When you want to take the time to explore many different parts of California with your family, you need a home base. While some people disagree with where this home base should be, most people think Sonoma is an excellent choice. This charming town is perfect for days spent close to your hotel or resort. However, it is also close enough to destinations like Napa Valley and the Valley of the Moon. You can easily venture over to those areas and make it back to your room in Sonoma to get a good night’s sleep.
History is everywhere in Sonoma, even though you may not be aware of it when you first arrive. The first people to live in this part of the country were Indigenous people. They called this area home for 12,000 years or more before the Spanish missionaries arrived at the beginning of the 19th century. It didn’t take long for the Spanish settlers and Mexico to fight over whether Mexico belonged to Spain and who was the true owner of this land. When it was over, Mexico had claimed its independence and owned this land. However, the US government wanted this land, and it wasn’t long before they claimed it and created the quaint little town of Sonoma.
Sonoma has obviously blossomed since that time, but there is still so much to see and learn about the past. Some of this history surrounds the town’s plaza, while other historical points of interest are tucked away amongst the beauty of Sonoma State Historic Park.
Blooming flowers are everywhere in Sonoma during the spring months, thanks to an overabundance of rainfall. The temperatures in this part of the state are normally in the upper 60s and lower 70s at this time of the year. It is important to note it gets quite cool later in the evening though, so you will want to be prepared if you are out later in the night.
The summer months bring temperatures into the lower 80s during the day, but they can still cool down significantly at night. The sun will always be shining though, which is perfect for all the time you will want to spend outside.
The cooler days of fall introduce the changing of colors, especially when the temperatures really drop at night. The sun is still shining, you just need to be prepared with a few extra layers if the weather changes suddenly when you are out and about.
The winter months in Sonoma are quite mild with temperatures never really dropping below the middle 30s at night. The daytime brings temperatures in the middle the to upper 50s, which is perfect for those days you want to wear a sweater or sweatshirt. Rain is also common at this time of the year, so you will want to be prepared every time you leave your accommodations.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to pack shorts and t-shirts, as well as sundresses for your vacation in Sonoma. If you live somewhere cold, even the lower winter temperatures may feel warm to you. However, most people will stick to packing those items during the summer and pants and sweaters the rest of the year.
During the rainy seasons, an umbrella can come in handy. And a jacket is a must during the winter and at night almost all year-round. You will definitely want a hat and sunglasses on the sunnier days of the year, as well as some sunscreen.
It shouldn’t be shocking that there are a ton of family-friendly activities in Sonoma, because this has been a popular family destination for many years now. There are dozens of parks in Sonoma, which means you will have ample opportunities to be outside. You can easily walk along the trails at these parks, check out the redwood trees, or fly a kite in an open field. I also recommend going on a safari at the wildlife preserve.
Swimming is a must when you are vacationing in Sonoma. There are quite a few beaches to choose from, but you may prefer the water in a lagoon or the swimming pool where you are staying.
Walking around town will have you shopping, dining at local restaurants, and even exploring art galleries and historic buildings. There is nothing more exciting than wandering around a new area and discovering new things!
Other amazing activities to enjoy while on a family vacation in Sonoma include:
Now I know kids really hate visiting museums, but no one in your family is going to be able to turn down a little time with Snoopy and Charlie Brown at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. This museum will give you a glimpse into the life of this comic creator, as well as offering you a chance to see where he did all his work when you stop by his re-created studio.
If you are looking for a more unique place to see when you are exploring Sonoma, you might want to check out Safari West. Approximately 1,000 animals, who are native to Africa, live at this wildlife preserve. The best way to see this fantastic place is to take a guided safari tour, which lasts about three hours. Imagine seeing zebras, giraffes, cape buffalo, and so many other magnificent creatures without even leaving the US!
During a family vacation in Sonoma, you probably won’t have many chances to taste wine and visit vineyards. However, you can take the time to visit CocoaPlanet for a few chocolate tastings. You can indulge in some chocolate with the kids while having a glass of wine on the side. Of course, you can also enjoy a picnic lunch in the vineyards at Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves and Vineyard. Your kids won’t be able to resist the vast open spaces and food.
The Gravenstein Apple Fair is a fun-filled family event that is held during the month of August every year. The kids will stay entertained with the hay maze, stilt walkers, tractor pedal pull games, and lots of arts and crafts. As an adult, you will love the artisan tasting lounge and live music on two different stages. No one will be able to resist the activities inside the Do-It-Yourself Arena.
This festival is held on a weekend at the end of April or the beginning of May each year. During this weekend, the local fishermen start the salmon season off with a bang by blessing their fleets. You can join in on the fun, while listening to live music, eating delicious local foods, and purchasing arts and craft items from the vendor booths. Your favorite part though will be participating in the wooden boat challenge.
Sonoma may be known for its wine, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some fabulous beer being made in the area! This is the time to drink different types of beers in between bites of food you are tasting for the Sonoma County Best Bites contest. At the end of the day, you must show up for the Craft Brew Cup Best of Show competition to cheer on the winners and losers.
You must be more than ready to plan your next family vacation in Sonoma right now! I would love to invite you to schedule a planning session with me by clicking here. When you click this link, you will be taken directly to my digital calendar to set up a convenient time for us to connect.
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