The county’s 1,576 square miles are a sprawling garden of organic produce, free-range meats, and since 1824, grapes. (George Yount planted Napa’s first vines in the 1830s, using Sonoma cuttings.) Napa offers the thrill of tasting wines few can afford and eating trendy food cooked by the employees of celebrity chefs. In Sonoma, you can access countryside, towns, and tasting rooms—sans appointment—to try some of the most distinctive and innovative wines available. True, pockets have trended upscale. Limos? Check. Celebs like Lady Gaga looking to buy? Check. But at heart, this is authentic country open to visitors—casual and wine snob alike.
Tasting rooms in the world-class Sonoma wine region range from simple and rustic — two wine barrels and a slab of redwood as an outdoor tasting bar; to the wine resort of famed Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola — complete with swimming pool, restaurant, full bar, and movie memorabilia that includes his Oscars, some shooting scripts, the desk from the Godfather, and a Tucker car.
Fremont Diner . 2698 Fremont Dr. Sonoma
This is a creative diner that enhances southern favorites with their own unique twist. Small, fun and funky, it is a roadside diner that is often busy. Monday-Wednesday, it closes at 3:00p. Thursday through Sunday, it is open until 9:00p.
Cornerstone Gardens . 23570 Arnold Dr. Sonoma
Cornerstone is an ever-changing series of walk-through gardens, showcasing new and innovative designs from the world’s finest landscape architects and designers. The first such gallery-style gardens in the United States, the nine-acre Cornerstone Gardens was created as an inspiration and resource for people interested in gardens, garden design and art.
You will also find a unique collection of shops, galleries, tasting rooms and food venues located here.
313 First Street East . Sonoma
This small oasis is located in the heart of the town of Sonoma, just 1/2 b lock off the square. Supremely romantic, very private. The expansive bungalows each boast a private patio and/or garden, high-end toiletries and linens, and in-room European breakfasts. It is the perfect Sonoma destination.