Water Sports and The Pacific Coast
If you are drawn to water, Sonoma County has you covered. If you love fishing you can choose from a day on the Pacific Ocean fishing for salmon, rockfish, or halibut or maybe you prefer freshwater fishing along the Russian River or one of our many lakes.
Kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding are also popular on the Russian River or go bioluminescent kayaking at sunset. You get to choose if you float down the river at a slow pace, enjoy a tour that takes in wildlife, or experts can burn calories with a more vigorous tour out on the ocean.
The rugged Sonoma Coast is the definition of beauty and views. Bodega Head offers stunning views, trails for beginners, and wildlife viewing from birds to whales and of course the barking seals. Take a drive along Highway 1 and choose your favorite cove or beach, pull in, relax, and just listen to the sound of crashing waves.
Parks and Hiking
Known as the urban heart of Sonoma County’s wine country, Santa Rosa is a stone’s throw away from world-class hiking trails. Gorgeous parks dart the area around the city, providing easy access with stunning vistas and memorable natural experiences. For a list of some of our favorites, check out our hiking page.
Armstrong Redwoods State Park is a magical place. As you stroll through this beautiful old-growth redwood forest, you will see some of the tallest and oldest trees remaining in this part of California. The Parson Jones Tree is about 310 feet high; the Colonel Armstrong Tree is more than 1,400 years old. Surrounded by nature never felt so good so bring a picnic and make a day of it.
The Active Outdoors
If connecting with Mother Nature and breathing fresh air means adrenalin-pumping activities then you have come to the right place. Not afraid of heights? How about a zip line through the redwoods, a hot air balloon ride, or skydive with a view of Sonoma County.
Two-wheelers can also get their heart pumping with mountain biking through Trione-Annadel State Park or road cyclists can take on the massive climb of the King Ridge ride. Check out our Cycling Page for more information.
Endurance athletes call Sonoma County home and if this is not your home, this is the place to train. In 2019 there were 9 marathons and half marathons to run, many of them through the vineyards. Santa Rosa has hosted multiple IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 triathlons and a century bike ride is a normal weekend here.
Vineyards, Wineries, and Gardens
Luther Burbank called Sonoma County, “the chosen spot of all the earth as far as nature is concerned”.
Our gardens are proof that he was right. Quarryhill Botanical Garden Botanical Garden is one of the continent's largest and most important collections of temperate-climate Asian plants. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens share the history of the world-renowned horticulturist who loved and experimented with plants for most of his 50-year career.
If you think of wineries for just their vineyard views you would be wrong. Some of the most impressive gardens in the state of California are part of our Sonoma County wineries. Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens has the most stunning gardens you will ever walk through. You can also take a self-guided vineyard tour year-round at wineries like St. Francis Winery, Balletto Vineyards, or Paradise Ridge. Check out Sonoma Vineyard Adventures for more information.
We all know camping is fun and allows us to connect with loved ones and nature. But that’s just the start. Did you also know that myriad health benefits result from being in the great outdoors? From positive impacts on physical and mental health to those tailor-made for children, there are benefits that ensure there’s even more reason for camping in and around Santa Rosa and Sonoma County.
Take for instance the KOA Petaluma Campground and RV Park, which offers sites from a tree-covered tenting area, large pull-thru RV sites, Rustic Camping Cabins, or full-service Wine Country Lodges.
Or for more adventurous, how about with an overnight stay "glamping" in a luxurious tent at Safari West. Imported from Botswana and customized on the property, each of their thirty tents sports a private viewing deck, en-suite bathroom, polished hardwood floors, and because it’s camping, all the wildlife sounds of the Sonoma Serengeti!