What to do in Sonoma County wine country besides drinking? I get this question a lot and never had an obvious answer, just because I love wine and visiting vineyards so much. But the truth is there is a lot to do in Sonoma County that doesn’t revolve around drinking. There are plenty of things to do in Sonoma County no matter the focus of your trip, whether it’s culinary, health, or family focused! Here’s my take on the best things to do in Sonoma County besides drinking.
New Tree Ranch
I visited New Tree Ranch a few weekends and it’s now what first comes to mind for anyone who wants a mindful, restorative, and luxury experience in Healdsburg. It’s like living on a luxe vegan homestead. They serve chef-prepared plant based meals. They have stunning and secluded accommodations. They also have luxury experiences rooted in sustainable farming and holistic wellness. You can even bring your own horses to this stable. I can’t wait to go back!
Olive Oil Tasting
Admittedly this is something I haven’t done yet, but there are several spots on my list to get to. Most notably is McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma which makes not only edible olive oil, but they use some of their extra virgin certified organic olive oils for their sister skin care brand ODE.
Sonoma County Cheese Trail
Did you know more land in Sonoma County is dedicated to dairy farms than vineyards? This is another adventure I haven’t totally embarked upon yet, but the California Cheese Trail runs through Sonoma County. It’s not a linear trail however, so look for the clusters of cheesemakers and dairy farms in Sonoma, Petaluma, Sebastopol, and Valley Ford.
The Barlow in Sebastopol is my favorite place to take friends and family visiting because it’s so different from a cliché winery. The Barlow is an open air market place featuring dozens of shops and restaurants all conveniently centered around one street. You can spend an entire day here and still not see everything. While there are several wine bars, breweries, and even a cider distillery, it’s nice because it’s still a family and dog-friendly environment. Everyone in your group can kind of choose their own adventure with what they want to do. Don’t miss Acre Pizza, The Farmer’s Wife, and Fern Barn for food!
You don’t have to drink to enjoy gambling, and Graton Resort & Casino offers much more than just slots and table games. They have a stunning pool, spa, dozens of restaurant options, and entertainment. Take one step inside and you’ll feel like you’re seriously in Las Vegas, and not Rohnert Park. They also offer a closed off section of the casino for smoke-free gaming. Find me at the penny slots!
Play some put put, throw down at the batting cages, or have a little fun in the arcade. Scandia Family Fun Center in Rohnert Park offers outdoor mini golf. They have all the classics like the windmill, castle, and classic mini golf holes. If you love arcades, you’ll appreciate the selection of vintage pinball games and new immersive arcade games.
Sonoma County is humungous, so there are hiking options for every experience level and scenery type. Do you want a view of a lake? Endless rolling green hills? Sky high redwood trees? Armstrong Redwoods, Spring Lake Park, Crane Creek Regional Park, and Taylor Mountain Regional Park are some of the areas I would recommend checking out. Each park has something unique to offer. Take a hike, ride a bike, plan a picnic, shoot photos, play some disc golf, or even take a swim!
I haven’t been here yet, but hopefully soon! Charles M. Schulz gave the world Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang and the Schulz Museum features both permanent and rotating exhibitions. Families with kiddos, this one is for you!
Hopefully this gave you some ideas of what to do in Sonoma County besides drinking. Need more Sonoma County travel tips? Check out some of my other posts on wineries, restaurants, and hotels before you go. Happy travels!