Alexander Valley Road in Geyserville

These last few dramatic years, two life lessons have become especially important: Don’t wait to do the things you really want to do, and spend as much time as possible with the people who matter most. Put these two together, and you and your dad (or favorite dad figure) are halfway to that Sonoma County road trip you’ve always meant to take. 

As Father’s Day approaches, here are some ideas for the Sonoma County road trip of your and your dad’s Wine Country dreams! 

Hit the Links

Whether you grew up golfing with your pop, or the two of you have long wanted to play a green together, Sonoma County is an unsung haven for golfers. In every corner of the county, you’ll find playful resort courses for beginners and challenging links for pin-seekers chasing par. 

Golfer swinging a club on the green at Windsor Golf Club
Windsor Golf Club 

For instance, the Windsor Golf Club â€” a former stop on the PGA Nationwide Tour — offers a challenging layout through a gently rolling landscape dotted with lakes, a meandering creek, and majestic oaks. And the 177-acre Sonoma Golf Club at the Sonoma Mission Inn is highlighted by sweeping vistas of the Mayacamas Mountains and neighboring vineyards, with a balanced blend of long and short holes.

Other Sonoma County golf courses, all of which allow you and Dad to book non-member tee times, include: Bennett Valley Golf CourseFairgrounds Golf Course, and Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club, all in Santa Rosa;  Foxtail Golf Club in Rohnert Park;  Mayacama Golf Club in Healdsburg; Sebastopol Golf Course in Sebastopol; and Petaluma Golf & Country Club and Rooster Run Golf Club, both in Petaluma. 

Tour a Winery — With a Twist

There are 425 wineries throughout Sonoma County, so if your dad is an oenophile (wine lover), you’re both in luck. You could certainly book a few tastings at his favorite spots, but why not take your visit(s) up a notch? Download this Wine Country road trip playlist, and book some unusual winery experiences you and your dad will always remember — like these:

You can take an ATV tour through the vineyards at Chenoweth Wines - Photo by Loren Hansen Photography
You can take an ATV tour through the vineyards at Chenoweth Wines – Photo by Loren Hansen Photography

With 800 acres of vineyards and redwoods, there’s plenty to see at Chenoweth Wines in Sebastopol — and you and your dad can tour it all in a Utility-Terrain Vehicle (UTV). During the hour-and-a-half UTV Tasting and Vineyard Tour, your guide will drive you and your pop throughout this gorgeous property, offering you tastes of Chenoweth’s Pinots, whites, and rose along the way. Feel free to bring a picnic and stay awhile. 

Horseback riding with Triple Creek Horse Outfit at Jack London State Historic Park
Horseback riding with Triple Creek Horse Outfit at Jack London State Historic Park 

Triple Creek Horse Outfit offers guided horseback tours at Jack London State Historic Park, where riding trails wind through the famous author’s Beauty Ranch, around acres of vineyards, through open oak woodlands, and under shady groves of majestic redwoods. Your three-hour experience includes a wine tasting at nearby VJB Cellars in Kenwood, where you’ll also find a gourmet Italian deli with wood-fired pizza, gelato and more.

Three Sticks Wines' private tasting room in the restored 1842 Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe
Three Sticks Wines’ private tasting room in the restored 1842 Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe

Three Sticks Wines in Sonoma offers a private tasting room in the restored 1842 Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe, the longest occupied residence in Sonoma and one of the town’s few remaining buildings from California’s Mexican period. You and your dad can tour the Adobe and take in the history while tasting Three Sticks’ Pinots and Chardonnays, then finish the experience with a meal prepared by the neighboring El Dorado Kitchen

Lift Your Dad’s Spirits

If your father prefers spirits to wine, not to worry — the Sonoma County Distillery Pass has you covered. When you purchase a 1-day, 2-day, or 90-day pass, you’ll have access to exclusive pricing on tastings at nine great distilleries in Sonoma County, including Sonoma Brothers in Sonoma, Griffo Distillery in Petaluma, and Spirit Works in Sebastopol. 

Spirit Works Distillery at The Barlow in Sebastopol
Spirit Works Distillery at The Barlow in Sebastopol 

In Sonoma County, you and your dad can taste everything from whiskey and gin to vodka and apple brandy. To help you find spirits that will warm your pop’s, well, spirit, check out 5 Sonoma County Distilleries You Should Know and Beyond Wine: 8 Sonoma County Tasting Rooms for a Taste of Something Different

Explore Sonoma County History

If your dad is a history buff, the fascinating history of Sonoma County makes for a great roadmap. Every town has its own unique array of museums, monuments, and landmarks. 

Exterior of the Museum of Sonoma County
Museum of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa

An ideal place to start is Santa Rosa’s California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, which explores California’s history and culture from a uniquely Native American perspective, including that of the Pomo, Coast Miwok, and Wappo tribes who have lived in the area for more than 4,000 years. Also visit the nearby Museum of Sonoma County to see local photos, artwork, and objects from the 19th century on. 

Interior of the Sonoma Barracks
Sonoma Barracks 

In the town of Sonoma, you and Dad could spend days immersed in Sonoma County history. Start with the 1823 Mission San Francisco Solano, the Spanish Franciscan order’s northernmost mission in California. Then explore Mexican-era landmarks like the Sonoma BarracksLa Casa Grande, and General Vallejo’s Home to learn about life in the area before and after the Bear Flag Rebellion of 1846. Also swing by the Depot Park Museum to explore more of Sonoma Valley’s cultural history.

Native American baskets on display at the Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society
Native American baskets on display at the Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society

Others stops Dad might enjoy? The Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society, set in the city’s former Carnegie Library; and Petaluma’s well-preserved downtown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home to the stately Petaluma Historical Library & Museum

Attend a Music or Food Festival

There are big festivals coming to Sonoma County this Father’s Day Weekend, and one (or more) might just be up your dad’s alley:

Country Summer Music Festival
Country Summer Music Festival will be June 17-19 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds

Country Summer Music Festival: Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, this event will feature 20+ Country acts on two stages. 

For even more ways to celebrate Dad on Father’s Day (or the day before), check out our events page for Sunday brunches; family-friendly, multi-generational outings; deals; and special offers!

Written by Melanie Wynne

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