We have a Great List of Things to do with 48 hours in West Sonoma County. We often overlook heading west when visiting wine country because we have our favorite stops right here in Northern Sonoma County. The wineries in Alexander Valley (Trione of course!), things to do in Healdsburg, and usually a day at the coast. Did you know that West County is the gateway to the coast? You get to drive through it to arrive at some of the Sonoma Coast's most popular destinations. Consider making West Sonoma County one of your stops during your wine country getaway. Debbie, our wine club manager, has called Graton home for nearly 30 years. Here is where Debbie likes to spend her time and take out-of-town guests when they visit. To make things easy, we have selected the top picks for where to eat, play, and have fun in West County.
Team Trione’s Top Picks:
What to do with 48 hours in West Sonoma County
Go on a Scenic Drive
There are many things to see, just get in the car with a sweater and blanket (there are always places to stop along the way) and go. Drive down Westside Road to River Road and follow the Russian River while enjoying the sites of beautiful vineyards and giant redwoods. Stop in Stumptown and sit along the river at the Farmhand deli or Stumptown Brewery.
Walk through the massive temperate rainforest with some of the oldest coastal redwoods in California at Armstrong Woods. Be sure to plan on time to hike to really get a sense of the beauty here - so much preservation and you’ll see what Northern California was like before the logging industry kicked off in the 19th century. It's quite spectacular. Stumptown is named for the redwood stumps that were left after loggers came in cutting trees for lumber to build houses many years ago. We locals still enjoy this piece of history and visit for a little solitude and an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Head out towards Duncans Mills for a trip back in time- this tiny little town is like an old country town out of a western movie. Visit the antique store, Worldly Goods, Pig Alley, the Cape Fear Café, or the coffee shop. A nice pit stop before heading out to Jenner.
Visit the Towns
“One of the coolest things in West County is when they fire up the old Sturgeon’s Saw Mill, which is a working museum. They open up four times a year for the weekend and it really is special to see the guys work that mill that is over 100 years old.” Be sure to check the site for the dates to plan ahead.
Visit the Walker Apples farm in Sebastopol. They are open 9am-5pm and the best time to go is the fall during apple season. They are one of the last farms to still grow Gravenstein apples.
“Another fun place to cruise is Florence Street in downtown Sebastopol where artist Patrick Amiot has his ‘junk’ creations on display throughout the neighborhood. How he looks at ‘junk’ and turns it into these huge, fun, surprising sculptures is beyond me; it's impressive.”
Drive down Florence street on your way to Graton for lunch. Willow Wood Café for their polenta, ham and brie sandwich, or chicken salad plate to name a few, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. They have Trione Sauvignon Blanc on the menu too!
“Grab a proper cocktail across the street at Underwood Bistro, which is also a great place to eat with local flair. Mr. Ryder’s is a must stop for antiques, don’t miss the side yard if you like rusty goodness!” As a ‘picker’ herself, Debbie knows the great places to get down and dirty when on the hunt for charming treasures.
Occidental is home to Howard’s Café with some of the tastiest breakfast around and don’t miss their smoothies! Checkout Sonoma Canopy Adventures for an afternoon of ziplining and finish the day at Negri’s for an Italian, home-style dinner.
Have a River Day
In true local fashion, pack up an ice chest with local beer, wine, kombucha, and eats and picnic on the river. There are plenty of beaches to visit for an afternoon of sunshine and relaxation. Sunset and Mother’s beach are a couple of favorites. Parking can be difficult so plan on an early arrival to get a spot.
“I always like Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville for a relaxing day at the river with beer, burgers, and good people watching. While there are plenty of ‘secret’ spots to enjoy on the Russian River, I like the convenience of not having to lug my things very far. You just can’t beat the ice cold beer on tap while sitting right there at the river on a hot day!”
There are some great places to rent kayaks and canoes if you find yourself being adventurous. Burke’s Canoe Trips and SUP Odyssey along with many more options. Book ahead and pack a lunch, there are places to stop and rest during the trip.
Plan Your Trip
There are tons of options for accommodations from private homes to small B&B’s - we like the Farmhouse Inn, Boon Hotel + Spa, and Cottages on the River to name a few. You really can't go wrong with what's out there!
Visiting soon? Explore the quaint towns of West County, visit the Barlow, enjoy the small town charm by attending the big Easter egg hunt at Ives Park, and celebrate the farming heritage and bring the family to the Apple Blossom Festival on April 23rd. Planning your dream wine country wedding? Checkout our Old Stone Building!