Sonoma County serves up a beautiful blend of vineyards, redwood forests, rugged coastline, and character-rich small towns. Napa’s more laid-back yet equally delicious neighbor is the ideal wine country destination when you crave a restorative getaway that’s equal parts refined and down-to-earth. From the innovative cuisine scene and the complex cool-climate pinot noirs to the gracious family-run inns and abundance of wide-open wild spaces ripe for exploration, Sonoma County has an uncanny ability to surprise and delight at every delectable turn.
Lucky for us Angelenos, Sonoma County is only a short nonstop flight away from LAX with daily service on both American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Sonoma County Airport (STS) could not be more charming and convenient. You’ll feel relaxed from the moment you touch down in Santa Rosa—and it takes all of 15 minutes to deplane, claim your luggage, and pick up your car rental. Better yet, you’re allowed to check a case of wine on your return trip home at no charge.
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville is reached via a scenic 15-minute drive from the airport, cruising along country roads surrounded by vineyards. The intimate 25-room property continually ranks among the best hotels in the country thanks to its impeccable hospitality, well-appointed rooms, and Michelin-starred restaurant. The central location makes it a convenient base for exploring all sides of Sonoma, while enjoying the homey feel of a countryside retreat.
Owned and operated by a brother-sister duo whose family has been farming in Sonoma County for five generations, the inn has cheerful staffers who make you feel like part of their extended family from check-in through check-out. The concierge team specializes in creating curated insider experiences for guests, be it exclusive tastings at 20-plus wineries, securing reservations at the area’s top restaurants, or arranging private tours with local artisans, makers, and gurus.
You might not want to leave the lush, 6-acre property once ensconced in its bucolic, fragrant bubble. Start your day saluting the sun with yoga on your deck. Soak in your private tub with herbal bath accoutrements hand-picked from the lobby’s assortment of locally made Sumbody bath products. Relax by the serene swimming pool, where you can have healthy bites delivered right to your lounge chair. Treat yourself to a luxurious body scrub, massage, and facial at the on-site spa and melt into a puddle of bliss in the airy spa lounge afterward.
Your taste buds will be pampered with local flavors too. Rooms are stocked with complimentary nonalcoholic beverages and gourmet snacks. The wine fridge features a sommelier-selected lineup of local wines accompanied by detailed tasting notes. Every evening, different local wineries host a wine tasting on property for guests. Freshly baked cookies are left during nightly turndown service.
Farmhouse Inn’s signature restaurant is a destination in and of itself. Helmed by award-winning executive chef Steve Litke, the dinner service remains one of the most coveted reservations in the region. Breakfast at the inn is also a must, whether you sit in the dining room or out in the courtyard.
Off-property, the town of Healdsburg abounds with enticing eateries. Plan ahead to score a ticketed reservation at SingleThread Farms, whose 11-course tasting-menu concept earned three Michelin stars and is well worth the $330 per person splurge. Try the more modestly priced chef’s tasting menu at Valette, where the produce grown 100 yards away is the star of the show. Transport yourself to the South of France at Barndiva, or graze on small and shared plates at Bravas Bar de Tapas.
Over in Sebastopol, you can’t go wrong at The Barlow. The sprawling converted apple-canning factory complex is home to restaurants, distilleries, wineries, craft brewers, and artisan purveyors. Boon Eat+Drink in Guerneville is a buzzy, bohemian hot spot for sensational seasonal fare.
Wine taste your way through the renowned Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley appellations. Tap into Sonoma’s craft beer scene, where you can taste Russian River Brewing Company’s cult favorite Pliny the Elder at the source. Sample local cheeses and tour the sustainable dairy farms along the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail.
Head to Guerneville to get out on the Russian River and take a walk among the towering redwoods and majestic ferns of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. Take a scenic coastal drive on Highway 1 from Bodega Bay to Jenner and beyond to explore the beaches, seaside towns, and quirky roadside stops.
Book your stay at farmhouseinn.com and visit sonomacounty.com to plan your getaway.