Bonus : Where Not To Stay In San Francisco
Its a known fact that there are more homeless people in California than in the rest of the United States and you should be prepared to encounter them in San Francisco as well, especially at the intersection between Turk street and Taylor street. The city is mostly safe , but its always best to follow some common safety measures such as being mindful of your belongings and surroundings.
That being said, here is my list of areas to avoid when visiting San Francisco:
- The Tenderloin
Expert Opinion: The Best Spots To Wine Dine And Stay In Sonoma This Season
By Noel Burgess And Ian Devereux White| August 16, 2021 |
Sonoma beckons this fallhere are 48 hours of bliss.
The Farmhouse Inn features a Michelinstarred restaurant.
Cool winds roll through warm, heavy air, and wineries bustle with activity as fall and harvest approach in Sonoma. The sights and smells of fermenting grapes and falling leaves swirl through vineyards, while thoughts of planning autumn menus are on the minds of every culinary team. Its truly a wonderful time of year to live in or visit this region. Here are a few of our favorite places to wine, dine and stay this season.
Dutton Estate Cherry Ridge Syrah
Tour Rancho Petaluma Adobe
In the 1830s and 1840s, Rancho Petaluma was the ranching headquarters of General Vallejo. The adobe building is large, and many of the adobe bricks here are the original ones. From the upper level, you get great views over the surrounding countryside.
Original adobe brick at the Rancho Petaluma Adobe
Today a National Historic Landmark, the adobe is managed as the Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park. The walk from the parking area to the adobe building is lovely, with the pathway lined by mature cactus, blackberry bushes, and other trees and shrubs.
Tour the rooms of the adobe, some of which are furnished, for a glimpse into life during the rancho era in California. Look for birds and wildlife in the grounds: we saw a huge flock of wild turkeys when we visited.
Wild blackberries at Rancho Petaluma Ado
Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park is open daily between 10.00 a.m. and 5 p.m., other than on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. At the time of writing, general adult admission is $3.00. The adobe is included in a ticket purchase for Sonoma State Historic Park, if you visit on the same day.
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Things To Do In Sonoma California: Body Flows
Body Flows has a mission to inspire people to live life with greater passion and purpose, towards personal empowerment and transformation. They fulfill their mission through a range of yoga and wellness retreats and company outings and retreats in Sonoma Wine Country and other exciting destinations in the world. They work with groups from companies, family reunions, bachelorette parties, and groups of friends. They can customize any retreat, selecting favorite activities such as outdoor yoga, meditation, massage, walking and running technique, guided runs and hikes, reiki energy healing, better nutrition, life coaching, and much more. One of the most popular retreats is the Yoga, Hiking and Wine Tasting, a three-day long activity at the scenic Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma. The retreat combines yoga, hiking, wellness, local food, and delicious wines. Phone: 917-913-1144
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Family Friendly Hotels In Sonoma County
Struggling to keep the whole crew content? These hotels take the fuss out of your family vacation.
When my husband and I were first married, taking off for a spur of the moment weekend trip wasnt a problem we just went. But then we had kids, and things got complicated.
Now, I know couples who have no issue taking their newborn with them wherever they go smiling through the constant diaper changes and feedings but my husband and I were never those kind of parentsnot even close.
Fortunately, there are plenty of hotels in Sonoma County that understand that it can be a struggle to keep the whole crew content, and theyre more than happy to help out. Here are 6 local hotels that have the kind of family-friendly amenities that will make a trip with the kids a rousing success or, at the very least, a lot less stressful:
The Inn at the Tides Bodega Bay
This is a great hotel for a sea-loving family. When youre done building castles in the sand and running around on the beach, theres an arcade game room to entertain older kids and an outdoor pool for everyone. I like that this hotel is an easy 13 mile drive from the Korbel Champagne Cellars, and my husband likes that its near Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve so he can take the boys hiking.
The Inn at the Tides family friendly amenities include: an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, complimentary cribs or infant beds in the room, and laundry facilities .
Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa Santa Rosa
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The Best Sonoma Hotels And Resorts
This story was written in collaboration with Forbes Finds. Forbes Finds covers products and experiences we think youll love. Featured products are independently selected and linked to for your convenience. If you buy something using a link on this page, Forbes may receive a small share of that sale.
Vine living in Sonoma County, California.
Looking to truly escape without leaving the country? Not to worry: you can have your eat-pray-love moment right here in the United States. With free-flowing wine, luxurious spas, and romantic Pacific views, California’s Sonoma County consistently ranks among America’s top vacation destinations.
Sonoma is the largest wine-producing region in California, boasting 425 world-class winerieseach with its own distinct charm and character. Adventure vacationers can take a break from the vineyards and head to the coastline for surfing and sailing, or hike among the majesty of the Redwood Forest. Afterwards, head to San Francisco, just 45 minutes away, to round out a West Coast vacation.
Thinking of planning a trip to California wine country? Here’s a guide to the best hotels in Sonoma County.
Discover Sonomas Hipster Wineries
Sonoma has a plethora of wineries that can be described as hipster, ticking the boxes of mindful, organic farming tiny production, artistan wines and modern-rustic design.
For us, one of the best Sonoma wineries to visit is Medlock Ames, an eco-friendly winery in the Alexander Valley, started by two friends in 98. The stylish tasting room has beautiful edible gardens and they host fun events, such as live bluegrass music. Other hipster options include: Scribe Winery Kivelstadt and Red Car Winery.
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Enjoy Lazy Days In Guerneville And The Russian River
Guerneville has long been a holiday spot for San Franciscans and is a particularly popular destination for LGBT holidaymakers. Set on the Russian River, its a relaxed outdoor playground where floating downstream by kayak, dingy or inner tube is one of the most fun things to do in Sonoma County. And dont forget to explore the rustic main street of Guerneville where hippy meets hipster in a collection of eclectic stores.
Jack London State Historic Park
North of Sonoma lies Glen Ellen, a town where the famous American author Jack London settled and revitalized a farm he called Beauty Ranch over 100 years ago. Clint explains, He actually built a homestead here in Sonoma County in his later years. A $10 park entry pass gives you access to miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. Roam the picturesque land and behold various stone barns, fascinating ruins, and sweeping views of vineyards. Signage around the park explains the uses of various antiquated farming equipment and Londons commitment to preserving the land for future generations. There is even an audio tour you can download to learn more about the propertys history.
Before you begin your busy day in Sonoma, fuel up with authentic French pastries and coffee. A French husband-and-wife team, Pascal and Pascale Merle, opened the Glen Ellen pastry shop in 2018, and it has quickly become a sensation among visitors and locals alike. Kristina tells us, The vibe is very local. Theres usually a line out the door. Retirees sit, drink coffee, and people watch for hours. I often see vitners and winemakers there on the weekdays. Youll see a few tourists.
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Sonoma And Sonoma Valley
Sonoma is a small town in the Sonoma Valley and despite only being 75 kilometres from San Francisco it is truly a different world. A recommended way to experience the joys of the town and the Sonoma Valley is to take a drive along Highway 12 where wineries line the road and are just begging to be stopped at.
Along the route Landmark Vineyards is set in the foothills of the Mayacama Mountains and offers food pairing and wine seminars while at The Imagery Estate Winery they have an on-site art gallery where you can peruse some great works while sampling the delicious wines. Californian sunshine and a glass of wine make perfect companions and at the Valley of the Moon Winery you can relax outside and enjoy the best of both worlds. Other wineries to consider in the area are Arrowood Vineyards and Winery, Chateau St. Jean, Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyard, Ravenswood, Loxton, Benziger and Gundlach-Bundschu.
Under a canopy of shady and majestic trees the Plaza in Sonoma is brimming with beautifully preserved buildings waiting to reveal their secrets. Surrounding the Plaza there are numerous chic boutiques, superb restaurants and quaint shops all just waiting to be visited. A short distance away from Sonoma in the village of Boyes Hot Springs is a Michelin starred restaurant as well as the springs that the town is named after.
Explore Goat Rock Beach In Jenner
Goat Rock Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches along the Sonoma Coast. Located near the mouth of the Russian River, the sandy beach is easy to access, and a popular destination on nice weather days for both locals and visitors.
Take a leisurely stroll on the long beach, to savor the beauty of the rock formations. Majestic Goat Rock lies just off shore. You may see birds at the water line, looking for food, or a whale spouting in the ocean. The surf here is beautiful as well.
Gorgeous Goat Rock Beach
In the summer, you will see lots of adult harbor seals and their pups at Goat Rock Beach. Be sure to observe them from a distance of 50 yards or more.
Bring a windcheater, because it can be cool and breezy by the Pacific Ocean any time of the year.
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Visit General Vallejos Home
General Mariano Vallejos estate, located a scant 0.5 mile from Sonoma Plaza, is part of Sonoma State Historic Park. We loved our visit to the home and its beautiful gardens. If you enjoy history and culture, a self-guided tour of the estate is one of the best things to do in Sonoma.
The main house, whose interior you can tour, is a wood-frame two-story structure built in the Victorian Carpenter Gothic style. The warehouse on the property, used to store wine and produce in General Vallejos time, today serves as a museum. At the back of the home, a long vine-covered walkway leads to the pool. The grounds feature many gorgeous plants and trees.
Lachryma Montis, General Vallejos home
If a docent-led tour is offered when you visit, be sure to join: there is so much to learn about the home and its history! Although tours were not offered during our visit, the docent at the ticket station gave us an abbreviated history, and answered our questions.
General Vallejos Home is typically open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. everyday, other than major holidays, but call the park office at -938-9559 to make sure the home is open when you plan to visit. The Sonoma State Historic Park admission fee of $3.00 per person covers General Vallejos Home.
El Delirio, the garden retreat
The Cottages Of Napa Valley
If a cozy cottage stay is more your jam, check out The Cottages of Napa Valley. Located outside of town amidst the vineyards of Oak Knoll, The Cottages of Napa Valley offers private one- and two-bedroom cottages outfitted with inviting amenities like jetted tubs, heated bathroom floors, and wood-burning fireplaces. From a bottle of wine upon arrival to a breakfast basket of Bouchon pastries delivered to your porch each morning, plus little details like a picnic backpack available for use during your stay and optional smores add-ons, The Cottages of Napa Valley makes for a charming, romantic stay in Wine Country.
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Go Wine Tasting On Foot
Driving around wineries can pose a conundrum as you want to try all the wine, but cant drink and drive. One good solution is to head to Healdsburg where they have at least 25 different tasting rooms to choose from, showcasing some of the countys best wines.
Options to choose from include: Banshee Wines Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery and La Crema Tasting Room. Its the ideal way to do your own Sonoma Valley wine tour.
Admire The Amiot/laurent Junk Art In Sebastopol
Many of the homes along Florence Avenue in Sebastopol showcase the junk art of Patrick Amiot and Brigitte Laurent. Find a spot to safely park your vehicle along the side of the road, then walk up and down both sides to admire the many sculptures!
One of the Amiot-Laurent sculptures
Amiot reportedly made a quirky sculpture from junk in 2001 and gave it a spot on his front lawn. Many of his neighbors wanted their own, and thus was born the fun and innovative art display. Amiot makes the sculptures and Laurent paints them.
Also in Sebastopol, allow for time to explore The Barlow, a complex of restaurants, shops, wine tasting rooms, distilleries, and craft breweries. Its a great place to have lunch!
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Contact Information All Travelers
All air passengers to the United States will also be required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This strengthens a travel process already in place to rapidly identify and contact people in the U.S. who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19. Access to travelers contact information will allow U.S. federal, state, and local health departments, and agencies to share appropriate health and public health information necessary to help keep the public safe.
Things To Do In Sonoma California: Jack London State Historic Park
Encompassing 1,400 acres on the eastern slope of Sonoma Mountain, Jack London State Historic Park features more than 29 miles of trails and several historic buildings. The park is named after the famous writer and adventurer Jack London, who called the property home in the early 1900s. There are plenty of excellent walking trails in the park, but one of the most interesting is a 2-hour walk that allows visitors to see the buildings and enjoy exhibits telling the story of London’s life. Visitors are welcome to explore the park on their own, but free guided tours are offered on weekends.
2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, Phone: 707-938-5216
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Boon Hotel + Spa Guerneville
When a hotel is named after the resident hotel dog, you know it’s going to be a good one. Boon hotel + spa in Guerneville offers modern luxury accommodations and glamping tent options, with a pool and spa on site. Insider Tip: While you’re there, head down the street and visit boon eat + drink, their restaurant in downtown Guerneville. Try the brussels sprouts you won’t regret it.
Ladys Napa And Sonoma Itinerary For California
Today I want to bring you my Napa and Sonoma itinerary for California. Just north of San Francisco, these neighboring counties are known for their world-class wines. But theres a lot more to them than cellar doors and tasting rooms. Ive traveled back to my home state to show you the best of what Napa and Sonoma have to offer. Read on for the highlights.
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Float The Russian River
The Russian River runs fast and furious in the winter, but from late spring until fall, the flow is gentle, making it perfect for boating and floats. Boating season in the Russian River Valley generally runs from April until October.
Kayaks, canoes, and inner tubes are popular. There are several boat and float rental companies in the region, or you can bring your own boat or equipment and launch at one of the free boat launches. Healdsburg, Guerneville, Monte Rio, Forestville, and Jenner are all great options for launching your Russian River boat ride.
Boating the Russian River in Guerneville
Boating is a great way to look for birds and wildlife along the Russian River. You may see egrets, herons, ducks, geese, and other water birds, raptors such as red-tailed hawks, and land birds such as kingfishers and swallows. In the water, look for river otters and turtles. Closer to the mouth of the river, you may spot harbor seals.