10 things to do in Sonoma without tasting the wines
Sonoma County in Northern California is an attractive destination point for wine lovers. But, it is also an amazing place to visit even if you are not into visiting wineries or tasting many of the award-winning Sonoma wines. Covering an area spanning gorgeous coastlines and the rugged coastal range protecting the various appellations and valleys in Sonoma’s wine country, it ends between the mountain range dividing Sonoma and Napa counties. There are plenty of adventures, activities and places to visit in Sonoma that will keep you engaged and active driving all over the valley.
Following are 10 key attractions, cities and unique places to visit in Sonoma County that doesn’t require you to taste the any of the wines from the area.
1) Visit a State Park in Sonoma
There is so much history tied to the California State parks in Sonoma County and many places to choose from including: the gorgeous bay and park at Salt Point, The Jack London State Historic park, the Petaluma Adobe State Park, and historic Fort Ross. I wrote a post recently about the historic fort at Ross, take a look at my article here. For more information about some other Federal and state parks in Sonoma visit this site.
2) Russian River pursuits
The Russian river in West Sonoma County hosts a variety of river oriented activities including rafting, boating or just laying on a nice warm beach. You can visit the quaint river communities of Guerneville, Forestville and Rio-Nido for a relaxing river getaway. There are many Russian River wineries to visit if you are interested in trying some of the local wines in the area. For some sample itineraries and ideas about what to do along the Russian River visit this website here.
3) Hike through a redwood forest at Armstrong Woods
Come and see some amazing mature redwood trees and hike in serene majesty and quiet at Armstrong Woods State Park just outside of Guerneville and the Russian river. The parks extensive trails are relatively quiet in many of the popular trails along the bottom and reaching all the way to the crest line with magnificent views of the Russian River valley from above. To learn more about Armstrong Woods and the park, go visit their website here.
4) Historic and trendy Sonoma city
The historic city of Sonoma was formed around a plaza and the mission at San Francisco de Solano. You will find many wonderful dining venues, art, antique and great shopping, along with the historic buildings and architecture of victorian Sonoma. To learn more about attractions around the city, take a look my recent post on Sonoma city here.
5) Along the Sonoma Coast
A coastal drive along Highway one from Jenner and Bodega bay all the way up to Gualala is a beautiful way to experience nature and the wild, scenic Sonoma coastline. Exploring the spectacular coastal drive along Highway one will reward you with panoramic vistas, quaint coastal towns, amazing seafood venues and solitary beaches worth exploring. For some trip ideas and itineraries of the coastal area, check out the Sonoma website here.
6) Art galleries and hip boutiques in Healdsburg
Healdsburg is the destination spot in Sonoma county for hip shopping and a plethora of art inspired galleries and boutiques. The main shopping area around the main square in Healdsburg is populated with trendy shops, dining venues and art galleries that are easy to walk through and fun to explore. Just outside and around the city are many outdoor activities and recreational facilities along with over 100 wineries to visit in the area. To learn more about Healdsburg and current happenings visit their website here.
7) Antique shopping in Petaluma
Preserving its unique and historic downtown, Petaluma is a very charming city located along the Petaluma River. The city has an old downtown center which showcases many antique shops, art galleries and boutiques. The Victorian district is well-preserved along with intact older neighborhoods, reflecting a quaint old city that preserves its heritage. To learn more about Petaluma and current happenings visit their website here.
8) Cornerstone gardens and design
For visitors interested in checking out the latest in design, architecture, landscape and home lifestyle – they should visit Cornerstone gardens just outside of Sonoma city on Highway 121. An eclectic and dynamic place combining many creative ideas, shopping, dining and wine tasting, all into one amazing center. Take a look at my recent garden post here and the post I did about the various boutiques and galleries here showcasing Cornerstone.
9) Unwind at top spas and resorts in style
For those interested in some pampering and spa lifestyle, there are over 40 spas and wellness centers to help you to unwind your body and spirit. You will find unique and local treatments like a cedar enzyme bath at Osmosis to a wine bath in an oversized tub at the Kenwood Inn and spa. There are many choices and unique offerings available through these centers all around Sonoma. For an overview of these treatments and spas, visit the Sonoma website here
10) Enjoy a variety of recreation
Whether you want to try ballooning over wine country, a challenging 18 hole golf course, or a lazy canoe paddle down the Russian River, there’s no shortage of recreational activities to pursue in Sonoma. Popular activities in the area include visiting a wild safari preserve, Sonoma canopy zip line through the coastal forest, visiting a wine cave, mountain biking or horseback riding, the list is endless. Here are some more suggestions for Sonoma recreation and activities.
So, if you are also visiting Sonoma county for wine tasting would like to visit some of it’s over 370 award-winning wineries, here’s the Sonoma wineries website for you to preview some of your favorites or maybe new discoveries in the country. There is so much to enjoy in Sonoma county outside of visiting the wonderful wineries here.
I hope you enjoyed some of these suggestions and if you did please share them with any of the social media buttons below and please like my post, thank you.