WHAT’S NEW IN SONOMA COUNTY SPRING 2023
SONOMA COUNTY, CA (March 1, 2023) With awe-inspiring views, coastal redwood trees that are older than most buildings, and countless opportunities to immerse oneself in nature, the natural surroundings of Sonoma County invite you to stop and pause. And it is within this pause that the magic happens. At that moment Life Opens Up and mindful travel begins. The memories of those experiences are portable—you can take them with you, and they won’t take up any space in your carry-on when you return home.
New in Accolades
- More than fourteen properties in Sonoma County made U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 list of “Best Hotels in the USA.” The list, which evaluated over 6,000 hotel properties nationwide, includes Timber Cove Resort (590), Vintners Resort (656), The Stavrand (842), Gaige House (849), The Farmhouse (850), The Lodge at Bodega Bay (1106), Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn (1216), Kenwood Inn & Spa (1250), The Madrona (1611), The Astro (1840), Graton Resort & Casino (2265), Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine County (4967), and the Flamingo Resort (5518).
- TripAdvisor has unveiled its Travelers' Choice Destinations Award for the Top 10 Trending Destinations in the U.S. in 2023. Rather than relying on a cadre of tourism editors to tout what they believe are the best destinations worldwide for a vacation, TripAdvisor's rankings are based on insights from millions of real travelers who visited these destinations in the past year and left their feedback. Wine tasting through Sonoma Valley is among the top 10.
- Slow Food in Sonoma County is an international program that recognizes food-related businesses that excel in sourcing, environmental impact, cultural connection, community involvement, and business values. In addition to fourteen current businesses, the 2023 Snail of Approval awardees include Americana, COOKIE...take a bite!, Corner Project Ales & Eats, Gold Ridge Organic Farms, Lunchette, Maison Porcella, Sunray Farm, and Taub Family Outpost.
New in Restaurants
Little Saint Reopens with New Food Program
Healdsburg’s Little Saint has reopened with a more casual all-day food program. Changes include a new menu from chef Bryan Oliver highlighting their 100% plant-based, vegetable-forward cuisine, driven by what is grown seasonally on local Sonoma County farms. The wine list has been transformed with emphasis on an expanded collection of small-producer wines. A new bar program offers a creative take on both spirits-based and non-alcoholic cocktails.
The former Fork Roadhouse in Sebastopol has been reimagined as a food collective. The growing cast of food businesses at the renamed Roadhouse Collective include Fork Catering, Just Eat Some Plant-Based, Bayou on the Bay, Happy Cat Pizza, and SubHuman, a sandwich shop. The food collaborators will share the space as an event venue, commissary kitchen, and pop-up space for their concept restaurants. The Roadhouse Collective believes collaboration is key to a thriving and sustainable food business model.
New in Hotels
The Astro has launched its inaugural season of weeklong “Astro Adventures” in partnership with chefs, master sommeliers, mixologists, and authors, and their restaurant, The Spinsters Sisters. Each week the adventure is hosted by a different expert who guides the group through Sonoma County. The Astro Adventure package includes lodging at the midcentury motor lodge, several meals at The Spinster Sisters tasting fees, transportation, and goodies to bring home.
Extended Stay Promotion in Sonoma County
The late winter-early spring months are far from sleepy in Sonoma County. In fact, it is an excellent time to feel like visitors are getting Sonoma County all to themselves, especially mid-week. Check out Sonoma County’s deals page for cool trip ideas. Or if visitors prefer more buzz balanced out by time to relax, they may consider extending their weekend stay and saving more.
New in Wine
WildWood Wine gives back to the community
WildWood Wine is selling its wine in partnership with community-based non-profit organizations that improve lives and contribute to the well-being of people in the Sonoma County community. For every bottle they sell, WildWood Wine is donating 25% of the purchase price to one of the partnering non-profits to create a new funding stream for the non-profits. Customers choose online which organization they wish to support. WildWood Wine has four initial partnering organizations currently committed to the program. They include Food For Thought, Ceres Community Project, Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), and Forget Me Not Farm.
Winemaker Dinner Series by Santé
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn’s Executive Chef Jared Reeves, in partnership with some of Sonoma's most renowned winemakers, are collaborating for a 2023 winemaker dinner series at Santé at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. Each experience begins with a sparkling wine reception commencing at 6:00 pm followed by a 4-course wine-paired dinner presented on the patio under the Fairmont’s famous water tower. The winemaker dinner series features:
- April 26, 2023 – Dan Kosta, Convene Wines
- May 31, 2023 – Michael Sebastiani, Highway 12 Winery
- June 28, 2023 – Alison Smith Story, Smith Story Wines
- July 26, 2023 – Erich Bradley, Sojourn Cellars
- September 27, 2023 – Silver Oak Winery
New in Events
Early Spring Activities in Jack London State Historic Park
A slate of outdoor events is taking place at Jack London State Historic Park this spring. Here are a select few:
- Deborah Large, creator and keeper of the Jack London Park “Blooming Now” wildflower guide, will lead the “An Eye for Wildflowers” hike to locate the wildflowers featured in the current issue of the online guide. The distance will be determined by the location of the wildflowers on the day of the walk and should be one to three miles in length. March 18. 10:00 am.
- A variety of uplifting musical selections will be presented by the Jack London Piano Club, a talented group of volunteers at Jack London State Historic Park, in its Springtime Piano Concert. The music will be performed on Charmian London’s 1901 Steinway piano, located on the second floor of the House of Happy Walls, Charmian’s former home and now the museum of Jack and Charmian’s life together. March 19. 2:00 pm.
- Award-winning author, scientist, and nature guide Rebecca Lawton will lead a two-hour literary bird walk from Jack London State Historic Park along the trails of Sonoma Mountain. The group will take a leisurely stroll to the site of Jack London’s Lake looking for wild birds and musing on seasonal and long-term changes in water and wildlife. Lawton will also talk about writing on the mountain before, during, and after Jack London’s time. She will share samples of ancient and contemporary language about the mountain and wildlife (birds, specifically), in part exploring how London himself described them. March 25. 8:00 am.
Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen is operated and funded by Jack London Park Partners, one of the first non-profit organizations to be entrusted with the management of a state park on behalf of the people of California.
Transcendence Theatre Company is Sonoma County’s premiere live entertainment experience. With three original outdoor musical revues produced every summer, the company’s mission is to create extraordinary evenings featuring the best talents from Broadway and beyond. Evening performances begin with a picnic dinner surrounded by the lush scenery of Jack London State Historic Park. It culminates with an electrifying, fully staged evening of song and dance, set within the majestic ruins of a former winery, all against a moonlit, star-dotted night sky. Subscription and single ticket sales begin March 3.
Sonoma International Film Festival
Celebrating its 26th anniversary in 2023, the five-day Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) offers the best in film, food, wine, and fun in one of the most intimate, engaging, and inspiring settings on the film circuit. The festival is dedicated to promoting the best in independent film and filmmakers from around the world, inspiring savvy film lovers, and introducing the power of film to student filmmakers. March 22-26.
California Artisan Cheese Festival
Meet award-winning California cheesemakers, local winemakers, brewers, and distillers at the 17th Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival. Sample and buy artisan cheese and other handcrafted products perfect for pairing with cheese; taste beer, wine, cider, and spirit. This year’s Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace will feature over 80 artisan producers showcasing their products. March 24-26.
This one-of-a-kind celebration combines distance running, craft beer, and more. The IPA10K and 3K start with a beer and cider toast before taking runners on a scenic loop course north of The Barlow. After the races, browse the Brewfest, which features local craft brewers plus wine, food, bands, and exhibitors. April 15. 8:00 am.
The Apple Blossom Festival in Sebastopol is a quintessential Sonoma County event. The festival kicks off with a small-town Americana parade down Main Street featuring local participants celebrating the rich agricultural heritage and spirit of the community. At the conclusion of the parade, the crowd makes their way to Ives Park in Sebastopol for the festival. Bustling with activity, it includes live music, a children's play area, artisan crafts, and food booths. Two entertainment stages will feature a variety of musical acts. April 29 – 30.
Costeaux French Bakery 100th Anniversary
Costeaux French Bakery is commemorating its 100-year anniversary with various year-round celebrations throughout 2023. Programs include a call for personal Costeaux stories, a pop-up dinner, a family-friendly community event, an exclusive luncheon for wholesale accounts, and a 1920s-themed party. Each month, a Costeaux golden ticket will be placed in cakes and bread bags. The individual who finds the Costeaux Golden Ticket will receive complimentary baked goods and special commemorative items celebrating the 100th anniversary of this beloved Sonoma County bakery.
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.
Birgitt Vaughan, Director, Public Relations
Chris Vomvolakis, Senior Manager, Consumer Public Relations