|| California | Wine Country|
Sonoma Valley - Sonoma County West
Sonoma Valley and Somona County West are perfect for a family weekend, or spend a week exploring state parks, historic towns, 19th century ranches, farms and orchards, with miles of hiking trails, biking through gorgeous countryside, and it's a great area to just relax. In Sonoma and Petaluma, discover 19th century houses and ranchos, pick apples in fall, visit the home of author Jack London and see a two thousand year old redwood tree.
|Jack London State Historic Park|
|Sugarloaf Ridge State Park|
Sonoma County West
|Read our blog posts: "Farm Trails Fall", "Sonoma Valley in Spring", and "Farm Trails Spring"|
for Kids has many fun things to do with kids in Sonoma County, but you'll
need a fun place to stay.
Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels and vacation rentals in Sonoma Valley and West County, all styles and price ranges, and near to places you'll want to explore:
|Sonoma County family hotels|
|Sonoma County family vacation rentals|
|Vineyards Here are two vineyards that are fun for adults and kids alike.|
Benziger Family Winery (Glen Ellen, on the road to Jack London State Park) The Benziger Family Winery is one of our favorites, because kids can get a chance to understand the ecology of a vineyard, as well as enjoy a picnic under the oak trees, play on the swing set, check out the old rusted farm tractor, plows, grape crusher or wooden wine barrels, watch the peacocks, or walk out into the middle of a vineyard.
The setting of this vineyard is just about perfect. Nestled in the hills, covered with vines, wooden frame buildings evoke the Sonoma Valley of earlier decades. Take the 45 min. tram tour (half price for kids, since they won't be wine tasting), which goes through the fields, and stops at the caves, grape crusher, and in the vineyard itself. Kids can feel free to ask all the questions they like on the tour.
Absolutely don't miss the self-guided walk to the "Insectory," which starts at the parking lot, just follow the flags into the middle of the vineyard. The Insectory has plants that encourage biological control of pests, and display exhibits that explain traditional estate farming (composting, care of soil, providing houses for birds owls and bats to keep out gophers and finches that attack the vines.) And listen for the sounds of birds.
|Bartholomew Park Winery (Sonoma) You'd never guess that a five minute drive from the plaza in Sonoma, you'd find yourself on a hilltop, surrounded by vines and wooded hillsides, as far as you can see. Along with wine tasting, of course, the winery has lots of wooden picnic tables shaded under the oak trees, and miles of hiking trails. Just follow the Trails signs from the picnic tables, to the gate in the fence. From there you can take a three mile (round trip) along the creek, through the redwoods and manzanita, with views and a lake. This is particularly nice in spring, with the wildflowers, yellow mustard, and fruit trees in bloom.|