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Outdoor Recreation Month Activities and Specials: May 2018

This May explore the natural beauty and adventure of Sonoma County for Outdoor Recreation Month.

What better time to enjoy Sonoma County's countless adventures than the recently designated Outdoor Recreation Month? This May, explore a new park, gain a new skill in nature, or attend an outdoor cultural event and experience Sonoma County as you never have before. Be sure to check out the deals and specials at the end of the article for some extra fun this May!

May 5 (Saturday):

Build Castles & Fly Kites at the Beach

Fly kites at Bodega Bay in Sonoma County, CaliforniaCelebrate the joys of sandcastle building and kite flying at Doran Regional Park with the entire family, at the spectacular yearly event, Castles & Kites. Amateurs and experts alike are welcome. Feel free to bring your own kite and sandcastle buildings tools, or purchase a kite from local vendors and use the provided sand toys. Dress for a day at the beach (in other words, bring layers). This event is wheelchair accessible. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free, but $7 parking fee applies (free for Regional Parks members). More info: 707-565-3955.

Doran Regional Park, 201 Doran Beach Road, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

May 6 (Sunday):

Learn to Make a Garden Party Bouquet

Garden Valley Ranch, Petaluma, CaliforniaThis hands-on workshop, taught by floral designer Samantha Veader, is geared to beginners who want to learn how to create a beautiful hand-tied bouquet that can double as a floral arrangement. You’ll take your creation home with you. The workshop — held in the Belevedere Gazebo at Petaluma’s Garden Valley Ranch, covers flower care, choosing flowers to arrange, bouquet design and more. All materials included in workshop cost of $85. More info: 707-792-0377.

Garden Valley Ranch, 498 Pepper Road, Petaluma, CA 94952

May 12 (Saturday):

Explore Fabulous Pepperwood Preserve

Pepperwood Preserve, Sonoma County, CaliforniaTake in the beauty of forests, grasslands and views at 3,200-acre Pepperwood Preserve, while learning about animals, plants, natural history, and ecological management. You’ll have the unique opportunity to see how the preserve’s landscapes were impacted by fire, and what is being done to aid in recovery. The moderate-to-strenuous hike will cover approximately 3-4 miles. Participants are welcome to bring a bag lunch to enjoy on the hike. Open to all, including children ages 10 and older. Free, but donations welcome. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Pepperwood Preserve, 2130 Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

May 13 (Sunday):

Honor Mom with a Bounty of Roses on Mother’s Day

Russian River Rose Company, Sonoma County, California

Take your mother to Russian River Rose to share the beauty and fragrance of antique roses, stroll down the Rose Allee, from with its huge rambling roses, marvel over the Butterfly Garden, take a self-guided tour of the 650 varieties of roses at full bloom, and so much more. You might even want to select a rose plant in the nursery to plant in your mother’s garden. No fee, but $2 donation appreciated. Garden Nursery open 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Russian River Rose, 1685 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg 95448; 707-433-7455

May 19 (Saturday):

Visit Fort Ross on Alaska Native Day

Fort Ross, Sonoma County, CaliforniaCelebrate Alaska Native history on the county’s beautiful northern coast at Fort Ross State Historic Park when you attend the park’s fifth annual Alaska Native Day. This popular daylong event includes a kayak race, crafts, dance performance, story telling, games, and more. You’ll also learn about the fascinating history of the Alaska Native community at Fort Ross.

Fort Ross State Historic Park, 19005 Coast Highway 1, Jenner, CA 95450

May 20 (Sunday):

Try Forest Bathing

Forest bathing, Armstrong Redwoods, Sonoma County, CaliforniaWhat’s “Forest Bathing?” Simply put, it’s taking in the atmosphere of the forest for health and wellness purposes. This therapeutic event, which takes place at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, runs from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. The day has two parts. During the morning two-hour seminar, you’ll explore the science and history behind the practice. After a half-hour lunch, you’ll embark on a two-hour guided Forest Bathing walk through the ancient redwoods, integrating and experiencing everything you learned. $20/non-members; $16/members. More info: 707-869-9177.

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, 17000 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville, CA 95446

May 5, 13 and 19 (Saturdays):

Tour Redwood Hill Farm

Redwood Hill FarmOn a Farm Tour at Redwood Hill Farm, kids and adults alike love spending time with baby goats, learning how to milk a dairy goat, and watching chickens socialize, all while gaining an understanding of sustainable farming. You’ll see sustainability in action, from Redwood Hill Farm’s solar array and rainwater catchment tanks to the pioneering use of tagasaste, an innovative goat fodder crop. Enjoy and learn about Redwood Hill Farm's olive and fruit orchards and new hop yard. Bring a picnic to enjoy after the tour, and you can also shop the farm’s market for honey, olive oil, free-range eggs and more. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fee: Adults/$20, Kids/$10, children under 5 are free.

Redwood Hill Farm, 5480 Thomas Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472

May 20 (Sunday):

Run a 5K, 10K or Half Marathon

Windsor Green Half MarathonThe Windsor Green Half Marathon actually consists of three events: a 5K, a 10K and a regular (13.1 miles) Half Marathon. All events start and finish at the Windsor Town Green, with a fun post-race festival featuring Sonoma County wine and beer tasting, delish food trucks, and music. The festival is free for race participants and $10 for each guest of a participant. 100 percent of proceeds will be donated to Beyond Differences, which works within schools to promote social inclusivity for students. Details: runwinecountry.com  

Windsor Town Green, 701 McClelland Drive, Windsor, CA 95492

May 27 (Sunday):

Join a Seaweed Hunt

Seaweed hunting, Stillwater Cove, Sonoma County, CaliforniaLearn about seaweeds and the animals that eat them on a half-mile walk at Stillwater Cove Regional Park (you’ll also have the opportunity to try some seaweed soup). Wear shoes that work for both walking and wading, and bring a plastic bag if you want to gather your own seaweed. If you’ll be trying the soup, bring a cup and spoon. Meet at the trailhead in the northwest corner of the day use parking lot. Free, but $7 parking fee applies (free for Regional Parks members). More info: 707-847-3245.

Stillwater Cove Regional Park, 22455 Highway 1, Jenner, CA 95450

May 30 (Wednesday):

Enjoy a Coastal Spring Migration Bird Walk

Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail, Sonoma County, CaliforniaSign on for this leisurely bird walk to enjoy spring migration, bird song, and nesting activities. This outing at Regional Parks’ Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail is particularly designed for older adults and their friends to enjoy nature and each other’s company. Binoculars will be available for use if you don’t bring your own. This event is wheelchair accessible. Free, but $7 parking fee applies (free for Regional Parks members). More information: 707-565-2041.

Bird Walk Coastal AccessTrail, 355 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

Deals to enjoy this Outdoor Recreation Month

Find more Sonoma County travel deals and travel specials here.

  • Paradise Ridge Winery is offering a $5 discount on its popular Herb & Wine Sensory Experience for the entire month of May. Regularly $25, this sit-down experience at the winery’s Kenwood tasting room pairs four handcrafted wines with fresh herbs from the garden, highlighting four essential food profiles—bitter, bright, savory and sweet—and how they affect your wine experience.


  • Cast Wines in Geyserville is celebrating Outdoors Month with a Two for One Terrace Tasting (value: $15). While you savor fine handmade wine and marvel over views of the bucolic Western hills and Bradford Mountain, a wine educator will discuss your flight of 4 current releases.


  • Through the end of May, enjoy the Outdoor Lover’s Tasting Package at Alexander Valley’s White Oak Vineyards & Winery. You’ll experience a private outdoor wine and cheese tasting of White Oak’s current lineup, followed by a boxed lunch and a game of cornhole—bean bag toss or corn toss—all for $47/person.


  • Save $15 when you join Seghesio family members and vineyard managers in Healdsburg on May 12 for the Seghesio Home Ranch Vineyard Hike (regular cost is $75). You’ll learn about the 120-year history of the estate as you wend to the top of Rattlesnake Hill, followed by a fine lunch and Seghesio wines.


  • For May only, here’s a bike tour and ballooning special: the Ace It! And Up & Away Ballooning Package. For a total cost of $353 per person, you’ll see rolling hills, green vineyards and bright yellow mustard up close as you roll along—and also from a distance in a colorful hot air balloon piloted by experienced FAA pilots/instructors. On the bike tour, you’ll also stop at award-winning wineries for tastings. Experience both activities in the same or different days, your choice.


  • Book a stay at Ace It! Bike Tour’s charming country cottage with garden and gazebo—and receive $15 per person off the price of a guided bike tour. The Stay & Play Package, good through May, lets you choose from Ace It! Sonoma Wine Country, Windsor Bike ‘n Brew, Santa Rosa Bike ‘n Brew and Healdsburg Wine Tours. As you peddle through stunning terrain, you’ll learn the area’s history and learn about the vineyards and wineries you pass.


  • The Ranch at Lake Sonoma Horseback Riding, fifteen minutes from Healdsburg’s ancient plaza, is taking $15 off the price of any trail ride through May 31. A minimum of 2 people must book a ride (regular pricing starts at $69/person). While traversing mountain heights on  horseback, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the world-famous Dry Creek Valley vineyards.



  • Explore the Russian River at its beautiful coastal termination point with 25% off the cost of a Guided Kayak Tour from Smart Tours. You’ll spot wildlife, enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch on the beach, and take in the wonders of the magical place where the river meets the Pacific Ocean.
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