A person holds a glass and looks at art on the wall
Healdsburg Center for the Arts

Art Walks in Sonoma County

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Stroll through fascinating neighborhoods, view a wide variety of artwork, sip a little wine, nibble on an appetizer, and perhaps enjoy a bit of music during one of Sonoma County's multitude of art walks.

Whether it's a monthly or annual event, and organized by gallery owners or the artists themselves, an art walk lets you explore the local creative scene on foot, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Here's a quick list of the art walks that let you walk from place to place, enjoying Sonoma County's bounty in the form of art, wine, food, and music.

Due to the ever-changing nature of travel and events, we recommend visiting each event’s website for info about the latest postponements and cancellations.

Art Walks

First Friday Art Walk, Guerneville

Local art and artisans take center stage in one of the liveliest monthly events in the Russian River town of Guerneville from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. the first Friday of each month, year round. Art galleries, tasting rooms, and local merchants stay open for this monthly happening, which also frequently includes special receptions with local artists and rotating exhibits, as well as street performers and musicians. Start the evening by picking up a guide/map to the night's events at the Sonoma Nesting Company

First Friday Art Walk, Santa Rosa

A colorful sign in the wall says SOFA
South A Street Art District (SOFA)

There's growing momentum for the coordinated First Friday art openings and open studios events throughout downtown Santa Rosa. A few of the venues may change from month to month, but the best way to get started is to pick up details about participating sites at either Corrick's or SOFA, the colorful block of storefronts at the corner where South A Street meets Sebastopol  Avenue, more officially known as the South A Street Art District. Offering refreshments and live music, First Friday is held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., although some locations are open until 8 p.m. 

Second Saturday Art Walk, Petaluma

The number of participating galleries can vary from five to six or more, but there's always a wide range of artwork represented - traditional,  experimental, performance, decorative, and more - at Petaluma's Second Saturday Art Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. from March to November. IceHouse Gallery and the Petaluma Arts Center are clustered near D and Lakeville streets, while the other galleries are located a few blocks away in the eclectic mix of architectural styles that gives a sense of a bygone era to downtown Petaluma. Each site hosts its own reception, typically with appetizers and wine. Start at Riverfront Art Gallery and find out which galleries are participating that month. 

Salmon Creek Art Walk, Bodega Bay 

Walk from studio to studio in the often overlooked coastal community of Salmon Creek Village, where about 100 homes are tucked between Highway 1 and the beach just a mile north of Bodega Bay. Typically 10 to 12 resident and guest artists participate in this twice-a -year open studio event (spring and fall), with a wide variety of artwork presented in a gorgeous and rustic seaside setting. 

Sonoma Art Walk, Sonoma

Enjoy music, art, poetry, and dance from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at more than 25 wine tasting rooms, stores, and restaurants on and around the Sonoma Plaza. The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and the Sonoma Community Center also open their gallery spaces as part of the evening, and the monthly event is a collaboration between those organizations and the Sonoma Chamber of Commerce, the city of Sonoma, the Sonoma Arts Guild, the Sonoma Visitors Bureau, and others. Everything is within easy walking distance, and the participating artists range from painters and other fine artists to more interactive demonstrations such as music, poetry, or special culinary arts.

Downtown Healdsburg 

There's not currently an official artwalk in downtown Healdsburg, but with some two dozen art galleries within walking distance of the central plaza, you can easily create your own artistic itinerary. For details, read Stroll From Art Gallery to Art Gallery in Healdsburg.

Sculpture Gardens

Of course, art walks aren't the only way to walk from artwork to artwork in Sonoma County. Permanent outdoor sculpture gardens are plentiful. Here's a quick list.

Museum of Sonoma County

This museum includes two facilities on one campus, with history displays in the old post office and an art gallery next door in a renovated warehouse. A door in the back of the history building leads to a delightful outdoor sculpture garden designed by landscape architect Frederic Warnecke, featuring work by California artists. Admission is $10, which includes both museums and the sculpture garden.

Cornerstone Sonoma

Cornerstone Sonoma Sunset Gardens
Cornerstone Sonoma

Explore an ever-changing series of gallery-style walk-through gardens, both plant-oriented and architectural/sculptural. 

Florence Avenue

This three-block-long neighborhood in Sebastopol is dotted with colorful, whimsical, and oversized sculptures made from recycled materials by husband and wife team Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent.

Sculpture Trails

The northern Sonoma County communities of Geyserville and Cloverdale both host sculpture trails, which feature a wide variety of unique public artworks. For more details, read Following the Sculpture Trails in Northern Sonoma County.

Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley.