Vista Point Overlook in the Sonoma Coast State Park

There’s nothing quite like discovering a high spot with a clear view, where everything seems to stretch out before you. That happens a lot in Sonoma County, where miles of rolling vineyards, wild forestlands, and rugged Pacific coastline compete for the most amazing vista.

It’s hard to know whether to grab a camera and try to capture the incredible images, or just relax and drink it all in.

Together, we can protect and preserve the beauty and natural resources of Sonoma County for generations to come. Check out our page on Sustainable Travel, and look over the Leave No Trace Seven Principles.

Here’s just a short list of the overwhelmingly scenic opportunities in Sonoma County:

Bodega Head

A person looks out over the Pacific Ocean at the edge of the bluff in Sonoma County
Bodega Head, Sonoma Coast State Park

Part of the 17-mile-long Sonoma Coast State Park, Bodega Head is the rocky headland that forms the commanding entrance into Bodega Harbor. The harbor side of the headland provides a popular crabbing area along the jetty, and the many hiking trails on the ocean side allow access to small, sandy coves, and spectacular bluff-top views. The high cliffs offer excellent vantage points for observing migrating gray whales.

Coleman Valley Road 

The road weaves around Eucalyptus trees in Sonoma County
Coleman Valley Road

Coleman Valley Road is one of the most picturesque drives around, with stunning views of Sonoma County’s rugged coastline. From Occidental, head west on Coleman Valley Road towards Highway 1. The road climbs steeply out of town, descends into a picturesque valley, then climbs up and runs along the ridgeline with spectacular views of the coast. There are pullouts along the road where you can stop and take photos. At its highest point you can see both the Pacific Ocean to the west and the forested valleys to the east. Beware of the wandering livestock. 

Lake Sonoma Recreation Area 

The bridhe crosses the lake and shines in the sun in Sonoma County
Lake Sonoma Recreation Area

Created in 1983 by the construction of Warm Springs Dam, beautiful Lake Sonoma is spread over rolling coastal foothills, surrounded by both forestlands and gorgeous Sonoma County vineyards. Get an amazing overview in the picnic area at the South Lake Trailhead overlook on Stewarts Point Skaggs Springs Road. If you have the time, continue on Stewarts Point road to the coast, and stop at Annapolis Winery on the way. Lake Sonoma Marina rents patio, ski, sail, and fishing boats, and offers a barbecue area, a deli, and a swimming beach. Get details about the park and learn about the natural history of the area at the Lake Sonoma Visitors Center & Fish Hatchery

River Rock Casino 

Whether you prefer sunrise or sunset, enjoy spectacular views of the Alexander Valley countryside from the outdoor patio at the Quail Run Buffet at River Rock Casino.

River’s End Restaurant & Inn 

The hotel is perched along the river where it meets the Russian River in Sonoma County
River’s End Restaurant & Inn

Perched on a bluff, River’s End (re-opening June 24, 2021) truly offers a one-of-a-kind location, overlooking the mouth of the Russian River as it enters the Pacific Ocean. Sunsets are typically spectacular. 

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park 

A view of the ocean in the distance from the top of the mountain in Sonoma County
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

It’s a hike to the top, but on a clear day, the views from the Bald Mountain summit are magnificent. Often you can see the Sierra to the east, San Francisco Bay and Mount Diablo to the south, Mount Tamalpais to the southwest, the coastal range and the Pacific to the west, and Mount Saint Helena to the north. In addition to its 25 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park includes 47 campsites and at night, outdoor stargazing events at the Robert Ferguson Observatory.

Need more ideas? Browse our extensive Sonoma County listings for more wineries and restaurants, or find your favorite picnic spot at one of over 50 state and regional parks in Sonoma County. 

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