What to Do in Sonoma, California


Sonoma County is offering several new outdoor activities to bolster its tourism options. // (c) 2011 Sonoma County Schools

Sonoma County, CA, is showcasing new outdoor activities in order to add more to its distinction as a wine and culinary destination.

The first of these activities is the introduction of visitors to wine caves through the Alexander Valley Vinyards, a 25,000 square foot wine cave that holds 10,000 barrels of wine. Cave tours are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and are factored into other activities such as farming tours and a Barrel Cave tour. Each tour ends with a seated wine tasting in the Barrel Cave Dining Room.

Additional wine caves to visit in Sonoma County include Thomas George Estates, Bella Winery, Schug Carneros Estate Winery, Deerfield Ranch Winery and Hans Fahden Vineyards and Winery. For information and pricing on these caves and their tours, visit www.inside-sonoma.com.

The Sonoma and Marin counties have also created a guide to local artisan cheese makers through the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail. The tour offers an overview of each cheese maker, the history behind the cheeses, facts, and details on where to buy the cheeses. There are also two additional driving tours that allow visitors to meet the cheese makers and see the cheese being made. This guide is available free of charge at local visitors centers and can also be downloaded at www.marineconomicforum.org.

Sonoma Canopy Tours allow visitors to zip-line through California’s coastal redwoods through two and a half hour guided eco tours that includes seven sip-lines, two sky bridges, a spiral staircase, and an 80-foot rappel. Tour prices are $89 per adult ages 18-59, $69 for adults 59 or older, and $49 for children 10-17 years of age. Visit www.sonomacanopytours.com for more information.

McClelland’s Dairy Farm offers farm tours on the weekends, and are $10 for children 13 and older, $7 for children ages four to 12, and children ages three and under are free of charge. Visit www.mcclellandsdairy.com for more information. Visit www.farmtrails.org for more information regarding over 100 other Sonoma County farms that offer tours.

Visitors are now able to tour the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Alexander Valley, Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma Valley, Michel-Schlumberger Winery in Dry Creek Valley, Schug Carneros Estate Winery in Carneros, and Stryker Sonoma Winery in Alexander Valley year-round with no reservations required. For more information visit www.sonomavineyardadventures.com.

Getaway Adventures is offering a Pedal and Paddle Tour for guided biking, hiking, and kayaking tours along the Russian River for $175 per person. Discounts are available for groups of four or more. Visit www.getawayadventures.com for more information.

Up & Away Ballooning offers balloon rides for $235 per person, and include a gourmet brunch. Up & Away is also the first hot air balloon operator in the United States to offer wheelchair access during their flights. Additionally, a percentage of each flight goes on to benefit the Wheelchair Foundation. Visit www.up-away.com for more information.