Buena Vista Winery#3 in Best Things To Do in Sonoma
Located less than 3 miles east of Sonoma 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 kudos for – hails from France. Here's another fun fact: Founded in 1857, Buena Vista is California's first winery to produce European varietal wines. Visitors can enjoy this historic winery by tasting its vintages and touring its facility.
Visitors to the winery highly recommend adding it to your Sonoma itinerary. They especially suggest taking the tour of its grounds and facilities to learn all about the winery's process and its illustrious history. For example, the founder, the self-proclaimed "Count of Buena Vista," met his end in alligator-infested waters in Nicaragua. They also recommend concocting your own bottle of vino in the winery's mixing room.
Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Buena Vista is located just a short drive east of Sonoma Plaza. Buena Vista's wine tastings start at $20 per person for groups of up to seven people and $30 for groups exceeding seven. For groups of eight or more, the winery asks that visitors call ahead to make a reservation. Tours, which include wine tastings, start at $25 per person. For more information, visit Buena Vista Winery's website.
Looking for additional vineyards to explore? Check out our list of the top Sonoma wineries »
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#1 Sonoma Plaza
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. Recent visitors highly recommended spending some time here window shopping, wine tasting, dining and even letting the kids run around the on-site playground. Reviewers said the plaza's atmosphere is both charming and family-friendly, and they suggested visiting on a Tuesday morning to take advantage of the weekly farmers market.
Sonoma Plaza is located in central Sonoma. Restaurants and shops have varying opening and closing times. Street parking is available, but with three-hour limits from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For extended parking options, consider leaving your vehicle in one of the free all-day lots located nearby, such as the one at First Street East, located across from the mission. For more information, visit Sonoma Plaza's website.
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