boon hotel + spa

Looking for evening activities in Sonoma County that go beyond bar-hopping? Good news: “Nightlife” in Sonoma County spans a wide array of pastimes – both indoor and outdoor. From moonlit hiking to poolside carousing or dancing, Sonoma County offers plenty of opportunities for nighttime revelry.  

First, you’ll want to take in a sunset. Whether standing on the edge of the roaring Pacific, perched atop a rugged mountain, or picnicking amid undulating vineyards, be sure to pause and observe the close of day, watching the sky shift into a kaleidoscope of color. Try one of these picture-perfect Sonoma County viewing spots. 

Stargazing by the ocean
Photo by Lance Kuehne

(Re)Discover the Night 

When was the last time you explored the great outdoors … in the dark? While it might sound daunting to the uninitiated, basking in nature’s glory after nightfall can be a transformative experience. Not only are there less (if any) crowds, but you’ll see the world with a whole new perspective. If you’re unfamiliar with Sonoma County, or simply want an experienced insider guiding your adventure, then be sure to sign on with an organized tour like one recommended below: 

Full-Moon Hiking  

Is it possible for Sonoma County to get any more beautiful? It can be when viewed by the ethereal glow of a full moon. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park offers full-moon hiking expeditions, while Wildlands Conservancy is a national preservation organization with a local Sonoma County chapter that offers night hikes at Jenner Headlands. For more information, check the calendar on the park’s website. 

Paddling  

While landlubbers trek under a full moon, seafarers can enjoy a different sort of glow: Bioluminescence. A phenomenon that occurs when living organisms emit light in the water, bioluminescence causes a neon sparkle in the sea. Observe this natural wonder firsthand by hopping into a boat or onto a paddleboard and exploring the waterways. We recommend checking out trips from local outfitters Floathouse Petaluma or SUP Odyssey

Stargazing  

Evening entertainment need not be complicated: Sometimes, you only need to lift your face to the infinite sky. Robert Ferguson Observatory invites you to do just that. As the largest public observatory in the western United States, this hidden gem of a resource is tucked into a ring of hills on the grounds of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. The facility offers both night viewing and special night sky classes.  

Dive into a Pool Party 

Offering pleasant weather for much of the year, Sonoma County is a prime place to lounge poolside, whether with friends or just a glass of refreshing, locally made wine. Check out the following spots to take a dip after hours: 

Francis Ford Coppola Winery & Pool 

A winery with a swimming pool? Yep, it’s as dreamy as it sounds. Francis Ford Coppola Winery offers two pools connected by an elaborate “swim-thru,” along with a cafe, lending library, and bocce court. This family-friendly facility is accessible through a reservation-only system. While daytime hours are posted online, the facility also offers evening events, including wine release parties. Stay in the know by signing up for the winery’s mailing list. 

Hotel Pools 

Stay somewhere with a pool and you’ll have after-hours entertainment close to “home.” A few Sonoma County lodging properties that offer night-swimming options include Fairmont Mission Inn and Spa in Sonoma, boon hotel + spa in Guerneville, Graton Resort and Casino on tribal lands south of Santa Rosa, and Kenwood Inn & Spa in the heart of the Valley of the Moon. 

Want a few daytime swimming options? Look here. 

Boon Hotel + Spa Pool
boon hotel + spa (Photo by Kelly Puleio)

Shake Your Thang 

If the glorious vistas, fine wine, and overall good vibes of Sonoma County make you wanna cut loose and dance, then you’re not alone. Moving with wild abandon seems to come naturally. In addition to the area’s countless music festivals, Sonoma County offers spaces and events beckoning you to cut loose and really move. 

In addition to the venues below, make sure to also check out our events page as well as winery event schedules for dance party events, which can range from down-home and casual to super swanky:

Vintage Space at Flamingo Resort 

The iconic Flamingo Resort needs no introduction: It’s been a fixture in Sonoma County since the 1950s, and the site of much carousing. In recent years, its forward-thinking new owners established a dance club on the grounds of the resort: Vintage Space. With live music, dancing, DJs, and special events, the hotspot has quickly evolved into one of the area’s most popular nighttime destinations. 

Other dance-worthy clubs and venues in the area include the historic Mystic Theater in Petaluma, with its live music and themed dance nights; Jamison’s Roaring Donkey in Santa Rosa, a popular bar that offers dance nights; and Ecstatic Dance Sebastopol, a bimonthly underground gathering at the town’s Community Center Youth Annex.   

Vintage Space
Vintage Space at Flamingo Resort (Photo Courtesy Vintage Space)

Skate-o-Rama 

Ah, the euphoria of cruising around a roller rink, perhaps hand-in-hand with your crush, while your favorite song blasts over the sound system …! While maybe not technically dance (although that depends on who you ask!), skating definitely deserves a place on your social calendar. Cal Skate of Rohnert Park is a locals’ favorite place to lace up and roll, offering a special Club Friday Night series that caters to a carefree crowd.  

Is it ice skating that appeals? Once again, you’re in luck! Sonoma County happens to be home to one of the world’s premiere ice-skating centers. Originally built as the Redwood Empire Ice Arena to accommodate the 1968 Olympics, the center has since been dubbed “Snoopy’s Home Ice,” as a nod to Sonoma County native and prolific cartoonist Charles M. Schultz. With classes, special events, hockey games, and more, the rink frequently offers a late-night skate.  


Written by Amy Bess Cook 

You Might Also Like

handmade pizza at Glen Ellen Star
Trip Itineraries

As a Sonoma local, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Sonoma County’s finest offerings and generally end up with the…

Movie Prop Car On Display at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Occidental
Activities

As you meander the wee 60-yard block of downtown, strolling its wooden sidewalks past 19th-century, false-front buildings, you’ll feel as…

Winter scenery at Luther Burbank in Sebastopol CA
Outdoor Activities

Lush greenery, foggy coastlines, seasonal harvests and unique wildlife sightings – Sonoma County in winter is a place where visitors…

Hot air balloon ride in sonoma county
Sightseeing & Tours

Without a doubt, Wine Country is one of the world’s most breathtaking regions to travel through whether you are looking…

Girls Getaway in Sonoma County
Food & Wine

Winter might be considered the off-season for many of the world’s hottest travel destinations, but a Wine Country visit between…

Pig at Charlie's Acres
Sustainable Travel

Need a pick-me-up? These nonprofits offer ways to spend time with cute animals — you could even try some goat…

Yellow wildflowers covering field
Outdoor Activities

Springtime in Sonoma County is hard to beat! Plan ahead with our weekend-by-weekend, month-by-month collection of popular experiences — from…

Wingo, California, Sonoma County’s Ghost Town, photographed by @chrisjkam
Outdoor Activities

Traveling mindfully to Sonoma County allows us to have experiences that can be savored in a place focused on and…

Tolay Lake Regional Park
Outdoor/Nature

More than (just) a premier Wine Country destination, Sonoma County’s myriad of options allow travelers to connect with the destination…

Couple at beach with dog
Outdoor Activities

Find hidden gems, outdoor adventures and more with tips from those who know the coast better than anyone: The locals….

See What’s Happening

Share your experience using #SonomaCounty or #LifeOpensUp