Exploring Sonoma County

Discover the valley of the moon

In the valley of the moon, you will experience true escapism. Sonoma County is positioned along the Pacific Ocean and the coastline boasts a rugged beauty intrinsic to Californian landscapes. As you move inland, beautiful winelands, picturesque villages, and vibrant cities are woven together seamlessly. Alive and thriving, the region is infused by the natural environment, culinary delights, and culture. It is clear to see why creativity flourishes like wildflowers here.

Soar through the Redwood Forest 

Exchange your urban skyline for the towering Californian coastal redwoods. These timeless titans provide the perfect setting for Sonoma Zip Line Adventures. If you’re brave enough, the seasoned guides will take you on breath-taking journey through the treetops of the majestic Redwood Forest. Suspended high above the forest floor, you truly get to grasp the grandeur of this ancient landscape. 

The Dawn Ranch awaits 

Once comfortably back on the ground, take a depth breath and journey along the banks of the Russian River. Here, you will find the Dawn Ranch wellness retreat. Nestled in 22-acrers of towering trees and serene meadows, the Dawn Ranch perfectly balances the natural world with comfort and minimalistic luxury. The newly reopened cabins will become your haven after days filled with exploration and creative expression.

The Dawn Ranch creates space to disconnect and indulge. Explore forest bathing, scent workshops, guided hikes, and morning yoga. The Dawn Ranch has refined its holistic approach to well-being. Time generously pauses, and you really do experience a profound connection with nature. 

Just a short stroll from your cabin, you will discover The Spa. Explore a thoughtfully curated menu of treatments, which seek to connect physical, mental and emotional wellbeing through the use of the natural environment. For those seeking to immerse their senses in the panoramic sounds of the woodland, we recommend bathing under the forest canopy in redwood soaking tubs – inspired by the Japanese Ofuru tradition. Time dissipates here.   

To bring the day to a close, enjoy dinner at the Lodge. The culinary creations of Executive Chef Fernando Trocca’s and fellow Argentine chef Juliana Thorpe are utterly delightful and will make you savour every moment. Assorted luxurious cuisine is crafted using local ingredients from the valley. If I am allowed to have a favourite it would have to be the Black Mission and Adriatic Figs, followed by the Verde Arboria Risotto. As the stary skies set in, nightly fire pits and s’mores become the cosy ambiance where the best moments of the day are remembered. 

Day trip to Healdsburg

Sonoma’s popularity when it comes to wine, means there is always something exciting to be discovered. In their sophisticated Downtown Healdsburg Tasting Room, Founder Baron Ziegler and winemaker Rob Fischer, invite you to experience their creations. The Sonoma Coast-focused, Marine Layer Wines are a must try for anyone seeking to experience, by palate, the unique and vibrant region. The nuanced flavours and superb balance in these wines comes not only from the expertise and passionate precision of the wine makers, but also the inspiration behind the name. Acknowledging the thick blanket of fog that pours in from the Pacific along the Sonoma Coast, Marine Layer wines, are the beautiful product of a challenging, yet obviously rewarding Sonoma coastal climate. The team inspired by quality and hospitality, refer to their wines as approachable, and I would have to agree, in fact when it comes to leaving, you will feel like you have uncorked your favourite wine, with so much more to savour.

Under the combined culinary genius of Chef and owner Dustin Vallette and Executive Chef Nate Davis, stands a Healdsburg restaurant must – The Matheson. Seamlessly blending the options of delectable fine dining and the ever-real allure of the best pizzas in town. The menu is their love letter, written with the micro-seasonal ingredients of Sonoma. Each dish is a paragraph in a story of locally foraged and meticulously sourced flavours. With a clear passion for local produce and community, 4th generation Healdsburg resident Dustin Valette’s modern culinary artistry comes to life in front of a towering series of eight murals by artist Jay Mercado. One of the murals includes a baker, a nod to Valette’s great-grandfather.

Explore Bedoga Bay

Trace the Russian River to the coast and discover the essence of Bedoga Bay. A must-stop along the way is Café Aquatica in scenic Jenner, a coastal café that weaves magic with locally roasted coffee and freshly baked goods. Nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Jenner, California, the café sets the perfect tone for the adventure ahead. Continuing along the coastal highway, be prepared for views of the mighty Pacific Ocean. Bedoga Bay unfolds before you, a sanctuary known for whale watching, wildflowers, and a beautifully raw rocky coastline. Here, pelicans gracefully swoop, and seals echo their presence and waves crash along the shore. Bedoga Bay is alive, and you feel its vibrant energy. The untamed beauty of the bay paints a vivid picture of why Sonoma County can effortlessly become a place you’ll want to return to, time and time again.