Hotel at a Glance: Hotel La Rose
Built by Italian stonemasons in 1907, the Hotel La Rose is the only hotel in Sonoma County listed on the National Trust’s list of Historic Hotels in America. The four-story hotel and its carriage house are anchored in Santa Rosa’s historic Railroad Square, close to wineries, redwoods, and the coast.
- Historic building: With this deal, you’ll stay in the main building, which was built in 1907.
- Rent a bike from the hotel and cruise the Sonoma Valley.
- 300 wineries are nearby, and many offer tastings and tours.
- Go hiking past sparkling lakes and colorful wildflowers at Annadel State Park on the edge of town.
Sonoma Valley, California: Relaxed Wine Country and Majestic Redwoods
Located about an hour north of San Francisco, the Sonoma Valley is best known for its wine. The mild climate here allows winemakers to grow cool-weather varietals such as pinot noir and chardonnay. But the valley has a varied landscape; some areas are prime for growing hot-weather vines, too.
Follow 17 miles of country roads that connect the sleepy hamlet of Kenwood to the Carneros appellation and you’ll find more than 40 boutique wineries, most small and family owned. Many are tucked amid oak forests and wildflower meadows. Compared to its neighbor Napa Valley (about 15 miles away), Sonoma feels a little more relaxed and remote: the wineries here are generally more secluded from one another than those in Napa, and tasting rooms tend to be less crowded, even on the weekends.
Even if you aren’t visiting for the vineyards, Sonoma Valley’s gentle climate and diverse natural landscape make it worth a visit. Hiking trails wind past redwood trees as high as skyscrapers, and popular excursions are canoeing on Russian River and sightseeing at the craggy Pacific coastline and its unspoiled beaches.