A person wearing shorts rides a bicycle past the huge town green
Windsor Town Green; photo by Barbara Bourne

Guide to Windsor

Share this story

Sonoma Wine Country may be famous for wine tasting and spas, but there is more to Wine Country than that. And Windsor (pop. 26,801), in northern Sonoma County, shows that the small towns of this region hold surprises for visitors.

A latte with a heart in the foam and a slice of cake
Cafe Noto

Sooner or later, visitors to Windsor will end up at Café Noto. Located at the eastern end of the Town Green, this locally-owned coffee shop is where visitors stand in line with locals, artists meet customers, high-school kids do their homework, young moms convene with their babies, and a conversation about farming spreads from one table to the next.

The coffee shop represents what Windsor is about. The town — and it is officially always going to be a "town" because of a decree from the Town Council — sits between better-known Healdsburg (pop. 11,541) and larger Santa Rosa (pop. 170,685). The former has the glitz and the fancy shopping; the latter has the airport and the major industry in Sonoma County.

A farmer holding bouquets of flowers in front of a booth at the market
Windsor Certified Farmers Market; photo by Barbara Bourne

In between, in Windsor, are families and farmers. The majority of the visitor attractions in Windsor are situated on the Town Green, a new-Urbanist experiment to create in-fill development that is pedestrian friendly. In the summer, the Town Green hosts concerts, movies, and a farmers market. On non-activity days the large expanse of lawn sees kids playing beside the fountain or in the playground.

The Town Green is home to some of the most diverse dining options in Sonoma County, with many great Asian restaurants (Thai, Himalayan, and Chinese) next to Mexican, Wine Country with European flair, tasty pub grub, classic American, diner delights, pizzerias, and even a deli inside a corner store.

And that's just the dining options-when you're ready for dessert, consider the sweet treats at Fruity Moto, the gelateria inside Cravin's Candy Emporium, or the delicious baked goods at Burtonz Bakery.

Colorful storefronts on the shops at the green
Windsor Town Green; photo by Wildly Simple

The shopping options are eclectic, from the jewelry by local artists at Images to all the volumes at Pages Books on the Green and the bicycles at Windsor Bike and Sport. And everyone seems to convene at Kaleidoscope Toys for its collection of thoughtful, playful toys.

Within walking distance of the Town Green are three hotels — Hampton Inn & SuitesHoliday Inn Express, and the full service Holiday Inn Windsor Wine Country.

And within a short bicycle ride you'll find the vacation rentals Villa Terra Bella and Vintage Suites. There's also a time share resort, Worldmark by Wyndham.

Glasses of wine set up for tasting
Bellacana Vineyards

There's three great tasting rooms on the Town Green: Baldassari Wines, Bellacana Vineyards, and Mutt Lynch Winery, And if you're looking to head to a beer garden or taproom, we recommend checking out Barley & Bine Beer Cafe or Tavern on the Green, the taproom inside Oliver's Market

There are many wineries to visit in the area around Windsor, such as Bricoleur Vineyards, Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards, La Crema Estate at Saralee's VineyardMartinelli Winery & Vineyards, and Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards.

Ready for a visit? Check out all the things to do in Windsor here

Looking for more fun things to do during your trip to Sonoma County? Take a look at the many outdoor activities to enjoy in the valleys, vineyards, coastline and Russian River areas of Sonoma County.