Santa Rosa Wine Country Getaway!
Inside Santa Rosa: Visitor’s Guide
Welcome to beautiful Santa Rosa and California’s Wine Country! This is a popular vacation destination for wine lovers and families alike, with so much to see and do while you’re in the area. To help you plan your visit, this guide will explore the best places to go and things to see in Santa Rosa, Wine Country, and beyond.
Santa Rosa: Get to Know the City (https://www.visitsantarosa.com)
Santa Rosa is situated in Sonoma County, about 55 miles north of San Francisco and the Bay Area, offering the perfect base to explore Wine Country and its many offerings. The city has a booming downtown area that is host to:
● Five historic residential neighborhoods
● Three unique shopping districts
● Dozens of arts and culture destinations, local events, award-winning restaurants, and wine tasting rooms, and more
If you really want to get the scoop on the city, head down to the Santa Rosa Visitor Center, housed in a former railroad depot in the historic Railroad Square area of the city (https://www.sonomacounty.com/chamber-cvb/santa-rosa-visitor-center-california-welcome-center). Not only will the staff provide you with valuable tips and insight on what to see and do while you’re in town, but they can offer you a glimpse of the city’s history and what the Wine Country region brings to the state. Plus, you can check out the coffee houses, antiques and other unique shops in the square, or enjoy a meal at the popular La Gare French Restaurant. Don’t forget to check out the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Gallery, located inside the Welcome Center.
In downtown’s Courthouse Square, visitors will find plenty of local cuisine and fine dining from a variety of cultures. Some of the most popular include Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven, Stout Brothers Irish Pub, Gerard’s Paella Y Tapas, Belly Left Coast Kitchen & Tap Room, and Ca’Bianca Ristorante Italiano. After a good meal, you can check out the Art Museum and History Museum, or head down to the 6th Street Playhouse to take in a show.
For Wine Lovers
Being in the heart of Wine Country has its perks, including plenty of vineyards, wine tasting rooms, and other wine-inspired destinations and events. There are more than 425 wineries in Sonoma County alone, along with luxury transportation services and wine tours aplenty. Some of the most popular destinations for wine lovers in the Santa Rosa area include:
● Ferrari-Carano Vineyards (https://www.ferrari-carano.com/)
● Kendall-Jackson Estate & Gardens (https://www.kj.com/visit)
● St. Francis Winery & Vineyards (https://www.stfranciswinery.com/)
● Rodney Strong Vineyards (https://www.rodneystrong.com/)
● Breathless Sparkling Wines (https://www.breathlesswines.com)
● Castello di Amorosa (https://castellodiamorosa.com)
● Clif Family Winery (https://www.cliffamily.com)
Santa Rosa is home to the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County ( http://www.cmosc.org), an interactive museum that encourages learning through play. Nearby, there is also a museum dedicated to Charles M. Schulz ( https://schulzmuseum.org/), the creator of Snoopy. The museum campus features an ice arena known as Snoopy’s Home Ice, and Peanuts sculptures can be found throughout the city. Make it a game with the family while you’re exploring and see how many characters you can find.
Families can also enjoy Epicenter (https://visitepicenter.com), the Pacific Coast Air Museum (https://pacificcoastairmuseum.org), and Safari West ( https://www.safariwest.com), which offers safari-style tours in a huge wildlife preserve that even has tents for overnight stays and outdoor event space for special occasions and event rentals. The SRJC Planetarium ( https://planetarium.santarosa.edu) is also a hit among families that come to Santa Rosa, as are the breathtaking Sonoma Canopy Tours ( https://www.sonomacanopytours.com).
For Outdoors Enthusiasts
There are numerous bike trails throughout the city of Santa Rosa that offer varying levels of difficulty. Cycling enthusiasts know the city for its participation in the Amgen Tour of California race, where it hosted a stage in the competition. In addition to cycling, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Santa Rosa’s 950 acres of parks, trails, and outdoor spaces. Getaway Adventures also offers outdoor adventure tours, including guided kayaking, hiking, and biking tours of Sonoma Wine Country.
Wine Country Balloons (https://winecountryballoons.com) has been offering balloon tours of the area for over 35 years, with FAA Safety-Certified operators and a 5-star rating. Riders will enjoy stunning views of the vineyards, Pacific Ocean, and nearby Santa Rosa city skyline. If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a hike or a run, check out the Santa Rosa Creek Trail (https://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Visit/Santa-Rosa-Creek-Trail/), which runs just over two miles along the creek and right into downtown. Annadel State Park (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=480) has plenty of outdoor activities for people of all ages, and Santa Rosa is home to plenty of championship golfing, so bring your clubs to take in a round while you’re in town.
Shoppers will find plenty of reasons to love Santa Rosa, including Montgomery Village (https://www.mvshops.com), an open-air shopping center that offers everything from local retailers to national chains in a relaxing, inviting atmosphere that lets you appreciate the California sunshine while you shop. Downtown and throughout the city, you’ll also find a number of local stores, gift shops, and family-owned retailers. If you’re looking for something with more of a local touch, this is the way to go.
Those who are looking for a more relaxing way to experience Santa Rosa and Sonoma County will find it in the shopping and spa options throughout the area. The region is home to plenty of day spas and wine-inspired retreats, making it easy to unwind and truly enjoy your getaway. Once you’re refreshed, you can check out Petaluma Village Premium Outlets (https://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/petaluma-village) for even more great Wine Country shopping.
Wine Country is for Everyone
Whether you’re coming for the vineyards or on a family vacation, Santa Rosa has plenty to offer. From some of the best wines in the state to outdoor adventures and shopping galore, there is always something going on in the city. If you’re here for business, you’ll want to make time for pleasure once you see everything that Santa Rosa has to offer.
Book a private rental during your trip so that you can come “home” at the end of a long day and relax in comfort. While the region is home to plenty of quaint B&Bs and wine-inspired Inns, they’re not quite as relaxing as having the house all to yourself. Come for the wine, stay for the fun, but always stay in style with a private house rental and experience the city like a resident.
OutsideGas BBQ, Private Garden