The Top Things To See and Do in Sonoma, California

Sonoma is known for its excellent wines and rolling hills
Sonoma is known for its excellent wines and rolling hills | © Rachid Dahnoun / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Deanna Morgado
31 August 2020

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.

Visit Tuscany at the Viansa Winery and Tasting Room

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Visit this Italian-style winery to taste wonderful wine and more culinary deliciousness whilst truly feel like you’ve been transported to Tuscany. Viansa offers a deli, along with cheese plates and multiple delectable wine tastings, plus Viansa’s wines can’t be found anywhere else, guaranteeing a truly authentic and one-of-a-kind experience.

Get spooked on the Sonoma Plaza Ghost Walking Tour

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City Hall of Sonoma at the center of Sonoma Plaza, California, USA
© Tasfoto / Alamy Stock Photo

Not only does Sonoma possess a rich history, there are also quite a few ghost stories to be told for those who like things a little spooky. Try a Ghost Tour, beginning at Sonoma Plaza in the evening. Participants will spend the next two hours walking, guided by two professional paranormal investigators, learning about and uncovering known haunted spots and the darker history that Sonoma’s past has to offer.

Ride the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley

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The Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley is a six-hour ride through four boutique wineries. For $99 (£74) per person, guests can kick back in an open-air cable car while enjoying private tastings, not to mention a beautifully catered lunch through the scenic wine country views, all with a winery representative as their guide.

Take in history at Mission San Francisco Solano

Historical Landmark
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The Mission San Francisco Solano was one of the 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 Mission museum also allows visitors entry to the Sonoma Barracks across the street as well as to the Vallejo House a few blocks away.

Enjoy sampling at the Olive Press

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The Olive Press, Sonoma’s first olive mill, has created some of America’s most highly awarded olive oil. Not only can visitors taste the fresh and tongue-dazzling oil at the mill’s public tastings, they can also see just how the olive oil is made. Belly stuffed with yummy oil-dribbled food? Pop over to the property’s winery to wash it all down.

Feel like a kid at Sonoma TrainTown

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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, a roller coaster, a merry-go-round and more wholesome fun.

Drive out to Sonoma Coast State Beach

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

The extra 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 a bunch of friends in the car and get ready for a beautiful drive and day at the beach.

Get a rush at Sonoma Canopy Tours

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Adrenaline junkies can flock over to Sonoma Canopy Tours and hook up to one of seven ziplines and cross sky bridges, or try even more thrilling activities. Ziplines can reach up to 40 miles an hour (64kph) and you can choose to soar and climb through different courses. All this takes place within the gorgeous and humbling California redwoods, which you can also learn about during your visit.

Take a Segway Winery Tour

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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 all along the way.

These recommendations were updated on August 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.