Ancient natural wonders abound in Sonoma County, home to Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve and Austin Creek State Recreation Area. From misty redwood forests and bright turquoise creeks to and the majestic Russian River, these are a few of the best-kept secrets of Sonoma County.
Formed in the late 1800s as a logging community, Guerneville is your first stop on your trip across Sonoma County. Catch a bite to eat at Boon Eat & Drink, where you can find organic and local fare for every appetite. The restaurant features Russian River wines as well as Sonoma microbrews, and their food is all made with ingredients from local farms and businesses.
For a night of "glamping,” check out Autocamp, a luxury Airstream campground. The campground mixes the spirit of the outdoors with the comforts of a hotel, giving you the choice of either an Airstream Suite or a Luxury Tent. It's a one-of-a-kind experience you don't want to miss!
After a night of glamping, you're going to want to check out Korbel Winery. It’s known for bubbly and has garnered a great reputation, as the oldest operating sparkling wine house in North America. Get ready to pop the cork and have a great time. If you prefer to stay in a cozy hotel or lodge, check out Dawn Ranch Lodge or Sonoma Orchid Inn.
Located in Guerneville on the Russian River, Johnson's Beach and Resort is another place to get your adventure on. The beach has opportunities for renting canoes, kayaks and even pedal boats (seasonal). Another popular activity is inner tubing along the river, which allows you to relax and get a great view of the redwoods.
The beach is within walking distance of the downtown area, which is full of shops and restaurants that you won't want to miss.
With beautiful views of the region's famous redwood trees, Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve is a great place to hike and take some marvelous photos. The park has a variety of hiking trails to choose from, ranging from an easy 1-mile stroll to a strenuous 9-mile trek. There are also horse trails throughout the park.
Oh, and don't miss the Stewards of the Redwoods program, which offers adventures, docent-led tours, and special events in Armstrong as well as several other nearby parks.
Adjacent to Armstrong Redwoods and accessible through the same entrance lies Austin Creek State Recreation Area, a haven for those who love the outdoors. The park has rolling hills, open meadows, and of course, sprawling redwood forests. Austin Creek has over 20 miles of hiking trails and opportunities for fishing at Bullfrog Pond. Spend the night at Bullfrog Pond Campground, with 24 family campsites. The sites come with picnic tables and fire rings as well as flush toilets-- check out the website to reserve a spot. The Guerneville Lodge, Boon Hotel + Lodge or Autocamp are great overnight options, if you are not planning on bringing camping gear.
Known as a "Vacation Wonderland," Monte Rio is a place you can't miss on your Sonoma adventure. This town is an adventurer's paradise! Head to River Riders in Guerneville to rent Marin hybrid bikes, then take a ride down Bohemian Highway, a 10-mile scenic drive that passes alongside beautiful farmlands, past behemoth redwoods, and through beautiful ravines. Along the way, you'll get the chance to explore charming towns including Monte Rio itself, as well as Occidental and Freestone.
After your bike ride, check out Monte Rio Community Beach to cool off. The beach has opportunities for both canoeing and kayaking, with rentals available (seasonal), and also has places to picnic and barbecue. If you're looking to stay the night, don't miss the Village Inn and Restaurant, located on the Russian River under the shade of towering redwoods. The inn has 10 guest rooms which feature panoramic views of the river as well as luxury bedding and a continental breakfast.
With amazing views galore, how could you miss Sonoma Canopy Tours? The tours offer two unique courses, each with zip lines, rappels, and bridges. The tours offer an up-close and personal view of the California redwoods as well as views of the beautiful canyons and stunning landscapes. You can reportedly reach speeds of 25 miles per hour, and the longest zip line is 800 feet. Get ready to scream your lungs out (in the best way possible, of course)! Spend the night close by at the Occidental Hotel or the Inn at Occidental
From lazy floats in an inner tube to bike cruises along scenic highways, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to reconnect with nature on your trip across Sonoma. A visit to this natural wonderland is the perfect way to escape the stress of everyday life and reconnect with nature.
Sonoma County offers an authentic Northern California experience: world-class wine region, miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline, towering redwood forests and over 60 state and regional parks. Unique adventures await. Enjoy farm-to-table dining, stunning sunsets and wine country lifestyle.