Where to Book
We recently stayed at El Dorado Hotel, right on Sonoma Square, and had the best time. It was so easy to explore the area being just steps away from everything we needed for the weekend. If it’s a special occasion or you’re saving your pennies to go all out, The Carneros Inn is our favorite. It’s technically right on the cusp of Sonoma/Napa.
First things first
Plan ahead. I’m a big advocate of creating a skeleton agenda (mapping out a few restaurants I want to try, cafés to pick up coffee, tasting rooms to explore), while leave the in-between moments to relax and just go with the flow. I always like to arrive early for lunch, check into my hotel, and then taste wine somewhere nearby before dinner reservations.
What to pack
For warmer months (February-September), think light and breezy dresses and rompers, sandals or simple heels, a straw hat. For winter… it gets very cold in the evenings– brisk air and can go down to 45º. For colder months, I usually wear booties, skinny jeans, a warm sweater and a scarf, and a big coat.
Where to explore/What to do
I love Sonoma Square. It’s a big park that’s right in the middle of an array of tasting rooms, restaurants, cafés, and shops surrounding each block. Here’s how we usually plan our time in Sonoma, depending on how long we’re staying:
1 | Day trip or one night: I would either go to one winery earlier in the day and then head back to the square. Grab lunch, go to a tasting room, wander the shops, and end at dinner. OR spend the entire day at Sonoma Square exploring.
2 | Several days: Spend a whole day at Sonoma Square bouncing around and getting to know the area and then dedicate other days to wineries, etc.
Where to eat/drink
On that note, here are a few places I recommend on Sonoma Square: El Dorado Kitchen (lunch or dinner – I love their Gin Gypsey cocktail and the french fries are to die for), Pangloss Cellars (delicious spot for wine tasting… we’re thinking about joining this wine club),Sweet Scoops for ice cream, Sunflower Café (sit in the back garden area) for breakfast, Tasca Tasca for lunch or dinner (amazing tapas and they serve wine in mini mason jars) and Sonoma Cheese Factory – to pick up wine and cheese for a picnic at the park. // Not in the square, but noteworthy: Boon Fly Cafe and FARM (both on the Carneros Resort & Spa property).