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Hit the Road: A foodie foray to Sonoma and Napa counties


Enjoy a wine tasting from the many vineyards of Sonoma County. | Photo by SJtoday staff

Table of Contents

We hope you’ve packed your appetite. We’re revisiting our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into wine country. Besides, the most affordable time is now.

Whether you’re interested in taking a farm or winery tour, putting your cooking skills to the test at a Relish Culinary class, or trying Michelin-starred Single Thread, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.

Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.

Drive time: ~3 hours from downtown San Jose
Est. combined population: 616,950
Avg. high in January-February: 58°-63°


Enjoy the royal estate that is Beringer Vineyards. | Photo via @olsonolsoff

🎟️ Things to do

Tour a winery
With over 450 wineries, there’s no way you can visit the Sonoma or Napa counties without stopping by one. Enjoy an intimate tasting at the smaller Napa Cellars, or feel royal at Beringer Vineyardswhich features a castle.

Food and Farm Tours
For all things local + sustainable, try one of Food and Farm’s three tours that offer day excursions for a group of up to eight people — Flavors of Point Reyes, Oyster Lover’s Tour, or the Cheese Lover’s Tour.

Relish Culinary
Get hands-on cooking experience with locally-sourced ingredients from around the county. Professional chefs will guide you through making a full meal, along with drink pairings.


Enjoy the views of Napa Valley from a hot air balloon. | Photo via @calistogapress

Napa Valley Balloons
Float above Napa Valley and learn about the historic wine region from the sky — then, continue the adventure on the ground with Platypus Wine Tours, which will pick you up from the balloon and whisk you to nearby wineries.

Napa Valley Wine Train
Take a ride on a refurbished antique Pullman rail car while enjoying a multi-course, gourmet meal through Napa + St. Helena.


Order a bunch of small plates to share at Farmstead. | Photo by SJtoday staff

🍲 Memorable eats

Farmstead, 738 Main St., St. Helena
Located at the historic Long Meadow Ranch, this farmhouse eatery serves up classic American with estate-grown wine, olive oil, beef, lamb, fresh eggs, and honey right from its backyard.

Single Thread, 131 N. St., Healdsburg
From the World’s 50 Best, this Michelin-starred restaurant is one of only three US eateries that made the list. Enjoy delights from a Japanese-inspired menu, made with fresh ingredients from the head chef’s farm.

Celadon, 500 Main St., Ste. G, Napa
Dig into Celadon’s award-winning “Global Comfort Food” featuring dishes inspired by Mediterranean, Asian, and American cuisine.


Enjoy farm-fresh ingredients from boon eat + drink. | Photo via SJtoday staff

boon eat + drink, 16248 Main St., Guerneville
This farm-to-table bistro is a product from award-winning chef + restaurateur, Crista Luedtke. Enjoy seasonal and sustainably-focused ingredients, as well as Russian River wines and microbrews from Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.

Wit and Wisdom, 1325 Broadway, Sonoma
Enjoy American comfort food + a robust wine list from Chef Michael Mina’s first wine country eatery — which also won Wine Spectator’s 2022 “Best of Award of Excellence.”

the girl & the fig, 110 W. Spain St., Sonoma
This rustic, French bistro offers an award-winning Rhône-Alone wine list — serving varieties from the Rhône Valley in France + Rhône-styled California wines.


Sit back and relax poolside at boon hotel + spa. | Photo by SJtoday staff

🏨 Accommodations with award-winning cuisine

boon hotel + spa, 14711 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville
Relax at this intimate, boutique stay that offers lawn games, free bikes to borrow, CBD oil massages, and more. It is also a five-minute drive from sustainable eatery boon eat + drink.

Two-person cottage, Glen Ellen
This 1BD, 1BA cottage is a five-minute walk to the historic village of Glen Ellen — where you can enjoy several restaurants, cafes, and a gourmet grocery store. Take your picnic to the nearby 39-acre Jack London State Historic Park, which tells the story of famed writer Jack London, who called Glen Ellen his home.

MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, 29 E. MacArthur St., Sonoma
Walk the gardens of this six-acre estate, and you’ll find gorgeous Victorian architecture, art installments, and a stylish mid-century pool. Plus, enjoy a bite in the airy dining room of Laylathe hotel’s Mediterranean bistro.


Enjoy a family-friendly sanctuary in the heart of Sonoma. | Photo via Vrbo

4-person cottage, Sonoma Plaza
This modern 2BD, 1BA cottage is perfect for the family and complete with a large private deck, pool, and outdoor games. Just a few blocks away from Sonoma Plaza, you can enjoy a multitude of restaurants from fine dining to pub grub.

4-person house, Windsor
This luxurious, and recently renovated 1BD, 1BA house includes two beach cruisers, a chef kitchen, and an outdoor fire pit.

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