To put it simply: Fall in wine country is a beautiful time of year. The autumnal months are a wonderfully vibrant time, with color in the parks, trees and vineyards and, of course, preparation for the upcoming holidays. There are activities for all ages that you can seek out, but here are some of the best things to do in Sonoma County:
Fall Wine Tours
What is Sonoma County known for? Wine is, of course. And with every fall comes the Sonoma County Vineyard Adventures. Participating vineyards offer complimentary tours where you can learn about the history of winemaking, understand the a little bit more of the science and hidden techniques behind grape growing, and just simply enjoy a stroll amongst the vines. You are welcome bring the kids along, or make it an adults day out and pair your tour with a wine tasting!
Apple picking is a great family-friendly activity, especially for the younger kids who want to get involved and get their hands dirty! When visiting an orchard, don’t forget to pick up a local favorite like seasonal apple cider, or bring a picnic lunch and make a whole day of it.
The best part? The fun doesn’t stop once you leave the orchard. You can try your hand at creating incredible seasonal treats such as caramel apples, learning to make your own cider, homemade pies, and more. If you’re looking for something a little different, the Sonoma County Farm Trails Apple Trail leads you through a variety of local farmers and makers, with the chance to buy apple products ranging from cider to apple pies to soap and skincare products.
You can, of course, also visit your local farmers market for all of autumn’s bounty.
Nothing says family fun to kick off the season quite like a visit to the pumpkin patch. And there are plenty in Sonoma County to choose from! You can expect a day full of fun, corn maze challenges, photo ops, and more. Did we forget to mention the excitement of picking the perfect pumpkin?
If you want to try something a little different, the Santa Rosa Pumpkin Night features over 300 hand-carved pumpkins and other fun activities.
Hiking in Regional Parks
Fall colors sweep throughSonoma’s regional parks, especially at altitude. Head over to the North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park, where a section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail climbs to 2,000 feet through colorful forests and with great views down towards the vineyards.
Shiloh Ranch Regional Park offers the wonderful contrast of maple and oak against the evergreens. If you have younger kids or older adults, consider Spring Lake Regional Park, which has a paved loop trail that’s suitable for all ages and abilities, curving around a beautiful lake.
Sonoma Botanical Garden
For a more focused way to see a wide variety of fall colors, check out the Sonoma Botanical Garden, which has over 40 species of maple, all of them showing spectacular fall color. Free educational foliage walks (included in the garden admission) offer a great opportunity for you and your kids to learn about all kinds of plants in the garden. The gardens also feature great spots for a picnic amongst the collection of rare and unusual plants.
Fall isn’t just about wine. Treat yourself to a farm-to-table meal at one of the vineyards or a local restaurant. Thought pizza goes with beer? Alexander Valley Vineyards will show you otherwise with Saturday wine and pizza pairings. Or head over to Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and Gardens to eat a farmer’s or vintner’s meal under the stars, with limited edition wine pairings.
Sonoma is a great place for this kind of farm-to-table dining and the fall weather is perfect to eat outdoors. These vineyard restaurants are family-friendly with cider or juice for the kids and many are also pet-friendly!
Sonoma County has so many things for you and your entire family to do. Enjoy a pumpkin patch or take the kids’ apple picking. Appreciate the fall foliage at the Sonoma Botanical Garden. Or relax with a glass of wine and cheers to cooler temperatures and a holiday season!