Six Picks for Sonoma

Nobody likes too many choices. So we’re going to simplify this for you. Get to Sonoma Valley this spring! Here are six of the best ways to make the most of your time beyond the wine.

My Weekend Sherpa:

Want to do it Did it

1) Explore New (dog-friendly) Hiking Trails

Bow-WOW! Only a mile from Sonoma’s Plaza, beautiful Bartholomew Park has reopened with a new backcountry trail system behind its (news!) namesake vineyard estate. Visit the wine tasting room and adjacent museum featuring plein air artwork. Then take your bottle of wine out to the oak-shaded picnic area overlooking the vineyard and valley.

2) Visit the Secret Garden

Tucked between wineries on the eastern slope of Sonoma Valley, Quarryhill Botanical Garden is one of wine country’s secret treasures. Wander the pathways and cross little bridges amid ponds and waterfalls, then enjoy a picnic at one of several hidden spots, including under the Dawn Redwood. Walk up to Himalayan prayer flags on the eastern edge of the park for one of the best views of Sonoma Valley.

3) Take to the Glory Trail!

A locals’ favorite hiking trail has reopened! The 3-mile (round-trip) hike on the wildflower-festooned Overlook Trail is an easy and amazing way to spend an hour or two in Sonoma. The Overlook is within walking distance of Sonoma’s historic plaza, with views over the valley and all the way to Mount Tam and San Francisco.

4) Farmers’ Market Is Back

Sonoma Valley’s Tuesday Night Farmers’ Market is a community gathering unlike any other in wine country. The valley’s fabulous farmers are on hand to share their local produce, and food trucks add extra flavor (plus you can bring your own wine!). Check out 7 Golden Rules for the Farmers’ Market!

5) Go Wild at Sugarloaf

If you really want to go wild in Sonoma Valley, get to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Hike to the summit of Bald Mountain for a 360-degree panorama of both Sonoma and Napa Valleys. And for an outta this world view, stop in at the park’s Robert Ferguson Observatory, where stargazing events are held throughout the year. Sugarloaf also leads full-moon hikes, and the solar system–inspired Planet Walk is a great option for a trail less traveled, with spectacular valley views all to yourself!

6) What Goes with Ribs?

“Drink what you like” may seem like a great rule for wine and food pairing, but any seasoned Sonoma wine pro will tell you that the right pairing does make a difference in maximizing enjoyment of food and drink. Check out these backyard barbecue wine-pairing basics and cocktail recipes!

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