Sonoma: Bountiful Fun Across the Board
Sonoma, CA- If variety is the spice of life, Sonoma County serves up an amazingly savory dish of travel and adventure. Journey with us as we move the party inland to explore more of Sonoma County’s treasures.
Following a little R&R along the coast, it’s time to set your sights eastward. One of Sonoma County’s remarkable qualities is how the varied experiences and environments complement one another so nicely. As you make your way throughout the county, you may notice an unusual and inexplicable symmetry of experience. All the unique parts gently coalesce in what we can only describe as a well-designed travel mosaic. Sonoma County is a special place.
Places to Go & Things to Do
Sebastopol: The Barlow
Local artisans of food and drink celebrate the bounty of Sonoma at this large outdoor, industrial style marketplace. A trip to The Barlow is a fun place to stretch your legs and grab a bite or drink. Referred to as a “Food, Wine & Art Mecca”, it’s one of those places you have to experience to experience.
The Barlow is set on 12 acres spread across 4 city blocks right along state highway 12 in downtown Sebastopol. For more details, check it out at https://thebarlow.net/
Cheese Making & Wine Tasting
If you love new experiences, award winning cheese maker Sheana Davis from the Epicurean Connection and Cook Vineyard Store (CVM) have teamed up for an ongoing series of classes. Don’t worry, in this class there’s no homework or tests, but plenty of laughter, chocolate, wine and cheese! And some amazing olive oil.
Located in Sonoma on Eighth Street East, the CVM store also has all the cheese making supplies and treats you can imagine. Classes are unpretentious, informative and fun.
More info at https://cvmgrapes.com/cheese-making/
Sonoma Plaza – A Shining Star
Considered the largest plaza in all of California, Sonoma Plaza is both beautiful in design and practical in use. A national historic landmark, Sonoma Plaza welcomes locals and tourists year-round for events, dining, shopping and so much more.
Much of Sonoma Plaza’s success comes in no small part from the dedicated and forward thinking women that started the Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club in 1901. A pillar of the community for 118 years, the Woman’s Club advocacy and participation in the community continues to this day. The library at the center of the plaza is a just one of the testaments to their efforts. Organized to “improve all sanitary conditions, parks, streets, and to promote the social and literary interests of the community,” Sonoma Valley Woman’s Club has a well earned place on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more insights and history, visit https://www.sonomavalleywomansclub.org
Three Sticks Winery
Available by appointment, this is an experience you won’t want to miss. Sample delicious wines or enjoy a private luncheon at the historic Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe in downtown Sonoma. A modest exterior hides a masterfully and painstakingly refurbished home that now plays host to Three Sticks Winery. A place where the 1800’s meet modern day wine country.
Elegant, charming and full of warmth all wrapped in one! https://www.threestickswines.com
Once upon a time, General Joseph Hooker was infamously defeated by Confederate Robert E. Lee. Some 150 odd years later, his residence in Sonoma eventually would become home to Bedrock Wine Co. which as it turns out, has a love of history and aims to preserve and rehabilitate old vines! Head over to the Hooker House and grab a little history lesson and some tasty wine! https://www.bedrockwineco.com
“Goods and libations for the modern-day adventurer”, that’s the slogan on Abbot’s Passage website and one that’s hard to resist. With blends sourced from storied vineyards, Katie Bundschu, a sixth generation vintner offers five distinct blends of creativity as Master Sommeliers take note. https://www.abbotspassage.com/
A non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation , The Sebastiani Theatre deliver both new and vintage entertainment while working to preserve and enhance this Sonoma treasure. The building’s facade will effortlessly transport you back to simpler times. Check the schedule or become involved in their efforts. https://www.sebastianitheatre.com
Sonoma State Park
Preserving history helps us understand so much about the people and places we visit. Sonoma embraces its history in a way that naturally extends it to be a vital part of the present. As another equally important piece of the mosaic, historical sites are perfectly at home with modern day life here. Sonoma State Park is a terrific first stop to help you gain a quick understanding of the region. With a little extra historical perspective in your pocket, enjoy a more enlightened journey as you weave your way around Sonoma Plaza.
Where to Stay in Sonoma
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
In a nod to history and modern day comforts, a natural fit for lodging is evident once you arrive at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Built circa 1927 and sitting atop an ancient thermal mineral spring, this Spanish mission-style inn delivers a luxury experience in a wine country casual style. Immediately upon check-in, guests are offered complimentary glasses of champagne. Nice touch!
“Boasting a AAA Four Diamond Award along with the revered Sante’ restaurant, which itself noted for a mouthwatering dining experience, extensive wine collection and Michelin designations, the Fairmont Sonoma continues its tradition as a premier wine country destination.”Roseville Today
Conveniently located just a few minutes from Sonoma Plaza, spend the day exploring Sonoma’s endless recreational opportunities before settling in at the Fairmont. The expansive lobby area resembles a family lodge replete with ultra-comfy seating, games and travel books. During a rainstorm, we cozied up near the large fireplace with a glass of wine, a few games of marble solitaire and fun conversation. Weather permitting; be sure to check out the beautiful grounds including the outdoor pool and bar area.
Need a little extra TLC? Consider visiting the world renowned spa for an assortment of pampering options that include rejuvenating thermal mineral springs that rise from over 1,000 feet below the surface.
» Explore Rooms and Package Options at Fairmont Sonoma
Simply put, the Sante’ ranks among the finest restaurants we’ve had the pleasure to experience during our travels. With Michelin designations and inclusion on Top 100 Restaurants in the World lists, those that enjoy fantastic dining experiences, will want to be certain to include the Sante’ on their list.
The 4-course menu was filled with tantalizing options. After much deliberation, we opted for a little lighter fare. Exquisitely prepared and presented, the Dry Aged Ribeye with ember roasted beets, black garlic puree, coffee black garlic bordelaise was cooked to perfection and was melt-in-your-mouth tender beyond the best steakhouses in America. The Farmer’s Market was a beautifully organic presentation of Grilled Eggplant, Trumpet Mushrooms, quinoa pilaf, chili oil, baby leeks and Romesco Sauce. A perfectly chilled Pale Ale from Marin Brewing was the perfect addition.
Top off your amazing meal by sharing a scrumptious and decadent dessert. We quickly zeroed in on the very popular Pastel de Tres Leches, made from three milks & brandy soaked orange olive oil, poached and caramelized pineapple and coconut ice cream. It’s a delicious decision.
The Sante’ is a remarkable and memorable dining experience from start to finish. The exceptional cuisine is only matched by their exceptionally attentive and personal service.
» For additional information and reservations, visit Sante’
Bountiful by just about any measure and owing to a rich history and forward thinkers, Sonoma County communities serve up remarkably varied and thrilling experiences across the board. World class options for dining, lodging and recreation make it one of California’s premier destinations. Everywhere we explored, residents and visitors evoked a palpable excitement that’s impossible to miss. We ♥ Sonoma and can’t wait to return!
» Explore more at Sonoma County, where Life Opens Up!
In Case You Missed It! – Part 1
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