Nightlife in Sonoma County if You're 20-Something
There are great nightlife places in Sonoma County for folks in their 20s, whether you want to go out and enjoy a craft drink (or two!) at a local cocktail bar to unwind after a day of hiking in Armstrong Redwoods, or enjoy a night of dancing and live music after an afternoon spent out on the Sonoma Coast.
It's hard enough figuring out the best restaurants to eat and wineries to visit when there are hundreds of options to choose from in Sonoma County in Northern California. It's even harder to decide which nightlife spots are worth the visit, because some of the best places are the local dive bars and small pubs scattered throughout the county.
Here's a few of the best nightlife places in Sonoma County if you're 20-something (21+ of course!):
To Hang Out for a Few Drinks
El Barrio, Guerneville
This lesser-known Mexican cocktail bar in Guerneville was started by the same team behind boon hotel + spa as well as boon eat + drink. The bar is picture perfect, and its Mexican cocktails are just as perfect. Check out El Barrio's unique menu at elbarriobar.com.
El Barrio: Open Wednesday and Thursday 4-9 p.m.; Friday 4-10 p.m.; Saturday 2-10 p.m.; and Sunday 2-9 p.m. (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
The Windsor Town Green, Windsor
While the small town of Windsor might not be a huge hub for nightlife, there are a few great local places on the Windsor Town Green to enjoy a few drinks. The Jaded Toad is one of them, having a cute outdoor patio lit by fairie lights, fireplaces, and large screen TVs for when the games are on. They also have a large bar and a full kitchen serving until a little later than most (Kitchen open Sunday-Wednesday until 9 p.m., and Thursday-Saturday until 10 p.m.)
Two other great stops just a stone's throw away on the Town Green are Lupe's Mexican Diner & Agave Room and The Publican (formerly known as Patterson's Pub). Lupe's includes a lovely little tequileria (tequila bar) that makes you feel as if you've just stepped into Baja California. The Publican is your go-to pub in Windsor for College Saturdays and NFL Sundays, when they have great brunch deals and Bloody Mary's/Mimosas for $5.
Jaded Toad: Open Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Lupe's Mexican Diner & Agave Room: Open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily
The Publican: Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-12 a.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Taps Restaurant and Tasting Bar, Petaluma
Taps in Petaluma is a great bar & grill to enjoy a few drinks and some good food overlooking the Petaluma River. It's walking distance to tons of things to do in Petaluma late at night, and is a great place to start your night!
Taps: Open Monday-Tuesday 2-11 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m., and Sunday 9:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
John & Zeke's Bar, Healdsburg
John & Zeke's is a local's favorite in Healdsburg, whether it's the good priced drinks or fun atmosphere that the owners bring. It's perfect for having a few drinks, meeting some new people and playing a few rounds of pool. Heck, it's even easy to stay here all night since it's open until 2:00am every night!
John & Zeke's: Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily
To Enjoy Live Music
Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma
Did you know the famous Lagunitas Brewing Company is located in Petaluma? Lagunitas almost always has live music playing at their awesome beer garden, whether it be folk, indie, rock, or even jazz. Their beer garden is a great place to hang out in the afternoon (dogs are welcome too!), and we recommend you try an 'Around the World' if you have a designated driver in place to take you home.
Check out the Lagunitas music calendar at lagunitas.com.
Lagunitas: Open Wednesday-Friday 1-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (Closed Monday and Tuesday)
McNear's Saloon & The Mystic Theater, Petaluma
The McNear's Saloon & Dining House is a Petaluma staple, and is easily spotted right when you drive into Petaluma by its towering saloon and lit-up front. It's the best place to catch a few great-priced cocktails before you head next door to a show at the Mystic Theater, which brings some great artists year-round.
See the current Mystic Theatre lineup.
McNear's Saloon: Open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-1:30 a.m.
The Hopmonk Tavern is well known in the area for great live music for all ages to enjoy in both their Sebastopol and Sonoma locations. Their stone-walled beer garden in Sebastopol will make you feel like you're in a Garden bier garten!
Hopmonk Tavern Sebastopol: Open Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Hopmonk Tavern Sonoma: Open Sunday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
SOMO Concerts at SOMO Village, Rohnert Park
Although it's not an every-weekend event (we wish it was!), the SOMO Concerts team brings great artists almost monthly to entertain at the SOMO Village, where they create mini 'pop-up festivals' with the help of some huge name artists (past artists have included The Dirty Heads, Pepper, Tribal Seeds, and The Green). We're always waiting to hear what the next show is in Rohnert Park! Find out about upcoming performances at somoconcerts.com.
To Enjoy Hoppy Beers All Night
Downtown 4th Street, Santa Rosa
4th Street in downtown Santa Rosa is hub for all different kinds of nightlife. There's dive bars, night clubs, Irish pubs, and even some great locations to enjoy a mellow night with some great beer choices.
The original Russian River Brewing Company location is in the heart of the crazy downtown atmosphere on a Friday and Saturday night, and it naturally packed with people until closing (at 12 a.m.). If you want to get a seat in Russian River Brewing on a weekend night, you best get there early. (Or, head a bit north to the new 195-seat Russian River Brewing Company in the town of Windsor.)
Another fun Fourth Street choice for weekend beers is the Belly Left Coast Kitchen & Taproom, where you can enjoy beer, wine (no hard liquor), and some delicious food (their tacos are a must!).
Across the way, Third Street Aleworks is a brewpub that's close to but also far enough away from the huge Friday and Saturday crowds on 4th street. Here at Third Street, you can relax with some friends over a few beers and burgers!
Russian River Brewing Company: 11 a.m.-12 a.m. daily
Belly Left Coast Kitchen: Sunday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m.
Third Street Aleworks: Sunday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m. (kitchen until 11 p.m.); and Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. (kitchen until 11:30 p.m.)
Brewster's Beer Garden, Petaluma
One of the newest beer gardens in Sonoma Country for friends and families alike, Brewster's is a great stop on a night out in Petaluma. They've always got something going on, and you can also find quite a bit of live music here as well. Check out the calendar for what's happening soon here.
Brewster's: Open Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m.; and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. (Closed Mondays)
Cooperage Brewing Company, Santa Rosa
This awesome Portland-vibe warehouse brewery is one of my favorite places to get a craft beer in Sonoma County. The atmosphere is welcoming, and they constantly have art shows and galleries to bring the artist community together with the beer community.
Cooperage: Open Monday-Friday 2 p.m.-12 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
Fogbelt Brewing Company, Santa Rosa
Naming each beer after a prominent coastal redwood tree only found in the fogbelt isn't the only interesting thing that Fogbelt incorporates into their brewery. They're well known for their unique beer and food tastings (bacon and beer, anyone?) and bar games nights, including Trivia Nights and Comedy Shows. See the Fogbelt event schedule.
Fogbelt: Open Monday-Thursday 12-10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Murphy's Irish Pub, Sonoma
Talk about an Irish pub! My first time at Murphy's made me feel like I was walking down Grafton Street in Dublin once again. From the music to the decorations and of course the beer, Murphy's takes on the Irish pub title well in downtown Sonoma. Check out their Trivia Nights, Cheer & Beer Pairings, Comedy Night, and more. For details, check out Murphy's calendar of events.
Murphy's: Open Monday-Thursday 5-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
To Play Bar Games
Gary's at the Belvedere, Santa Rosa
Another dive bar staple in Santa Rosa is Gary's at the Belvedere, better known here as "The Belv," where you'll find all types of people under one roof enjoying games of pool, air hockey, and jello shots. You'll be surprised to realize that this is an old Victorian home transformed into a bar. It's really a big family under one roof for the night!
Gary's: Open Monday 4 p.m.-1 a.m., Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
Whiskey Tip, Santa Rosa
Whiskey Tip in Santa Rosa is a unique little dive bar that has a great atmosphere and fun bartenders that can make just about any drink you'd like on the fly. They've also got a huge outdoor patio when they host live music, events, and even have outdoor games including a life-size Jenga!
Whiskey Tip: Open every day 12 p.m.-2 a.m.
Jamison's Roaring Donkey, Petaluma
Better Known as the "Roaring Donkey," this was a hard one to fit into a category, because it has it all. A great cocktail menu (including a full separate menu of over 10 different Moscow Mules), game nights with trivia, live music with open mic nights, and a DIY Bloody Mary BUFFET every Sunday morning. You can also throw some darts or play some pool while you're here, and it's very easy to stay all night without leaving!
Jamison's: Open Monday-Saturday 2 p.m.-2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
7Ten Social at the Epicenter, Santa Rosa
When you picture a bowling alley, I bet you don't picture one as upscale as the 7Ten Social and Victory House Bar inside of the Epicenter. If you've visited before, you can understand that The Epicenter has recreated the idea of casual bowling. This lounge is full of beautiful lanes, large screen TVs, lane "texting," music for the late nights and a full bar to serve you nightly.
7Ten Social: Open Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Victory House Bar Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., Sat 9 a.m.-2 a.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
Buffalo Billiards, Petaluma
Buffalo Billiards is a movie-perfect pool hall to enjoy on a Friday or Saturday night (or any night for that matter). They're also got ping pong, foosball, pinball, air hockey, darts … you name it. This bar is for those looking to have fun all night!
Buffalo Billiards: Open Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-1 a.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.–2 a.m., and Sun 10 a.m.-12 a.m.
To Party All Night Long
Duke's Spirited Cocktails, Healdsburg
It's not often that you find an upscale cocktail bar that also knows how to party, which is why we love Duke's Spirited Cocktails in the Historic plaza of downtown Healdsburg. On a normal Saturday night you'll find quite the mix of visitors, from local friends having drinks together to wedding parties making the cocktail bar a second wedding reception. Not to mention that the drinks are great and the staff is a fun young group of individuals who know how to have a party.
Duke's: Open Monday-Thursday 4 p.m.-12 a.m., Friday-Saturday 2 p.m.-2 a.m., and Sunday 2 p.m.-12 a.m.
Graton Resort & Casino, Rohnert Park
The first time I stepped into the Graton Casino, I thought I was in downtown Las Vegas for a second!
You can spend a whole night at Graton Resort & Casino, playing the slots, putting a hand down in blackjack, baccarat or poker, or even dancing to some live music they have weekly.
Graton Resort & Casino: Open 24 hours
The Cotati Crawl: Bar Crawl in Cotati
If you're a local, you've probably heard of the infamous Thursday night Cotati Crawl, or have probably even done it yourself.
The crawl is great because every bar and pub along the way has its own unique personality, giving you a quick feel for the Cotati atmosphere. If you're 20-something, this is an awesome bar crawl to meet some local college students from the area and have a fun night! Not to mention, the 'crawl' on Thursday nights offers insanely cheap drink deals!
Maguire's Irish Pub, Petaluma
If you're ready to dance all night, Maguire's Irish Pub in Petaluma on a late Friday and Saturday night is for you! Found in the Old Opera House Building, this unique little pub gets packed during the late nights, with a DJ playing and everyone dancing.
Maguire's: Open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
After your crazy night out on the town, stop off at one of the late night eats in Sonoma County to battle off your headache tomorrow morning.