When summer dishes out another cold, foggy day in the city, the best thing to do is head north. Add in wine and you’ve got a winning combination in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Here's our recommended itinerary:
Head north over the Golden Gate Bridge and it’s no secret that in about an hour you’ll be in Wine Country. But did you know, as you head up Highway 101 through the green, grassy hillsides of Marin and Sonoma County, that you’re in cheese country?
Amber is the total girl next door bride. She is super sporty and pretty downright adorable. She and her fiance John married at Cornerstone Art Gallery and Wine Room in Sonoma, California. Their dog, Bailey the boxer, stood in as the official flower girl. Dinner took place in an intimate white tent lit with globe lights. Dancing moved over to an open barn on Cornerstone's property. John's grooms cake was a world series baseball hat in true SF Giants style. This wedding had everything that captures beautiful Northern California style form a gorgeous setting to a laid back style.
Photographer: Melissa Fuller Photography
It's easy to walk right past Restaurant Rudy on Broadway in Sonoma and not think much of it — the understated dining room gives you very little idea about what to expect. But to do so would be a mistake, because it's what is happening in the back of the restaurant that's the real attraction.
We’re in the final holiday crush. Sure, it’s important to get that shopping done, but a little rest and relaxation can make finding the perfect gift oh so much easier. If you need a break from the holiday hustle and bustle, a nice warm soak in Sonoma maybe all you need to make the season a little more soothing.
Kelly and Victor's Sonoma wedding venue included an airplane hangar, a lake with swans, a vineyard, a river, and an adobe cowboy mansion. The bride personally designed a modern, sexy wedding dress with designer and friend, Cristina Robinson, from Yassan Designs. Kelly also hand spray-painted plastic toy animals to create the place card holders for the dinner guests.
We eat well in the Bay Area. You might even make the case that we’re spoiled. You can grab carne asada for dinner from your favorite taqueria one night, then order pasta the next without leaving the block. Folks might be tempted to eat at home more often if they could make it taste like the pros. Ramekins Culinary School in Sonoma teaches chefs-in-the-making there's no reason to starve in your own kitchen.
While Napa reigns king of wine country, underrated Sonoma skims under the radar. Time passes slowly here. Instead of tour buses, traffic, and crowds, you can stretch out in the town square with an open bottle of red, bike between wineries without getting run over, and have leisurely conversations with local proprietors.
That being said, high-end restaurants, hotels, and boutiques are popping up and polishing up their games. Travelers wanting a more covert experience need to be a bit more intrepid in their journey. Here are a few of our favorite off the beaten path destinations in Sonoma:
Corn dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes. The off-the-charts caloric combination can only mean one thing: the Sonoma County Fair is about to get cooking. It’s an American pastime of sorts – eating, drinking, riding the Ferris Wheel and getting your “country fix” petting barnyard animals. Running July 25 through August 12, (closed on Mondays) you’ve got 17 days to get your fair fill.
The Sonoma County Fair Concert Series
A late spring wedding took place in the verdant rolling hills of Sonoma County. Kate and Phil were wed at Trentadue Winery, accompanied by poetry readings from the guests. A heirloom family handkerchief with "M" embroidered on it was her "something old," a small blue heart painted on her toenail was her "something blue," and yes--the bride had a sixpence hidden in her shoe! Tender and sweet, this couple tied the knot in the midst of friends, family, incredible food, and lovely wine country views.