Start the New Year in Sonoma

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Start the New Year in Sonoma

In the throes of 'dry January', that annual commitment to sobriety so many of us make at the start of every new year, it occurred to me that there was no better time than the present to look at a few great ideas for making the most of Sonoma when you're on the wagon.

In addition to the usual and more well-known suspects including the various festivals like the annual Olive Festival and the Artisan Cheese Trail as well as activities like hiking Armstrong Woods or kayaking down the Russian River, Sonoma County(though much is justifiably made of the same).

One idea is the docent led tours of the Bodega Marine Laboratory which are available every from Friday from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Before you write this off as just another aquarium and deem it not sexy enough, take note that  BML includes numerous marine aquarium displays that showcase the local marine life of Bodega Bay. For instance, upon entering BML's West Wing, visitors experience a 24-foot-long display, containing colorful local fish and invertebrates, and a small kelp forest. Past that is a harbor aquarium, holding residents of the local estuary, Bodega Harbor. And elsewhere around the facility are smaller display aquaria featuring local and, occasionally, unique marine creatures.  So to be sure, this is not a generic marine museum but one that instead offers a fun and unique insight into the marine life of Bodega Bay and beyond.

If the air is more your thing, get in line at the Pacific Coast Air Museum. Founded in 1989, the Pacific Coast Air Museum (PCAM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the acquisition, restoration, safe operation and display of historic aircraft and providing an educational venue for students and the community. On the third weekend of each month from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. climb into the cockpits of the museum's vintage aircraft, and learn about the history of where and how they were used by the crews who have lovingly restored them.  And be sure to mark your calendars for the Wings over Wine Country Air Show which annually attracts over 20,000 spectators.

Finally, history buffs can revel in the Healdsburg Museum's latest exhibit, 'Sonoma County and the Civil War' which features authentic Civil War weapons, uniforms, accoutrements, photographs and letters. The exhibit also delves into how it came to be that Sonoma County was the only county in California to vote against Abraham Lincoln in the 1864 presidential election and how the country's division affected the county. Intrigued yet?

Find out more at Admission is always free.

Find more info about things to do, restaurants, hotels & lodging, and gay travel in Sonoma County.


Duane Wells