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 Hot 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.
Musette: Part gallery/part center for creative workshops for women, this new addition to the Sonoma Plaza offers lots of creative inspiration that soothes both mind and soul.
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.
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.
Sweet Pea Bakery: This charming, off-the-beaten track café and bakery specializes in “clean” breakfast and lunch options, from Buddha bowls, coffees, chais and egg dishes to sandwiches and curries—perfect for those with dietary restrictions. They have a dozen seats, making this a quaint spot for an intimate “locals only” kind of experience for visitors, or a great place to pick up a picnic lunch to go. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to try their homemade English muffins—yum!
Kina's Kitchen: This upscale, cozy, roadside diner is the stuff of dietary restriction dreams. Oaxacan-inspired, there's something to eat that is sure to please all preferences, from their generous burgers made from local beef and satisfying breakfast bowls to power salads and smoothies. If you're looking to feed the soul, make sure to sign up for their many fun evening activities like Paint and Sip.
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!
FITNESS CLASSES & YOGA
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.
Body Flows Retreats: Looking for the ultimate yoga getaway? Nurture body, mind and spirit with Body Flows’ 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, pain-free walking or running, hiking 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.
Sonoma Bike & Segway Tours, 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.
Raindance 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.
Willow Stream Spa at Sonoma Fairmont Mission Inn: A peek at Sonoma Valley’s first historic spa, set on sacred native grounds, makes the Fairmont’s Willow 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.
Sonoma Therapeutic Massage: Located a few blocks away from the historic Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma Therapeutic Massage offers high-quality, healing bodywork, customized on specific needs. Best of all, they also offer services at hotels, B&B and vacation rentals can be accommodated upon request and availability. Services include: individual massage, pregnancy massage, and couples massage.
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 Solano Catholic Church, Sonoma
- Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Kenwood
- Trinity Episcopal Church, Sonoma