3.5-Star Top-Secret Santa Rosa Hotel
At this hotel in Santa Rosa, guests don’t have to leave the property to sample vino produced in the famed Sonoma Valley. It has an onsite restaurant where staff offer expert advice on pairing upscale entrees with wines from its extensive 120-bottle collection. Should you feel like venturing out, the hotel neighbors a couple of vineyards. Some deal options come with wine tastings at each.
- Outdoor patio where you can dig into herb-grilled salmon fillet while taking in views of Sonoma’s rolling hills; select options include a $25 dining credit
- Make a splash in the outdoor pool or sunbathe in a lounge chair on the pool deck.
- Onsite concierge can help you book spa appointments and tee times
- From the comfort of your room, you can order a cheese platter, dessert, or other treat from room service.
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.