Meritage Resort And Spa
The Meritage Resort and Spa is a Tuscan-inspired wine country getaway with 502 rooms, suites and vacation rental rooms. Guest rooms have high ceilings, luxurious bathrooms and plush beds. Ask for a room with a balcony overlooking the vineyard so that you can enjoy a delicious breakfast with a view. Spa Terra at the Meritage Resort is a unique 22,000-square-foot spa located in the Estate Cave 40 feet underground. The spa is the ultimate hideaway for couples with its 12 treatment rooms, lounges, whirlpools and water walls, all underground. Siena Restaurant has a beautiful outdoor patio and an indoor dining room with murals depicting the Palio di Siena horse race. Rooms start at $209 per night.
875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, California 94558, Phone: 844-283-4588
Soak In The Relaxed Vibes
The number one pro of Sonoma County is its vibe time slows down and you cant help but relax. From walking through the redwoods to settling in for a long, wine-laden lunch in a vineyard, the whole county is filled with opportunities to unwind and rejuvenate.
Plus its famously down-to-earth demeanour adds a cherry on top of everything that allows you to sink in that little bit more. Its the ideal recipe for a laid back Sonoma wine country weekend.
Grab Lunch On The Sonoma Plaza
If youre doing lunch on your own, the girl & the fig is famously Wine Country, right on the Sonoma Plaza.
Sondra Bernstein is the proprietor of this Michelin Bib award-winning destination restaurant, giving you a charming, cottage-style café with a lavishly landscaped hideaway patio in the back. You will also find historic buildings on the plaza in the Sonoma State Historic Park, including the northernmost California mission.
Settle in and relax over mixed seasonal heirloom radishes from the figs garden. Enjoy dishes like the savory pork belly sandwich brightened with fennel aioli, apples and cabbage on brioche with a side of frites or wild mushroom ravioli plump with house-made ricotta, truffles, sweet onion purée, cipollini onions, and ancho cress.
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What Else Can You Do In Sonoma Besides Wine Taste
Drive to the coast and explore Bodega Bay
About 45 minutes from Sonoma is Bodega Bay, a gorgeous stretch of the Pacific Coastline and home to some amazing hikes and seafood!
You can also spot whales off the coast all year long, .
Be sure to stop at Spud Point Crab Co. for lunch, too it is a super casual crab stand in Bodega harbor with literally the best crab sandwiches, clam chowder, and crab salad Ive ever had in my life. The line is always out the door. Its amazing.
Brewery hop in The Barlow in Sebastopol
Tired of wineries and need a change of scenery ? Head to Sebastopol for a super cute afternoon in The Barlow district. Its full of great food , and great wine tasting rooms and breweries. I loved Crooked Goat and Woodfour Brewing Company they had amazing sour beers!
Get the most delicious cheese ever at WM Cofield in Sebastopol
You can actually watch the cheese get made at this awesome stop in Sebastopols The Barlow. The cows they use at this cheesery come from 120 years of family owned business in Petaluma, and if you stop by on a Wednesday, you can see them making the cheese. If you miss that, theyre open Friday, Saturday and Sunday for cheese tasting and the cheese shop
Napa Vs Sonoma: Where You Should Visit In California Wine Country Between Napa Valley And Sonoma County
Napa vs. Sonoma : Which part of California wine country is right for your next vacation? These two gorgeous areas of wine country are buzzing with amazing food, stunning countryside, and of course, great wine. Separated by only a mountain range, youd think Napa and Sonoma would be somewhat similar, but, like any siblings, these two beauties could not be any more different.
But what makes them so different? And should you do both Napa and Sonoma in one trip? In this post, Ill break down all my favorite parts of each area of California wine country, and just what makes them SO different, so you can choose the trip thats right for you.
If you guys have been following me for awhile now , you know my undying love for good wine. I can almost always be spotted with a glass of chardonnay in hand, and if you invite me over I will 100% be bringing my favorite California pinot noir or Cab Sauv. Growing up an hour from Napa Valley and the Sonoma Coast afforded me the ability to go California wine country a ton. I have memories being a little kid and getting served grape juice at a wine tasting and I loved it. You better bet I swirled that grape juice and pretended like I knew what I was talking about. Napa must have known they were already wrangling in their biggest lifetime customer, at age 6.
And now he loves them just as much as I do.
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I Want To Go To California Wine Country But I Keep Reading Sonoma Is Better Than Napa Or Napa Is Better Than Sonoma And Then I Hear About Other Areas Like Healdsburg And Calistoga Where The Heck Should I Go
I dont discriminate when it comes to wine countries. Every wine country in California, and around the world, offers a different type of experience for every type of wine drinker and wine tourist, and, depending on my mood or the type of trip Im going for, Ill go to a different region of wine country! Sometimes, Im in the mood for the casual no-frills tasting experience of a region like Paso Robles, California, or an all-frills, over-the-top glam experience in Napa Valley, or a group fun experience in the Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, or the farm-to-table freshness of tasting wine and pairing it with appetizers in Sonoma County. Theres something for every one, and every type of trip in California, which is why I wanted to break down one of the biggest questions I get all the time..
Stay At A Cool Woodland Cabin
I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of gorgeous cabins that are on offer in Sonoma County, especially around Forestville. It seems that many San Francisco hipsters like to create outposts in the region, decorating them from the pages of Anthropologie and always adding a retro record player and well-curated vinyl collection. Its precisely the style I love, so it took me ages to finally choose.
We stayed at Camp Noon, which was all Id hoped for and I think one of the best places to stay in Sonoma. Check the latest prices on Airbnb, and use this link to get £25 off your first stay. We also have a guide to the best Sonoma Airbnbs with more cool cabins.
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Best Hotels In Sonoma County
The best hotels in Sonoma County, chosen by our expert, including luxury hotels, boutique hotels, budget hotels and Sonoma County hotel deals. Read the reviews and book.
- 9/10Telegraph expert ratingThis Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms in Sonoma Wine Country is seriously ambitious. Guiding principles of fine craftsmanship and Japanese omotenashi selfless hospitality create a fine-tuned offering, where every need is anticipated, and every aspect of the experience is executed with laser precision.
- 9/10Telegraph expert ratingSet on six acres in Sonoma County wine country is the Farmhouse Inn, which has mastered the perfect way to end a busy day of wine tasting. Get pampered at the chic spa, have dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant set in a restored late-1800s farmhouse, and feel like a kid again making S’mores under a star-filled sky.
More California Travel Tips
Were huge fans of California and have loads of blog posts with all our best California travel tips. Theyll especially suit you if youre a bit like us, keen on discovering the creative side of a city and in pursuit of all the best cafes, ice creams, doughnuts, bookshops, murals and beauty spots.
Accommodation guides: Joshua Tree Airbnbs Laguna Beach Airbnbs Palm Springs Airbnbs Palm Springs VRBOs with Pools San Diego Airbnbs Santa Barbara Airbnbs Santa Cruz Airbnbs Santa Monica Airbnbs Sonoma Airbnbs Venice Beach Airbnbs Hip Boutique Hotels in San Francisco Hip Boutique Hotels in Palm Springs.
Disclosure: Visit California,Sonoma County Tourism and some of the individual companies covered helped put our trip together. Places that were sponsored in Sonoma were: Camellia Inn Vintners Inn Healdsburg Shed and Backyard. Please note that regardless of sponsorship, all opinions are always my own.
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So Is It Napa Or Sonoma
Its both, at least we like to think so.
- Its Napa when you and your S.O. want to treat yourself to the best of the best.
- Its Sonoma when you and your significant other want the whole peaceful valley to yourselves.
- Its Napa when you and your friends want to rent a limo and cruise the Silverado Highway.
- Its Sonoma when you and your friends want less crowds at the tasting bar and less competition on the bocce courts.
If you are asking us once and for all, we at Wine Folly recommend you stick to your wine style. Choose either Napa or Sonoma the same way you choose your wines:
- If you buy pricier wines, then go to Napa.
- If you mainly drink Cabernet Sauvignon, buttery Chardonnay, and Merlot, then go to Napa.
- If you buy more reasonably priced wines, then go to Sonoma.
- If you mainly drink Zinfandels, Pinot Noirs, Sparkling Wines, Red Blends, and Unoaked zesty Chardonnays, then go to Sonoma.
As your wine tastes change, so will your preference for Sonoma or Napa. The only recommendation that we insist on is that you visit BOTH valleys at some point. Even though Sonoma is a neighbor to Napa, its a whole new world, although that world can be a small one, after all.
Triumph In New Yorkyour Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link
As we prepare for the upcoming New York Produce Show and Conference, this year is like no other. It will surprise no one to learn that after the hiatus caused by the COVID pandemic last year, we were uncertain how things would unfold when we were told that the New York State and City authorities had authorized this year’s Show to go on.
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Lunchtime On The Healdsburg Plaza
Its about time for lunch, but rather than a sit-down meal at a single spot, indulge in a walk-around feast with Healdsburg Wine & Food Walking Tours.
The guided stroll includes exclusive private seated tastings at boutique tasting rooms, plus lots of fine snacks like beignets, honey-drizzled St. Agur blue cheese atop Bosc pears, port paired with chocolates, freshly baked breads, charcuterie, olive oil, and French pastries.
Go To Sonoma Over Napa If You Want:
Variety. In both the types of wineries, types of wine, and things to do! In Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Coast, youll find so many different wine varietals to taste, whereas Napa is mostly focused on Cabernet Sauvignon.
No-frills. If you dont want or need the grandeur or the glam of Napa, and prefer family-owned, farm-style wineries that are more about the wine, and less about the tourism, youll love Sonoma.
The Coast.Sonoma also has the coast!!! .
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Cool Unusual And Unique Places To Stay In Sonoma
How about spending the night in a vintage camper or a gingerbread house? Or sipping some wine by a yurt?
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Gingerbread House, Geyserville: Hansel and Gretel would advice against taking a bite out of this sweet fairytale house, but rest assured, there are no wicked witches around. In fact, this house and its accompanying hobbit hut is part of the Isis Oasis Sanctuary, founded in 1978 by the late Loreon Vigné and dedicated to the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, who, in modern terms, equates with Mother Earth. Visitors are invited to partake in “daily noon rites” in the sanctuary’s temple and are encouraged to meditate by its many shrines and altars. It seems like such spiritual practices would help keep cannibalistic witches at bay. $97 a night. Book on Airbnb.
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Recently constructed earthen fairytale houses can be rented by guests of Isis Oasis in Geyserville.
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The Isis Oasis pavilion offers a gathering place for guests at the Geyserville spiritual center.
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Isis Oasis priest and spiritual director Justin Howard stands inside the small temple in Geyserville. The temple was decorated with props from a San Francisco theater company that went bankrupt when Loreon Vigne bought the property in 1978.
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Isis Oasis high priestess deTraci Regula feeds one of the llamas on the Geyserville property.
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Its Always A Good Time For Wine
Did someone say its wine oclock? Experience the wine country during cabernet season , when new vintages are aging, the weather is cooler and special rates and packages are offered at a variety of hotels and restaurants. Need more time? Smell the scent of fermentation in the air during harvest season , which is one of the most popular times of the year to visit.
Whether youre looking to have a romantic getaway or a family outing, there are endless opportunities for fun and relaxation. Here are our recommendations for the best areas to stay in the wine country:
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Sonoma County Wine Country
In Sonoma County, world-class wines are only the beginning. The countryside of this fertile region is peppered with extravagant resorts, quaint B& Bs, Michelin-rated restaurants, cozy eateries, excursions into nature the list goes on. In all, a trip to Sonoma County is only as limited as the imagination.
The Alexander Valley Wine Region
Youll want to get a peek at Alexander Valley, which is one of the most beautiful spots of many, many breathtaking places in Sonoma County. Drive through Healdsburg north, and veer off into the Alexander Valley for a visit to Jordan Vineyard & Winery, and your 10 a.m., by-appointment library tasting.
The estate has been legendary since the stone and stucco castle opened in 1972, specializing in exclusive food and wine pairings. The intimate tasting will give you an excellent overview of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, in a guided, one-hour immersion accented by small bites.
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Take A Break In Your Hotel
Now, check into your hotel and rest a bit. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, just outside downtown Sonoma is a classic Wine Country hotel. Enjoy unique amenities like the geothermal hot springs that bubble up into the mineral pools and spa baths, and then pamper yourself afterward with a massage.
Another excellent lodging option is Sonomas Best Guest Cottages, just a short walk from the Plaza. The four one-bedroom cottages include private gardens set with teak furniture.
Tara Bella Winery & Vineyards
Dont be dissuaded by the Santa Rosa address of this cabernet sauvignon-focused winery, because its The B suite overlooks waves of Russian River Valley vines, no city in sight. Above the small barrel room and tasting area is this well-appointed unit with a king bed and everything one needs for a relaxing, serene stay except for the breakfast part of B& B. There is a microwave, refrigerator and outdoor grill, so enjoy morning coffee and local baked goods and fruit, and a glass of cabernet sauvignon on the deck in the evening, pre- or post-dinner. WiFi yes, TV no but who comes to wine country to watch The Voice and Big Brother? $225 per night with a two-night minimum $180 per night for wine club members
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El Dorado Hotel And Kitchen
El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen on the Sonoma Square offers a central location for exploring Sonoma Valley. The hotel has a solar heated swimming pool with plush cabanas, open from May to October. The 27 stylish guest rooms feature complimentary WiFi, iHOME iPod clocks, reusable water bottles and Certified Organic personal care products from EO. El Dorado Kitchen serves fantastic seasonal dishes with ingredients from local Sonoma farms. The outdoor courtyard lets you enjoy the surrounding beauty of California’s Wine Country, while indoors you can admire all the work that goes on in the open kitchen. Rooms start at $205 per night.
405 First Street West, Sonoma, California 95476, Phone: 707·996·3030
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