Welcome to Sonoma
Premier wine country retreat draped in a sophisticated ambiance
Cocooned in the heart of its namesake valley, the charming Sonoma interweaves heritage with cosmopolitan prestige, boasting a trove of cultural attractions, luxe amenities, and robust agricultural landscaping. Its reputation as a premier wine-producing region dates back centuries, attracting people from all walks of life.
Splurged with sprawling vineyards and sophisticated tasting rooms, the town’s historic center stands as a nod to its fascinating past, boasting some of the most fabulous restaurants, high-end boutiques, galleries, and historical buildings. With a near-coastal Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and cool winters, residents revel in pleasant year-round weather that has continued to nourish their wine grapes. Luxurious homes are the norm here, ranging from Tuscan-style chateaus to pristine vineyard estates and modern ranches.
What to Love
- Delightfully walkable town
- Rustic laid-back charm
- Highly rated schools
- Lots of wineries
- Stunning natural scenery
A global destination for fascinated tourists, Sonoma offers the quintessential suburban vibe with an immersive town culture that has attracted many life-long residents to it. The California State Route 12 winds through the town, connecting Sonoma to neighboring cities across the Valley. Seasonal festivals rule the roost here, unifying residents and nourishing the community’s neighborly spirit. Parents looking to raise kids in a great school zone are in luck because Sonoma schools are among California’s most acclaimed, but young people and retirees also thrive here, because, in Sonoma, there’s a lifestyle befitting of every taste.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Sonoma Plaza has been the centerpiece of the town for years, a tree-lined oasis of shops, unique tasting rooms, and award-winning restaurants, this historic plaza characterized by its beautiful architecture and varied use across different eras, is also the largest in California. There’s an unspoken agreement among guests and locals that any exploration of Sonoma has to start at the Plaza, so head out, and browse the unique shops on the plaza, from gifts at J. James to elegant dresses at The Loop, and G’s General Store, specializing in home decor, beddings, and candy.
Start your day with breakfast at the refined El Dorado Kitchen, offering the freshest California-inspired dishes including seafood paella, truffle fries, and chilaquiles paired with wine. Stop into Sonoma Grille for steak wraps and chicken wings, and bite into your meal as you relax in the lounge, watching a sports game on the TV, or sipping beer from the bar. The Sante Restaurant at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn radiates with sophisticated modern design, and their delectable menu of innovative French fares, featuring salads, asparagus, and crispy veal sweetbreads is sure to keep you returning for more.
Things to Do
Just off the Plaza, three amongst Sonoma’s great wineries lie, two of which are among the city’s oldest. Start your wine-tasting adventure at the Buena Vista Winery, a landmark establishment set within historic buildings and surrounded by formal gardens, this winery is the oldest in the town of Sonoma. Although it's been purchased and remodeled by another family, Buena Vista keeps to its signature quality and brilliant heritage, offering everything from red wine to pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay. Other prestigious wineries around town include Gundlach Bundschu and Bartholomew Estate Vineyards & Winery, among others.
Celebrate indie cinema at the Sonoma International Film Festival where independent film and filmmakers from around the world gather to share their knowledge and experiences with student filmmakers. It’s ranked among the coolest festivals in the US and is responsible for introducing new talent across continents. Another attraction nuzzled up close to the Sonoma Town Plaza, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art hosts year-round exhibits of outstanding pieces brought to life by local, national, and international artists.
Sonoma is home to some of California’s most acclaimed educational institutions, renowned for their innovative and outstanding curriculum. Top neighborhood choices include: