified sustainable, organic or biodynamic. 

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  • #7
    Nicholson Ranch
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    #7 in Sonoma
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Though Nicholson Ranch is smaller than other Sonoma-area wineries (comprising 40 acres), it's a hit with visitors thanks to its intimate setting. Wines produced here – the majority of which are made with estate-grown grapes – include chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot and syrah. Another interesting facet of the production process:

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  • #8
    Cline Cellars
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    #8 in Sonoma
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Cline Cellars makes a nice flight of wines, and they do so with sustainability in mind. They even created a new method of farming – the Green String farming method – to promote biodiversity and biological cycles. And instead of using pesticides to eliminate weeds, the winery relies on a

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  • #9
    Safari West
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    #9 in Sonoma
    Sightseeing, Tours, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours, Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Picture the Serengeti in the heart of wine country and you'll start to imagine what Safari West looks like. This African-inspired safari and nature preserve contains 900 exotic animals, such as zebras, giraffes and cheetahs, spread across 400 acres. When you're not exploring the grounds on your own two feet

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  • #10
    Ravenswood Winery
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    #10 in Sonoma
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Known for its award-winning zinfandels, the 40-year-old Ravenswood Winery lives by the credo of its founding winemaker, Joel Peterson: "no wimpy wines." Ravenswood is also known for its single vineyard wines, a designation that means the wine was produced from grapes from the same vineyard. Ravenswood also produces bottles of

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  • #11
    Simraceway Performance Driving School
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    #11 in Sonoma
    Recreation, Sports
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sports
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Simraceway Performance Driving School affords thrill-seekers the chance to conjure their inner race car driver by putting them behind the wheel of a cutting-edge Audi or a Formula 3 car on the Sonoma Raceway. Participants also learn tricks of the track from instructors. Those who have a need for

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