Things to Do in Sonoma Valley
You can sample world-class wines, learn the art of food and wine pairing from superstar chefs and sommeliers, and try your hand at the production of artisan cheese. Stroll the Plaza and enjoy the tall shade trees, shop the charming boutiques, marvel at the exceptional art and sculpture in the galleries and dine at one of the many cafes and restaurants. Head to Train Town or a round of peewee golf with the kids, they'll love splashing in the pool at El Pueblo!
You'll discover the region's fascinating history as you tour the Sonoma Mission and other historic treasures or pay a visit to Jack London State Historic Park where he wrote many of his famous novels. Hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train, take in a vintage car show, or cheer on your favorite NASCAR driver at Sonoma Raceway-all these experiences are only a taste of what Northern California Wine Country has to offer.
Ed & Jonnie's Trolley Tours -Our Trolley is an authentic reproduction of a turn-of-the-century San Francisco cable car. Tour Sonoma Valley in comfort and be treated to a food and wine experience that will be the highlight of your stay. Lunch is prepared from local organic produce when possible, prepared in the on-board kitchen and served in a beautiful venue. www.ejtrolley.com
Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley-The vintage, open-air design of the early California Street line offers a scenic view unmatched by any other touring vehicle. As you embark on a journey full of rich local history, you will meet fellow wine tasting enthusiasts, enjoy wine tasting at four unique wineries, and learn what makes Sonoma Valley such a popular destination for wine lovers and foodies all over the world www.sonomavalleywinetrolley.com/
Vintage AircraftThe chocks are away, you hear that huge radial engine roar, and you're rolling down the runway to live the sights, sounds and smells of a once-in-a-lifetime aviation experience. Enjoy a leisurely tour over our beautiful Sonoma Valley soaring over breathtaking fields and vineyards just a few hundred feet above the ground. Or climb into a dual-controlled 1942 training plane for a personal peek into how fighter pilots of the 40's prepared for their historic WWII careers. www.vintageaircraft.com
Sonoma SegwayTour the Sonoma Valley Wine Country atop a Segway. We have been voted one of the Top 100 Things to Do in Sonoma County! We offer expert training, guidance and most of all FUN! Sonoma Segway is a unique and exciting mode of alternative transportation, perfectly suited for a half-day trip around downtown Sonoma, a winery or two, and a visit to an artisan cheese factory. You can also add in lunch at a winery with our Deluxe Tour. A complimentary bottle of wine is included in all tours. Segways are battery operated, totally wireless, and provide an environmentally friendly, short-distance transportation alternative. www.sonomasegway.com
Raceway -Sitting at the very gateway to Wine Country, Sonoma Raceway hosts a number of races such as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, National Hot Rod Association Drag Racing, the American Motorcycle Association Superbike tour, and the IRL Indycar Series. This is a year-round motorsports complex where you can come out and see what speed, determination and racing is really about. Dont just watch it on TV. Experience it live! www.racesonoma.com
TrainTown RailroadA family favorite for over four decades, TrainTown features a quarter-scale railroad on four miles of track. Climb aboard one of the restored vintage cabooses and roll through tunnels, over bridges, and make a stop at Lakeview, the miniature town and petting zoo.
There are also six amusement rides, including a Ferris wheel, a charming and gentle carousel, and several dizzying and fun children's rides. From little kids to grandparents, everyone loves TrainTown. Join the generations of visitors who have created lasting memories here. www.traintown.com
Maxwell Fun CenterMaxwell Fun Center is home to a cheery park setting with an 18-hole miniature golf course, a fun-filled arcade (with the classics!), a snack bar and yummy ice cream. The course features replicas of many landmark buildings in Sonoma-hit the ball through the doors of City Hall and give yourself an extra point!
Located just 10 minutes from Sonoma's Historic Downtown Plaza in the Maxwell Village Shopping Center and open year-round. www.maxwellfuncenter.com
Bike Riding & Van Tours of Sonoma ValleyThe Sonoma Valley is ideal for biking around town or down a quiet country lane. There are easy paths and challenging hills, something for all types and for all ages. Maps of suggested routes and itineraries are available through bicycle shops, the Visitor's Bureau, and the El Pueblo Inn lobby. There are many guided tours that include lunch in the vineyards and wine tasting, or you can explore on your own and create your own routes. www.goodtimetouring.com
Jack London Historic State ParkThis park stands as a tribute to the world-famous author and adventurer who lived here and wrote many of his later works in the now-restored Jack London Cottage. See the ruins of his Wolf House that burned to the ground just before it was completed. Visit his grave where he lies next to his wife, Charmian.
Charmian built the House of Happy Walls, now a museum and library dedicated to Jack London's life. Walk the Beauty Ranch Trail through the park while you're there and be swept up by the natural beauty that drew him here to his beloved "Valley of the Moon." www.jacklondonpark.com
History is a large part of the culture of Sonoma. On the Plaza, a monument stands to the Bear Flag Revolt. In 1846 for just a few days Sonoma was the capital of the Bear Flag Republic before the United States annexed California. The eight-acre plaza is the largest in California and there are children's playgrounds and a duck pond. Its lush green lawns and tall shade trees welcome picnickers and strollers.
The Sonoma Mission (1823) is the last of the 21 Franciscan missions built in California, and across from it you can tour the Sonoma Barracks (1840) and the Toscano Hotel (1851). A short walk takes you to General Vallejo's last home (1852), the Depot Museum, and the authentically restored Maysonnave House (1910). Walking tours are great for all ages.www.sonomavalley.com www.sonomadocents.org
Parker Fine Art Gallery -Fred R. Parker lives and works in the middle of the rolling hills and vineyards that make up much of the subject matter for his paintings, many of which grace the walls at El Pueblo Inn. "I paint images of Northern California landscapes, especially vineyard and rural scenes, in various media including oil, pastel, acrylic, giclee prints, and computer and photographic processes including the rare cliche-verre. My work, often based on photographic sources, is both realistic and pointillist, often combining multiple layers of media."
Parker has been recognized nationally for his work. He has been awarded four National Endowment for the Arts grants and has been named Treasure Artist of Sonoma. His studio in Kenwood is open to the public and by appointment. www.parkerfineart.com
896 West Napa Street, Sonoma, California (CA) 95476
Reservations: 800-900-8844 Contact: 707-996-3651 Fax: 707-935-5988