SONOMA COUNTY, CA (January 12, 2022) Here in Sonoma County, Life Opens Up with experiences that connect you to nature, as well as to each other. Taking the time to pause is good for us as humans and it is good for the environment, too. When you travel, every action is an opportunity to make more sustainable choices and have more meaningful experiences.

We invite visitors to pause, even before playing. Because when you take that extra beat, you’ll enjoy a more memorable visit knowing that you had a lasting positive effect on our environment, our community, and our future. Every pause has an effect. Discover how a moment of mindfulness in Sonoma County can help you reset, renew, and feel the joy of being more connected than ever.

Recent Accolades  
  • Travel website Only in Your State has included Petaluma and Sonoma in their “The Best, Most Lively Main Streets in Northern California” round up. Qualifying criteria include destinations that are walkable, have restaurants and cafes, and places to shop. Bonus points were added if it has historic buildings. Petaluma and Sonoma feature an abundance of all the above—and more.
New in Restaurants 

Bollywood Kitchen – Healdsburg

Believing that food is a celebration of life and that traditional foods are an enduring part of their culture, Bollywood Kitchen serves traditional Indian and Nepalese cuisine with devotion, elegance, and grace. The menu offers an array of beautifully presented country-specific specialties.

Luma Bar & Eatery – Petaluma

Luma Bar and Eatery focuses on veggie-forward fare with the goal of showcasing Sonoma County’s bounty of produce and local farms. Luma features four distinct seating areas swathed in earthy garden tones, including a dining room, a cocktail bar, an intimate wine lounge, and a riverfront patio.

Oyster Cafe – Sebastopol

Oyster is a Parisian-style seafood cafe at The Barlow. The open-kitchen restaurant is neatly laid out to include nine counter seats and a variety of outdoor tables for al fresco dining. The menu features sustainable shellfish, fish, prawns, and octopus, approved by a leading industry guide as “Best Choices” for eating.

Piala Georgian Cuisine – Sebastopol

Sonoma County’s first Georgian restaurant and wine bar, Piala, has opened in Sebastopol. Georgian food reflects the country’s location, with a coast on the Black Sea and neighbors of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Russia. The result is a delicious mashup of European, Persian, Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine.

Criminal Baking Company – Santa Rosa

Criminal Baking Company has opened a pop-up pie shop at the former Miracle Plum commissary kitchen in the Railroad Square District in Downtown Santa Rosa. The new location– just a few blocks from their 808 Donahue Street bakery — will feature pies by the slice, whole pies, and other treats for on-the-go pie fans.

Red Bird Bakery – Sebastopol

Red Bird Bakery located in The Barlow in Sebastopol has expanded into the space adjacent to its previous location and now offers seating options and expanded menu items in a new bright and welcoming space. The popular bakery will continue to sell their classic bread, pastries, cookies, and Ficelle sandwiches, featuring a local favorite, Retrograde Coffee Roasters.

Acre Pizza – Cotati

Acre Pizza is opening a third location in Cotati. On the menu are the East Coast, Detroit, and Sicilian-style pizzas that earned the two locations (Sebastopol and Petaluma) awards last year — The Best Place for Pizza in Sonoma County by The Press Democrat Reader’s Choice 2022, and Best Pizza in North Bay by The Bohemian Magazine Sonoma County Reader’s Poll 2022.

New in Hotels 

Boho Manor – Guerneville

Formerly known as the Village Inn & Restaurant, this Guerneville hotel has been renovated with an Art Deco flair. Two new rooms have been added to the property, which now has 14 rooms in total, and a former storage space has been turned into a speakeasy with live jazz on Saturdays. A new Russian Riverfront lounge area boasts a hot tub and fire pits.

Astro Motel – Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa’s midcentury motor lodge, the Astro, is now offering three apartment accommodations for visitors planning an extended stay in Sonoma Wine Country. Featuring a full kitchen, two apartments offer two bedrooms with one bathroom while a third apartment boasts four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Sonoma County Tourism Extended Stay Promotion

With the Pacific coast, the redwoods, and the vineyards plus exceptional lodging, an abundance of world-class food, wine, beer, and spirits, Sonoma County is one sensory experience after another. Visitors can treat themselves by extending their stay and save more. Midweek and extended stay offers feature smaller crowds and unhurried access to one-on-one interactions with an amazing community of makers: chefs, artists, dreamers, and cultural creatives.

New in Wines 

Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery – Fort Ross

Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery is offering a new culinary program. Chef John Vong has created dishes that pair with estate wines. New programs at the vineyard and winery include a new 2-acre botanical garden with plants and flowers native to California and South Africa used in culinary preparations. There are also regular movie nights, for adults only, where guests enjoy a movie and eat dinner tied to the movie’s theme. The winery also will welcome guests for wintertime mushroom forages, capitalizing on the fact that the property sees a fair amount of coastal seasonal rain.

Maison Healdsburg – Healdsburg

Maison Healdsburg serves as a gathering hub for discussing and enjoying the greatest wines of the world. The wine bar prominently features the wines of the Sonoma Coast, which are regularly poured alongside their analogues from Burgundy. Attempting to translate ownerships passion for endless learning, they will also be hosting numerous, weekly classes on a variety of rotating topics. Introductory and expert classes will be offered, catering to both the novice drinker and the industry expert looking for a deep dive.

New in Cocktails 

The Apothecary by FloraLuna – Petaluma

Phaedra Achor started out blending extracts of botanicals in her spare time to create cocktail bitters. She launched Monarch Bitters in 2017, and then rebranded a couple of years later as FloraLuna. Now, Achor has introduced The Apothecary by FloraLuna, Sonoma County’s first alcohol-free cocktail lounge. This plush and cozy spot has a speakeasy feel and serves deliciously sophisticated drinks, sans alcohol. Using high-quality spirits and ingredients in their handcrafted blends, each one is made with organic, local, or wild harvested, sustainably procured roots, barks, herbs, and spices.

New in Events 

California Soul at Barndiva

Spend the afternoon with 4 extraordinary women at Michelin-starred Barndiva in Healdsburg talking about their latest passion projects. Meet Chef Tanya Holland (California Soul), Liberty Duck COO, chef and winemaker, Jennifer Reichardt (The Whole Duck), Chef and filmmaker Elizabeth Falkner (Sorry We’re Closed), and Chef Duskie Estes, Executive Director of Farm to Pantry. Enjoy an Alma de Oakland cocktail, a glass of Raft Wine, and bites from Erik Anderson from Tanya’s new cookbook “California Soul.” Listen, learn, and share a wonderful afternoon with these remarkable creators. January 22, 1:00 pm.

Sonoma Raceway 5K & Fun Run Charity Event

For over a decade, Sonoma Raceway has hosted the March Against Stomach Cancer in partnership with No Stomach for Cancer, and this year’s event will continue that tradition. The 12th annual event will also add the track’s first 5k race, additional activities and will also benefit Speedway Children’s Charities Sonoma, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway. These complementary causes support children and families with critical and medical needs. Participants can take on the self-timed 5k or complete one 2.52-mile lap, with both options raising money for charity. Kids are encouraged to participate in the Kids Fun Run on the track and enjoy a LEGO “Build and Race” and more. Saturday, January 28. 8:00 am.

The Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest

This fun and exciting evening has received rave reviews and is the largest crab feed in Sonoma County. Combined with an impressive silent and live auction, it makes for one of the year’s best events. Dine on fresh Sonoma Coast crab and accompaniments. Enjoy the pairing of award-winning wines with gourmet hors d’oeuvres prepared by local chefs. Proceeds benefit Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s agricultural education activities. Saturday, February 4. 4:00 pm.

Wine Road Barrel Tasting Weekend

The annual Wine Road Barrel Tasting Weekend is an opportunity to meet winemakers, learn a bit about the wine making process and to buy “futures” of the wines. The magic of Barrel Tasting Weekend is to get into the cellar and taste wines directly from the barrels before they are bottled in the future, hence the name. Most participating wineries will be selling futures, so plan to taste now…then buy the future. March 3 – 5.

Cloverdale Wine Walk

The Cloverdale Wine Walk is a monthly event taking place the first Saturday of every month. The event is a collaboration of businesses in Downtown Cloverdale that will host wineries, breweries, pop-up vendors and live music. This ticketed event includes a commemorative wine glass that will allow participants to walk from business to business to enjoy all the offerings. Wolf House Brewing Company, Eagles Nest Deli and La Tequila Restaurant will offer special takeout lunch options available for purchase for ticket holders. Weather permitting, the first Wine Walk will begin on February 4.

Wildflower Safari in Jack London State Historic Park

Updated regularly February through August, Blooming Now is a colorful guide to the latest blossoms at the 1,570-acre park with photos, names, and recently spotted locations. Visitors can seek out a variety of flowers, with names like California Buttercup, Pacific Hounds Tongue, and Checker Lily.  The guide is available online and the latest edition is easy to print and take along on a wildflower safari in the park.

New in The Digital Landscape 

What’s Happening in Sonoma County Videocast

Find the growing playlist of our popular “What’s Happening in Sonoma County” videocast series on the SCT YouTube Channel. These short-form segments showcase new happenings, openings, wineries, restaurants, wellness, and other experiences that are creating buzz in our destination.

Sonoma County App

Sonoma County Tourism has unveiled the Sonoma County app, a new application that showcases Sonoma County while creating an engaging and intuitive way for visitors to research, plan, and experience their visit to the destination. The app provides users with a mobile solution for planning, coordinating, and booking Sonoma County experiences. Users who download the Sonoma County app (Android and iOS) have access to real-time, location-based options for what to see, do, eat, drink and more, along with interactive maps, photos, and detailed descriptions. Category filters allow users to narrow down suggestions by their mood (i.e., wine tasting, dining, spa, shopping, etc.) and specific location categories (i.e., outdoors, experiences, events, and more). If users notice or hear of a business they want to visit before or during their trip, they can find it in the app, add it to their travel plan and build a custom itinerary. Download the app here.

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About Sonoma County Tourism

Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) 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. Visitors spent $1.97 billion in Sonoma County in 2021, a 58% increase over 2020 and employed 17,640 Sonoma Countians, a gain of 8.3% over 2020 hospitality job levels. Post-pandemic, SCT will work with partner businesses to rebuild the tourism economy, regain critical revenue, and re-establish a vibrant workforce. Planning the perfect trip to Sonoma County just got easier with the Sonoma County App as your personal travel assistant. Create a unique itinerary in real time, travel with intention and share with your traveling party. Available for Android and iOS. For more information, visit www.sonomacounty.com

Media Contacts:

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