Summer in Sonoma Valley is, without a doubt, the most exciting time of the year. With a weather forecast that’s guaranteed to be sunny and warm, the valley comes alive with outdoor activity, from alfresco dining and picnicking to hiking, biking, wine tastings and more. Better yet, every week is packed with outdoor parties, music festivals, art shows, and farmers markets, giving you even more ways to soak in the sunshine.

Summer is also our busiest season, so if you’re planning to visit, check our calendar of events, and plan as far in advance as you can. (If you’re having trouble finding lodging, always call our Visitors Center in downtown Sonoma to see if we’ve heard of any last-minute openings.) Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate summer in Sonoma Valley.


In the summertime, Sonoma Valley’s natural beauty is on full display! As the landscape turns from green to gold, the vines are growing quickly, and there are plenty of wildflowers still on display. Among many fun ways of exploring the valley, hiking, biking, and e-triking are our favorite ways, as they slow you down with enough time and space to appreciate Mother Nature.

Sonoma Valley’s state and regional parks offer plenty of space to explore, for beginners and experts alike. Most of our parks offer great accessibility for wheelchairs, whether paved paths or designated areas. Check out our list of parks for hiking and biking options, and be sure to consult websites for up-to-date information. You can rent bicycles at Sonoma Adventures or Wine Country Cyclery, and e-trikes at Pushpak Motors. If you have the extra time, ask for docent- or guide-led tours to really enhance your experience. For naturalists, be sure to consult our Field Guide to Sonoma Valley to get better acquainted with the local flora and fauna.


When the Sonoma sun shines, there is often not a cloud in the sky—no kidding! The afternoons are a great time to escape the heat. Cool off with a water aerobics class or a few laps at Sonoma Splash, Sonoma Valley’s top aquatic facility. Or book your lodging reservations at hotels and inns with pools, such as El Pueblo Inn, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, The Lodge at Sonoma, MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, the Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn, the Kenwood Inn & Spa, and the Flamingo Resort among others. Combining your visit to Wine Country with some time by a pool is always a great idea to rest, refresh and unwind.

But staying cool doesn’t require a pool. Winetasting takes on new dimension when you get to explore the cellars, cut into the bedrock, and more often than not, kept cool naturally. Wineries like BenzigerBuena VistaDeerfield RanchGloria FerrerGundlach Bundschu, Kunde and Schug all have cave experiences to explore and enjoy. Make sure to consult websites of individual wineries to see what tours are available and when.


From May through October, Sonoma’s historic plaza is a nonstop playground for fun. Spanning eight acres in the center of downtown Sonoma, the Plaza is surrounded by charming boutiques, restaurants, galleries and tasting rooms, giving you the best of all worlds within a few steps. But it’s the plaza itself where locals and visitors gather for seasonal festivals, the Tuesday Night Farmer’s Market, live music and food trucks. As one of the rare town squares in the United States to allow open containers of alcohol, it’s the ideal spot to enjoy a bottle of local wine, cider or beer while savoring your Wine Country picnic.

Some of the regular festivals you don’t want to miss over the summer are Sonoma Pride, the Bear Flag Celebration, 4th of July Celebration, The City Party, the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon, the Rosé 5K, The Red & White Ball, the Music in Place Summer Concert Series, the Plein Air Art Festival, and so much more.


Over recent years, Sonoma Valley has become a bastion for live music. From annual music festivals and winery experiences to casual venues like bars and parks, the Sonoma Valley music scene is vibrant with variety and possibilities.

Festival goers won’t want to miss Gundlach Bundschu’s famous Huichica Festival or B.R. Cohn’s Sonoma Harvest Music Festival—two classic Sonoma events that bring in famous musicians from around the country. Classical music lovers will find the most unique of performances in the Valley of Moon Music Festival—a festival played from original, antique instruments. Broadway fans can channel their jazz hands into a summer of performances by Transcendence Theatre and their “Broadway Under the Stars” series. For world-class acts, look no further than the Sebastiani Theatre for eclectic acts and Green Music Center and their “Music on the Green” series for memorable outdoor performances.

Check our calendar of events to see all the abundance of other performances at local bars, wineries, and parks—many of which you can enjoy in the great outdoors with delicious food and beverages in hand!


As the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement, farms are as important to Sonoma Valley as our wineries. With high standards in farming practices, Sonoma is fortunate to boast many organic, biodynamic and sustainable farms, creating a quality of produce that’s second to none. You can certainly sample the ingredients at local restaurants, but we invite you to visit the farms and the markets themselves. Not only will you be able to experience spectacular landscapes, but you’ll most importantly be able to meet the farmers, who know more about this land than anyone. Oak Hill Farm, Flatbed Farm, and Cassidy Ranch are all wonderful places to tour. Oak Hill Farm also offers a gift shop featuring lots of local foods and crafts. But if you have children, make sure to reserve a visit at Charlie’s Acres, an animal sanctuary that promotes a vegan lifestyle.

If you’re planning on staying in a vacation rental or guest cottage, make sure to visit our Friday morning Farmer’s Market at the Field of Dreams or our Tuesday Night Farmer’s Market—both great places to source the best produce in the valley.

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Summer in Sonoma Valley is worth changing your plans for. With fun for every interest and ability, you're bound to find the summer of your dreams, with plenty of small town charm to make you feel welcome as soon as you arrive.