The Ultimate Travel Guide To Sonoma, California

11 / 2022 | by: Bon Traveler

Welcome to Sonoma, California, home to an iconic wine valley, charming towns, and beautiful accommodations. Sonoma is a place to relax, unwind, and soak in those relaxed Northern California vibes we all love so much. It has become like a second home for us over the years, so I am thrilled to share my travel guide to Sonoma.


Often times the whole area gets referred to as “Sonoma” so it’s important to differentiate a bit. There is Sonoma County, which encompasses the entire region ranging from as far north as Healdsburg down to Santa Rosa. Then there is Sonoma Valley which is the 17-mile-long valley that starts in the southern part of Carneros up to Kenwood. And finally, the unincorporated town of Sonoma (located in the valley). I’ll be focusing on the valley and the town in this guide.


I love the town of Sonoma itself as a central location to many gems in the valley. The historic square has lovely restaurants, and you’re close to several beautiful wineries, and great hotels. Sonoma is one of my favorite weekend breaks in Northern California, whether it’s a trip with girlfriends, a romantic getaway in the Bay Area, or even a solo trip. We often just pop in for the day too.


On a recent trip, I had the chance to stay at the upscale MacArthur Place Hotel + Spa which has the loveliest suites and is within walking distance of the square. I went with my toddler and husband and we had a great family trip together in Sonoma. I revisited a few restaurants and wineries, plus stopped in at a few new spots I hadn’t been to before.


So I’m rounding up all of my intel from my time in Sonoma and sharing where to eat, where to stay, and what to do while visiting. Check out the guide below!


What To Know Before Traveling To Sonoma


When is the best time of year to visit Sonoma?

My favorite time to visit Sonoma is always fall or spring as the temperature is always mildest. Summer can be pretty hot so I’d recommend having access to a pool if you do go say in the summer. The winter months are slower and quieter, so if you’re looking for a visit sans the crowd, winter is great too. Sonoma has year-round opportunities to visit so it’s a preference of weather and experience!


How many days for a trip to Sonoma?

I love spending a long weekend in Sonoma as it gives me ample time to experience a few wineries and the town. We also often will go for the day and do a wine tasting and a meal out. There is a lot to see, so extra time is welcomed if you’re coming out of town and want to do a few things.


Which airport do you fly into for Sonoma?

This is what makes Sonoma so easy to visit! You have several regional and international airports within earshot. The closest airport would be Sonoma County Airport, then Sacramento International, and all of the Bay Area airports like San Francisco or Oakland.


Where would you go before/after Sonoma?

Since Sonoma is such a popular destination for a road trip in Northern California, you can pair it with many other destinations. I would consider starting in San Francisco, coming to Sonoma, then heading out to the Marin/Sonoma coast for a few days.


The Best Restaurants In Sonoma


Folktable Restaurant

Just about a 10-minute drive out of the square you’ll find the complex called Cornerstone Sonoma. Inside, Folktable Restaurant is one of the best brunches around. I love their Dungeness crab roll, fish + chips, and burger.


table full of delicious food and people eating main dish is a tray of bacon with dill pickles and some baby carrots radish and onion