A Shopaholic's Guide to Sonoma County
With diehard shopaholics in mind, here are a few of the most stellar emporiums and shopping destinations that Sonoma County has to offer.
The Barlow, Sebastopol
Among the newest major shopping venues in Sonoma County, The Barlow is a 12-acre, maze-like wonderland of quirky shops showcasing everything from clothing to crafts, all made by local Sonoma artisans. Interspersed among these traders of Sonoma’s finest wares is an array of art galleries, local food, and wine, beer and spirits producers, as well as various dining options including Vignette Pizzeria, Two Dog Night Creamery and the award-winning ZAZU Kitchen + Farm, birthplace of the legendary Black Pig Bacon. In a nod to the rich agricultural history of the Barlow. even the landscaping at this model marketplace highlighting the bounty of Sonoma is edible. It doesn’t really get more Sonoma than that.
Ideal for shoppers most interested in: Art, Wine, Beer, Spirits, Casual Dining & Artisanal Clothing.
Cornerstone Sonoma, Sonoma
Situated on Arnold Drive in southern Sonoma Valley, Cornerstone Sonoma practically welcomes visitors to wine country – a fact that probably best explains why this delightful marketplace is also home to the Sonoma Valley Visitors Center. A bazaar of shops, boutique wineries, and tasting rooms, artisanal foods and art-inspired gardens, this uniquely Sonoma destination is unsurprisingly also home to Sunset magazine’s Test Gardens + Outdoor Kitchen.
Ideal for shoppers most interested in: Antiques & Gardening.
Fourth Street, Santa Rosa
Real downtowns have sadly become something of dying breed across America, which is why it is particularly refreshing to experience Santa Rosa’s thriving Fourth Street’s shopping district. Almost entirely devoid of major chains, this Santa Rosa gem serves up a bevy of local bars, cafés and eateries intermingled with Redwood trees, book stores, gift shops, and quaint fashion boutiques, Fourth Street is a thrill to explore.
Ideal for shoppers most interested in: Books, Vintage Music & Gifts.
Downtown Petaluma, Petaluma
Speaking of downtowns, there are a few more charming than the one belonging to Petaluma. Rife with local purveyors of everything from vintage apparel, antiques and sweets shops to galleries, jewelry shops, and gift boutiques, downtown Petaluma is an old school shopper’s wonderland. Stop in and rediscover a vintage downtown experience, while treating yourself to a bastion of genuinely local, genuinely Sonoma delights.
Ideal for shoppers most interested in: Vintage, Antiques & Artisanal Clothing.
Beloved by Martha Stewart and foodies across America (and beyond), the SHED is an architecturally jaw-dropping repository for housewares, artful pantry provisions, and impeccably-designed farm and garden tools; a café, larder, coffee bar, and fermentation bar focused on fresh, local and sustainable fare; and a venue in which to learn how to eat, grow, and prepare extraordinary menus from artisan producers and culinary giants. And it is one of the highlights of any visit to Healdsburg, where other shopping treasures surround the plaza.
Ideal for shoppers most interested in: Home Décor, Housewares, Cooking, & Gardening
Sonoma Nesting Company, Guerneville
Co-owners and partners Dax Berg and Christopher Smith have created a destination shop in Guerneville that showcases an eclectic collection of fine antiques, unique home décor, collectibles, and curiosities meant to help patrons furnish their homes and gardens “responsibly and with originality.” Framed by the motto “reclaim + reinvent + restore = relove” this extraordinary space is all about items that will add character to your home while simultaneously making it a place in which you can, as the name suggests, “nest “comfortably.
Ideal for shoppers most interested in: Antiques, Collectible and Curiosities, Gardening, & Home Décor.
Williams -Sonoma, Sonoma
No list of Sonoma’s finest shopping destinations would be complete without a mention of the iconic Williams-Sonoma store, which takes pride of place in the bosom of Sonoma Plaza. Established in 1956, this is the original landmark location that gave birth to an American legend. Filled with the cookware for which the brand is famous, this particular store also offers original store tours that allow visitors to view the Williams-Sonoma exclusive collection of vintage cooking and entertaining pieces curated from their historic 60-year culinary archive. And for die-hard fans there’s also a tour of the historic home of Williams-Sonoma founder, Chuck Williams, which features the original furnishings integrated with modern pieces from Williams Sonoma Home.
Ideal for shoppers most interested in: Cooking, Cookware, Housewares & Home Décor.