The Sonoma Valley: Where History Meets Magic
Sonoma County, about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, boasts myriad attractions for your visit. Stunning beauty, acclaimed food and wine, relaxing hotels and spas, a variety of hiking and biking trails, and other outdoor activities create an unparalleled wine country experience.
Discover Sonoma’s rich past and Old West culture around the historic tree-filled Sonoma Plaza. Founded in 1835 when California was still a part of Mexico, you can still sense that heritage today in this bustling town. Just a few feet from the Plaza, one of California’s 18th century Spanish missions still stands on the corner.
More than 60 regional and state parks in Sonoma County invite visitors to hike through redwood forests, paddle rivers and bask in the surrounding nature. Zip-line over a Redwood canopy or experience “forest bathing” in our state and regional parks.
Your reward for mastering the challenging hike to the top of Mt. Baldy in Sugarloaf State Park will be views of both the Sonoma and Napa Valleys below as well as the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance. Also in the park, the Robert Ferguson Observatory offers “star parties” during each phase of a new moon.
Once home to legendary author Jack London, you can visit Jack London Historic State Park to see his house and land, and the studio where he actually wrote his 1,000 words each day.
Though the population of Sonoma is only 10,000, it “punches above its weight” when it comes to big hearts and generous donations that support our town’s non-profit arts and education programs of which the Sonoma Valley Authors Festival is a part.
Welcome to Sonoma!
Ways to Enhance Your Visit to Sonoma Valley
Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau
The Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau (SVVB) is an excellent resource for discovering more about what the Sonoma Valley has to offer. Founded in 1984, the SVVB is a nonprofit organization representing more than 350 member businesses that serve and support the local hospitality community. They provide comprehensive information about Sonoma’s restaurants and wineries, lodging, shopping, events and activities. They also offer a free Visitors Guide. Find out more and begin planning your adventure in Sonoma by visiting the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau website. You can also reach them via phone toll-free seven days a week at (866) 996-1090 or visit them in person at two locations: on the historic Sonoma Plaza and at the Viansa Winery.
Sonoma International Film Festival
The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) provides a welcoming, entertaining, and inspiring cinematic experience that celebrates Sonoma Valley’s cultural diversity through the art of film. Each year, over 100 films are shown and voted on. They are dedicated to promoting the best in independent film and filmmakers from around the world, inspiring savvy film lovers and introducing the power of film to student filmmakers. SIFF has funded more than $650,000 to its signature initiative, the Media Arts Program started in 2002 at Sonoma Valley High School, which introduces students to the process of storytelling and provides resources to further their film education. The five-day festival offers excellent film, food, wine, and fun.
Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery
At Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery, wine is a way of life – it’s about food, celebration, and sharing with others. Located deep within Sonoma Valley, Stone Edge crafts world-class wines made from classic Bordeaux grape varieties farmed organically in Sonoma Valley. Wine is best appreciated when consumed with good food, and Stone Edge invites you to enjoy their beautiful restaurant, EDGE. Located in an exquisitely renovated Victorian home just steps of the Sonoma Plaza in downtown Sonoma, the sleek space and cutting-edge locally sourced sustainable cuisine create an elegant yet relaxed dining experience that showcases the skill of Culinary Director & Executive Chef Fiorella Butron and her team.
Transcendence Theatre Company
Located in Sonoma Valley, Transcendence Theatre Company shares the joy of theater with a variety of audiences throughout the year by bringing in Broadway performers for the four summer productions. In addition, they offer year-round education programs for youth in the Bay Area and around the world. Broadway Under the Stars is performed outdoors, under the stars, at Jack London Historic State Park, in a setting that overlooks vineyards on rolling hills and the setting sun. Transcendence‘s performers have sung on Broadway, toured nationally and internationally, and earned film and major television credits.
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art
Located just a few steps south of historic Sonoma Town Plaza, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art presents rotating exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. The Museum has built an impressive reputation since the doors opened in 1998 with shows featuring works by Picasso, Rembrandt, and Goya as well as acclaimed contemporary artists like David Hockney and Sandow Birk. The Museum is also a community gathering place for art history lectures, community events, classes and celebrations. A small cafe in the front of the building provides coffee and tea and is a gathering place for Sonoma art lovers.
Jack London Historic State Park
Once home to the legendary author, Jack London Historic State Park is situated on 1,400 acres that comprise Jack London’s Beauty Ranch. Enjoy magnificent vistas and the rolling hills of Glen Ellen, and visit the many historic buildings on the property including a 19th-century winery, the cottage where Jack London lived, wrote and died at 40 years old and wrote many of his most famous novels, other London family dwellings, and period farm buildings. The park offers over 29 miles of trails for hikers, nature enthusiasts and horseback riders.