While Sonoma Valley might be most well-known for wineries, it is a little-known fact that the valley is also a hotspot for wellness, from spas and hot springs to yoga studios and fitness clubs.
That Sonoma Valley’s reputation as a wellness destination is such a secret is largely due to plate tectonics. Back in the 19th century, Sonoma attracted visitors from around the country for its natural hot springs. Immortalized in the name of local communities like Boyes Hot Springs, Fetters Hot Springs and Agua Caliente, the hot springs had been used by native residents for generations for cooking, processing food, bathing, their therapeutic properties. However, the 1906 earthquake altered parts of the landscape, limiting access to some of the ancient springs and shifting Sonoma Valley’s reputation. Fortunately, you can still access two of the valley’s springs at the luxurious Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Boyes and at Morton’s Warm Springs in Kenwood for a relaxing soak today.
Wellness remains a strong part of the Sonoma lifestyle. Great year-round weather and access to incredible nature inspire many Sonomans to keep active and fit. As the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement, healthy, fresh ingredients abound on nearly every restaurant menu. And with a distinctly Californian fondness for work-life balance, having fun and taking care of oneself are often the same thing.
To prepare you for your own wellness journey in Sonoma Valley, we’ve put together a list of top wellness experiences sure to inspire you to come see us. Whether you come for a spa weekend or a yoga workshop or just want to incorporate wellness activities into your wine tasting trip, there are plenty of great activities to help fill your cup!
Creativity is an oft-neglected category when it comes to personal wellness, but humans are meant to create! Creativity boosts your mood, reduces stress and anxiety and enhances self-esteem. Try these experiences and watch your inner artist bloom. Take a peek at their online calendars and find which classes and workshops are best for you.
Art Escape: This fun and inclusive creative center attracts kids and adults alike. Offering a variety of creative experiences from seasonal crafting to glass-blowing, it's a great way to get the whole family involved.
Sonoma Community Center: With wide-ranging activities from painting and ceramics to textiles and knitting, the SCC offers great weekend intensives--great for planning a friends' creative adventure.
Charles M. Schulz Research Center & Museum: This interactive museum is the stuff of illustrator legend, entirely dedicated to Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts. Bring the kids for on-site activities and have a day of creative wellness and fun.
Sunflower Caffé: Located in a historic adobe home belonging to the brother of Sonoma’s founder, General Vallejo, this café is the stuff of Sonoma dreams. Order one of their delicious, unique and healthy dishes at the counter, and enjoy your meal in their sun-dappled rustic garden terrace. Try their tartines, salads and smoothies, and let them transport you to a zone of beauty, sunshine and health.
Sonoma Market Juice Bar: The juice bar at Sonoma Market is one of the highly celebrated local favorite's best-kept secret. Located inconspicuously at the entrance of the store, it's an easy stop to make for a healthy breakfast, a hangover helper, or a wellness boost when you're not feeling your best. From smoothies and juices to wellness shots, they use all locally sourced produce and are made fresh and on the spot.
Spread Kitchen: Up on Highway 12, Chef Cristina Topham is making waves with her succulent Lebanese-inspired fare. Sourced from all local ingredients and made with plenty of TLC and savoir faire, the menu is dynamic, offering many ways to enjoy common and uncommon proteins in salads, wraps and bowls. On a sunny day, there's nothing like Spread's cheery patio; if you're looking for a take-out experience, be sure to add her famous spreads and homemade pickles to your order!
There are many other options! Please see our post on Healthy Eating Hotspots!
FITNESS CLASSES & YOGA
Sonoma Yoga: Newly located on the beautiful grounds of The Lodge, Sonoma Yoga has been a community institution for 20 years. Offering up beginner to expert levels of all types of yoga, from vinyasa to ashtanga and more, it's serious yoga for serious wellness. Check their calendar for class schedules.
Euphoria Retreats: Looking for the ultimate yoga getaway? Nurture body, mind and spirit with Euphoria Retreats’ day and multi-day retreats. Book one of their pre-scheduled itineraries or call them to design a custom experience for your group, corporate retreat or girls’ weekend. Packed with yoga, healthy food, meditation, and other activities, you really can’t go wrong. Whether you grab a group of your besties or venture out for a solo retreat, your stress levels are sure to dissipate while your wellness soars to new heights.
ParkPoint Health Club: This beloved local health club boasts all the fitness essentials and then some, including gym equipment, personal trainers, an extensive list of classes, a lap pool, and steam rooms and hot tubs in each locker room! Day passes are available at $24 each and allow you to come in and out at your leisure. And if you want to get a taste of the local scene, grab a free cup of coffee in the lobby and mix it up with one of the regulars.
Sonoma Adventures, as well as Wine Country Cyclery both offer bicycles for rent. Ask for suggestions, and they'll tell you how to match your skills to the best routes possible. Riding through wine country is as mentally therapeutic as it is physically invigorating. Riding slowly past beautiful nature is a great way to take it in slowly, breathe with intention, and soak in all of the good healing that nature does to reduce your stress levels.
Sonoma Valley's extensive state and regional parks offer the ideal playground for quiet forest bathing, vigorous hikes, and outstanding views of nature. With over 13,000 acres to explore, there's no question that wellness will find you! Check out Jack London State Historic Park to walk beneath the redwoods, or summit Sugarloaf State Park for incredible views of Sonoma County. Up the wellness factor by bringing a healthy picnic along to fuel you.
SPAS & MASSAGES
Garden Spa at MacArthur Place Hotel: Set in the center of MacArthur Place Hotel's spectacular gardens, The Garden Spa offers more than 30 types of massage, facials and body treatments. But that’s just for starters. You can also take advantage of their recently upgraded fitness center, sip rose on a lounge chair, swim in their pristine pool, or drop in for one of their weekly yoga classes.
The Spa at The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort: The Lodge’s fitness room and daily yoga would be enough to tempt anyone to go to this beautiful resort, but its host of spa treatments will definitely entice you to come back for more. From CBD and chakra-balancing massages to a lime and ginger foot scrubs, Raindance goes beyond your average spa menu for offbeat and therapeutic treatments.
The Spa at Sonoma Fairmont Mission Inn: A peek at Sonoma Valley’s first historic spa, set on sacred native grounds, makes the Fairmont’s Spa already worth a visit. Add on their gorgeous pools and hot springs, access to a host of fitness classes and sessions with a personal trainer, and dozens of treatments from Cabernet body scrubs to a premier cru anti-aging facial, and you’ve found the gold standard in wine country wellness.
Wellness is a multi-pronged approach, inclusive of mind, body and spirit. Consider refreshing your soul at one of these spiritual centers, which are happy to welcome visitors and sometimes offer spiritual workshops:
- Congregation Shir-Shalom, Sonoma
- Kenwood Community Church, Kenwood
- Overlook Regional Park, Sonoma
- Shambala Meditation Center of Sonoma
- St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Sonoma
- St. Francis of Solano Catholic Church, Sonoma
- Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Kenwood
- Trinity Episcopal Church, Sonoma