Although the Sonoma Valley may not have quite the cachet of the neighboring Napa Valley, wineries here entice with their unpretentious attitude and, in some cases, smaller crowds. Sonoma's landscape seduces, too, its roads gently climbing and descending on their way to wineries hidden from the road by trees.
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The 1846 Bear Flag Revolt, leading to California statehood, happened here. Shop boutiques, bakeries and cheese stores, then lounge on the plaza lawns.
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Head to Healdsburg, rent a canoe and spend an afternoon on the water. Pull over for a picnic, and keep an eye out for herons and river otters.
“Peanuts” fans should plan a pilgrimage to Santa Rosa, hometown of the late cartoonist; see original strips — and a Christo original: “Wrapped Snoopy House.”
Look closely and you’ll see many Sonoma vineyards side by side with olive groves. Go to Glen Ellen’s Olive Press for a different kind of tasting.
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Dempsey’s in Petaluma is the place to relax on the patio and enjoy a pint of one of the microbrews made at this oldest brewery in Sonoma County.
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The more upscale hotels of Sonoma are in Healdsburg. If you’re looking for something more affordable try the city of Santa Rosa.
With its locally sourced menu and warm welcoming vibe there’s no better place to enjoy a taste of Sonoma than at The Girl and the Fig.
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