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.
Most harvest parties in Napa have come to an end, but Sonoma is just kicking into high gear. It’s the liveliest time of year in Wine Country and these down to earth celebrations are a perfect excuse to take a break from the city and check out the fall colors and new winery releases.
If you're hankering to joyride a racetrack, head to Sonoma’s Infineon Raceway this Saturday, where they're hosting an afternoon and evening of racing, wine and food to benefit the N.A.S.A non-profit Car Control Clinic for teen drivers. There are racing activities all day and you’ll even get to take a ride around the track with a professional driver.