SONOMA COUNTY, CA  (March 31, 2022) Many travelers take vacations with the intention to relax, refresh and recharge – but how many return home feeling that way? Instead, the phrase “I need a vacation from my vacation” is commonplace. Travel without intention is just a trip. This spring, Sonoma County has taken all the guesswork out of traveling with intention, and is transforming the abstract concept of wellbeing-focused travel into actually being well.

Sonoma County partnered with Mindful Learning Lab founder Cecilia Shanahan, work-life balance leader Joe Robinson, and myofascial therapist Wendy A. Figone to shed light on the science of why wellbeing experiences and practices, along with setting intentions ahead of traveling, are critical for restorative and rejuvenating travel. The result is unique, science-based Sonoma County travel itineraries for those looking to uncover a fresh sense of adventure and return home truly relaxed and restored.

Science Shows The Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Vacation.

Experts agree that intentional travel dramatically increases the positive effects felt from time away, and can even kick start a new chapter in your wellness journey. “Vacations and respites are medicine, cutting the risk of heart attacks and healing the mind and body from burnout,” said Robinson. “They do so by interrupting the sources of stress that drive anxiety and medical conditions. By intentionally working relaxation, rest, and mindfulness into a vacation, travelers can unwind tension and negative emotions.”

Once you’ve decided to take a trip, Shanahan notes the importance of mindful practices while traveling for a true wellbeing-focused vacation. Taking a digital detox, accounting for unplanned time, getting outside, and inviting yourself to be curious and open-minded are all components of restorative travel.

To unlock the true physical and mental health benefits of traveling, one should set specific intentions for a trip. Robinson notes one of the best ways to increase happiness is through one of the biggest parts of wellbeing we can do something about: “intentional activities.” Engaged leisure activities, like travel, are at the top of the list of the best intentional activities.

Well Beyond a Vacation: Sonoma County Launches ‘Intentional Itineraries’

Led with guidance of the three expert partners, Sonoma County invited four content creators to carefully curate itineraries designed to transform wellbeing travel; the creators then put the itineraries to the test by taking the suggested trip from start to finish to ensure they provide awe-inspiring and life-centering experiences unique to Sonoma County. The result is turnkey itineraries full of trip inspiration for any traveler planning their next vacation. More intentional itineraries are planned to debut later this spring.

Relax & Renew

Led by Travel and Wellness Blogger, Francisca Oredeko and Digital Creator and Founder of Balanced Black Girl podcast, Les Alfred.

If you want to return from your travels feeling like you actually unplugged while still seeing the sights, then this two-day experience is for you. Immerse yourself in nature with forest bathing amongst the redwoods and a trip to the coast; savor the local flavors and scenery via a winery bike tour and seaside meal; discover wellness and spa experiences unique to Sonoma County; and slow down enough to appreciate every moment.

Spark Creativity

Led by Digital Creator, Lauren Monitz and Food, Wellness and Travel Blogger, Ginger Harper.

If you’re looking for a totally new experience to inspire you, look no further than the adventures that lie ahead on this two-day itinerary. Engage your senses with a meditative walk through the redwoods or embrace the energy of a trip through the ‘Sonoma Serengeti;’ take in the crafts and offerings of local artists, makers, herbalists, and chefs; and slow down enough to appreciate every moment with an afternoon sipping your way through vineyards or a relaxing day at the spa.

Spring in Sonoma County

Ready to book your own intentional itinerary to Sonoma County? Spring is full of life-centering experiences that help travelers reset their minds, bodies, and spirits. Whether your travel intention is to get outdoors, rest and relax, or taste and sip something new, Life Opens Up in Sonoma County this spring.

  • Outdoor Activities: Spring brings new growth and warming sunshine to our rolling hills, redwood forests, plentiful vineyards, and 55 miles of coastline. Enjoy the abundance of outdoor activities to recenter yourself through nature; stroll through colorful wildflowers opening their blooms; forest bathe in a redwood reserve; or practice paddleboard yoga on the serene Russian River.
  • Restorative Experiences and Sensory Immersion: Sonoma County boasts more than 40 spas and wellness centers, many which offer experiences unique to our region; a dip in a geothermal spring to renew your body and spirit; a Cedar-enzyme bath providing purifying and rejuvenating heat treatment; or a seaweed body wrap using seaweed from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
  • Food and Wine: Nourishing yourself is an important part of wellness. Spring in Sonoma County means wine tastings and picnics in the vineyards; strolling pop-up farmers’ markets overflowing with spring produce; or sampling seasonal menus at top-rated restaurants.
  • Artisan Makers: Sonoma County is a destination full of incredible experts, makers and artisans with unique backgrounds and skills. Explore and enjoy locally produced herbal teas, medicinal-grade olive oils, flower serums, and more. 

As always, we believe that being good stewards of the Earth and the people of Sonoma County are vital to our thriving community, as well as to visitors. This spring, we encourage you to travel kindly – make a positive impact when you visit by following our Leave No Trace principles when enjoying the outdoors, stay with one of Kind Traveler’s curated list of Kind Hotels and consider voluntourism activities.

Stay Two Nights This Spring – and Enjoy a Third Night Free

With so many things to enjoy and discover in Sonoma County, you may very well want to spend even more time on your own intentional itinerary! Select Sonoma County properties are offering a Third Night Free, so you can treat yourself and be rewarded for it! Book two nights and get the third night free at participating hotels and resorts through our limited extended stay promotion.

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About Sonoma County  

Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s official Destination Stewardship Organization. Through a multi-channel sales and marketing program, the organization promotes Sonoma County as a global visitor and meetings destination, where diversity thrives, and everyone is welcome. Leveraging the region’s unmatched assets, wine, culinary, wellness and sustainability continue to define its character. Pre-pandemic, tourism generated $2.3 Billion in visitor spending, $194 Million in tax revenue and employed more than 23,000 Sonoma Countians. Post-pandemic, SCT will work with partner businesses to rebuild the tourism economy, regain critical revenue and re-establish a vibrant workforce. For more information, visit www.sonomacounty.com.

Sonoma County Tourism Media Contacts:

Birgitt Vaughan
Director of Public Relations
[email protected]

High-resolution photos for Intentional Itineraries can be found at

https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/2GBChZggtx

High-resolution photos can be found at

http://www.sonomacounty.smugmug.com/PhotoLibrary

Password: SoCoLifeOpensUp

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