The Top Things To See and Do in Sonoma, California

Sonoma is wine country, but theres plenty more to see and do here
Sonoma is wine country, but there's plenty more to see and do here | © Rachid Dahnoun / Alamy Stock Photo
Deanna Morgado

Sonoma is one of the top wine-making regions in the world, but there’s so much more to this part of California than the art of wine. History, culture, thrills and delicious treats await within Sonoma Valley.

You can visit the Sonoma Valley as part of Culture Trip’s seven-day small-group Northern California tour, led by our local insider.

1. Race down Sonoma Raceway

Sports Center

Sonoma Raceway is a year-round motor sports complex, 2.5mi (4km) road course and drag strip offering a comprehensive schedule of events, races and more. On Wednesdays, you can even race your own ride down the drag.

2. Visit Tuscany at the Viansa Winery and Tasting Room

Winery

Visit this Italian-style winery to taste wonderful wine and culinary deliciousness. If you’re hungry, try the pizzas cooked on a wood-fire oven or pop into the deli for a charcuterie board. You’re here for the drinks, though, so embark on a wine-tasting tour or book a private wooden hut for a more intimate sampling.

4. Ride the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley

Winery

The Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley is a six-hour ride through four boutique wineries. Kick back in an open-air cable car while enjoying private tastings, not to mention a beautifully catered lunch accompanied by scenic wine country views, all with a winery representative as your guide.

5. Take in history at Mission San Francisco Solano

Historical Landmark

Mission San Francisco Solano was one of 21 missions founded by Friar Junipero Serra and is now a museum and part of a state park. The property consists of naturally growing cacti, a lovely fountain and horse stables. Admission to the museum also allows entry to the Sonoma Barracks across the street and the Vallejo House a few blocks away.

6. Enjoy sampling at the Olive Press

Shop

The Olive Press, the first olive mill in Sonoma, has created some of the most highly awarded olive oil in the US. Taste the fresh and tongue-dazzling oil at a tasting, and see how the oil is made. Belly stuffed? Pop over to the property’s winery to wash it all down.

7. Feel like a kid at Sonoma TrainTown

Amusement Park

Although TrainTown is mostly geared towards children, adults will also enjoy themselves at this playful stop. The fun begins with a delightful train trip through tunnels and bridges to reach the miniature town of Lakeview, which features a petting zoo, roller coaster and merry-go-round.

8. Drive out to Sonoma Coast State Beach

Natural Feature

Salmon Creek Beach, Sonoma Coast, California
© Richard Wong / Alamy Stock Photo

The drive out to Sonoma Coast State Beach is well worth it. This is a great place for hiking, fishing and other nature-centric activities. Pack a lunch, pile friends in the car and get ready for a beautiful drive and day at the beach.

9. Get a rush at Sonoma Canopy Tours

Sports Center

Adrenaline junkies flock to Sonoma Canopy Tours to hook up to one of seven ziplines and sky bridges. Ziplines can reach up to 40mph (64kph) and you can choose to soar and climb across different courses. All this takes place among humbling California redwoods, which you can also learn about during your visit.

10. Take a Segway Winery Tour

Winery

Ever wondered what it’s like to ride a Segway around town? Take a Segway Winery Tour to find out. After a lesson downtown, join an experienced guide and whizz through Sonoma between tasting rooms on beautiful estates, a cheese factory and a beautiful picnic-style lunch while taking in the countryside views along the way.

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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

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