Tucked on the western slope of Sonoma Valley’s Mayacamas Mountains, Quarryhill Botanical Garden flies under the radar as people zip right past it on their way to wineries. They’re missing out on one of the world’s finest Asian botanical gardens. Exotic shade trees, tranquil ponds, and even two waterfalls are just a few features that make Quarryhill’s 25 acres memorable. This is also a prime place to enjoy a picnic. Grab a map from the Quarryhill visitor center and explore 2 miles of winding gravel paths, getting up close to rare and endangered species from Asia: the entire garden has been grown from seeds collected from the wilds of China, Tibet, and the Himalayas. Don’t miss the Katsura Tree (#19 on the park map), which gives off a cotton candy scent on warm days. You’ll also find the beautiful Dawn Redwood giving shade to picnic tables by the upper pond. Thought to be extinct, these redwoods were found in a remote part of China. For the best view, walk up to the Himalayan prayer flags on the eastern edge of the park, where you’ll look out across Sonoma Valley and its acres of vineyards as the flags rustle in the wind.
BEER BONUS: Keep the fun going at Kenwood’s Palooza gastropub & wine bar—a friendly family-owned spot right off of Highway 12, with a sleek modern indoor-outdoor design and a relaxing patio. The craft beer selection is wide-ranging, from the Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ IPA by Lagunitas Brewing to the Dead Guy German maibock by Rogue Brewing Co. Pair drinks with tasty food options including sweet corn risotto, pork belly mac & cheese, strawberry spinach salad, and fancy cheese plates.