Unique Honeymoon Destinations: Sonoma Wine Country
Sonoma County is California's best honeymoon destination. That may seem like a grand proclamation, but we're not just boasting. Here's why: Sonoma County is where you can find abundant sunshine, more than 425 wineries, romantic vineyards, breathtaking Pacific Ocean beaches, award-winning restaurants, majestic redwood forests, relaxing resorts, and did we mention world-class wine? Last but not least, this favorite Wine Country is just 45 minutes away from San Francisco. Who needs more?
1. The Romance of Wine
There's no denying the pleasure of a fine glass of wine, and shared with a loved one, a sip adds an extra special statement to even the most simple moment. Sonoma County boasts more than 400 wineries, and 60,000 acres planted with world-class winegrapes of nearly every varietal imaginable.
Start with Albarino, end with Zinfandel (Mazzocco Sonoma winery of Healdsburg crafts nearly two dozen variations from nearly a dozen vineyards each year), and taste every letter of the alphabet in between.
2. Lovely Places to Cuddle
Whether you're looking for a posh, modern retreat (the recently renovated Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, for example) a quaint, historic B&B amid the vineyards (the 1880 Raford Inn beckons), or flat out luxury (Madrona Manor is a classic European mansion), lodging here is so unique and welcoming you may never choose to leave your estate grounds.
Plus, many Sonoma County hotels and inns offer passes for complimentary wine tastings at dozens of nearby wineries. Find wineries here.
What would a romantic getaway be without sunsets, ocean breezes and breathtaking views? Find favorite romantic spots here.
3. The Embrace of Mother Nature
Running hand-in-hand through grassy meadows, strolling through whispering mountaintop forests, romping on the beach, and plucking flowers from vast gardens to wear in your hair. Does that sound like a greeting card?
It's reality in Sonoma County, which spans more than 1 million gorgeous acres, from the Mayacamas Mountains range to the Pacific Ocean coast. With near-endless parks, preserves, babbling streams, greenbelts, and vast open agricultural and grazing areas, there's something new to explore every day.
How much open space is there, really? In fact, rural lands take up almost two-thirds of Sonoma County's total acreage, and the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District continues to acquire more land for protection every single year, enjoying a remarkable 28 percent growth since 2006. Explore our listings of outdoor activities and nature parks.
4. Wine … and Dine
Given the wondrous agricultural bounty grown in Sonoma County, the pasture-raised beef, lamb, pigs, and poultry, plus rainbow arrays of artisan cheeses, breads, and treats like handcrafted chocolates, it's no wonder that we're home to some of America's best farm-to-table restaurants.
5. Play Time
Because Sonoma County encompasses such a broad range of landscapes, the recreation is equally expansive.
You and your honey can horseback ride at wineries or along the coastal bluffs of Bodega Bay, zip line through the redwoods, hike and bike, kayak the Russian River, and go hot-air ballooning over vineyards, lakes, and valleys.
Perhaps you'd like to take a winery tour in a horse-drawn carriage, or stroll through a vineyard. It's all at your beck-and-call. Find sightseeing and tours here.
Planning a wedding?
You'll find more resources in our wedding section.
Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet