Visiting Sonoma County

Parent Reviews

Train Town in downtown Sonoma is a tiny small kid-friendly amusement park with a real steam engine that goes around the park, a Carousel, small roller coaster, small up and down plane ride and animals to feed (llamas, goats) with the majority of the rides geared to smaller kids.  The train ride is super fun and the park has picnic tables if you want to bring lunch.  Not sure they are open now but when they are it's worth a trip.

We did something similar (our oldest was only 2 at the time though) and considered East Coast (Maine, Outer Banks), Canada, Europe. Ultimately we decided we probably wouldn't actually see much of the place we were visiting so we opted to stay close. We rented a beautiful house in Sonoma for a week. It had a pool, an extra room for friends/parents to stay and visit, and we got to enjoy good food and wine, and amazing weather. Tahoe may be another similar option. We're big travelers so it felt hard to not choose a new and far destination but we ended having the best time with minimal stress. Good luck and enjoy!! 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Bakery recommendation in Sonoma County

Feb 2015

My friend is getting married on Labor Day in Petaluma. She needs to find a baker who can make a wonderful wedding cake and can deliver it on Monday Sept. 7, which is Labor Day. Can anyone recommend a baker in the area who would fit the bill? Friend of the Brides

A few favorites of mine in that area are: Sift (one in Petaluma and Rohnert Park) they do cupcakes and special order cakes. Occasional Cakes in Rohnert Park is fabulous. Decadent Delights in Sonoma makes cupcakes, not sure about cakes. There is also Scandia Bakery in Sonoma which has world famous cakes that are wonderful. Enjoy! let them eat cake!

Sonoma - need winery recommendations

June 2013

We are headed to Sonoma for a long weekend for the first time since having kids three years ago...looking for recommendations of great wineries in the Sonoma area (we don't want to drive too far so would like to keep to that general area). Looking for smaller places vs. widely recognizable names. More interested in possibly having a conversation with the person pouring vs. a large tour type of place. Who is putting out GREAT wine right now in Sonoma and is off the beaten path? gettin' away

The Dry Creek area (west of the 101) has a wide range of wineries - some you may have heard of and many that you haven't. The nice thing is that the distances between them are pretty small. The Wine Road is a good resource for plotting your adventure. Just sort for Dry Creek Valley. Dry Creek Vineyard, Michel Schlumberger, and Ridge Lytton Springs are all very pleasant vineyards with comfortable guest facilities. Ridge is known for Zins, Dry Creek does a wide range of varietals, but we like their Sauvignon Blancs and Fume Blancs. Michel Schlumberger is OK for wine, but a nice place to visit. There are many many others. Healdsburg is right across the freeway for a pleasant lunch. Kiddie Koncierge

Try the Annadel Estate Winery: Small, family owned and operated with great wines! I met the owners in Hawaii last year while they were showing their wines to small, high end restaurants. Great people! cris

Larson Family Winery, on Millerick Road, is awesome! I found this gem of a place by literally driving off the beaten path. Kerri

Cottage Inn and Spa, Sonoma

March 2005

Re: Wedding night romantic getaway in the Bay Area
My husband and I spent an incredibly romantic night at The Cottage Inn and Spa, in Sonoma. See
We had the Chapel Suite. Walking distance to the main square in Sonoma and to lots of great restaurants. Extremely private, absolutely beautiful. It was the most romantic place we've ever stayed! Anon

Sonoma Stay with 2 toddlers

July 2004

I'm looking for a place to stay close to or in the town of Sonoma (for a few nights) that is convenient for 2 toddlers and 2 adults. Any recommendations for a place with a kitchenette (microwave, small fridge) that won't break the bank? Thanks! Laura

My husband and I just returned from an overnight in Glen Ellen, just a few minutes from Sonoma, and stayed at a lovely cottage called the ''Jackaroo Cottage.'' We found it through ''Follow the Reader'' (SF Chronicle) and enjoyed it very much. Website is It has a full kitchen (fridge, toaster, coffee maker, oven, stove -- but not microwave). The only thing is, it might be a bit small for 4 of you. I recall that there is a futon but I'm not sure how big it is. Also, it's all kind of one large room with a curtain btwn queen bed and sitting area, so I'm not sure it would work for you unless you all went to sleep at the same time. However, it's a lovely setting and very convenient. Katy

Earlier Reviews

The Inn at Occidental

Re: One-night getaway on the Marin/Sonoma Coast (October 2003)
The Inn at Occidental (just inland between Petaluma and Bodega Bay) is a very romantic getaway. The drive from the East Bay isn't too long. The Inn is great. Each room has huge bathtubs and there aren't televisions. Every afternoon there is complementary wine tasting in the main house.

Whale Watch Inn

Re: Wedding night romantic getaway in the Bay Area (March 2005)
I have the perfect suggestion for a romantic night getaway... the place is called Whale Watch Inn ( That is the place where my very romantic husband took me for our first aniversary. All the bedrooms, have hot tub, fire place and face the can hear the ocean while you fall sleep...In the morning they serve you breakfeast in bed... It might be a little further that you were thinking, but trust me, it is worth! Besides the hotel, they will also enjoy the amazing drive. When I checked they guest book, not surprised, I found that everyone have been there for their honey moon or aniversary... I definetly intent to came back!