Whether you’re spending a day, a week, or a month in Sonoma County, there are endless summer fun activities along the Wine Road. Sip, sounds, hike, bike, get wet, and more.
Sip Some Wine
Wine tasting is always a go-to activity any time of year, and now with the Wine Road Tasting Pass, it is even more user-friendly. Choose from over 65 wineries, some with tasting room and others by-appointment only, and plan a day wending through back roads, stopping for a picnic or to snap a great photo as you experience the endless visual feast along the way.
With our ideal summer weather, outdoor concerts happens in all types of venues during the summer months. From a great local band playing on a winery patio to well-know entertainers playing on an expansive lawn, there is an option for every music lover. Below are links to a few options:
Rodney Strong Winery Summer Concert Series
deLorimier Winery Summer Music Series
Healdsburg Tuesdays in the Plaza Concert Series
Windsor Thursday Nights on the Green Concert Series
Cloverdale Friday Night Live
To view more music scene options visit the Sonoma County Tourism, Press Democrat events page, Bohemian, Sonoma West calendar, or the Wine Road Events page.
Hiking, Biking, and More
After a very long, wet winter, I was ready for the sun to shine again and to get out my outdoor gear. We have so many options to pick from, so if you love getting out and doing things, Sonoma County has it all.
If you can’t get past hanging out at wineries, check out the many chances you have to play bocce or corn hole at dozens of locations along the Wine Road. But if you want to do something a bit more active, there are other options.
One of my favorite activities is to grab the leash and take my dog out for a hike. We are lucky enough to live a short stroll to three parks, all with connecting trails that offer easy, moderate, and even a few challenging walks. But if you bring your furry family member along, make sure the park or trails you select allow dogs. Here are some links to help you find the just the right hike for your group:
Sonoma County Regional Parks Hiking Trails gives great information on the type of trails, their location, hours, if permits are required, if there is a parking fee, if dogs on leashes are permitted, downloadable maps, and more. Many of the regional parks also have horseback riding trails, a few have swimming lagoons, boating, paddling and fishing, and most allow cycling on the paved and off-road trails.
Sonoma Hiking Trails is another great resource to explore when looking at all the local hiking options.
The back roads of Sonoma County provide popular biking routes. On the Sonoma County Tourism website you’ll find routes categorized by easy, moderate, and expert. The Tourism site also has an entire page dedicated to information about cycling, including links to bike rentals, bike tour companies, annual biking events, downloadable maps, and detailed itineraries on bike routes.
If you’d rather ride a horse to enjoy the region’s beauty, that can be arranged. Going back to the Sonoma County Tourism site, you’ll find a list of Sonoma County companies that provide trail rides. The Tourism site also has a list of 24 locations throughout the county that have riding trails.
Endless Summer Fun in the Water
With the Russian River flowing through the county and the Pacific Ocean bordering its western edge, there is no shortage of water activities.
The Tourism site lists more than two dozen kayaking and canoeing opportunities that include rental options in various locations along the Russian River and oceanside.
If swimming or fishing is what you are looking for, we have you covered. From Lake Sonoma to the various regional parks that have lakes to the Russian River and the Pacific Ocean, there are plenty of options for swimming, fishing, many other water sports like water skiing, surfing, free diving or scuba diving.
Maybe hanging out on the beach with a good book and a cantina filled with a refreshing drink is more your style. The Tourism site lists twenty beaches that fit that request. Beaches stretch all along our coastline, and are also in choice locations along the Russian River, from Duncans Mills near the river’s mouth to Cloverdale at the northern tip of the county. Grab a towel and some sunscreens, and then hit the sand for some rays and zzzz.
And Yet More Options
Some of the other outdoor activities locals and visitors enjoy are art walks, hot air balloon rides, camping, racing, sky diving, whale and wildlife watching, and playing golf.
With more and more foodies discovering the bounty of Sonoma County, visiting Farmer’s Markets and touring the Farm Trails is an ever-popular activity, and goes hand in hand with enjoying wine. Large or small, every city, village, and town in the county has at least one Farmer’s Market, so you can visit one or more every day of the week except Mondays. The business members of the Farm Trails vary from being open daily to only being open during certain times of the year when they have produce to sell. One of my favorite Farm Trails businesses is Kozlowski Farms, just outside of Forestville. Love tasting all their gourmet specialty foods, like chipotle grilling sauces, chocolate sauces, mustards, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, jams, jellies, and so much more. It is also a great stop if you also want to pick up a homemade pie or other baked good.
Wandering through a garden during the growing season reconnects us to our food sources and provides a beautiful canvas of colors. Sonoma County has many gardens that are open to the public, including the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens near downtown Santa Rosa. Another well-loved garden that offers a self-guided tour is on the grounds of the Ferrari Carano winery.
Some folks plan their trip to Sonoma County around local fairs and festivals, coming annually to enjoy them. There are too many to list, but here are a few from the coming months:
Russian River Rodeo – June 24 & 25
Wine Country Big Q – BBQ Competition & Festival – July 8
Sonoma County Yoga Festival – July 8 & 9
Sonoma County Fair – August 3 – 13
Gravenstein Apple Festival – August 12 & 13
Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival – August 26 & 27
Sonoma County Harvest Fair – October 6 – 8
Theater — Indoors and Out
Watching a live production under the open sky as the sun sets and the stars appear adds a touch of magic to the theater-going experience. At Jack London State Historic Park you can enjoy Broadway Under the Stars produced by the Transcendence Theatre Company through September 10. Along with the show, there is two-and-a-half hours of wine tasting and picnicking—bring your own food or purchase it from two food trucks onsite—prior to the start of the show.
Stephan Stubbins, the executive director of the Transcendence Theatre Company, recently gave a terrific interview on the Wine Road podcast. On the same podcast, the show hosts, Milly Winehouse and DJ Bethy Beth, gave tips on other local theater companies. Here is Sonoma County’s Top Theaters List shared on the podcast.
That’s A Wrap
Although this blog doesn’t list everything there is to do during the summer months in Sonoma County, it gives you a flavor of the many options available to locals and visitors alike. So as you organize your daytrip, weekend, or vacation, be sure to check out the Wine Road website, the Sonoma County Tourism website, and website for each of the towns you are visiting. A little advance planning will help you make the most of your time along the Wine Road.