As the summer sun graces the Sonoma County sky, it ushers in longer days, and the landscape bursts to life as it shines on our coast, rivers, redwoods, vineyards, and valleys. Combined, they offer visitors a wide variety of unique experiences to enjoy. From the musical rhythms of the Country Summer Music Festival to the melodies heard at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, throughout the summer season, visitors can delight their senses at events like Taste of Sonoma, toast to good times at Gay Wine Weekend, or immerse themselves in the joy of the Gravenstein Apple Fair. Every day, all year around, Sonoma County extends a warm invitation to visitors to create their own unforgettable moments in a destination where Life Opens Up.

New in Events and Experiences

Transcendence Theatre Company – Broadway in Sonoma

Transcendence Theatre Company has been the epitome of entertainment in Sonoma Wine Country for over thirteen years. Each season, the Transcendence Company presents a series of original outdoor musical revues, featuring talent direct from Broadway, Las Vegas, and beyond. For the 2024 summer season, Transcendence moved their performance venue to Sonoma’s Field of Dreams, located within Fazio Field, a short walk from the Sonoma Plaza. The new location near downtown Sonoma provides Transcendence Theatre patrons with easy access to Sonoma’s cultural amenities including local cuisine, boutique shopping, and wine tastings. Transcendence will host four weekends of Broadway musical revues with the summer series kicking off June 20 and running through September 22. Each show will highlight unique musical styles and performances ranging from Broadway and the American song catalog to pop and rock hits, R&B, and more. Featuring Broadway performers from such acclaimed musicals as Hamilton, Wicked, and Les Misérables. A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the Field of Dreams to help upkeep the fields and support youth sports and recreation.

Russian River Valley Wine Weekend

Renowned for its exceptional climate and ideal growing conditions, the Russian River Valley stands as a beacon of Pinot Noir excellence. The influence of Pacific Ocean fog with ancient soil nurtures heritage vines tended by a dedicated farming community, ensuring the production of wines of unparalleled quality. The Russian River Wine Weekend offers attendees a three-day experience tailored to diverse preferences. From the vibrant atmosphere of live music and food trucks to the refined elegance of family-style dining among fellow wine enthusiasts, there is something to delight every palate. The Russian River Wine Weekend promises an immersive journey into exceptional wine, gastronomy, and camaraderie. Guests can partake in the enchanting Sunset Soirée at Paradise Ridge Winery, indulge in the exquisite offerings of the Russian River Paulée presented by Secret Supper, and the Russian River Récolte Celebration at Hop Kiln Estate by Landmark Vineyard. Many other experiences are also available. August 2 – 4.

Climate Ride Wine Country Edition

Kendall-Jackson, in collaboration with Climate Ride and Grounded.org, will hold their inaugural Gran-Fondo style ride in Sonoma County. The event offers four route options suitable for cyclists of all abilities. Participants will have the chance to race and fund environmental causes across six categories: oceans, air, forests, species and wildlife, soil and land conservation, and youth-led movements. The Climate Ride Wine Country Edition combines a passion for the environment, physical activity, and philanthropy. August 17

Blooming Now in Jack London State Historic Park

Nature enthusiasts revel in the vibrant spectacle of wildflowers adorning the trails of Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen during the peak of wildflower season, extending through August. To enhance visitors’ experience amidst this natural splendor, the park offers a complimentary online “Blooming Now” guide, showcasing the latest floral displays across its expansive 1,570-acre expanse, complete with vivid imagery, botanical names, and recent sighting locations. Adventurers can embark on a quest to discover an array of floral treasures, including the likes of California Buttercup, Pacific Hounds Tongue, and Checker Lily. Updated bi-weekly until August 31st, this guide is readily downloadable and user-friendly, catering to both printed and online formats, ensuring that walkers and hikers can easily navigate and identify the profusion of blooms embellishing the park’s extensive 29-mile trail network.

Charles M. Schulz Museum – “Cowabunga, Peanuts!”

The Charles M. Schulz Museum presents the “Cowabunga, Peanuts!” exhibition until September 11, 2024, showcasing original Peanuts comic strip art, animation clips, vintage toys, archival photos, and more. This exhibit delves into the emergence of 1960s beach culture, depicting Snoopy and the Peanuts characters enjoying coastal adventures. Schulz’s move to Sonoma County in 1958 coincided with the rise of “California cool,” influencing his work. The exhibition explores how Schulz incorporated elements of California beach life into Peanuts, reflecting the cultural zeitgeist of the era. It also highlights Peanuts’ transition to broader media formats, featuring surfing clips from animated films like Charlie Brown’s All-Stars! (1966) and Snoopy Come Home (1972), vintage memorabilia, and personal snapshots of Schulz and his family embracing beach life. With over 30 comic strips and original drawings, the exhibit captures themes of beach activities and Snoopy’s humorous surfing exploits, including Schulz’s nod to the film Jaws.

Sonoma County 4th of July Festivities

Sonoma

Named the eighth best 4th of July celebrations in the country by Travel + Leisure Magazine & Yahoo News, Sonoma’s 4th of July Celebration is a tradition that brings the community together and honors our great nation’s independence. The Parade begins at 10 am winding its way around the town’s historic Plaza with around 60 entries. After the parade, enjoy an old-fashioned festival with food, drink, and game booths by Sonoma’s non-profit organizations. All proceeds raised from the festival benefit Sonoma’s nonprofit community. The 4th of July festival concludes around 5 pm when all eyes shift to the skies at dusk above General Vallejo’s field for the spectacular fireworks show that lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Cloverdale

Presented by the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce, the traditional 4th of July Parade commences at 10:00 am. However, guests are encouraged to gather at the downtown Cloverdale Plaza from 9:00 am onwards to enjoy breakfast burritos and morning cocktails before the festivities begin.

Healdsburg

Set against the backdrop of the Healdsburg Plaza, the Fourth of July Kids’ Parade and Duck Dash, is a collaborative effort between the Rotary Club of Healdsburg Sunrise and the City of Healdsburg, uniting the community in commemorating the nation’s founding. Attendees will enjoy many entertainment choices, from live music to activities such as lawn games, Duck Dash Races, and face painting. The highlight of the day is the spirited parade encircling the Plaza, commencing promptly at 11:00 AM.

Kenwood

Kenwood’s Hometown Parade commences at 10:30 am featuring the National Anthem and an array of spirited participants including kids, dogs, banners, bicycles, antique cars, fire trucks, floats, and more. The duration may vary based on the number of entries, but once the parade concludes, the Glen Ellen-Kenwood Rotary Shindig commences in Plaza Park.

Rohnert Park

The 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, featuring the Santa Rosa Symphony, Transcendence Theatre Company, and fireworks display is back with a dazzling presentation at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University. This family-friendly event promises an evening filled with show tunes and patriotic favorites, culminating with Sonoma County’s largest fireworks exhibition. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to explore the Kids Zone from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm, offering carnival games, bouncy houses, delectable food options, lively music, and more.

Windsor

Celebrate Independence Day 2024 in style with the Town of Windsor and the Active 20-30 Club at Keiser Park. Enjoy an explosive night of live music, delicious food, and endless fun for the whole family.  The must-see fireworks event of the year that directly benefits local children’s programs through the Active 20-30 Club. In 2024, not only are the fireworks a great event for kids of all ages, but a portion of ticket and drink sales will directly benefit local children’s programs in partnership with the Active 20-30 Club.

New in Hotels

The Stavrand Russian River

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), renowned for its discerning selection process akin to The MICHELIN Guide, recently partnered with The Stavrand Russian River Valley, marking the hotel as SLH’s first and only Sonoma County hotel affiliate among its 570 worldwide. This collaboration highlights SLH’s dedication to exceptional hospitality, showcasing The Stavrand’s quality and charm, promising guests an unmatched luxury experience in the Russian River Valley.

The Inn at Occidental

Matt and Vicky Meblin are the new owners of The Inn at Occidental. Stepping into the shoes of retiring owners Jerry and Tina Wolsborn, the Meblins bring a wealth of experience and a shared passion for hospitality, ready to invigorate this beloved establishment. With roots in Marin County and New Jersey, the couple’s diverse background infuses the inn with renewed energy. Inspired by Sonoma County’s wine country, they plan to elevate the experience with curated events and top-tier vintages. Additionally, artistic expression will thrive under their stewardship, with Matt’s musical evenings and Vicky’s artisanal touches enriching guests’ stays.

New in Wineries

Tonti Family Wines

Tonti Family Wines opened its doors last December on the Windsor Town Green and features live music on Friday and Saturday evenings, with a jazz trio on Sundays. Musicians are sourced from all over Sonoma County including the Jed Moffitt Jazz Trio. Tonti Family Wines operates as a tasting lounge on other days of the week, with other events like “Paint & Sip” evenings with local professional artists.

New in Restaurants

John Ash & Co at Vintners Resort

Former Top Chef Mexico contestant and luxury hotel veteran, Chef Sergio Howland has been appointed to lead John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa. With over 30 years of culinary experience, including time at renowned resorts and a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Howland aims to reinvent the historic establishment with a modern twist. His vision includes a menu highlighting Sonoma County’s seasons, utilizing ingredients from the resort’s estate. Additionally, he plans to offer cooking classes, garden tours, and dinners in the resort’s vineyards, providing guests with immersive dining experiences.

Arandas Healdsburg

Arandas, led by Chef Adrien Nieto of “MasterChef” Season 2 fame, will open in the former Chalkboard space in Healdsburg. This upscale Mexican eatery brings the essence of Jalisco to Sonoma County. Named after the city in Jalisco and the renowned Tequilas El Mexicano, it boasts a bar stocked with carefully selected tequilas, mezcals, and rums. Chef Nieto’s menu offers a blend of traditional Mexican fare and inventive fusion dishes, celebrating the vibrant flavors of the region. Using fresh produce from the restaurant’s own farm at Chalk Hill Winery, each dish is intended to be a Latin culinary journey.

Beet Wine Lounge & Restaurant

Cloverdale’s Beet Wine Lounge & Restaurant offers a unique dining experience, blending wine, cuisine, and ambiance for a memorable visit. With a cozy yet elegant atmosphere, guests can enjoy a curated selection of Sonoma County and international wines in a rustic-chic setting. The restaurant features a diverse menu inspired by Sonoma County’s regional bounty, with farm-to-table dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Drewish Deli and Healdsburg Bagel Co.

Healdsburg Bagel Co., known for its New York-style bagels at local Sonoma County farmers markets, has opened a Jewish-style deli, Drewish Deli, on Mitchell Lane, just north of Healdsburg’s downtown square. The space is simply designed with classic white subway tile, rustic wood paneling, and deep navy-blue accents. In addition to offering 17 flavors of bagels, Drewish has schmears that are done with a combination of traditional cream cheese blended with local crème fraiche.

New in Air Travel

Avelo Airlines “Wine Travels Free” Program

As part of their checked baggage allowance, Avelo Airlines passengers who are 21 years of age or older departing from STS can transport up to one case of wine per person at no additional cost. Avelo defines one case of wine as a single box or case containing up to 12 bottles, weighing 50 lbs. or less. Avelo operates nonstop flights from STS to Portland/Salem (via SLE), Bend/Redmond (RDM), Boise (BOI), Kalispell (via FCA), Las Vegas (via LAS), Los Angeles (via BUR) and Palm Springs (via PSP). Avelo Airlines joins Alaska Airlines as the second major carrier serving STS to offer this complimentary service.

Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport

American Airlines has recommenced its flight service connecting Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport to Dallas-Fort Worth, boasting a significantly enhanced passenger capacity compared to previous operations. Resuming its Dallas flights on May 6 following a hiatus since December 4, American is now operating the 128-seat Airbus A319 instead of the previously utilized 76-seat Embraer E175 at the facility. This deployment of larger aircraft signals American’s increased commitment to the regional airport, hinting strongly at potential plans for year-round Dallas flights in the future.

For the Good of the Cause

Hallberg Butterfly Gardens

The oldest butterfly garden in the United States, Hallberg Gardens, serves as a wildlife sanctuary and demonstration garden with a focus on supporting butterflies and other pollinators. Hallberg Butterfly Gardens, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, covers nine acres of overgrown vines, thickets, flowering pathways, and meadows among the apple orchards of Western Sonoma County. The gardens are known for their diverse butterfly species and serve as a habitat for butterflies and other animals. Open to the public by appointment from April to October, Hallberg Butterfly Gardens supports sustainability and environmental education and promotes the power of observation by offering tours, events, plant sales, workshops, garden workdays, and educational resources. Visitors can interact with butterflies in butterfly houses, gardens, and farms up close and personal.

Starlight Supper with Smile Train

An elegant dinner party is planned at the Jordan Winery Chateau, in support of an important cause with the John Jordan Foundation. Smile Train, the largest cleft-focused organization globally, receives aid from this event, enabling local medical professionals in over 70 countries to provide free cleft surgeries and care. The evening begins with a reception featuring Jordan Cuvée by Champagne AR Lenoble, followed by a three-course meal on the newly renovated Jordan Winery Terrace. The chef’s cuisine highlights ingredients from the garden, paired with Jordan Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests can participate in a silent auction offering exclusive experiences, wines, and travel packages. Proceeds from ticket sales and auction items directly support Smile Train, through the John Jordan Foundation. July 13 | 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Monarch Joint Venture at DeVero Farms & Winery

DaVero Farms & Winery has partnered with the Monarch Joint Venture to support the iconic Monarch butterfly. Through this collaboration, DaVero has been planting native flowers and milkweed on half an acre of land across the Healdsburg farm’s various garden zones. These plants are essential food sources and breeding grounds for Monarch butterflies, helping to sustain their population and preserve their migration path. This initiative is part of DaVero’s commitment to regenerative and biodynamic farming, as they work to build a harmonious relationship with the land and our community. 

New in Accolades

Story Ideas for Summer 2024

In addition to our celebrated wineries and farm-to-table delights, visitors to our destination are now delving deeper into our many landscapes, forging connections with our community of artisans, and embracing rejuvenation through our holistic wellness offerings. With many artisanal craftsmen and many distinctive experiences awaiting exploration, we invite you to look at these suggested story ideas for the summer of 2024.

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About Sonoma County Tourism    

Sonoma County Tourism is the region’s destination stewardship organization. Inspiring travel to the region through a variety of sales and marketing programs aimed at consumers, meeting and event planners, the travel trade, and media, the organization strives to ensure responsible tourism helps create a robust economy for the Sonoma County region. For more information visit sonomacounty.com.            

Media Contacts:      
Birgitt Vaughan, Director, Public Relations    
Chris Vomvolakis, Senior Manager, Consumer Public Relations     
[email protected]