Sonoma Wine Country, Travel Guide
We sent Yodeler Matt Gee to Hilton Sonoma Wine Country to experience the beauty Sonoma has to offer. Set on 13 acres, Hilton Sonoma Wine Country Hotel has panoramic views of the Russian River and is just a short distance from the Redwoods in Armstrong Woods, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley. Explore Sonoma Wine Country by bike, hot air balloon and by Matt’s beautiful photography and insightful travel tips.
Preoccupation: Landscape Designer
Can you sum up Sonoma? Sonoma is a beautiful area in Northern California. Much of the region consists of farms and wineries, which has given it a great reputation for food and wine. The cities throughout Sonoma are often small, intimate and relatable. They give off a vibe of classic Americana but never feel outdated. Sonoma embraces its history while it continues to evolve in its culture. It’s at the intersection of respect for the past and movement towards the future that really makes it a special place. Sonoma encourages residents and visitors to embrace the beautiful things in life—get outside, spend time with loved ones, try something new and most importantly, appreciate where you are.
What is the best thing about Sonoma? A number of things to do in Sonoma really surprised me. There are so many activities to choose, from foods to eat and places to see, that it is easy to see how someone could spend weeks here and still not come even close to experiencing all Sonoma has to offer.
What does a perfect day entail in Sonoma? For me, a perfect day in Sonoma would entail good food/drink and some type of outdoor activity (hiking, biking, horseback riding etc).
What are the people like in Sonoma? During the course of our weekend in Sonoma, we encountered a variety of people including locals, hotel and retail staff and tour guides. I can honestly say that everyone we met was so nice, accommodating, knowledgeable and really friendly. The people really made the visit something special.
If Sonoma was a person who would it be? I’d say the personification of Sonoma would be John Mayer because musically he embodies the ideas of appreciating and respecting the past while creating and evolving his own style.
What was your experience like staying at Hilton Sonoma Wine Country? Staying at Hilton Sonoma Wine Country was an extremely positive experience. From the Team Members to the grounds, I thought that the hotel was a great place to stay and was located in a very convenient area within the region.
From the moment we checked in, I was really impressed with the Team Members and their friendliness and hospitality. The staff at the Nectar Restaurant were amazing as well and made our dining experiences even better on top of the great food. Nectar has a great patio and I loved the outdoor eating experience there. The hotel grounds were beautiful and make guests feel as if they’re out in nature and not near a freeway (which was a huge positive as well as far as location goes). The hotel is conveniently located near Santa Rosa and only a short drive from Healdsburg, Petaluma and a host of activities and sights. The design and layout of the hotel made it feel very intimate and I liked the way it felt like you were staying at a property rather than a hotel building. Our room was really spacious and the bed was very comfortable!
The hotel is conveniently located near Santa Rosa and only a short drive from Healdsburg, Petaluma and a host of activities and sights. The design and layout of the hotel made it feel very intimate and I liked the way it felt like you were staying at a property rather than a hotel building. Our room was spacious and the bed was very comfortable!
If a friend was visiting Sonoma what would you suggest they do? I’d definitely recommend starting the day off with a hot air balloon ride. I think it’s one of the unique experiences you can have in Sonoma and a great way to see the region from a cool perspective. After the flight, I’d suggest grabbing breakfast at Costeaux Bakery in Healdsburg. From there I’d head to Armstrong Woods State Park. It’s a great place to get out in nature and get some hiking or light trail walking in. I’d then grab a quick coffee at Flying Goat Coffee in Santa Rosa and head to the Charles M. Schultz Museum afterward. After about an hour or so at the museum, I’d grab some chips and salsa and a taco at Nopalito in Petaluma and then drive out to the coast and take Highway 1 from Bodega Bay to Sonoma Coast State Park for sunset. I’d finish the evening off with a late dinner and some drinks at Nectar back at Hilton Sonoma Wine Country.