I went to Napa 2 years ago with an ex and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My previous experiences at wine tastings were only in Temecula prior to that. Napa has gorgeous scenery, intimate tasting experiences, and delicious fine dining. I even went to a private wine blending class during our time there. We returned to Vegas with 4 bottles of our very own "J&J Hotelier" cabernet blend. All in all a great couples trip.
Sonoma is on another level. My two girlfriends and I wanted to take advantage of the new direct flights to Santa Rosa so we quickly planned a trip. We booked flights and a decided on a hotel and pretty much let everything else fall into place. Boy, are we glad we did! Sonoma County is the best place for a laid back, adventure-driven vacation. It happens to be an even better place for a girls/birthday trip or bachelorette party (as we saw so many while we were there).
So here are a few highlights of some things we did:
Petaluma! I have never been more in love with a town. We chose to stay at The Hotel Petaluma for our 3 days in Sonoma County since we were renting a car. This quaint brick building dates from 1923. Currently, the hotel is undergoing renovations, but we didn't mind. We are all in unison with the idea that we absolutely will be visiting this hotel again once the reno has been completed.
We took advantage of the wine hour held in the lobby. A local tasting room, Barber Cellars (who also shares a storefront in the building), was featured alongside meat and cheese from a local farm. The surrounding areas of the hotel had great restaurants (Speakeasy, Topsy's, Sauced). Nightly you can find live music at surrounding bars like The Big Easy (jazz club 😍) and The Roaring Donkey. We LOVE live music! Petaluma is the best and I will be suggesting this area to all who are interested in lodging around Sonoma.
Sonoma's Wine Country Tours I have always thought that wine tours are overpriced and unnecessary. I know enough about wine *and what I like* to navigate through the different vineyards of northern and southern California... or so I thought. The birthday girl decided that in accordance with all of us safely turning up (no one having to bite the bullet and be a DD) we would book a guided tour. Money well spent!
Not only did a sommelier hand pick the best vineyards with the best views; our driver Steve was the most helpful and informative guide. In addition to all that, Steve is also a professional photographer! While we tasted the many wines with not a care in the world, he captured fun moments during our journey.
Steve was great, even taking photos of the grounds for us so it didn't cut into our tasting time.
#Nature... anyone who knows me is fully aware that I am not the most knowledgeable about all things nature. I've never been camping, don't know how to swim or ride a bike. What can I say? I was born and bred a city girl. However at this point in my life, I do enjoy experiencing the outdoors with my friends who are avid adventurers. Right after we landed and picked up the car we drove straight to the Redwoods.
Amazing! The Armstrong Redwoods State National Reserve was home to some of the largest, oldest, most beautiful trees I have ever seen. We explored a few trails and even got a bit lost trying to find the car. Still having a few hours before checking in to our hotel, we continued to Bodega Bay.
Not the type of beach you'd want to lounge by or swim in (it was pretty cold), but gorgeous nonetheless. We drove along the Bodega Bay coastline until we found a seaside restaurant called The Tides. Great food after a well spent afternoon exploring the surrounding nature of Sonoma County.
I will be suggesting a visit to Sonoma over Napa to all. It's the perfect quick getaway from the Vegas desert filled with so many activities. Even with all the things we accomplished in our 3 days there, I am still interested in visiting again to explore more of the Healdsburg area. With all the wine I purchased I surely developed some new favorite vineyards as well.
I have many more pictures on my Instagram @Stasi_Says, check it out! Have you been wine tasting before? Which California wine country do you prefer? Comment below 👇🏾