15 Things To Do For A Romantic Trip Through Sonoma County

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery

There are many legendary wineries in Dry Creek Valley and Ferrari-Carano is at or near the top of the list. In the hunt for romantic settings, we discovered lots of eye candy at Ferrari-Carano from the traditional Japanese garden outside — adorned with beautiful cork trees — to the Enoteca Reserve Tasting Bar underground.

The new Il Terrazzo is the scenic spot where couples will want to sit, relax, and taste. The terrace, which is spruced up with tulips and other fine landscaping, overlooks the property's vineyards and gardens. Paired with one of their chardonnays, it's an idyllic spot to sip for hours.

Comstock Vineyards

If you and your belle are looking to soak up a higher level of understanding about wine, the Comstock Vineyards wine blending seminar is for you. An on-site winemaker will guide you through the basics of blending. Choose how much cabernet sauvignon, merlot, or any other varietal you'd like to add and then discover the depth of flavor in your new creation. Those who are advanced even have the option to do blind tastings where they can try to guess what's in the glass.

Comstock Winery Guesthouse

Comstock has recently opened up a guesthouse that is the lap of luxury. Located right behind the main building, the guesthouse has four suites as well as common areas, which include a living room, kitchen, and loft. The interior design is so elegant that you'll feel like you've moved into the pages of a Crate and Barrel catalog. No expense is spared, from Kohler in the bathroom to Wüsthof in the kitchen. With a Netflix-equipped 75-inch TV along with five remote-control fireplaces, it's the ideal spot to pop a bottle of wine and chill.

Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria

They say that basic carbs are easy to cut out of the diet, but when a restaurant offers handmade pasta and authentic Neapolitan style pizza, I sideline all dietary guidelines and restrictions. Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria is legit, from the wood-burning oven to their execution of Italian classics. You'll be tempted by many items, but make sure to include a pizza as part of your order. The house-cured salami is a winner and who would ever say no to a properly grilled, smoky-flavored Mediterranean octopus? This joint is quite popular, so prepare to wait for a table. Sitting up at the bar works as a shortcut for some as it's first-come, first-serve.

Zip Lining at Sonoma Canopy Tours

If you're a couple looking for more than cuddling and candles, then get into the redwoods for some zip lining. Sonoma Canopy Tours has a really fun course with seven zip lines, a couple of suspension bridges, and a rappel down at the end. All the while, you'll be performing the high-wire act through massive redwood trees, which are only natively found in Northern California. The guides are well-versed about the forest — our guide, Moshe, is specifically recommended. He educated us on the surrounding ecology the entire way.

Also, $1 from every tour booked goes to support outdoor adventures for at-risk youth.

Bella Vineyards

Bella Vineyards is a bucolic setting to take your bae for a picnic. Stop off at the Dry Creek Valley General Store — also a must-see — on your way and pick up some sandwiches and snacks. Then head on over to Bella, where you'll find picnic tables, umbrellas, and wooden chairs, along with wines by the glass or bottle. Forget about cellphone reception and focus on bonding.

Also, pop inside the winery to check out the neat wine caves found underneath Lilly Hill.

Lambert Bridge Winery

Lambert Bridge is a small, family-owned winery with a tasting room that feels very inviting — possibly because of the warm wood decorations and the smell of the fireplace. What romantic duos will want to seek out is the chef's table series. Once a month, the winery hosts chefs from acclaimed restaurants nearby while winemaker Jennifer Higgins pairs these creations with Lambert Bridge wines. Food and wine are one of the most successful couples, and they're the stars of this show at this exquisite event.

Luther Burbank Center for the Arts

Couples looking for the arts will find them at the Luther Burbank Theater located in Santa Rosa. Check the schedule for the latest performances, but they often host top-notch musical acts, comedians, and authors.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

The Francis Ford Coppola winery is one of the iconic stops in Dry Creek Valley. The gorgeous winery is adorned with memorabilia from The Godfather and Dracula, and is one of the few wineries you'll find with a pool.

Of note to couples, though, is not what you see but what you might not see. Once a month, the Coppola winery offers a blind tasting seminar, which is a roughly two-hour session where you'll learn about using your other senses to appreciate wine. What's more romantic than a little bit of blindfolding?

The County Bench

The County Bench is a trendy spot for a night in Santa Rosa. The menu is small but the flavors are big. The kitchen is run by executive chef Ben Davies, who previously led another restaurant (Mirepoix) to a Michelin Star. Most of the menu items were well-executed, but the highlights were definitely the cocktails and the Meyer lemon granite.

It's worth noting that their happy hour is a home run with $1.50 oysters, $5 cocktails, $6 wines by the glass, and a slew of appetizing bites from $3 to $10.