A green vineyard shines in the setting sun
Emeritus Vineyards, Russian River Valley

5 Day Trips From San Francisco to Sonoma Wine Country

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You've decided to spend a day in Sonoma County. Wise choice! Here are five suggestions to create your one-of-a-kind Sonoma County experience. 

Coastal Adventures

Two people walk along the land's edge at Bodega Head
Bodega Head

With 50-plus miles of ocean coastline, Sonoma County begs visitors to take a day trip to the beach. The easiest access point from San Francisco is Bodega Bay, about 90 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Drive around to the west side of the harbor and hike Bodega Head for spectacular views of the ocean. If you want to swim, check out the protected waters of Doran Regional Park; for sustenance, swing by Spud Point Crab Company and order up some of the best clam chowder and a crab sandwich. Learn more by reading Day Trip From San Francisco to Bodega Bay.

Into the Woods

Sunlight streams through the redwood trees
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Sonoma County is home to a huge concentration of Coast Redwoods, some of the largest trees in the world. The best place to experience these trees is Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville.

Take a guided hike with a ranger or explore on your own. Later, drive down to Occidental and zipline through the forest with Sonoma Canopy Tours. Get more details in our article Where to Visit California Redwoods.

Valley of the Moon

The hot mineral water pool at the inn
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

State Highway 12 runs through a crescent of fertile land between Santa Rosa and Sonoma — a sliver known as the Valley of the Moon. Here, ogle at exotic plants at Sonoma Botanical Garden, and luxuriate near the pool at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. For a real treat, tour the ruins at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen; the author wrote some of his most famous works in homes here. Want to go winetasting? Check out Guide to Wine Tasting in Sonoma and Top Wineries in Glen Ellen. For more ideas of what to see and do in the Valley of the Moon, read Day Trip From San Francisco to Sonoma

History in Sonoma

The historic mission is just off the Sonoma Plaza
Mission San Francisco Solano

Downtown Sonoma, about an hour from the Golden Gate, is brimming with history. Start your tour at Buena Vista Winery, which dates back to 1857 and still has the original press house. From there, head to Mission San Francisco Solano, which dates back to 1823 and now is one of the historic buildings that comprise Sonoma State Historic Park. Find out more in Exploring California History in Sonoma.

Foodie Heaven in Healdsburg

A sign in front of the rustic, barn says Barndiva Gardens Open Today

Healdsburg, at the northern end of the county about 90 minutes from the Golden Gate, has emerged in recent years as a Mecca for food-lovers. Standout restaurants include Campo Fina, Bravas, and Barndiva. Learn more in Guide to Restaurants in Healdsburg and Day Trip From San Francisco to Healdsburg

Written by Sonoma County Insider Matt Villano.