How to Travel Safely
Whether you're coming from near or far, it's best to follow the new rules of travel safety. Here in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, we're doing our part to keep our city safe and our residents healthy. You can help us and protect yourself by taking part in our S.A.F.E. Travels Promise.
Pro Tip: Did you know you can get a rideshare from the Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport to the many hotels and attractions in Santa Rosa for about $40?
Day 1 / Tuesday
Sign off from work at noon and leave work behind (it will still be there when you get back)
Check In to Your Hotel
Santa Rosa hotels are ready to welcome you again. Pamper yourself in stylish Wine Country accommodations such as the renovated, iconic mid-century Flamingo Resort. This tucked-away oasis offers guests immersive well-being and outdoor experiences set across a lush, 10-acre campus. The comprehensive reimagination blends the resort’s mid-century architecture with a fresh modern design accented with a mix of retro and contemporary artwork. Property features include a stunning new porte-cochere arrival experience, an entirely recrafted lobby and check-in experience, 170 sanctuary guest rooms including 14 spacious, poolside suites, the Lazeaway Club restaurant featuring Cal-Pacific cuisine, Wild Bird poolside dining, a rejuvenating spa, wellbeing activities, expansive fitness center, and a year-round heated pool and jacuzzi.
If life in the slow lane is your style, Hotel E offers casual elegance in the heart of Downtown Santa Rosa. This four-star boutique hotel is ideally situated in the iconic beaux-arts building on Old Courthouse Square. Steps from award-winning restaurants, breweries, and shopping, Hotel E offers a perfect location for your Sonoma Wine Country getaway.
Take In the View
During your stay, it won't take you long to find yourself at one of Santa Rosa’s many inspiring vantage points. Paradise Ridge Winery is nestled on a 155-acre estate above Santa Rosa. Paradise Ridge offers spectacular natural vistas overlooking its vineyards and the Russian River Valley. Expansive decks and terraces open to panoramic landscapes. Visitors can sample handcrafted wines seated on the veranda or in their new tasting lounge. Wander through the outdoor sculpture exhibit in Marijke's Grove, and experience art sculptures from Burning Man up close and personal.
If you’re searching for fun things to do, then look no further than Pedego E-Bike rentals and tours. It’s a fun and easy outdoor activity that everyone can enjoy. Electric bikes are hands down the very best way to explore Santa Rosa and surrounding areas. You can easily cover lots of ground, while still getting an up-close and personal look at all the scenery and attractions.
If you arrive and check into your hotel in Santa Rosa by dinner time, you can sample some of the city's excellent cuisine. There is delicious farm-to-table food, and most restaurants have created safe and charming outdoor environments where you can sit down and enjoy your meal. Plus, our temperate weather means that al fresco dining is always in style.
Day 2 / Wednesday
Enjoy the Outdoors
Mother Nature does some of her best work here, and the great outdoors has never been more appealing. Lucky for you, Santa Rosa and Sonoma County have miles of city and state park trails for you to explore.
For a leisurely hike, you can stroll among the majestic giant coastal redwoods at Armstrong Woods State Natural Reserve near Guerneville. Visitors to the 805-acre forest can spend their time weaving among centuries-old redwoods in the protected grove and marveling at the size and grandeur of trees that defined the area before the advent of wide-scale logging.
Pro Tip: When returning to Santa Rosa from Armstrong Woods, nestled among the redwood trees, stop for lunch at the Korbel Delicatessen & Market on River Road. Enjoy the friendly, casual atmosphere along with award-winning food. The menu consists of gourmet sandwiches, handcrafted salads, and a large assortment of prepared, special items in the deli case.
In Downtown Santa Rosa, discover the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens where world-renowned horticulturist Luther Burbank lived and experimented with plants for most of his 50-year career. This registered National, State, and City Historic Landmark is a unique city park located at the corner of Santa Rosa and Sonoma Avenues across the street from City Hall and Juilliard Park. It features the former home, greenhouse, and well-manicured gardens of the famous resident that called Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, “the chosen spot of all the earth as far as nature is concerned.” The park is open daily at no charge, however, a small fee is applied for guided tours.
Santa Rosa knows how to dazzle, and in each of Santa Rosa’s distinct neighborhoods, you'll find scenic, walkable pathways. A closer look reveals our metropolis holds half a dozen of unique districts (South of A, McDonald, Downtown) within the city. Neighborhoods are known for arts and culture border those that are anchored in culinary delights and world-class craft brews. While depictions of the urban heart of Sonoma County might have visitors believing they’ve seen every corner and heard all the stories, our delightfully unique neighborhoods make up a magical city, full of curiosities and wonder around every corner.
Get Inspired at our Museums
Santa Rosa’s must-see museums are welcoming visitors back. Whether your interests lie in natural history, the fine arts, or our shared and evolving culture, you'll find inspiration in Santa Rosa’s museums.
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center is dedicated to the works of Charles M. Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip. The museum is home to many of the original Peanuts strips, as well as other artwork by Schulz. Two works by Japanese artist Yoshiteru Otani dominate the Great Hall a 3.5-ton wood sculpture depicting the evolution of Snoopy and a 22 ft. high ceramic mural made of 3,588 Peanuts strips which combine to form the image of Lucy van Pelt holding the football for Charlie Brown to kick. Among the museum's permanent exhibits are Schulz's personal studio and tributes to Schulz from other artists. Inside the museum are three rotating galleries with exhibits that change every year.
Established in 1985, the Museum of Sonoma County presents 12-15 rotating art and history exhibitions per year and welcomes over 20,000 visitors annually through general admission, tours, school programs, public programs, and special events.
In 2005, a group of Sonoma County mothers inaugurated plans for the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County (CMOSC), addressing the need for a local place for parents, grandparents, and teachers to provide children with enriched, learning experiences. Now, 15 years later the CMOSC campus includes over 7,000sq ft of existing interior space, coupled with 36,000sq ft of outdoor exhibits. All exhibits are devoted to science, art, or nature, with a specific emphasis in Mary’s Garden on environmental sustainability, water conservation, and renewable energies.
Founded in 1989, the Pacific Coast Air Museum (PCAM) is a unique collection of authentic, well-cared-for aircraft, with a dedicated base of aviation experts who give back to the Sonoma County community through education, preservation, and honoring veterans' service. PCAM highlights aviation history through the acquisition, restoration, and display of historic aircraft. The museum boasts a varied collection of over 30 American military, propeller, and jet aircraft.
The Must Do’s
You can't plan a visit to Santa Rosa without making time for those things that make our destination so unique. Take a tour of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, the ultimate wine, food, and farm-to-table experience in Santa Rosa. Take a walk on the wild side at Safari West, a 400-acre wilderness with over 900 animals representing 90 different species roaming across the “Sonoma Serengeti.” Taste craft brew history at the Russian River Brewing Company in Downtown Santa Rosa, home of the Pliny the Elder, the top-rated beer in the U.S. 7 years in a row. The dry, piney, intensely bitter double IPA remains Russian River’s bestselling brew more than 20 years later and, even as the category has evolved and a number of subcategories have developed, it’s still regarded as a premier example, currently ranked No. 2 on BeerAdvocate’s Top 100 list. (What holds the top spot? Its stronger sibling, Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Younger Triple IPA-available only for 2 weeks a year in February).
This is the night you'll want to splurge and reserve that special dining experience you can't find anywhere else.
At John Ash & Co. at Vintner’s Inn, you'll find succulent dishes made from the finest, freshest, locally sourced ingredients. Cozy up next to the large stone fireplace or grab an ocean-side seat and watch the sun sink into the Pacific Ocean at Drake’s Sonoma Coast. With its proximity to the sea, this Bodega Bay eatery boasts some of the freshest seafood around. Serving Farm to Fork Wine Country Comfort Food inspired by Southern Cuisine at this family-friendly restaurant in Kenwood, Tips Roadside is the home of wine country comfort food and the farm to fork experience.
Day 3 / Thursday
For your last meal in Santa Rosa, you'll want a hearty breakfast you won't soon forget. That's why we suggest starting your day at Dierk’s Parkside Cafe, a cozy neighborhood restaurant where regulars sip coffee at the bar and chat up the servers buzzing from table to table. We recommend the Country Benedict whose magical powers include a warm baguette, scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, oven-dried tomatoes, spinach, hash browns, and Hollandaise sauce. It will leave you full and happy as you make your way back home.
Shop Unique Local Businesses
Many of Santa Rosa’s unique neighborhoods have their own distinctive shops. Sure, the retail appeal of Santa Rosa Plaza is a treat, but what about finding something that says, "only in Santa Rosa?”
In the Downtown Santa Rosa district, you’ll find charming boutique stores like Cupcake Children & Maternity, a fun and colorful shop that caters to stylish babies and kids, moms, and even trendy moms-to-be. Part Beatrix Potter storybook, part upscale fashion boutique, Cupcake will have even non-parents trying desperately to come up with friends' kids they can buy an outfit for. Or Corrick's, a classic Santa Rosa institution that continues to reinvent itself with refreshing modern twists. Owned and operated by four generations of the Brown family since 1915, what was once a simple stationery store is now a go-to destination for all things pretty. How about Positively Fourth Street? It’s the kind of store you go into meaning to buy a gift for someone else and always seem to leave with a gift for yourself, too. If it's named after a Bob Dylan song, it must be good.
Have you ever been to the house of an eccentric acquaintance and spent hours marveling at his walls and walls of built-in bookcases, his exhaustive collection threatening to spill off the shelves? Treehorn Books is like that, except you're allowed to take the books home with you. Used and rare books are organized into sections as wide-ranging as 'fiction' and as niche as 'animals,' 'mountaineering,' or 'wine country bike rides,' meaning you can find just about anything here — except, maybe, Fifty Shades of Grey or The Hunger Games. Instead, it's the huge selection of the out-of-print, the classic, and the perennial favorites that have earned Treehorn a loyal clientele. True devotees of the written word should call ahead and make an appointment to visit the rare book room, a hidden space absolutely chock-a-block with the best obscure vacation reading you'll find anywhere.
At the end of the day, the truth is, when you come to Santa Rosa, you’re going to need more days. Which is perfectly fine, because you're always welcome here in the urban heart of Sonoma County.