After a season of feasting, January has traditionally been the time of the year when we reflect on our health and wellbeing. Here in Sonoma Valley, wellness is a time-honored tradition. Since the time of the native Miwok, Wappo and Pomo peoples, the valley’s natural hot springs have attracted visitors for their therapeutic benefits. Today, there are even more options to choose from.
Wellness means something different for every person. In classic definitions, it is about nurturing mind, body and spirit. Find the kind of wellness you’re seeking in our inspirations below:
Intellectual stimulation may be a key element to wellness, but for curious travelers, it’s also the best part about leaving home. In normal years, Sonoma Valley has a slew of great museums to choose from, but even during the pandemic, there’s plenty to see, learn and do!
To get to know Sonoma Valley, start with a historic walking tour of downtown Sonoma. You’ll loop around the historic plaza, see the last built of California’s missions, stroll through the old barracks, then walk to General Mariano Vallejo’s former home. For another great walking tour, head over to Glen Ellen and visit Jack London Historic State Park. Celebrated author Jack London’s fantasy farm is the stuff of legends. You’ll see his cottage, barns, winery, and the famous pig palace. Bring along a picnic and take in some Vitamin D from the Sonoma Valley sunshine!
The curious can travel by armchair, as well. The incredible amount of online resources during this time is particularly impressive—most evident by our abundance of virtual wine tastings. Check into the possibilities, see what interests you, sign up and order your wine, and then Zoom your way into a fascinating, personalized experience that allows you to use all of your senses.
Sonoma Valley’s abundance of open space makes it a perfect spot for active people and nature lovers alike. Stretching more than 17 miles, surrounded by the Mayacamas Mountains to the east and Sonoma Mountain to the west and flanked by San Pablo Bay to the south and the city of Santa Rosa to the north, there’s a lot of terrain for diverse outdoor pursuits. For hiking state and regional parklands abound, many roads are quiet enough for safe biking, and the abundant woodlands make for plenty of shade on warm days.
Prime spots for hiking include Sugarloaf State Park, Annadel State Park, and Jack London State Historic Park. As for biking, the flats in Sonoma and Carneros are ideal to pedal among the vines, farms and wetlands. For those adrenaline junkies seeking a little more thrill, head into the ancient redwood forest for a zipline adventure of a lifetime with Sonoma Canopy Tours. You’ll fly through the trees, while learning about this incredible native California species.
For those who like to feed their body wellness with a more practical application, consider getting take-out from one of the valley’s many restaurants or our Tuesday or Friday Farmer’s Markets. The farm-to-table movement took flight here in Sonoma, so no matter what you choose to eat, you won’t be disappointed. Embrace the healthy decadence!
Spiritual wellness knows many forms. Whether you are religious, spiritual, a seeker, or look to art or nature to fill your cup, it’s easy to find fulfillment in Sonoma Valley. For starters, there are plenty of places of worship—from churches and temples to a meditation center--which currently are offering unique methods of bringing their congregations together.
For those looking for more of a creative lift, you can find your inspiration in the Sonoma Valley’s arts community. Tap into the colorful abstract paintings at Michael Friedes Gallery or the vintage photographs by famous photographers at the Scott Nichols Gallery. Lovers of performance art who are not yet ready to leave home can indulge in a ton of fantastic online and virtual events, as well, from the independent films of Sebastiani Theatre and the Sonoma International Film Festival to the Valley of the Moon Music Festival. Whatever you choose, art is a surefire way to take your spirit to new heights.
But if physical heights are more your thing, you won’t want to miss a chance to ride a hot-air balloon with Sonoma Ballooning Adventures. Taking in a bird’s eye view of the valley is a great way to enjoy the verdant landscapes at this time of year, while also putting your own being into perspective. If heights aren’t your thing, you can still take in nature in all of its glory with a quiet stroll through the extensive gardens at Cornerstone or Quarryhill Botanical Garden.
Spending time with in the individual gardens and art installations, surrounded by stunning plants and flowers can’t help but feed the soul.