Sonoma Vineyards, California
Gorgeous Sonoma, California, is known world-wide for its incredible wineries, but it's also a fabulous place to enjoy stately redwood forests, rolling vineyard hills, and delicious fresh food. Sonoma is the perfect place to enjoy a bike trip, where you can cycle from winery to winery, camping at night, and rising to beautiful California mornings.
The Lay of the Land
Sonoma County is divided into five regions, each with its own distinct flavor. If you're biking or want to explore an area in depth, you might choose just one or two of these areas to focus on. Otherwise, with a car, you can easily tour the whole county. The regions are: Sonoma County North, Russian River/West County, Sonoma County Central, the Coast, and the Sonoma Valley.
This county literally has hundreds of wineries. Most of the vineyards and wineries are located in the Sonoma Valley (the area around Mount Sonoma near Glen Ellen, Sonoma, and Kenwood), the Russian River Valley area around Forestville, and the northern end of the county near Geyserville and the big city of Healdsburg.
What to Do
Wine tasting is obviously a popular activity in Sonoma County, but the California sun also makes it fun to try other outdoor pursuits. Cycling and bike riding are very popular, as is hot air balloon riding and golfing. You can go skydiving here, head to the coast for a day of beach-combing and surfing, or explore the arts scene and shopping districts of one of the charming small towns. Farmer's Markets are a delight in a region that can grow such a range of produce. You might also enjoy a trip to a working farm or garden.
Sonoma County puts on a number of fabulous events, from the Summer concert series to the annual golf tournaments. You'll find year-round cooking classes, wine and cheese samplings, and lessons on pairing wine with food. Many vineyards have special holiday events and open houses.
Picking Up the Vibe
California wine country has a relaxed feel that makes it especially attractive to visitors. This is a place where food is served in its freshest possible state, the sunshine is steady, and everyone enjoys sampling award-winning wine. When you visit, take some time to unwind, California style. As you settle in to a relaxed pace of life, you'll find more time to appreciate the little things, like a glass of great wine and a stunning view.