MSN.com – California's lesser-known wine hotspot was named best small town to visit in America — take a look
Sonoma, California, a region located in the heart of America's top winemaking region, has been named the best small town to visit in the country by US News & World Report. The region has flown under the radar relative to Napa Valley, with its elite wineries and globally known brand. But Sonoma has become more popular in recent years because of its laid-back vibe and affordability. US News and World Report described Sonoma in glowing terms, calling it "Napa's rustic, less-refined, and more-relaxed sister" that comes without the crowds and high price tags.
ThriveGlobal.com – Climbing To The Top
In her article, Climbing To The Top, Kelly Richardson explains why Sonoma is a great place to focus on wellness and rejuvenation. Rather than staying in a "big box" hotel near town, stay close to nature in a quaint lodge. Although the smaller hotels may not have the ideal fitness studio, nature is right outside the door waiting to you to enjoy its scenic views while moving your body.
Travel.USnews.com – 9 Beach-Free Summer Travel Destinations
"A laid-back alternative to Napa Valley, Sonoma County is the present-day epicenter of California wine country cool. If you want to escape the touristy crowds that make the pilgrimage to Napa in the summer months, but also experience world-class vineyards, farm-to-table dining destination and leisure attractions, set your sights on Sonoma. The area now features top-tier hotels, including Graton Resort and Casino. From the bustling Santa Rosa to the quaint Glen Ellen, Sonoma County comprises 22 cities brimming with 19th-century history. For those looking to take their adventures outdoors, Sonoma is also home to a number of state parks ripe for hiking, camping and fishing."
JAXFAXMagazine.com – The Best California Getaways
Naming Glen Ellen as one of the best California getaways, JAX FAX Magazine creates a full itinerary on what activities to participate in, where to eat and where to stay. Featuring The Fig Café, Glen Ellen Star, Kenwood Inn and Spa and Gaige House, Jax Fax reminds the reader this getaway is focused on pampering yourself.
BayAreaReporter.org – Savor Sonoma
"Here in the Bay Area, when we head up to wine country for the weekend, we're just as likely to be visiting Sonoma as Napa. To most of the world, Napa remains the stronger 'name brand' when it comes to California wine geography. Even locally, when Sonoma does have name recognition, there's confusion between the County and the Valley.
Earlier this spring, The Sonoma Valley Vintner's and Growers' Alliance (SVVGA) made a bold move toward changing that perception, with the debut of an intensive weekend-long showcase of local viticulture, Signature Sonoma Valley."
SonomaMag.com – 9 Soon-to-Open Sonoma Restaurants, Wineries, Breweries & Hotels We’re Stoked About
Sonoma Magazine features new restaurants coming to Sonoma Valley! They write, "From wineries and breweries to restaurants and hotels – even a comedy club – we’re super stoked about these new additions to the Sonoma scene."
7x7.com – Where to Drink Wine & Hear Live Music in Wine Country This Summer
Great article featuring a few of Sonoma Valley's wineries! 7x7 says, "...you'll want to hit up these wineries this summer for live performances in the vineyards, paired with great weather and refreshing vino."
US News & World Report – Sonoma #1 Best Small Town to Visit in the US
"At the heart of one of the America's best winemaking regions, this Northern California town boasts all the charms of a rustic yet refined locale without the crowds and high price tags of its larger neighbor, Napa. Before heading to the wineries, spend the day exploring the shops and restaurants along the 8-acre Sonoma Plaza."
MSN Travel – The Best Honeymoon Splurges for Every Month of the Year
"Home to over 400 wineries and innumerable vineyards, Sonoma offers a chance to put some of the country’s best winemakers to the test. Rooms in the iconic valley average $377 a night during the last week of June, 30% cheaper than during its peak (during October’s harvest), according to Booking.com. Check out smaller hotels and boutique lodgings like Andrea's Hidden Cottage and the MacArthur Place Inn & Spa. Looking for some adventure before the tastings? Check out Sonoma Canopy Tours, which operates zip-lining trips through the redwoods, starting at $99."
Sunset Magazine – Local's Guide to Sonoma County
Check out a handful of Sonoma Valley's businesses as you read what to do, where to eat and more in Sonoma County!
Travel + Leisure – 10 swoon-worthy honeymoon destinations that won't break the bank
"There is no lack of luxury in California's Napa and Sonoma Valley, but you can experience it all on your own terms...Head into the village center of Sonoma for a quaint shopping experience at local boutiques, and check out a Spanish-style mission. Save a few bucks by bringing your own wine, cheese, and blanket for a romantic moment in the park on the square, or have a fresh, French meal on the rustic outdoor patio at The Girl And The Fig."
BusinessInsider.com – The Best Places to Honeymoon Around the World
Recognizing Sonoma Valley as one of the best places to honeymoon, BusinessInsider.com writes, "Still, most choose to rent a car or hop on a bike and explore off-the-beaten path wineries and restaurants in and around Napa Valley and its less-touristy neighbor, Sonoma Valley."
WineMag.com – 5 Places to Visit in the Sonoma Valley
"Hearty Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon abundantly grow in Sonoma Valley’s vineyards. The valley, which sits below the the Mayacamas Mountains, is home to historic family owned wineries. Take the time to explore the many wineries as well as Sonoma’s beloved hiking and biking trails through the several state and county parks."
SonomaMag.com – The Ultimate Girls Getaway to Sonoma Millennial-Style
Describing Sonoma as the perfect destination for a girls getaway, SonomaMag.com lists the 'must-dos' to make fantastic memories with friends you will never forget!
SanFrancisco.CBSLocal.com – Best U.S.Wine Destinations
"In Sonoma Valley, the Wine Road provides a wonderful discovery route for Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys; many offer a single- or multi-day pass good at dozens of participating wineries. From winter’s bud burst to harvest crush, both destinations present wine-themed concerts, vineyard and cellar tours, barrel tastings, film festivals and food fairs, including the big Sonoma Wine Country Weekend over Labor Day."
TheDailyMeal.com – Sonoma Winemakers Go Wild for the County's Annual Barrel Auction
"The third annual Sonoma County Barrel Auction, which takes place Friday, April 21, in Santa Rosa, gives winemakers in that county the opportunity to go wild and crazy by producing one-of-a-kind wines in lots of between five and 20 cases — wines that have never been produced before and won’t be again. The auction also offers wine merchants the opportunity to share these rarities with consumers if their bids are successful."
TheMercuryNews.com – Northern California Wine and Beer Events: April 2 and beyond
The Signature Sonoma Valley inaugural event showcased Sonoma’s wine region offering access to rare wines, vineyard tours, winemaker-hosted tastings, and wine pairing dinners. Also, congratulations to Nancy Cline of Cline Cellars for being honored at the YMCA’s annual Women, Wine and Cheese event!
Bravo TV – 8 Experiential Vacations for Foodies Who Want to Go Deep
Visitors can blend their own wine and create their own label at Buena Vista Winery, California’s first winery, or stomp grapes during the oldest wine festival in the United States during Sonoma Valley Vintage Festival. Visitors can also participate in a grape or olive harvest and learn about the process while getting their hands dirty.
Zagat – Culinary Road Trip: Wine Country to Fort Bragg, California
One of the prettiest drives in the country also happens to be one of the most delicious. As the landscape shifts from the sun-drenched roving hills and vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Valleys, visitors trekking Northwest along US-101 N and CA-128 W can also sample a multifaceted miscellany of dishes, wines, cheeses, beer and more along the way.
TripAdvisor – “20 Best Girlfriend Getaways You Can Take Without a Passport”
According to TripAdvisor reviewers, these US spots have the top-rated vacation rentals for hosting a girlfriends getaway. Admitting that you need a girlfriends’ getaway? Easy. It’s been forever since you’ve seen your sorority sisters, old coworkers, or high-school bffs. But between booking a hotel and finding a babysitter, travel expenses add up fast. While we can’t help you clear your calendar or stress less about leaving the family, pets, and/or plants behind, we can help you find an affordable place to stay in an amazing destination.
Huffington Post – Girls Flight Out Road Trip
You only have to re-watch your favourite road trip movie to know that road trips are about many things but most of all the journey. The where, who, why and how play into the big what, that is, what each participant learns, feels and experiences. Recently, Girls' Flight Out embarked on a road trip in northern California. Here's the lowdown and the highlights.
Forbes.com Travel Guide – “Spending Two Perfect Days In Sonoma”
One mistake people make when coming to Northern California’s wine country is to think that they can see it all in a day or two. Napa and Sonoma are large counties with hundreds of wineries and restaurants between them. It’s best to choose one town and spend a couple of days exploring the surrounding area. While it can be quite an undertaking to navigate the many corners of Sonoma, we’ve broken up the trip into a manageable 48-hour excursion.
Pub Club – "Wine, Dine & Stay Specials In Sonoma For California Restaurant Month"
California Restaurant Month is in January and Sonoma Valley has taken advantage of it by offering specials on wine tastings, dining and accommodations. Naturally, in Sonoma County, wine has to be involved in any promotion. Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, also known as Experience Sonoma Valley California, has partnered with Visit California to bring what it calls Sonoma Valley Delicious! to the Sonoma Valley in January.
Jax Fax Magazine – "Best California Getaways" (Glen Ellen/Kenwood Feature)
The small, quaint town of Glen Ellen in Sonoma Valley oozes a special charm. Activities include visiting nearby wineries, galleries, hiking the stunning trails and indulging in the locale’s gastronomic delights. Savor exquisite fare at the updated Fig Café and The Glen Ellen Star.
San Francisco Chronicle – One Day, One Place: Historic Sonoma
The city of Sonoma has been jokingly called Slow-noma, but the people who live here are serious about their rural lifestyle and deep valley roots. Many of the family-run businesses have been passed down through generations, and merchants work hard to keep the area’s atmosphere wholesome. There’s plenty to do, but not a dizzying number of choices.
Conde Nast Traveler – Top Hotels in Northern California: Readers' Choice Awards 2016
MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, and the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa made the list of the Top 20 hotels in Northern California.
Open Table – Top 100 Restaurants
Congratulations (again) to St. Francis Winery and Vineyards on being selected for OpenTable's Top 100 Restaurants. This is their third time making this list!
California Through My Lens – Exploring Sonoma: Where to Eat, Drink, Hike and Relax
This video follows Josh McNair, blogger and video producer, on his 48-hour trip to Sonoma Valley. In partnership with Lake Sonoma Winery and Madrone Estate Winery, the SVVB helped coordinate and suggest his itinerary to include members: Pangloss, Ledson Hotel, Sign of the Bear, Figone’s, Sonoma Cheese Factory, Tiddle E. Winks Vintage, Sweet Scoops, The Cottage Inn & Spa, Sunflower Caffe, El Dorado Kitchen, the girl & the fig, HopMonk Tavern, Madrone Estate Winery, Lake Sonoma Winery, Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma Springs Brewing Company, MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, Cornerstone Gardens, Park 121 and Jack London State Historic Park.
"After spending 48 hours exploring Sonoma County, we compiled this video to show you the highlights that you need to make sure you see when visiting the wine country. Sonoma is the perfect weekend destination in Northern California for relaxing, eating and exploring."
Travel + Leisure – How to Have the Perfect Vacation in Sonoma
"No longer in the shadow of Napa, the gorgeously laid-back California county is booming with new restaurants, inns, and tasting rooms that are giving travelers a fresh reason to visit." The Bureau helped coordinate the content and photos for this article in the highly acclaimed Travel + Leisure Magazine. The article includes shoutouts to Jack London State Historic Park, Ravenswood Winery, Three Sticks Winery, Hanzell Vineyards and Beltane Ranch.
Sacramento Magazine – A Sommelier's Tour
With shoutouts to Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, St. Francis Winery, Corner 103, Oso, Girl and the Fig, Cafe La Haye, LaSalette, Kenwood Inn and Spa, Renaissance Lodge at Sonoma, Jack London State Historic Park, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, this article, by Sonoma Valley's Christopher Sawyer, chronicles the Northern California wine regions. "When a wine getaway is on the calendar, it helps to have an expert’s advice about where to go and what to drink. Here’s a guide to four prime Northern California wine-tasting regions."
CNN Travel – 60 Second Vacation: Sonoma Valley
As part of their destination video series, CNN describes Sonoma Valley as a top tier wine growing region of the U.S., with towns being tourist favorites, offering many food and wine tasting options, and recognizing the valley as the birth place of California's wine industry.
USA Today – Fall Foliage: 10 Spots for Leaf Peeping
"Wine and leaves go together beautifully, and you can have both in the Sonoma Valley. Early September through mid-November is harvest season here, so go ahead and taste award-winning wines at a vineyard while checking out the changing colors. Drive through Sonoma Valley along Arnold Drive, lined with multicolored canopies of oak and maple before continuing on Highway 12, where vineyards paint the ground with sun-fire hues and wines are paired with the October harvests."
Bay Area Reporter: LGBT travelers find a perfect pairing in Sonoma
You don't have to twist my arm to venture up to Sonoma for a weekend of wine tasting and exploring the restaurant scene. Just thinking about it makes my girlfriend and I want to recline back on a porch with a glass of wine and a plate of appetizers as we carry on conversations with our friends...
Conde Nast Traveler: Where in the World to Eat
“Chef Ari Weiswasser seems to work the line every single night. The roasted baby carrots with harissa and crispy chickpeas, served in a cast-iron skillet, was a standout. The menu is simple..."
DuJour Magazine: The Bucket List: Northern California Travel Guide
Take a two-part trip to Northern California with waterfront views, fresh seafood and endless wine tasting...
7x7: A Jazz Hands-Worthy Weekend in the Sonoma Valley
Each summer for the last five years, Broadway has come to Sonoma thanks to the Transcendence Theatre Company, which puts on an all-out stage production of iconic show tunes and dance numbers in the open air at Jack London State Park. The rollicking performance is worth building an entire weekend around...
San Francisco Magazine: The Best Places to Go Drinking with Your Dog in Sonoma County
While it’s technically true that more than half of Sonoma County’s roughly 425 wineries are dog friendly, that’s sort of like saying that most fast-food chains are vegetarian friendly (we see you there, Arby’s bread sandwich). Just as in Napa, in Sonoma County there’s a difference between best in show and merely showing up. Here, seven wineries that have made it to top dog...
Forbes.com: You Think You Know Wine Tasting? Sonoma Is Redefining The Game With New Tasting Experiences
Wine tasting trips are a treat; what’s not to love about sipping wines in their natural settings? Even if you know nothing about wine, you can appreciate the tastes, the views, the cheese plates and bread sticks. But as the days go on, and the wine starts working...
JustLuxe.com: Scenic Sonoma is a Wine Country Lover's Delight
Sonoma is a wine country lover’s delight: It has ambience, idyllic scenery and sumptuous bounty from surrounding farms and wineries. Sonoma is the perfect spot for a getaway. Make it a point to stop at the gems just on the outskirts of town you’ve probably passed by on prior visits...
Transcendence Theatre Company recently shared their talents and performed on Good Day Sacramento!
Food Network: A Newcomer's Guide to the Sonoma Valley!
This California wine region is home to more than 450 vineyards and some of the state's best eats, making it a must-visit for wine lovers and food lovers alike...
Oyster.com: 5 Alternative Ways to Tour Sonoma Wine Country You Won't Expect
A short drive from San Francisco, Sonoma County produces some of the best wines in the country. Though this quiet Northern California farmscape is often overshadowed by its better-known neighbor, the Napa Valley, Sonoma offers excellent wine touring options -- sans crowds or pretense. Best of all, the area offers plenty...
Examiner.com: Kenwood: Kick back in Kenwood
The tiny hamlet of Kenwood dates back to the late 1800s when it was part of a Mexican land grant. In 1895, the townspeople voted to name the location Kenwood, because its original name – Guilicos, the land grant designation – was too difficult to pronounce...
Bay Area Buzz: Sonoma Weekend Getaway Guide
Today, Sonoma is at the forefront of California’s wine industry, known for growing everything from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay grapes. However, the city also has a rich past including the mission period as well as Mexican colonial history. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway...
Sunset Magazine: Best places to live for any lifestyle
“Everyone’s thinking about food and wine all day long here,” says Sondra Bernstein, proprietor of The Girl & The Fig restaurant in Sonoma. “It’s like, ‘What’s happening in the news?’ ” Bernstein, who has many projects, recently added a 2-acre biodynamic farm in a sharecropping agreement with a winery...
Where Traveler: Explore the Charming Downtowns of Northern California Wine Country
The small town of Sonoma is marked by the Sonoma Plaza, the largest in the state. Colonial-era adobe buildings surround this town center that’s served as both a Mexican military outpost and a Spanish Mission village...
Wine Country Getaways: Sonoma Valley Wine Country Getaway
There’s so much to see, do, and explore in this area known as the Valley of the Moon. We just spent three full days exploring the Sonoma Valley wine country. What a treat and delightful way to relax and rejuvenate while enjoying beautiful scenery...
KCBS Foodie Chap interview with the girl & the fig
A native Californian, Chef de Cuisine Jeremy Zimmerman knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life at 23 years old; as a manager at a restaurant in Southern California he saw the chef leaving for the night after a busy dinner service...
KCBS Foodie Chap interview with Glen Ellen Star
Established in 2012, Glen Ellen Star is the culmination of a decade-long dream by Chef Ari Weiswasser and his wife Erinn Benziger-Weiswasser. Resembling a quaint farmhouse while invoking a rural and rustic feeling of California wine country...
TripAdvisor: Olea Hotel Top 25 Hotels for Romance in the United States by TripAdvisor