There’s never a dull moment in Northern California’s Sonoma County, a visual, culinary, and historical triumph. Wine Country’s crown jewel remains the Sonoma Plaza, an eight-acre fine dining and shopping mecca that also plays host to award-winning El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen. El Dorado itself is a sophisticated, well-appointed, four-season destination for foodies, oenophiles, and casual travelers alike. While “winter” is fast approaching, Sonoma continues to thrive through the holiday season and well beyond. Average highs often hover in the high 50s and low 60s—perfect sweater or light jacket weather. Once fall officially gives way to winter, droves of tourists return home, creating an idyllic, crowd-less atmosphere. Thus, many of the most popular things to do in Sonoma County become readily available at the drop of a hat.
Things to Do in Sonoma County: Explore Wine Country
Winter prevails as the best season to explore Wine Country, especially for those who prefer solitude over crowds. The picturesque topography never loses its wonder, and, of course, the region’s world-famous wine community is as enticing as ever. Most, if not all, outdoor pursuits remain in peak form, such as horseback riding, ziplining, and hiking. It goes without saying that one of the most beloved things to do in Sonoma County is prospecting the region’s farm-driven culinary scene, which always starts and finishes at El Dorado Kitchen.
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- Hop aboard the Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley, a six-hour cable car extravaganza.
- Soar high above sprawling, rolling Sonoma County in a hot air balloon.
- Enjoy a culinary voyage across the Seven Seas of flavor at the award-winning El Dorado Kitchen.
- Pedal through the countryside on a full-day Wine Country bike tour near Carneros Valley, Healdsburg, or Calistoga.
- Hike the famous Overlook Trail or seek out a hidden gem, such as the tranquil Grape Stomp or a strenuous climb to Mount Hood Peak.
- Spend an afternoon shopping at the idyllic Sonoma Plaza.
- Observe local art at several Sonoma-based galleries, such as The Fairmont, Lisa Kristine, and The Passdoor.
- Climb aboard a beautiful, well-trained horse and explore Wine Country via the Triple Creek Horse Outfit.
- Savor an eclectic mix of wine-infused truffles at the Sonoma Plaza’s Wine Country Chocolates.
- Munch on a frozen delight at Sweet Scoops, home to the only housemade ice cream in the Sonoma Plaza.
- Speed through Sonoma Raceway’s 2.5-mile road course at 70-plus mph.
- Meet a bevy of majestic beasts at Santa Rosa’s Safari West.
- Shop, dine, and sip on fine wine at The Barlow, a 12-acre outdoor market in Sebastopol.
- Embark on a self-guided Sonoma County brewery tour with stops at Sonoma Springs and Russian River.
- Shop ‘til you drop at Petaluma’s dazzling Vintage Bank Antiques.
- Purchase a specialty roast at Barking Dog Roastery—fueling Wine Country since 1995.
- Stroll through peaceful Helen Putnam Regional Park, a hillock haven.
- Stroll through the post-mission, adobe Sonoma Barracks, known as the Presidio of Sonoma.
- Blaze through the Redwoods on a Sonoma Zipline Adventure.
- Complete your vinyl collection at the Last Record Store.
El Dorado, the Finest Boutique Hotel in Sonoma, CA
Compiling a list of things to do in Sonoma County is no easy feat, primarily because there’s a seemingly neverending river of possibilities near El Dorado Hotel and the dazzling Sonoma Plaza. El Dorado is the city’s premier downtown basecamp—one that perfectly compliments the Wine Country experience. This 27-room boutique hotel features a solar-heated pool, a private fireplace lounge, walk-out balconies, uniquely-designed guest rooms, in-room service, and ultra-comfortable beds.
To book a well-deserved winter escape to Sonoma County, please give us a call at 707-996-3030 (or check availability online).