Outdoor Activities in Sonoma County

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

With its mild Mediterranean climate, mountains, valleys, forests, and more than 50 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, Sonoma County offers a generous range of outdoor activities. 

Among the most popular activities among outdoor lovers are hiking and biking, often along trails in the county’s 11 state parks and more than 50 regional parks. Most parks offer other diversions, including fishing, swimming, boating, equestrian trails, and camping.

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.

Group of bicyclists biking past vineyards

Of course, you don’t need to confine your walkabouts (or bikeabouts) to dedicated trails; it’s fun to walk or cycle through urban areas, too. The historic plaza in the town of Sonoma, with its ties to early California, is fascinating – and offers lots of things to do.

Be prepared to be amazed when you stroll along Sebastopol’s Florence Avenue, home to many whimsical sculptures by Patrick Amiot and Brigette Laurent. See the quiet side of Santa Rosa on the Santa Rosa Creek Trail. Bicycle to the coast along Highway 12 and while you’re at it, try to spot the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock in the tiny town of Bodega, where he filmed The Birds.

Another popular way to enjoy a day outdoors? Spend it on the coast. With more than 50 miles facing the Pacific Ocean, the county contains a great many fabulous beaches.

Some are intimate coves that require a steep hiking descent to reach (and a steep climb to leave). At others you can park your car and easily step onto the beach. No matter how you reach a beach, once there you can choose an activity that’s perfect for you on that day: beachcombing, tide pool exploration, whale watching, curling up with a good book, building a driftwood fort, or simply sea-gazing.

Wildflowers bloom along the Sonoma Coast State Park Kortum Trail
Kortum Trail

There are wind-blown headlands upon which you can ramble quietly while thinking big thoughts. There are beaches with camping, where you can pitch a tent or park an RV. There are beaches from which you can launch a kayak or go diving for abalone or stand at a safe distance and watch Pacific harbor seals at play.

Here are just a few other ideas for outdoor adventuring in Sonoma County: 

A person rappels down a redwood tree wearing a helmet and smiling
Sonoma Canopy Tours

Check our listing of all Sonoma County outdoor activities and learn more about Sonoma County’s State Parks and Regional Parks.

Also see Sonoma County’s safety tips for water activities.

Written by Sonoma Insider Suzie Rodriguez

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