Summer visitors to Sonoma County can savor the flavors and experiences of this genuine Wine Country destination.
In addition to wine tasting and farm-to-table culinary delights, Sonoma County's summer activities and events include zip-line canopy tours, farm visits, community celebrations, abundant farmers markets, hiking, cycling, paddling, splashing, and more. Families will love the more affordable Sonoma hotels and kid-friendly activities.
Below is a sampling of Sonoma County’s diverse summer happenings. Each are subject to change. Check our calendar of events for dates and times.
Celebrate the Fourth
From small-town parades and festivals, to concerts of all types, to fantastic fireworks that light up the night sky, Sonoma County celebrates the Fourth of July in grand style. Many communities host all-day celebrations. For details, read Fourth of July Fireworks and Fun Events in Sonoma County.
Zip Through the Redwoods
Sonoma Canopy Tours offers the unique experience of zip-lining through the world-famous California Coastal Redwoods in western Sonoma County. Guests enjoy a two-and-a-half hour guided eco-tour that includes seven zip lines, two sky bridges, a spiral staircase, and an 80-foot rappel. Sonoma Canopy Tours, 6250 Bohemian Highway, Occidental, 888-494-7868.
With fresh-picked produce, live music, baked goods, prepared foods, artisan handicrafts, and a general atmosphere of good cheer, the best that Sonoma County has to offer goes on display at its summertime farmers markets. Each community hosts its own weekly market, and some hold more than one a week, giving visitors to Sonoma County about 20 farmers markets to choose from. On Wednesday evenings thousands of people gather in downtown Santa Rosa for the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market, the oldest and largest farmers market in Sonoma County. And on Friday evenings from June to October, the weekly Occidental Farmers Market is a true community activity in this small western Sonoma County town. Those are just two of the possibilities; check the market schedule for a complete list.
Get a free map from the nonprofit Sonoma County Farm Trails and explore some of Sonoma County's agricultural bounty, including cattle, sheep, pumpkins, honey, apples, melons, fields of lavender, olive oil, and more. For example, pet baby cows at McClelland’s Dairy in Petaluma, on a 90-minute farm tour (reservations required). Visit the goats at Redwood Hill Farm, a goat dairy outside Sebastopol. Or search by region or type of farm, to create the farm tour that's best for you. Sonoma County Farm Trails, 707-837-8896.
Sonoma County produces some of America's finest cheeses, and the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail map lets you visit the area's artisan cheese makers. Depending on the property, you can reserve full tours, taste cheeses, take a cheese-making class, or visit with the farm's goats, cows, sheep, or even water buffalo. The map provides an overview of each cheese maker, the history behind the cheese, fun facts, and details on where to buy these cheeses. The guide is available free of charge at local visitor centers and can also be downloaded at www.cheesetrail.org.
The popular and highly successful Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has evolved into the Taste of Sonoma, a delicious and decadent wine-and-food exploration. Set for noon to 4 p.m. Labor Day Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 1, this is the event of the year, when hundreds of wines, delicacies by celebrated local chefs, and the Sonoma County way of life are presented for guests’ enjoyment. Stroll from booth to booth, sampling vintages from the county’s 18 diverse wine regions, talking with winemakers and winegrowers, and nibbling locally sourced and exquisitely prepared foods. Held at the Donald & Maureen Green Music Center on the beautifully landscaped Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park, the day also includes informative wine seminars, lively panel discussions, and focused tastings with renowned local winemakers. Learn more about the Taste of Sonoma.
And these are just a few of Sonoma County's summertime offerings. With more than 400 wineries, 50-plus spas and resorts, miles of hiking and biking trails, and more than 50 miles of dramatic Pacific coastline, there is always something new to discover in Sonoma County.
For more ideas, read Five Great Outdoor Activities for this Summer and Great Outdoors Music Concerts and Summer Festivals.