Napa to Sonoma: Two Epic Wine Country Itineraries
May 7, 2018
By Hana-Lee Sedgwick
While it’s easy to stick to one location when visiting Napa Valley, it’s definitely worth venturing out to visit nearby towns and beyond. There are too many great places to eat, things to see, and wineries to visit to limit your trip to just one area.
So the next time you’re visiting Napa Valley, there’s no reason you can’t make a day of exploring the region around you, including beautiful Sonoma County. Here’s two easy to explore itineraries from Napa to Sonoma. Time to grab the keys and hit the road for a leisurely road trip around Northern California’s Wine Country.
ITINERARY ONE: ST. HELENA TO CALISTOGA TO SANTA ROSA
Where to Eat
Ca’Bianca is an intimate restaurant located in a restored Victorian home, and the cuisine is a blend of different regional foods of Italy. You’ll find house-made pasta, creative antipasti, seafood, and steak, all of which can be enjoyed in the charming, romantic ambiance of this historic gem.
835 2nd Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 542-5800
Serving up what is arguably the best breakfast in town, Dierk’s is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try Grandma Dierk’s Pull-A-Parts, which are fried dough balls dusted with cinnamon and sugar and oh-so-delicious, but you can’t go wrong with classics like buttermilk pancakes, savory benedicts, and hearty biscuits and gravy.
404 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 573-5955
Here are a couple other delicious Santa Rosa locations to dine and delight. John Ash & Co, located at the Vintners Inn, offers seasonally-driven Wine Country cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients in a romantic atmosphere and with an extensive wine list. Spinster Sisters feels right at home in Santa Rosa’s Arts District. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu features everything from house-made bagels with lox and wilted kale salad to Tortilla Española and red curry mussels, celebrating global flavors while highlighting the bounty of Sonoma County.
Where to Taste
Inman Family Wines
Owner and winemaker Kathleen Inman has made sustainability a driving force behind her winery, where energy efficient lighting, solar power, and recycled building materials line the winery inside and out. Arrange for a tasting in advance to enjoy the limited production wines, which include pinot gris, chardonnay, and pinot noir.
3900 Piner Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, (707) 293-9576
Thirsty for more? The boutique Donelan Family Vineyards specializes in cool-climate syrah, pinot noir, chardonnay, and Rhône wines – many from their estate vineyard. Or head to Deloach for a wide variety of organic and biodynamic estate and limited production wines sourced from throughout the Russian River Valley.
What to Do
This 400-acre wildlife sanctuary is home to cheetahs, giraffes, monkeys, zebras, and more – nearly 90 different species to be exact – offering an unexpected, one-of-a-kind safari experience right in the heart of Wine Country.
3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, (707) 579-2551
Other fun activities in Santa Rosa include a visit to the community supported Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, where you’ll find world-class performances, family shows, and community events. For a more adventurous experience, visit the wineries of West Sonoma by bike with Getaway Adventures. Cycling and wine? Now that’s a fun way to get out and explore the area.
Want to extend your time in Santa Rosa? Check out the no-frills, yet authentic, The Sandman Hotel, a pet-friendly, throwback motor lodge with a poolside bar and lounge with WineCountry Perks. If you’re in the mood to stay somewhere on the indulgent side, we love the romance and charm of Vintners Inn, with its serene gardens, surrounding vineyards, and luxurious accomodations.