couple in vineyard with farmer

Media Story Ideas for 2023

Sonoma County is world-famous for its premium wineries, award-winning breweries, and wine country restaurants, as well as beautiful forests, rivers, and beaches. With one million acres to explore, there are one million stories to write.

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.

Festivals and Events Return - Summer and Fall 2023

With more than 400 wineries, charming towns, and a wealth of nature to explore, you'll find no shortage of stories to write about in Sonoma County—including festivals and events. Experience the best Northern California has to offer at wine festivals, fairs that celebrate the county's rich agricultural heritage such as Petaluma’s Butter & Egg Days, Sebastopol’s Gravenstein Apple Fair, or the Bodega Bay Fishermen Festival. Music festivals abound in Sonoma County. Highlights include the Railroad Square Music Festival, the Country Summer Music Festival, the Petaluma Music Festival, or the Rodney Strong Summer Concert Series. If wine and craft beer are your focus, consider a Taste of Sonoma, Beerfest the Good One, the Sonoma County Wine Auction, or the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Lifestyle festival include Gay Wine Weekend, Art in the Redwoods Festival, just to name a few.

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.

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.

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. 

Holistic and Participatory Wellness in Sonoma County

Sonoma County is a destination where the vast landscape and the culture inspires visitors to not just take it all in, but also take part in the wellness of the land and the people, and in turn, experience a high level of personal, holistic well-being. Visitors can feel good about visiting Sonoma County because they are investing in a destination that cares just as much about responsible travel as you do.

Sonoma County: An Artistic-led Community

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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