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Just 30 miles north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is well-situated for exploring Northern California’s diverse topography. To the west, crashing Pacific Coast shores and quiet fishing villages beckon; in the north, encounter peaceful spas, funky small towns, and still under-the-radar wineries.

Day Trips from Sonoma

Bodega Bay

The coastal village that starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds is a quaint fishing town with several interesting shops and galleries in addition to the Bodega Marine Laboratory, a research aquarium offering free tours on Fridays from 2-4pm.

Bodega Marine Laboratory, About 1 hour west of downtown Sonoma, CA,
Tags: beach | family | day trip | aquarium


Located amid Anderson Valley’s redwood groves, Boonville is a funky town known primarily for beer and pinot noir festivals in May, the Wool-Grower's Barbeque and Sheepdog Trials in July, and the annual Mendocino County Fair in September.

2 hours north of downtown Sonoma, CA,
Tags: family | day trip | culinary | wine tasting


This tiny town earns a place on any spa-lover’s map thanks to Osmosis Enzyme Bath & Massage, a Japanese-style spa offering exotic treatments like a detoxifying "dry" bath in a blend of plant enzymes and fragrant wood shavings.

1 hour northwest of downtown Sonoma, CA,
Tags: day trip

Goat Rock State Beach

Near the mouth of the Russian River, this sandy beach offers picnic facilities with amazing views; walk north from the parking lot to spot colonies of harbor seals.

Goat Rock State Beach, 90 minutes west of downtown Sonoma, CA,
Tags: beach | family | day trip | wildlife


Visit antique shops, go horseback riding, or stop in at Vino Piazza, where ten independent boutique wineries offer tastings in one unique location.

About 2 hours east of downtown Sonoma, CA,
Tags: family | day trip | horseback riding | wine tasting


Escape to this beautiful coastal community where restaurants, spas, and wineries are plentiful; cooler than wine country, and with fewer tourists.

3 hours north of downtown Sonoma, CA,
Tags: day trip | wine tasting

Napa Valley

For a wine country tour, visitors have often bypassed the city of Napa, just an hour’s drive from San Francisco, in favor of Yountville and St. Helena further north. Yet lively Napa’s riverfront is undergoing a revival, with noteworthy restaurant openings and new wine-tasting venues; Saturday salsa dancing at Ceja Vineyards’ downtown tasting salon keeps the after-hours scene fresh. See our Napa Valley Travel Guide. About 30 miles east of Sonoma Valley; Napa, CA

Napa Valley, 30 minutes east of Sonoma Valley, CA,
Tags: day trip | culinary | wine tasting | jim's pick

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