Although this year’s holidays thus far have looked VERY different from years past, I have to say that I think this was my favorite Thanksgiving yet. Of course I missed the extended family, the visiting with friends, etc. but there is something to be said about a quiet cozy Thanksgiving as our new family of four. It was also the first time my husband and I cooked our Thanksgiving dinner and I have to give my credit to all of those who do this yearly – it is no small feat!
We decided this summer that since we were going to be spending Thanksgiving on the west coast, we would take advantage of all of the beauty California has to offer and do some road trips this fall/winter. First up was Sonoma. We have traveled to Napa several times but never to the Sonoma area so we were looking forward to checking out a different part of wine country. We stayed in an Airbnb just outside of the downtown Sonoma area and it was perfect for us. I’m happy to share the link if interested as it was very family friendly!
Travel Tip: It is ESSENTIAL to book ahead when visiting either Napa or Sonoma. Wineries often require reservations very far in advance, especially during COVID times when occupancy is limited. Below is a list of the wineries we visited this trip:
- Scribe – this was our first stop and it really set the tone for our time in Sonoma. With breathtaking views and delicious food, this was a great first stop. It is casual, beautifully decorated and we enjoyed the wine which is packaged perfectly. The food was the stand out, I will say.
- Hamel Family Winery – hands down our favorite when it comes to experience and wines alike. They gave us their private tasting space which was UNREAL. The food was delish – a truffle ricotta accompanied with fresh focaccia bread that was divine. I mean. Yes.
- Gunlach Bundschu Winery – A very casual stop that was great for kids. Completely outdoor and included an outdoor art gallery that was a short hike, this was a laid back experience worth taking if your kids are joining you. I would say this was my least favorite wine but a nice experience overall.
- Hoopes Vineyard – female owned, an animal sanctuary, delicious wine and a beautiful decorated winery, this was easily one of my favorites. It was perfect for kids as well as the animals kept Clyde entertained! I will say that Mike was bit by their dog so use caution!
- Paradise Ridge – The best views in Sonoma County and they collect sculptures & art that either will be used or have been used at Burning Man. Mind Blown. We had the place to ourselves and it was an amazing experience.
- Merry Edwards – we wanted to check out other parts of the area so headed up to Sabastapol for the day to check out the Pinot region. I would say the tasting experience left a lot to be desired in terms of ambiance however, our host was extremely informative and the wine delicious.
Other note worthy things to check out if headed to Sonoma:
- Jack London Park & Hike – this was an easy hike to see Jack London’s home & gravesite. It is great for kids, an easy trail & really cool for historical reasons.
- The Girl & the Fig Restaurant – a very good meal (we did takeout but it is in downtown sonoma)
- Model Bakery – although this is in Napa, it is definitely a standout. Get English Muffins and thank me later.