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Best Nightlife in Sonoma County if You’re 20-Something

Sonoma County is full of a unique mix of nightlife, including live music, dive bars, bar games and more.

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:

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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 the unique menu here

Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 4-9 p.m.; Friday 3-11 p.m.; Saturday 2-11 p.m.; and Sunday 2-9 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays) 

Alexander Valley Bar, Healdsburg

Not all winery tasting Rooms have a secret cocktail bar in the back, but Medlock Ames is one of them! This reincarnated, century-old hangout in Healdsburg is nestled behind the Medlock Ames, perfect for when the tasting room is coming to a close and you still want to enjoy Alexander Valley. Here you’ll find seasonal cocktails using home-grown ingredients, local microbrews and wines, toand old favorites.

Opens Wednesday-Sunday at 5 p.m.

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.)

Jaded Toad: Open Sunday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday  11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Two other great stops just a stone’s throw away on the Town Green are the Agave Room  (connected to Lupe’s Mexican Diner) and The Publican (formerly know as Patterson’s Pub). The Agave Room is 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.

Agave Room: Open until 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, 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!

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, 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!

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. They’ve also got a yearly concert series known as Live at Lagunitas every summer.

Catch the lineup and more info here.

Open Wednesday-Friday 1-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (Closed Monday and Tuesday) 

Bergamot Alley, Healdsburg

Found right in downtown Healdsburg, Bergamot Alley has just about everything: wine, beer, live music, and some great food (with gourmet Grilled Cheeses being a staple). See their current event happenings here.

Open Tuesday-Thursday 5 p.m.-12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 12 p.m.-1 a.m.; and Sunday 12 p.m.-12 a.m. (closed Mondays)

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 lineup here.

McNear’s Saloon: Open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-1:30 a.m.

Hopmonk Tavern, Sebastopol & Sonoma

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 will make you feel like you’re in a Garden bier garten!

See their live music schedule for Sebastopol here and Sonoma here.  

Open Monday-Friday 11:30-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Sonoma Cider, Healdsburg

Sonoma Cider not only has some of the most interesting seasonal ciders in the game (we’re talking Gingerbread-inspired “The Cutter” and winter spice “The Sleigh" in the winter season), but they also have tons of fun events and live music, comedians, and dancing to enjoy on the weekends.

See their upcoming events on their Facebook here.

Open daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

SOMO Village / SOMO Concerts, 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! See their schedule here.

 


  

To Enjoy Hoppy Beers All Night:

Happy #zwanzeday2017 ! #cantillon #zwanzebeer #cantillongueuze #cantillonnath #wildfriendshipblend2014

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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. Russian River Brewing Company 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 on a weekend night, you best head there early!

Another fun 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.

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.

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 event schedule here

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. Their 15 Minute Bloody Mary is a morning signature, after a long night spent listening to Irish folk music and step dancing. Check out their Trivia Nights, Cheer & Beer Pairings, Comedy Night, and more. See the full list of ongoing events here.

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:

So pro 👏🏻🙌🏻

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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 $2 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!

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!

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!

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 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!  

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:

 

The 4th Street Nightlife Hub, Santa Rosa

There’s no doubting that one of the biggest nightlife “hubs” to enjoy in Sonoma County is downtown 4th Steet in Santa Rosa. With a strip of bars, pubs, restaurants and more, you can hop from bar to bar in no time. It’s also great when you want to change up the pace depending on what you’d like to do that night, whether it be dance the night away, or enjoy a few beers.

The Lounge at La Rosa is one of Sonoma County’s true “night clubs”, featuring resident and visiting DJ’s every Friday and Saturday night on the second-story of the Mexican restaurant. The Lounge also includes an outside patio, which is perfect when it gets crowded on the dance floor inside.  The Lounge at La Rosa also enforces a weekend dress code, so boys, don’t forget your collared shirts! (No ball caps or T-shirts allowed.)

If the Lounge might be a little too crazy for your likings, head across the street to the very popular Stout Brother’s Irish Pub where the crowd is still fun and the DJ is playing all night long.

Both Stout’s and La Rosa get packed every Friday and Saturday night, so remember to show up earlier to make sure you don’t end up in the long line!

The Lounge at La Rosa Open Friday 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Saturday 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Stout Brother’s Irish Pub Open Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. (Closed Sunday and Monday)

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.

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.

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.

This bar crawl consists of quite a few local dive bars & pubs in downtown Cotati, with the most popular stops being The 8 Ball Bar, The Tradewinds Bar, Friar Tucks Pub and Spancky’s Bar.

The crawl is great because every bar & 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.

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. 

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