Summer break with kids may sometimes feel like "Whine Country," but a number of Sonoma County resorts cater to families while still offering the Wine Country atmosphere that parents are looking for. Hit the road in California for a vacation the entire family will enjoy. Here's a quick list of family-friendly lodgings to use as a base of operations as you explore.
DoubleTree Hotel Sonoma Wine Country
Surrounded by two 18-hole PGA certified championship golf courses, this Tuscan-style hotel features 245 spacious guest rooms, an elegant selection of suites, and 18,000 square feet of indoor meeting space.
Located in family-friendly Rohnert Park, the DoubleTree is near kid-friendly activities such as Driven Raceway, an indoor go-kart raceway; Scandia Family Fun Center, who can resist bumper boats and miniature golf; Double Decker Lanes, bowling; Cal Skate roller rink; and much more.
A scenic hour drive from the world famous San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and only 20 minutes from the Sonoma County Airport, guests can visit more than 190 wineries in the immediate area.
1 Doubletree Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, 707-584-5466
Flamingo Resort and Spa
(Photo at left.) The Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, in Sonoma Wine Country, is a Santa Rosa historic landmark. With the classic charm of the resort hotels of the 1950s and all the contemporary amenities important to today’s guests, it is the perfect location for exploring Northern California’s premier Wine Country.
The pool is perfect for kids, and families can get some of the rooms on the bottom floor around the pool, with easy access to kid-friendly diversions, including tennis courts and basketball hoops. It's also just a short walk to nearby restaurants, a pharmacy, and grocery stores. For fans of the Peanuts cartoons, the Flamingo has several 5-foot-tall fiberglass statues of Charlie Brown and the gang in the lobby and scattered around the grounds.
On-site amenities include a health club and spa, two Olympic-size pools, five tennis courts, Sunday brunch, poolside dining, nightly entertainment in the lounge, corporate travel club, golf/spa/winery packages, high-speed Internet, and Wi-Fi. Meeting space covers 13,000 square feet, which includes two board rooms and a ballroom.
2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, CA 95405, 707-545-8530
Petaluma KOA/San Francisco North
One of the top-rated camping and RV parks in the nation, this 70-acre, full-service campground and RV park in Petaluma features 20 lodges (sleeps six with kitchen, private bedroom, full bath, and TV), 34 camping cabins, a tree-covered tenting area, 30amp/50amp large pull-thru RV sites, and six large group areas.
All total, there are more than 300 sites, and each comes with a picnic table and fire ring; 189 have full hook-ups, and 16 are partial (water and electric). Amenities include a large pool, hot spa, off leash dog park, bocce ball court, horseshoe pits, bounce pillow, rock wall, petting farm, hayrides, outdoor movies, and Friday karaoke.
20 Rainsville Road, Petaluma, CA 94952, 707-763-1492
Wooded tent and RV sites, combined with charming Kamping Kabins and lodges, make for an ideal location to setup base camp while you visit wineries, canoe, fish, and marvel at the towering redwoods and the gorgeous coast.
Sunny days and cool nights create a perfect climate for the more than 50 award-winning wineries nearby. Recreation sites such as Lake Sonoma, Warm Springs Dam, and the Russian River provide an exciting range of outdoor activities.
Starry nights, wireless Internet, a bountiful country store, mini-golf, large solar-heated summer pool and year-round spa on a hillside overlooking the Alexander Valley, basketball half-court, hungry fish in a catch-and-release pond, a gathering hall, and, of course, warm showers – all that you would expect of a KOA, and a whole lot more. This resort is a haven for cyclists, birdwatchers, grape lovers, and photographers.
1166 Asti Ridge Road, Cloverdale, CA 95426, 707-894-3337
Casini Ranch Family Campground
(Photo at left.) Casini Ranch Campground is nestled among beautiful hills resting on a gentle meander along the Russian River near Duncans Mills, just minutes from the Pacific Ocean. One mile of river runs along this 110-acre part of the ranch, offering campers a memorable camping experience.
The area hosts numerous events and activities at and around Casini Ranch. You will find something for everyone to enjoy just minutes away. Casini Ranch is open year round. Onsite facilities include the well-stocked Moscow General Store, complete with laundry facilities and video arcade. The Moscow Barn, a restored historic barn, is used as a recreation hall for clubs, groups, and special events such as weddings or family reunions. It offers a large kitchen, dining hall/meeting room, upstairs dance hall (the old hay loft), and a large outdoor patio to enjoy the summer sun.
Restrooms with hot showers are located throughout the park, and various watercraft rentals are available to enjoy on the mile-long beach amid the surrounding beauty of the Russian River. Casini Ranch offers range of RV and tent sites with various features. Many sites have spectacular views of the river; others are secluded in wooded pockets and clearings, while some are large and expansive where the entire family can gather together.
RV clubs traveling together will be offered a large, open rally area with rows of hookups. All sites include picnic tables and a fire pit. While tent sites have water nearby, full hookup sites offer electricity up to 50 amp, with water, sewer and 48 channels of CATV. For those who wish to keep in touch with the rest of the world, Wi-Fi is offered free in various spots throughout the park.
22855 Moscow Road, P.O.Box 22, Duncans Mills, CA 95430, 800-451-8400
Dawn Ranch Lodge
(Photo at right.) Dawn Ranch Lodge is a 15-acre property nestled among towering redwoods on the banks of the Russian River. Just 20 minutes from the beautiful Pacific Coast, it offers rustic tranquility and a contemporary atmosphere.
Individual cottages blend harmoniously into the stunning landscape of ancient apple orchards, bamboo groves, grassy meadows, and beautifully landscaped gardens.
A century-old guest ranch, Dawn Ranch Lodge was renamed in 2006 in celebration of the rare Dawn Redwood, of which there are two mature trees on the grounds. Originally believed to be extinct for over 15 million years, the Dawn Redwood was rediscovered in the 1940s growing in remote provinces in China, and a handful of saplings were reintroduced to North America. The 70-year-old trees grew from these original saplings.
16467 Highway 116, Guerneville, CA 95446, 707-869-0656