close up of Edible Flowers Microgreens from Earthworker at Sebastopol Farmers Market

Eat, Drink, Play: 10 Things To Do in Sonoma County this Summer

Living in a culinary vacation destination like Sonoma wine country has more than its fair share of perks when it comes to food, wine, music and scenery. I asked co-workers at Jordan Winery to join me in sharing our local travel tips and favorite things to do in Sonoma County during summer to inspire your next vacation or weekend getaway, from best farmers’ market stands and fun concerts to spas, favorite eats and even outdoor activities to burn some calories.

10 Things To Do in Sonoma County during Summer

Earthworker Microgreens at Sebastopol Farmers Market
Spicy Frida microgreens mix with edible flowers at Sebastopol Farmers Market.

Sebastopol Sunday Fresh

Stock up on Earthworkers microgreens at the Sebastopol Sunday farmer’s market before appetizers and cheese pairings with the beer tasting flight at Woodfour Brewery in Sebastopol’s Barlow district. Make a simple salad for a picnic at nearby Hanna Winery or smuggle the microgreens home in your luggage. – Lisa Mattson, Marketing

Buddha statue in Osmosis Spa gardens Sonoma County
Buddha in the peaceful gardens at Osmosis Spa.

West County Zen

Get a facial and sip herbal tea in the tranquil gardens of Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary in Freestone, west of Sebastopol. Be sure to budget enough time before or after for visits to Wild Flower Bread bakery and Freestone Artisan Cheese shop, both located just down the road. Both are hidden gems with delicious breads, cheeses, olive oils and other homemade goods. – Nitsa Knoll, Hospitality & Events

Dungeness crab sandwich and wine at Fisherman's Cove Restaurant Bodega Bay
Dungeness crab sandwich with a tumbler of Gruner Veltliner at Fisherman’s Cove Restaurant.

Crab on the Coast

Enjoy an easy morning stroll among the redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Park before heading to to the coast for Dungeness crab sandwiches and wine tasting. Three restaurants specializing in fresh crab can be found near Spud Point Marina. Spud Point Crab Company serves tasty, simple sandwiches, chowders (red and white) but no alcohol on picnic tables in the parking lot, while next door Fisherman’s Cove offers indoor and outdoor seating and many crab-friendly wines by the glass. Or splurge for the Dungeness crab sliders and a flight of three wines, served on a mini surfboard at Gourmet au Bay around the corner. – Susan Aragon, Sales & Marketing

Chilaquiles at El Molino Central Mexican Restaurant in Sonoma

Sonoma Food & Wine Tasting

Kick off a day of wine tasting with a plate of Chilaquiles at a local institution, El Molino Central in Sonoma. Nearby Hamel Family Wines just won San Francisco magazine’s award for best wine and food pairing, so it’s a good first stop. Dive into downtown Sonoma’s rich history with another food and wine pairing at Three Sticks’s historic adobe tasting salon. Dating back to 1842, it’s the longest occupied residence in Sonoma and one of the town’s few remaining buildings from California’s Mexican Period. Burn off a few of those calories with an afternoon walk through the trails of Bartholomew Park Winery, a tiny, historic property that also houses the Sonoma Valley Wine Museum. – Whitney Beery, Guest Services

Photo courtesy of The Revival Beer Festival.

Local Beer Tastings

Attend the Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cook Off in August, hosted on the banks of the Russian River at Monte Rio Beach. Organized by Stumptown Brewery, the annual festival features more than thirty breweries and thirty barbecue teams. The event usually sells out quickly, so if you can’t get tickets, make a little room in your wine tasting schedule for a tasting tour of some of the top craft beers from Sonoma County. Russian River Brewery is opening a new taproom and brewery in Windsor this fall, and Moonlight Brewing Company is located on the northeast side of Santa Rosa, not far from Russian River Valley. – John Duckett, Winemaking

Photo courtesy of Rincon Valley Blog.

Live Music Sundays

Sundays are one of the best days for listening to live music in Sonoma County. If you’re near Santa Rosa, go on a run through Trione-Annadel State Park on Sunday morning and then bring a picnic to Montgomery Village shopping center in Santa Rosa for its free summer concerts on the terrace.  If you’re in the Healdsburg area, Medlock Ames Winery hosts concerts in its gardens on Sundays in the late afternoon, featuring cocktails from Alexander Valley Bar, wine tasting and food trucks. – Carrie White, Guest Services

kimchi pizza diavola restaurant geyserville menu
The kimchi-inspired Dictator pizza at Diavola.

Geyserville Progressive

Start at Francis Ford Coppola’s winery restaurant, Rustic, around happy hour for espresso martinis at the bar, before heading to downtown Geyserville for dinner. Visiting this quaint town is like a step back in time for tourists. Have a Dictator pizza (topped with kimchi and only available on the dinner menu) in the backyard patio at Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria in Geyserville. The restaurant’s patio entrance is reminiscent of a tiny street in an Italian village, replete with draped clotheslines, and it’s only open during warm-weather months. – John Jordan

Jimtown Store entrance, Alexander Valley Healdsburg
The entrance to Jimtown Store.

Cycle & Snack

Bike the Alexander Valley on a quiet Sunday morning, ending up at Jimtown Store for a pulled pork sandwich and a glass of local craft beer or Alexander Valley wine. Cycling to Geysers Road and Red Winery Road over to Pine Flat Road helps avoid the traffic on Highway 128. Ride With GPS posted a helpful interactive map of this Alexander Valley cycling route. (If you love hills, keep heading east on Geysers and Pine Flat roads.) Rentals are available at Spoke Folk Cyclery and Sonoma County Bike Touring Center in Healdsburg. – Rob Davis, Winemaking

Noble Folk ice cream affogato flavor.
Delicious homemade ice cream swimming in Stumptown coffee.

Gourmet Ice Cream Break

Order an affogato with maple cornflake ice cream at Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Bar in downtown Healdsburg and stroll around the plaza window-shopping. Or, sate your afternoon sweet tooth on a Tuesday during summer and enjoy your ice cream with a picnic on the lawn at Healdsburg’s popular Music on the Square series. Cartograph Winery also sells convenient carafes of its low-alcohol wines to concert-goers. – Maggie Kruse, Winemaking

The tequila bar at Mateo's Restaurant in Healdsburg

Tequila Tasting Alfresco

Relax on the hidden patio at Mateo’s Cocina Latina in Healdsburg, sipping rare tequilas paired with hamachi ceviche. Farm-fresh margaritas rotate ingredients almost daily, from padron pepper and hibiscus to Dry Creek peach and basil. – Maribel Soto, Jordan Estate Rewards

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About the Author

Born and raised in rural Kansas, Lisa Mattson fell in love with wine during college in South Florida and worked for a wine magazine before moving to Northern California. She spent almost a decade working as a writer, marketing director and photographer/videographer for Jordan Winery and now serves as a hospitality design and marketing consultant for several wineries, including Jordan. She also designs succulent gardens under the name Sonoma Succulents. When she’s not eating and sipping her way through Sonoma County in the summer and Baja California Sur in the winter, she travels the world with her husband in search of new succulents, ethnic foods, snorkeling spots and tiki bars.

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