If you're looking for an adrenaline rush while in Wine County, Sonoma County has you covered.
Of course, it's true that Sonoma County built its reputation on laid-back luxury, slow-paced living, and being a place you visit to be able to sit back and relax. But that's not the whole story.
Here are nine Sonoma County activities that will be sure to get your heart pumping:
Take a Helicopter Ride with Helico Sonoma Tours
With several tours to choose from — 20 minute, 30 minute, one hour and custom tours — flying over Wine Country is easier than ever before with Helico Sonoma Tours. Hop in your private helicopter with your pilot, choose your route and grab your camera! Unbeatable views await up in the sky. Choose from flying over vineyards, the Russian River, the pacific coastline, Lake Sonoma, and more.
Go Skydiving with NorCal Skydiving
There’s nothing like jumping out of a perfectly good plane for fun… right? NorCal Skydiving in Cloverdale gives you the opportunity to skydive above one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. You’ll jump from more than two miles up, falling at 120 mph towards the beautiful Russian River.
Take Surfing Lessons in Bodega Bay
Whether you’re an ultimate beginner or advanced surfer, the Bodega Bay Surf Shack offers surfing lessons 365 a year in Sonoma County. At the surf shack, you can rent surfboards, kayaks, extra gear, and stand up paddleboards. Choose from a group surfing lesson or your own private session, both lasting approximately 2.5 hours.
Go Bioluminescent Kayaking with Getaway Adventures
You might have been kayaking before, but have you ever gone bioluminescent kayaking at sunset? Each summer, a unique natural water phenomenon occurs. Summer tides and warmer waters bring blooms of bioluminescent dinoflagellates, small organisms in the water that produce a burst of light when excited by motion. This causes the water colors around you to ‘glow’ with a blue light. Learn more about the experience and book here.
Please Note: The video shown below was not taken in Sonoma County, and is only shown to explain bioluminescent kayaking.
Test Your Speed on the Raceway
For those who like to sit back and watch, the Sonoma Raceway is a year-round motorsports complex with events scheduled a majority of the year (340 days and 50 weekends a year). You can see this year’s schedule of events here.
If you’re more interested in getting in and racing yourself, we recommend taking it to the indoor tracks, specifically Driven Raceway in Rohnert Park. You might not be on a full-size course, but you sure can pick up some speed and race your friends!
Zip through the Redwoods with Sonoma Canopy Tours
If you’re looking to do something that is thrilling as well as beautiful, ziplining through the California redwoods with Sonoma Canopy Tours should be at the top of your list! Their course includes seven ziplines, two sky bridges, a magnificent spiral staircase, and a rappel back to the forest floor. And if you’re feeling extra-daring, think about taking a Night Flight!
Air Tour Over the Pacific with Spirit's Up
We bet you haven’t seen anything like this before! Spirit’s Up is not only a birds-eye look, but a bird’s eye feel of soaring above Sonoma County. You’ll hop into a flying trike with an open cockpit, where you can marvel at views over the rivers, mountains, redwoods and oceans in Sonoma County. Learn more and book here.
Sail the Open Ocean in Bodega Bay
Be on the lookout for whales, dolphins, sea lions and harbor seals during this 3-hour sailing tour! Bodega Bay Sailing is a one-of-a-kind coastal excursion on a beautiful 33 foot sailboat.
And if you’re feeling more adventurous than a nice leisurely sail, they also offer an “Extreme Sailing” trip: a three-day trip that sails to Bodega Bay, Pt. Reyes and Tomales Bay. Click here to learn more.
Go Stand Up Paddleboarding Down the Russian River
Get ready to go paddle over turns and river currents in the Russian River on your very own stand up paddleboard! Rubicon Adventures offers a 2+ mile paddle up river through some of the most scenic areas of the Russian River. And as an added bonus, you may see a variety of riparian wildlife including: river otters, Great Blue Herons, belted kingfishers, and osprey.
You could also choose to do a flat water paddle, a surf clinic, yoga on a stand up paddlboard, and more. See all of your options here.
Looking for more fun things to do during your trip to Sonoma County, or are you trying to figure out where to stay during your vacation? Take a look at the many outdoor activities to enjoy in the valleys, vineyards, coastline and Russian River areas of Sonoma County.
Written by Sonoma Insider Mariah Harkey.