Sonoma County, located less than an hour from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, features more than 400 wineries and 50-plus miles of stunning Pacific coast.
While you can arrive in Sonoma County from the Bay Area via public transportation, it doesn’t lend itself to going from winery to winery. Here are several ways to travel to Sonoma County.
- From Sacramento: US-80 West to CA-12/121 West
- From Seattle/Portland: US-5 or US-101 South
- From Los Angeles/San Francisco: US-101 North via the Golden Gate Bridge: The Golden Gate Bridge has instituted all-electronic tolling, a cashless payment system.
- Golden Gate Bridge: Tolls must be paid southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge, heading into San Francisco (the outbound direction is free). More info: www.goldengate.org/tolls
The Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), named after long-time Santa Rosa resident Charles M. Schulz (creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip), offers direct flights and airline services by:
Alaska Airlines to Los Angeles (LAX), Orange County (SNA), Portland (PDX), Seattle (SEA), and San Diego (SAN)
American Airlines / Sky West to Phoenix-Sky Harbor (PHX) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW, seasonal, starting June 2019)
United Airlines to San Francisco (SFO) and Denver (DEN, starting March 2019)
Sun Country Airlines (on seasonal schedules) to Minneapolis / St. Paul (MSP) and Las Vegas (LAS)
Things to know about STS:
Wine Flies Free: Under the Alaska Airlines mileage plan, taking along a case of wine is included as part of your free luggage allowance on flights originating from Sonoma County Airport. You buy the wine; they'll ship it home for free, provided it’s packed for shipping. Just make sure your mileage plan number (you can join for free) is in your reservation. See complete details on the Alaska Airlines website.
- Car rental companies located in the STS terminal include Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Sixt.
- Several taxi and shuttle companies operate at STS.
- Sonoma County Transit buses go to various destinations countywide.
Other nearby airports:
- 75 miles, 1:33 hours north of San Francisco International (SFO)
- 76 miles, 1:30 hours north of Oakland International (OAK)
- 119 miles, 2:06 hours west of Sacramento International (SMF)
By Public and Private Transportation Companies:
- Sonoma County Airport Express (707-837-8700) from the San Francisco and Oakland airports. There are four stops in Sonoma County: Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS), Santa Rosa Fairgrounds, Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park, and Petaluma Fairgrounds.
- Golden Gate Transit (415-455-2000) operates buses 72, 74, 76, and 101 from San Francisco to Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Catch the bus at the San Francisco Bus Facility at 3rd and Perry streets. Check the website for specific routes as some routes operate only during commute hours and others change times because of holidays and weekends.
- Ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building to Larkspur Ferry (goldengateferry.org/schedules/Larkspur.php). From there, catch Golden Gate Transit to Sonoma County, or take a local bus to the Sonoma-Marin Area Regional Transit station, and ride a SMART train (sonomamarintrain.org) to Sonoma County.
- Greyhound Bus Services (800-231-2222) operates from San Francisco to Santa Rosa. There are transfers for local buses.
- Sonoma County Transit (707-576-7433, 800-345-7433) runs buses from Santa Rosa to Petaluma, Sonoma, and western Sonoma County, including the Russian River Valley towns.
- Sonoma-Marin Area Regional Trainsit (SMART) carries passengers in energy-efficient, clean diesel trains along 43 miles of track, from downtown San Rafael in Marin County to the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport station at the north end of Santa Rosa. Buses connect the San Rafael train station to the Larkspur Ferry and San Francisco.
- Amtrak (800-872-7245) trains travel to Martinez, with connecting buses to Santa Rosa and Healdsburg.