couple in vineyard with farmer

Publicity Story Ideas

The stories about Sonoma County are tucked away in the magnificent coasts, meandering rivers, and vineyard-lined valleys. Here are some thought starters on our region's publicity stories: 

Get your Glamp On:

If you’re looking for a twist on your next getaway, consider glamping in Sonoma County. After spending the day scoping out exotic animals at Safari West’s 400-acre wild preserve, stay overnight in one of their luxurious tents imported from Botswana which features a private viewing deck to take in the wildlife sounds of the Sonoma Serengeti. If you’re looking for something a little more serene, Wildhaven Sonoma and The Highlands offer unique glamping experiences along the Russian River valley. If you’re on the fence about glamping, consider the boon hotel & spa which offers a slew of luxurious amenities like platform beds, organic linens and more in their seasonally available tents or adorable boonito (a vintage lovebug camper). AutoCamp is another unique, outdoor lodging experience featuring modern and luxurious Airstream accommodations and luxury tent camping in the Sonoma Redwoods.

Feel Good Travel:

Sonoma County is the most sustainable wine region in the world. With partnerships with Kind Traveler and Leave No Trace along with its “Travel Kindly” pledge, it encourages visitors to take part in eco-friendly experiences. Innovators of Sonoma County include author Jack London, who pioneered many of the principles of organic farming as seen at the Jack London State Historic Park, and famed horticulturist Luther Burbank, whose goal was to increase the world’s food supply. Other examples of these innovations include Benziger Family Winery which uses wooly weeders, compost and cover crops to grow their gardens and produce renowned wines to Jordan Winery’s pollinator sanctuary which has the largest dedicated pollinator habitat of all Bee Friendly Farming-certified vineyards nationwide. Learn more about environmental sustainability with interactive.

Music Festivals Return in 2022:

Catch live intimate performances at the vineyards at Gundlach Bundschu, California’s oldest family-owned winery, who will be hosting Huichica Music Festival from June 10 to 11. Festival-goers can also check out Northern California’s biggest country musical festival Country Summer Music Festival which returns to Santa Rosa June 17-19 and features more than 20 performers comprised of top artists and rising stars on two stages. Additionally, the Annual Old Grove Festival will be hosted on July 16 amongst towering redwoods at the historic open-air Redwood Forest Theater located in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, and features a variety of musical productions. An ode to Rodney Strong Vineyards’ love for the arts, add the Rodney Strong Concert Summer Series to your radar with concerts hosted on the Rodney Strong Vineyards Concert Green all summer long.

The Rise of Mocktails:

While California may be traditionally known as wine country, Sonoma County is leading the way in innovative beverages for those who prefer a non-alcohol experience. Sonoma County’s culinary establishments are welcoming sippers of every variety with new non-alcoholic beverages. Shrubs are free-spirited fruit and herb infusions crafted with ingredients from nearby gardens and farms, bringing vibrant colors and complex flavors to tantalize the palette. Try a sparkling hibiscus tea, blood orange, and lemon drink at the Bird & The Bottle, a California star thistle honey soda at The Matheson, or dragon fruit lemonade and cucumber cooler mocktail at Blue Ridge Kitchen. Or experience the world of non-alcoholic spirits; at Fern Bar in Sebastopol, try Seedlip, a non-alcoholic spirit that tastes similar to gin.

Sustainable Experiences in Sonoma:

Sonoma County believes being good stewards of the Earth, our natural resources and our beautiful spaces is vital to our thriving community as well as to visitors. With 99% of Sonoma County’s vineyards certified sustainable, its multigenerational wineries are continuing to pioneer best practices for regenerative agriculture. Visitors can experience and see the progress themselves by stopping by several wineries that pair together land conservation and wine tastings; Kendall Jackson which offers self-guided tours past its bee boxes, bat boxes and sensory gardens; or Medlock Ames Winery’s immersive experience, which includes a self-guided audio tour exploring sights and sounds across the 340-acre Bell Mountain Ranch. Alternatively, see the fruits of sustainable farming with a visit to Tara Firma Farms, a sustainable farm in Petaluma. Visit the farm store, or take an educational tour on the 250-acre property.

Take a Digital Detox:

Wellbeing is a tentpole of the Sonoma County community, teeming with experiences to immerse and engage with the earth, nature and each other - and plenty of experiences designed to disconnect from your screen! Consider forest bathing, the practice of ​​taking in the natural atmosphere and meditating while experiencing nature, Visit lush forests like the Jack London Historic State Park in Glen Ellen or Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville. Visitors can also unwind and detox by booking a stay at one of many luxurious inns and enjoying unique, restorative spa treatments; a dip in the geo-thermal, mineral rich pools at Willow Stream Spa of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, or a therapeutic massage featuring gliding warm basalt stones and cool gemstones at the Wellness Barn of the Farmhouse Inn.

Restoration and Relaxation Inspired by Sonoma County:

Wellbeing is one of the most important aspects in Sonoma County. With over 40 spas and wellness centers to choose from, visitors can rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul through indulgent treatments with local products. A diverse selection of holistic treatments help recalibrate wellness habits so that visitors can come back into their own. For a more relaxing retreat, any one of Sonoma County's resorts and wineries have stunning views of the mountains, vineyards, and sunsets that provide an escape from the day. Through farm-fresh meals and sustainable sourcing, local establishments use refreshing nutrients for a happier body, mind, and soul. For wellness found in adventure and nature, paddle along the Russian River or take a hike through the landscapes of the redwood forests, enjoying the sounds of nature and immersing in the gift of the present. The array of national parks guide along the Pacific coast or mountain ranges, increasing physical strength and bonds between nature and friends that make you feel well beyond a vacation.

Giving the Gift of Sonoma County:

Gifts don't always have to be material goods, so why not give the gift of a beautiful experience? A trip to Sonoma County is a great way to celebrate for any birthday, holiday, or occasion with activities and getaways for every type of traveler. With add-ons like wine passes or a day at the spa, or free experiences like a walk through the redwood forests, gifts will go a long way in providing a special trip for loved ones. Even better, the gift will help put efforts right back into the Sonoma County community. When supporting local businesses, restaurants, and vacation spots, the funds from purchases are used to continue the growth of businesses, including the local businesses that make up 85% of Sonoma County businesses, and provide further great experiences for new and returning visitors.

Unusual and Unique Stays for Your Getaway:

Sonoma County's variety of hotels, resorts, and rentals provide visitors with choices when it comes to lodging; deciding whether to getaway in a coastal cabin or relax luxuriously in a reimagined bed and breakfast. With vacation rental options that have every type of ocean and valley view, or glamping cabins that mix nature and comfort, there can be more to staying in Sonoma County than just a standard suite. The options are endless with boutique and luxury hotels, resorts, inns, and even campgrounds. With these unusual stays comes unique experiences that aren't always possible with a hotel. These rental options are great for unique get-togethers with family and friends, or a quick getaway that provides an escape.

Exploring the Coastal Towns of Sonoma County:

Along the western border of Sonoma County you will find more than 55 miles of stunning Pacific coast views. Between coastal bluffs, beaches, trails, and state parks, the coastline is the perfect example of natural beauty. Start at Bodega Bay, a fishing village with the perfect mix of fresh seafood and local wines. After an evening of fresh catch, lodges neaby provide amazing ocean views for a great stay on the coast. Another sight to see is Bodega Bay, which has great whale-watching tours and is home to Sonoma Coast State Park, filled with tidal pools, hiking trails, and more beautiful views of the coast. The scenery and relaxing of this beachy coastline is the perfect opportunity to relax alongside nature and refresh in the beauty to be explored.

What to Do When Wine Isn't For You:

Though wine is an essential part of Sonoma County, there are plenty sights and spots to visit that will maximize your stay. If you're a lover of the arts, local galleries and arts centers illustrate the county's own artistic expression while concert venues like the Green Music Center or the downtown nightlife provide a soundtrack for your adventure. Looking for a lively night on the town? Head to Guerneville or Petaluma to visit the local beer gardens and taverns that serve cocktails harvested with their own garden ingredients or fresh food bites that will leave you wanting more. Speaking of Downtown Petaluma, before your night out be sure to shop at the town's remarkable antiques and fashion pieces that celebrate the style and aesthetic of Sonoma County.

All Roads Lead to Sonoma County:

When you get on the road, let it take you to Sonoma County! There are great road trip itineraries any types of travel including a first-timer's guide to Sonoma County and suggestions for the best getaways. If it's your first time in Sonoma County, begin your trip by starting with a visit to wine country in Healdsburg then head to Petaluma for some shopping and finish your trip in Sonoma with luxurious cuisine and a night in the fabulous Fairmount Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Other road trip itineraries cover a weekend getaways, day trips to surrounding destinations, 48 hours in Sonoma towns, bike trails, and trips designed for food and drink connoisseurs. Life opens up in Sonoma County, even on the road.

Reconnect with Nature/Forest Bathing:

Sonoma County is an outdoor enthusiast's dream, painted with historic redwoods and biodiverse open spaces that are ideal for a meditative stroll or a Shinrin-Yoku practice. Translated to English as "forest bathing", Shinrin-Yoku emerged out of Japan as a therapeutic way to connect with nature, focusing on all five senses to experience the surrounding birds, sounds, breezes, sights, and other sensations. It is a restorative practice that quiets the mind and breathing in the phytoncides that trees emit help relax the nervous system. With more than 60 state and regional parks, Sonoma County is a natural destination for forest therapy. For example, visitors can experience awe and wonder at Jack London State Park, where a 14-foot diameter giant redwood "Grandmother Tree" has stood still for the past 2000 years. Local luminary Jenny Harrow-Keeler often leads forest bathing walks at the Red Car Winery where she takes guests on a completely unique journey through the redwoods immersed within the vineyard for a truly transformative and impactful experience.

Small Businesses/The Barlow Makers:

Sonoma County is a place where artists create and makers make--but also where communities collaborate. About 85% of the businesses in Sonoma County are small or multigenerational family-run businesses. The Barlow is a demonstration of the artisanal community and small businesses working together to share their wares, be inspired by each other, leverage the land’s resources and even to get back to their roots. For example, indigenous Southern Pomo and Miwok Indian tribes used the bounty from the land to create handcrafted goods, like woven baskets, which is still practiced today and can be seen at the Barlow. 

Harvest and Food and Beverage Spotlight:

Fall, from early September through mid-November, is harvest season in Sonoma County, and farmers are picking more than just grapes. As local crops reach ‘peak sweetness’, grapes beckon to be harvested and the vineyards and mountain ranges start to change color, Sonoma County offers a feast for both the eyes and the senses in restaurants, vineyards, markets and more. Whether you are looking for a jam-packed celebration of the best food and drink Northern California has to offer or a slower, restorative trip to appreciate the changing of the seasons, Sonoma County welcomes you to Harvest Season.

An Artistic-Led Community -- The Story of Sonoma Sound:

Sonoma County Tourism values artists and aims to infuse them into everything they do. An example of this is Sonoma Sound which tapped some of the most illustrious musicians throughout the destination to create a soundtrack inspired by the region’s diverse, maker-centric culture and landscapes. Created by local GRAMMY-recognized songwriter Cliff Goldmacher with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, Sonoma Sound encapsulates the ineffable beauty of the county and is part of an ongoing effort to highlight the local luminaries and unique stories that make Sonoma County special. 

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