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Dave Golokhov

15 Things to Do for a Romantic Trip Through Sonoma County

A romantic itinerary for the ideal couples vacation through wine country in Northern California

Sonoma County is one of the most iconic wine regions in the United States. It’s the type of destination that’s ripe for a romantic road trip. Couples can sip and swirl their way through the winding roads and wineries, yet still get a taste of trendy restaurants and culture.

That’s exactly what we did with the goal of seeking out some of the most romantic spots to take your significant other. We started with Santa Rosa as our home base, as it’s the biggest city in Sonoma County, and then worked our way to the coast through Dry Creek Valley. Read on below for 15 of the most romantic things to do in Sonoma.

Paradise Ridge Winery

One of the best reasons to place your base in Santa Rosa is that it’s in the center of many attractions. It’s close to the acclaimed Dry Creek Valley, it’s close to excellent dining, and it’s also close to Paradise Ridge Winery. This winery has a number of cool things to see, such as their collection of former Burning Man artwork and the “LOVE” fireplace, but couples will want to go for the sunset. It’s arguably the best place in town to watch the sun dip away for the day.

Dave Golokhov

Bird and the Bottle

Long live the Starks. Owners Mark and Terri Stark have hit many home runs with their restaurants in the area (Bravas Bar de Tapas, Willi’s Wine Bar) and Bird and the Bottle is undoubtedly another. The menu is unique and creative, and almost every dish bursts with flavor. Don’t leave without tasting the barbecue octopus, which has all the signatures of the classical preparation followed by a barbecue twang that makes your brain think about chicken wings.  Also recommended is the tuna poke, which has a grand smoky flavor, as well as the baked goat brie, which has a really sexy presentation.

Dave Golokhov

Vintners Inn

Vintners Inn is the epitome of cozy. With careful manicuring of the landscape, charming lighting, and a fountain, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the city for a tranquil getaway.

The luxurious hotel consists exclusively of suites, and there are only 44 of them, so even at capacity, it won’t feel overrun or crowded. In the evenings, head over to John Ash & Co., a restaurant right on the grounds. Executive Chef Thomas Schmidt works with seasonal ingredients paired with an extensive wine list. Feel free to imbibe, as you’re only walking distance back to your suite.

Vintners Inn is right near where you’ll want to be, whether you want the city vibe in Santa Rosa or wine country and Dry Creek Valley. The location makes it easy to get to the more than 400 wineries and still allows for access to hip restaurants and nightlife in the evenings.

Dave Golokhov

Driving the Coast

There are a number of scenic drives around Santa Rosa but the one that can’t be missed is the course to the coast. Weave your way through the inviting little towns like Occidental and Guerneville as you work your way to the Pacific Ocean. Make sure to locate Coleman Road on the map as it’s a great option to get to the Pacific Coast Highway. You’ll drive up and down hills while witnessing some lush greenery. Once you reach the coast, you can’t go wrong with any of the vantage points from above, but if you’re looking to get closer to the water, drive up to Jenner Bay and then make your way down to Goat Rock. That’s one of the most spectacular views one can find.

Dave Golokhov

Cedar Enzyme Bath at the Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

Unwind from your day-to-day grind at the Osmosis spa. Treat yourself to the cedar bath, not only because it’s the only spa in North America that offers such a service, but because it’s worth it. Couples can share one “bath” where you climb in together and feel like you’re buried in the sand. Instead of sand, though, you’re submerged under a blend of unique ingredients including cedar, rice bran, and a biological catalyst that activates the bath. It feels hot but it isn’t actually heated in any way, shape, or form. The heat is generated due to the fermentation process.

Not only is it extremely relaxing, it’s detoxifying. It draws toxins out, relaxes your muscles and gets your circulation going, which helps relieve any aches that have been ailing you.

Dave Golokhov

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