Sonoma County, located less than an hour from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, features more than 400 wineries and 55-plus miles of stunning Pacific coast.
While you can arrive in Sonoma County from the Bay Area via public transportation, it doesn’t lend itself to going from winery to winery. Here are several ways to travel to Sonoma County.
From Sacramento: US-80 West to CA-12/121 West
From Seattle/Portland: US-5 or US-101 South
From Los Angeles/San Francisco: US-101 North via the Golden Gate Bridge: The Golden Gate Bridge has instituted all-electronic tolling, a cashless payment system.
Tolls must be paid southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge, heading into San Francisco (the outbound direction is free). Do not stop at the toll plaza, where equipment automatically reads the FasTrak toll tag (if the vehicle is equipped with one) and charges the fee to that account, or the equipment records the license plate number.
Visitors have two easy payment options: a one-time payment or a toll invoice. A one-time payment can be made online based on the vehicle's license plate number, either up to 30 days before or within 48 hours after crossing the Golden Gate. If the vehicle does not have a FasTrak tag and a one-time payment is not made within 48 hours after crossing, the registered owner of the vehicle will be mailed a toll invoice — a bill for the fee.
If driving a rental car, be sure to ask the agency in advance about its bridge toll program, whether there are any additional fees, and if it's necessary to opt-in or opt-out for the toll program.
For more details, visit goldengate.org.
Sonoma County is reached via direct air service on Alaska Airlines or Allegiant Air to Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), named after long-time Santa Rosa resident Charles M. Schulz (creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip).
Sonoma County Airport has flights from Los Angeles, Orange County, Portland, San Diego and Seattle on Alaska, or from Las Vegas and Phoenix-Mesa in Allegiant, or via a transfer from another Alaska, Horizon, or American Airlines flight. Things to know about STS.
A great offer from Alaska Airlines is that a case of wine is included as part of your free luggage allowance on flights originating from Sonoma County Airport.
You buy the wine, they'll ship it home for free. (Of course, you should have it packed to shipping standards.) See complete details on our Sonoma County "Wine Flies Free" page and on the Alaska Airlines website.
Otherwise, Sonoma County is located:
- 75 miles, 1:33 hours north of San Francisco International (SFO)
- 76 miles, 1:30 hours north of Oakland International (OAK)
- 119 miles, 2:06 hours west of Sacramento International (SMF)
From San Francisco Airport and Oakland Airport, local company Sonoma County Airport Express offers round-trip service in Wi-Fi enabled buses. Buses pick-up outside the arrivals or baggage claim at the airports - check their website for more details.
By Public and Private Transportation Companies:
Catch the Sonoma County Airport Express (707-837-8700, www.airportexpressinc.com) from San Francisco International Airport. There are four stops in Sonoma County, including the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), where you can rent a car or take a taxi to the nearest winery.
The Golden Gate Transit (415-923-2000; www.goldengate.org) operates buses 70, 71, 80, and 101 from San Francisco to Petaluma and to Santa Rosa. Catch it at Main and Folsom streets, at the temporary Transbay Terminal. Check the website for specific routes as some operate only during commute hours and other times change because of holidays and weekend.
Ride the ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building to Larkspur Ferry (goldengateferry.org/schedules/Larkspur.php). From there, catch Golden Gate Transit to Sonoma County.
Greyhound (800-231-2222; www.greyhound.com) operates from San Francisco to Santa Rosa. There are transfers for local buses.
Sonoma County Transit (707-576-7433, 800-345-7433; www.sctransit.com) runs the bus service from Santa Rosa to Petaluma, Sonoma, and western Sonoma County, including the Russian River Valley towns.
Amtrak (800-872-7245; www.amtrak.com) trains travel to Martinez, with connecting buses to Santa Rosa and Healdsburg.
Questions? Call Sonoma County Tourism at 800-576-6662 or 707-522-5800