Luxurious Wine Country Road Trip to Sonoma County
Unique, remote Wine Country resorts abound in Sonoma County, offering a break from the hustle and bustle of life. Many of these Sonoma County retreats offer a plethora of luxurious amenities that make it hard to leave. However, when you are ready to explore, you have the best that Sonoma County has to offer, such as Michelin-star restaurants and award-winning wineries, at your fingertips.
For the ultimate relaxing trip to Sonoma County, let local chauffeurs do the driving to eateries and wineries, allowing yourself to fully take in Sonoma County without having to do any of the work. Pure Luxury is one of many local chauffeur companies, ensuring every detail is flawless. You might also like the cool comfort of a Tesla for your venture through Wine Country, which is offered by Healdsburg Tours. Sonoma County is your proverbial oyster.
Wander Wine Country
Start your relaxing Sonoma County getaway in the beautiful town of Sonoma. For your first stop, experience California’s first premium winery, Buena Vista. Founded in 1857, Buena Vista’s history is as colorful as it is proud. Today, the legendary winery is reborn under the vision of famous French vintner Jean-Charles Boisset. Taste incredible wines in the tasting room or enjoy a picnic lunch on the beautiful grounds with a cheese & charcuterie board. Alternatively, enjoy a box lunch by Oakville Grocery, founded in 1881 and recently reconnected to its California roots by Jean-Charles. Oakville Grocery offers a highly curated selection of the best products from local farmers, artisans, and purveyors.
Once you’ve sunk into the laid-back vibe of Sonoma Wine Country, make your way to the Sonoma Plaza, dating back to the 1800s, and which is full of small-town charm. Start your plaza visit with a refreshing sparkling flight at SIGH Champagne Bar, offering a vast array of quality Champagne & sparkling wines. SIGH offers a lively atmosphere, along with staff that are happy to entertain and educate you on the joys of the world's most celebrated beverage.
Having tantalized your senses with this bubbly visit, venture out for fresh air on the Sonoma Plaza. The Sonoma Plaza boasts 30-plus wine tasting rooms, more than 25 amazing restaurants, and a huge selection of shopping choices, all surrounding this iconic California landmark.
When you want a break in wine tasting, head south of Sonoma to Hanson of Sonoma Distillery. Specializing in premium vodka and whiskey, Hanson has a number of different tasting experiences. Taste through their line of vodkas, or, may we suggest the martini and caviar pairing.
Indulge in Sonoma
You've probably worked up an appetite, so head over to El Dorado Kitchen for California-inspired cuisine with a focus on the freshest farm- and ranch-raised ingredients. Here you'll experience Executive chef Armando Navarro’s menu, featuring simple, seasonal ingredients and imaginative choices complemented by a robust wine list and signature cocktails.
Having enjoyed a full day exploring the deliciousness of Sonoma, wind down and retreat to your suite at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. This beautiful Sonoma County resort is nestled in an impeccable setting, blending a mix of urban luxury with California-inspired sophistication, all to the backdrop of Wine County. Relish harmony with nature via vast open spaces, beautifully landscaped grounds, a stunning pool, majestic redwood trees, and inspiring sunsets.
Kickstart your day at Sante, the Fairmont’s fine dining restaurant, which has earned a national reputation for its outstanding food, evidenced by its AAA Four Diamond Award and Michelin designations. Indulge with the Caramelized Brioche French Toast, the staff favorite Sonoma Duck Confit Hash, a lighter option of Avocado Toast, or one of their many other delectable menu items.
After breakfast, venture over to the Inn’s Willow Stream Spa, and treat yourself to a rebalancing treatment. Enjoy a restorative massage, cleansing skin care treatment, mind and body experience, or a selection of salon services. A therapeutic spa experience is the ideal pick-me-up to prepare you for the adventures ahead in Sonoma Wine County.
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Once you’ve enjoyed a relaxing morning, head off to the next leg of your Sonoma County experience with a drive full of incredible vineyard views along Highway 12. Begin with a midday wine and food pairing at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. Surrounded by the sprawling estate and vineyards, you’ll be taken on a culinary journey with a multi-course wine & food pairing by their talented culinary team. Featuring award-winning wines paired to a seasonal menu, St. Francis’ five-course fine dining experience highlights Sonoma County’s diverse agricultural and culinary traditions.
Inspired and fulfilled, hit the road and make your way to Healdsburg, a wine and culinary epicenter, sitting at the juncture of three prime winegrowing regions, the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley. Spend an afternoon exploring an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, galleries, and bars centered around a charming town plaza. Stop into any number of art galleries, such as the Paul Mahder Gallery, featuring world-class contemporary art. Right around the corner, enjoy a tasting at JCB Tasting Salon, also by Jean-Charles Boisset. This opulent tasting experience is one for the senses, tasting through a curated selection of JCB's wines, paired with food, all within a thoughtfully-designed tasting room.
As the sun starts to set on another wonderful wine country day, treat yourself to Valette, serving Californian cuisine and wine in an upscale space. Dustin Valette and Aaron Garzini envisioned opening a restaurant together which would provide a canvas for Sonoma County farmers, winemakers, and artisans to showcase their craft in Healdsburg.
Chef Nathan Davise is an avid supporter of the area’s sustainable farming and enjoys working with the high-quality bounty of local producers. His refined and artisanal approach to cuisine serves to entertain and delight the palate, while introducing diners to the culinary treasures of Sonoma County. One of the most popular selections is the “Trust Us” tasting menu, which is a chef-guided tour through four (or more) dishes on the menu.
Relax The Day Away
As you conclude your day, retreat to a spacious, luxurious suite at the Farmhouse Inn, located just minutes from Healdsburg in Forestville. Featuring individual sanctuaries of stylish comfort with unmatched attention to detail, Farmhouse Inn has its own personality and laid-back warmth. The Farmhouse Inn’s restaurant, boasting a Michelin star, is a great dining option for either dinner, or breakfast, where you can enjoy a two-course signature breakfast on the sun-drenched courtyard.
For another lodging option, there’s Vintners Resort, located in Santa Rosa. Here you’ll find a recently renovated private oasis, full of Wine Country charm and beautiful views. Enjoy an afternoon of pampering at Vi La Vita Spa, and afterward, a romantic dinner just off the vineyards at John Ash & Co. It all makes for a quintessential Sonoma County Wine Country experience.
Up Up And Away
Start your day with spectacular views aboard an Up & Away hot air balloon on a sunrise flight and exhilarating adventure over Sonoma Wine Country. Soaring above vineyards and rolling hills, this bucket list experience is well worth the early wake up call. Upon landing, you’ll then celebrate with a post-flight breakfast at a local eatery.
Once you’ve had a bit of time to refuel and refresh, go on your own Healdsburg winery tour. Start with a tasting from Roth Estate, characterized by a bold expression of luxury Bordeaux varietals from Sonoma County’s best AVAs. Enjoy a wine tasting, followed by a wine cave tour or game of bocce ball on their outdoor court.
From there, make your way across the road to Chalk Hill Estate for a tour of the spectacular 1,300-acre property, featuring hundreds of acres of vineyards, wilderness areas, gardens, horse stables, and more. Chalk Hill boasts a long history of agricultural pioneering, including more than a century as an important producer of gourmet produce, meats, poultry, and wine. Take in the sights, as well as a wine and culinary pairing with estate chef Alec Graham’s curated dishes featuring their fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
Conclude your wine tasting afternoon on Chalk Hill Road and sip at Lancaster Estate. Set on 53 acres of vineyards and rich, volcanic soils and rolling hillsides of Alexander Valley, Lancaster Estate is dedicated to growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc, with the explicit intention of producing the most authentic expression possible.
Wine and Dine
Cap off your culinary-inspired day with a visit to another one of the incredible dining options on the Healdsburg Plaza, Dry Creek Kitchen. This elegant Charlie Palmer restaurant is known for refined Californian fare in their airy and refined dining room, or, on a warm evening, enjoy dining al fresco on the vine-covered terrace. Here you’ll experience Chef Charlie Palmer's memorable take on Californian cuisine, served alongside incredible wines in a beautiful downtown Healdsburg setting. Dry Creek Kitchen’s five-course tasting is the headliner, with delectable dishes that may include gnocchi with a succulent lamb ragù, black garlic purée and watercress, and the pastry chef’s lemon tart with pistachio sable.
Enjoy a nightcap at nearby Spoonbar, before retreating to the comforts of your overnight accommodations. Some nearby options include Hampton Inn & Suites or Holiday Inn Express in the charming town of Windsor.
Awake with a renewed spirt after your three-day escape and as you prepare for your journey home, take in one last mind and body spa treat. Relax at the Farmhouse Inn by the pool, or slip into a state of zen with exclusive spa treatments that utilize produce harvested on-site. At the Spa at Farmhouse by Francis & Alexander, you'll be treated to gracious service within a beautiful, tranquil treatment room.
Not Ready to Go Home Yet:
If three days just was not enough, or for a twist on the excursions within this relaxing getaway, feed your mental and physical wellness with luxurious upgrades, such as a helicopter ride to the Sonoma Coast aboard Helico Sonoma or Butterfly Aviation. Let your pilot showcase some of the most stunning views that the West Coast has to offer, both of land and sea, as you fly from Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa over Sonoma County’s expansive coastline.
This can be a day trip experience or you might extend your stay and disembark for a stay at Timber Cove. Timber Cove is a secluded, romantic getaway spot that offers rooms with fireplaces and breathtaking ocean views, perched above a private cove and bordered by majestic forests.