Old-Hollywood Charm and Poolside Dining amid Sonoma’s Vineyards
In the late 1950s, Hollywood stars would escape to the Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa, a Sonoma Valley Winery getaway modeled on the famous Las Vegas hotel of the same name. With its retro neon sign still welcoming visitors today, stepping into the resort feels like stepping into another era. Fodor’s says, “If Don Draper from the hit show Mad Men popped into Santa Rosa, he'd probably park himself in this kitschy, 1950s-style resort.” Just like at its Sin City sibling, curved glass encloses the resort's hallways, and cedars line the polished-flagstone walkways. Despite updates, the Flamingo maintains its vintage luster and has been recognized as an official historic landmark in Santa Rosa.
In the lobby, a crystal chandelier hangs over pastel floor stools, and a Charlie Brown statue—in honor of Santa Rosa native Charles Schulz—greets new arrivals. Rooms circle around the well-manicured gardens and the outdoor swimming pool. The hotel’s executive king rooms and newly renovated suites provide plenty of space to stretch out, with the suites including separate bedrooms and living rooms. Groupon guests may also upgrade to a suite for $50 (+ tax) a night, though suites are subject to availability.
In addition to the two wine-tasting passes that are valid at a number of area wineries, this deal gets you a $15 resort credit, usable for food or beverages, or at the adjacent Montecito Heights Health and Racquet Club (there’s a $12 entry fee), which offers warm yoga classes (not included in entry fee). This facility is also home to five outdoor tennis courts and a lap pool. There’s even a European-style spa here that offers mini manicures, massages, and more.
Next to the outdoor pool, the Terrace Grille serves locally sourced cuisine on its shaded patio. The Flamingo Lounge rotates its lineup of music and dance entertainment. Classes in West Coast swing dance are held every Tuesday night and salsa lessons are held on Sundays; lessons fee not included.
Santa Rosa, California: Cultural Hub Close to Sonoma Valley Wineries
Located in the heart of Northern California's Sonoma Valley wine country, Santa Rosa acts as a hub for the area's most popular vineyards in Sonoma, Russian River, and Dry Creek Valley. As part of this deal, Groupon customers will receive $5 off wine trail passes from the Heart of Sonoma Valley Winery Association. The wine trail pass is valid at 12 area wineries and includes 10% off select wines and complimentary tastings.
Harvest crush season is on the way, and it's that time when Santa Rosa hosts the National Heirloom Exposition on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds (September 10–12). Held during the most colorful time of the year and with ideal weather, the event is one of the largest gatherings dedicated to pure food, and it features hundreds of vendors selling a wide variety of GMO-free produce. There are contests for growing the largest tomatoes and the largest pumpkins, and numerous chefs and guest speakers make appearances throughout the three-day event.
About a half-hour’s drive from Santa Rosa, at Jack London State Historic Park, walk through the redwood forest that inspired the author of The Call of the Wild and White Fang. Just to the east of the city, Annadel State Park’s Lake Ilsanjo is popular for anglers fishing for black bass and bluegill.