Top Things to Do This Fall and Thanksgiving

Enjoy the autumn colors in Sonoma County.

Fall is always such a vibrant time in Sonoma Wine Country, tempting with hikes in the colorful parks and vineyards, shopping, wine tasting, and Thanksgiving dinners and activities.

Extra bonus: Be sure to check out great deals and discounts on lodging and activities in our Seasonal Deals.

Spend Fall and Thanksgiving in Wine Country

What better way to connect with family away from all the hustle and bustle and the cooking chores! Find a great Sonoma wine country hotel or resort (or campground) here.


A statue of tweety bird sits outside along the sidewalk in Santa Rosa
Railroad Square, Santa Rosa

Sonoma County brims with independently owned boutiques. One great area to focus on is Santa Rosa’s Historic Railroad Square district, which sits on the west side of Highway 101 and stretches roughly from the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country hotel to Western Farm Center, anchored by a beautifully restored Northwestern Pacific Railroad Train Depot made of locally quarried stone (now home to the Santa Rosa Visitors Center / California Welcome Center). Dozens of stores range from Green Fish Trading (hand curated items from Asia), to Cast Away Yarn Shop (Malabrigo yarn and lace, hand spun and hand dyed in Urugua), to Whistlestop Antiques (delicate china tea cups and nostalgic items) to Miracle Plum (beautiful kitchen wares and fine foods). Learn more about Historic Railroad Square.

From Santa Rosa, head west on Highway 12 to Sebastopol. Stroll the cute boutiques that line Main Street, or explore the retail shops at The Barlow, a 12-acre outdoor marketplace in Sebastopol. On the first Saturday of every month, check out Head West’s pop-up marketplace of artists, makers and merchants at The Barlow. 

Alternatively, drive east on Highway 12 to the town of Sonoma. Here, discover the apparel boutiques, jewelry stores, gift shops, and art galleries that dot the Sonoma Plaza. Or, travel just west of Sonoma to the historic district of Petaluma. Shop quaint antique stores, contemporary shops, or the designer wares at Petaluma Village Premium Outlets. Finally, discover the holiday arts and craft markets that pop up around Sonoma County around the holiday season.

Wine and Dine

People enjoy a wine and food pairing seated at a table
J Vineyards & Winery

In fall, Sonoma County fairly brims with delicious produce. Headlining at farmers’ markets, restaurant menus, and tasting rooms are just picked apples, pears, figs, tomatoes, and other fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, many of which come from mere miles away. Pick some of it yourself at Sonoma County U-Pick farms like Apple-A-Day, or explore any number of Sonoma County farmers’ markets, many of which are open year-round. Or, make it a part of your Sonoma County wine tasting experience, where many wineries have their own farms, farm stands and events. On Saturday, November 20th, Rodney Strong is hosting a Fall Makers Market on their expansive concert green. Support local artisans and start your holiday shopping while enjoying a glass of wine and live music.

Restaurants, wineries, and breweries take on an autumnal theme this time of year. Enjoy one of PizzaLeah’s farmer’s market special pizzas (which change with the season), experience one of Fogbelt’s monthly beer and food pairings, or discover any number of fall wine and food pairings taking place at wineries across Sonoma County.

Come Thanksgiving, it’s all about pop-up dining experiences, unique winery events, and special dinners and ready-made meals. Leave the hard work to Sonoma County’s great collection of chefs, winemakers and tastemakers.

Light Up Your Life 

City Hall and the palm tree in front are decorated with lights in Sonoma
City Hall on the Sonoma Plaza

As we turn the corner for the holidays, Sonoma County’s charming plazas and quaint towns light up. From Sonoma to Healdsburg, and everywhere in between, holiday lightings take place through November. The holidays in Sonoma County sees things like the lighting of the historic Sonoma Plaza, the Holiday Parade of Lights in Guerneville, and the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove in Windsor. Check our Sonoma County Events page for the latest events.

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