Welcome to Sonoma/Glen Ellen
The birthplace of California and core of life in the Napa Valley
In the heart of California wine country lies Sonoma/Glen Ellen. Just an hour north of Silicon Valley, locals and visitors alike can taste the unique blends from more than 400 wineries, hike alongside towering Redwood trees, and stroll down the streets of quiet, small towns. Over the decades, wine-lovers have built upon the historic, storied past of Napa Valley and expanded the dream, founding luxury resorts and wine castles for all to learn about the science and lifestyle behind wine-making.
With historic plazas paying homage to founding cultures of the past, Sonoma is the site of the 1846 Bear Flag Revolt, leading to the symbol behind the modern-day California flag. The then-existing California Republic ceased to exist in 1850 when California joined the United States.
What to Love
- The site of the historic founding of the state of California
- Centrally-located between zen green spaces and a bustling, communal community
- Brimming with highly-rated cuisine, shopping, and attractions
- Only thirty miles from the coast, and fifty from San Francisco
Life in the heart of the Northern California wine country is filled with several festivals taking place against the backdrop of the Napa Valley. These events are spaced out across the calendar, ensuring there is always something to look forward to. Many regional celebrations are tied to the booming wine economy, including the Passport to Dry Creek Valley. Held every spring, this event promises an endless array of wine and food pairings to sample, new springtime rosé releases, and a chance to sample wines not always available to the general public. Wine isn’t the only focus here though; close proximity to hills and mountains means locals have access to some of the most scenic trails offering panoramic views of Northern California.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
Northern California is known for its fresh, light cuisine, in addition to its world-famous wine production industry. The food at many of these eateries is served alongside extensive vino lists from local vineyards, with bottles also available to take home as souvenirs.
One favorite stop is The Mill at Glen Ellen. A recently opened establishment, The Mill at Glen Ellen specializes in light, California fare, with well-loved dishes like clam chowder, wood-fired pizzas, pulled pork sliders, and grilled peach cobbler. A popular option for California-style Mexican food can be found at Sonoma Eats. Sonoma Eats serves up mouth-watering birria and fish tacos, enchiladas, with outdoor patio dining also available.
Part of the charm of life in Napa Valley is the prevalence of unique, locally-owned shops and boutiques. The Mercato is a collection of some of these stores with unique shopping options available like chocolatiers, tasting rooms, art galleries, and live music venues, all making for the perfect day out.
Things To Do
Sonoma and Glen Ellen are most famous for their central location within the Napa Valley and the abundance of opportunities to visit a number of tasting rooms and vineyards. The Sonoma County Wine Auction takes place every fall. Named one of the nation’s top charitable events by Wine Spectator, the Sonoma County Wine Auction has raised almost $30 million since its inception. Wine isn’t the only thing to look forward to though; Chowder Day at Bodega Bay is also a highly-anticipated event among locals. Each January, visitors are allowed to wander at their own will and sample chowders concocted by local chefs of the region. The drive to the California coast is only an hour away, making this an easy excuse to get out of town.