Sonoma Vacation Rentals: Visitors Guide

Welcome to our visitors guide about Sonoma vacation rentals. Here you can find information to help plan your California wine country vacation, including gorgeous Sonoma homes for rent, Sonoma attractions, travel tips, and important details about the area.

TheWineStay.com also offers curated vacation experiences including personalized boutique wine tours and wine tastings, private dinners by 5-star chefs, and local guides for outdoor adventures. Read on to discover the possibilities.

 


 


Sonoma Vacation Homes For Rent

Browse a selection of beautiful vacation homes available for rent in Sonoma, California. Choose from private rural retreats among the hills to charming and elegant homes within walking distance to downtown Sonoma. These wine country homes each offer something unique for travelers.


How To Choose The Right Wine Country Vacation Rental

An amazing wine country vacation starts with choosing the perfect place to stay. While hotel rooms may be the better choice for some, nothing beats the privacy and convenience of your own vacation rental. Renting a home is perfect for larger groups or families with children. Space to spread out, privacy, an at-home feel, and cost savings make Sonoma vacation rentals an attractive option.

Vacation home rentals are more popular than ever and choosing the right place can make all the difference. Consider the following points when choosing a home to rent in Sonoma.

Amenities IconAmenities

Make a list of the most important amenities. Does your group want to BBQ outside? Do you need a pool or spa? Do you need a place for the kids to play while allowing the adults a bit of privacy? Be sure your rental home of choice isn’t missing any essentials.

Location IconLocation

Do you want to be closer to the action in town, or are you looking for tranquility in a quiet setting? Is the vacation home near the attractions and points of interest that intrigue you most?

Photos IconProperty Photos

Look for a vacation rental with plenty of photos. Scrutinize the details to look for signs of cleanliness and upkeep. Explore what kind of views you’ll have both indoors and out. If the photos of the property are in short supply or seem incomplete, this could be a red flag.

Reviews IconReviews

Check for consistent comments and take heed of criticisms. Make note of what people say about the property, atmosphere, amenities, and the owner or rental manager.

Extras IconExtras

Some vacation rental agencies offer concierge services. These include shopping, transportation, private chefs and sommeliers, spa services, and more. The Wine Stay can arrange for a private yoga session, professional massage, or customized wine pairing – all in the comfort of your vacation rental.

Hotel or Rental Home – Which Is Right for You?

Can’t decide whether you should book a hotel room or rent a vacation home? Our blog post, “Vacation Home Rental or Hotel — Which Is Better for You?” can help you make the best decision for your needs by comparing the advantages of these types of accommodation.


Sonoma Travel Tips

To help you create an amazing vacation experience in Sonoma, here are some travel tips to keep in mind.

Weather IconLocal Weather

While enjoying your Sonoma vacation rental, you can expect cool winters and warm, dry summers. Monthly average temperatures for Sonoma are listed below in degrees Fahrenheit.

January

  • Highs: mid 50s
  • Lows: high 30s

February

  • Highs: low 60s
  • Lows: low 40s

March

  • Highs: mid 60s
  • Lows: mid 40s

April

  • Highs: mid 70s
  • Lows: mid 40s

May

  • Highs: high 70s
  • Lows: high 40s

June

  • Highs: mid 80s
  • Lows: low 50s

July

  • Highs: low 90s
  • Lows: low 50s

August

  • Highs: high 80s
  • Lows: low 50s

September

  • Highs: mid 80s
  • Lows: low 50s

October

  • Highs: high 70s
  • Lows: high 40s

November

  • Highs: mid 60s
  • Lows: low 40s

December

  • Highs: mid 50s
  • Lows: high 30s

Transportation IconLocal Transportation

Sonoma may be a small town of just over 10,000 residents, but there are plenty of transportation options available to help make the most of your wine country vacation.

By Car

Sonoma may be a small town of just over 10,000 residents, but there are plenty of transportation options available to help make the most of your wine country vacation.

 

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
18981 Sonoma Hwy
Sonoma, CA 95476

+1 707-939-0200

 

Dollar Rent-A-Car
19648 8th St E
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 707-935-1323

Personal Driver

We can arrange for a personal driver to pick you up at the airport and deliver you to your Sonoma vacation rental. Or use our personal driver to tour the beautiful countryside and enjoy a day of wine tasting. We want to make your Sonoma vacation experience with The Wine Stay comfortable and easy.

Ride Sharing

While vacationing in Sonoma, visitors can use the popular ride sharing apps Uber & Lyft to get around town.

Sonoma County Transit

The city offers a low-cost shuttle bus to get around town while enjoying your Sonoma vacation home. Visitors can hop on and off the bus as needed, with stops near the Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma Valley Inn, Safeway, Sonoma Creek, MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, and many other locations.
The shuttle bus runs from Monday through Saturday from approximately 9am to 4pm. Visit the Sonoma County Transit page for exact times and route.


Things To Do In Sonoma

Restaurants IconRestaurants & Dining

Sonoma is a foodies paradise with an excellent selection of cafes and restaurants. Below is a list of just a few of our favorite places to eat and drink while enjoying your Sonoma vacation rental.

The Girl and The Fig
110 W Spain St.
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 707-938-3634

Outdoor garden patio seating, an antique bar, and a Rhone-Alone wine menu sets The Girl and the Fig apart from the rest. The French Country menu features weekly Plats du Jour, and an array of traditional French cuisine like duck confit and an extensive cheese menu.

Sunflower Caffe
421 1st St W
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 707-996-6645

The Sunflower Caffe is a historic landmark and local favorite for breakfast and lunch. Their local and organic menu features in-season dishes like the Jardinere Benedict and avocado goat cheese sandwich. Sunflower Caffe also has full wine and coffee lists.

LaSalette
452 1st St. E, Suite H
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 707-938-1927

Located in Sonoma’s historic central plaza, LaSalette is a local hotspot featuring a Northern California and Portuguese eclectic menu. Favorite lunch and dinner items include Feijoada Completa and Bacalhau no Forno.

El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen
405 1st St. W
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 707-996-3030

This award-winning restaurant features contemporary California cuisine and an extensive Napa and Sonoma wine list. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, El Dorado also has an array of seating. Join them for a meal on the patio, in the main dining room, front corner café, or in their private dining room.


Wine IconWine Tours

A wine country vacation isn’t complete without sampling some of the finest wines in the country. Below are a few choices for wine tours in Sonoma.

The Wine Stay

For our guests who like the idea of a customized wine tasting, take advantage of The Wine Stay’s in-house sommelier. Want to focus on a certain varietal, organic wines, or family-owned wineries? Our wine expert knows the region and its winemakers and can curate a wine tour just for you.

Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley

The Trolley is one of best ways to tour Sonoma. Starting at the Sonoma Plaza, the trolley tour goes for about 6 hours. For $99 you get to stop at four premium wineries that showcase Sonoma’s history and wine. These wineries may include Ravenswood, Buena Vista Winery, and Paradise Ridge.

 

21707 8th St. E
Sonoma, CA 95476

+1 707-938-2600

San Francisco Helicopters Food and Wine Tour

Enjoy an afternoon exploring Sonoma County from above with San Francisco Helicopters Food and Wine Tour. For $460, enjoy food and wine pairing and a full tour at the selected winery. The adventure and beautiful views will give you a wine tasting experience you will never forget.

 

1052 N. Access Rd.
San Francisco, CA94128

+1 800-400-2404

Gourmet Food and Wine Tours – Downtown Sonoma

Gourmet Food and Wine Tours presents their downtown Sonoma tour. Starting at the historic Sonoma Plaza, the $125 tour will take you to five locations for a gourmet food and wine pairing experience. Stops will include The Girl and the Fig, Delhi Belly Bistro, El Dorado Kitchen, Galatea Effect Tasting Room, and either Sonoma Grille or La Salette.

 

329 France St.
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 415-250-2273


Wine IconWinery Maps

Sonoma deserves its reputation as the heart of wine country. With hundreds of wineries, there’s plenty of choice for wine tasting. Take a look at these maps to help you plan out your wine tour through the rolling hills of Sonoma Country.

Sonoma Winery Maps
Sonoma Winery Maps

Outdoor Bench LogoOutdoor Activities

A Sonoma vacation rental is a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts. From biking and kayaking to golfing and nature walks, Sonoma offers a wealth of options. Here are just a few local outdoor activities in Sonoma.

Sonoma Valley Bike Tours

Explore Sonoma by bike with Sonoma Valley Bike Tours. Take an adventurous, guided full or half-day wine tour. Enjoy refreshing tastings at two to three wineries along your 15-mile bike route. Sonoma Valley Bike Tours also offers daily bike rentals from their array of bikes and e-bikes.

1254 Broadway St.
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 707-996-2453

Sonoma County Bird Watching

Enjoy a serene view of Hudeman Slough and quietly watch for birds. This wetland enhancement area Is the local birders favorite spot. Common species include the Great Egret, Snowy Egret, American Coot, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Greater Scaup, Ruddy Duck, and Killdeer. It is recommended that you bring a scope with you.

25700 Ramal Rd.
Sonoma, CA95476
Maxwell Farms Regional Park

Enjoy family time at the Maxwell Farms park for a day of play and picnics. There are 2.5 miles of level trails for an easy walk the whole family can enjoy. Leashed dogs are allowed.

100 Verano Ave.
Sonoma, CA95476

+1 707-539-8092

(Ranger Station)


Local Laws & Regulations in Sonoma

Nothing can ruin a perfect vacation like running afoul of local laws. Here are a few tips to keep you informed while enjoying your Sonoma vacation rental.

Napa Valley Drinking AgeLegal Drinking Age

The legal drinking age in California is 21. Guests must also be 21 years of age or older to participate in wine tastings. Some wineries are more family friendly than others and may allow underage children to enter the winery but not participate in tastings. Contact the winery or your concierge for more details.

Napa Valley Alcohol SalesAlcohol Sales & Consumption

The legal age to purchase alcohol in California is 21. According to California state law, alcohol may be purchased between the hours of 6:00am to 2:00am any day of the week.

Napa Valley Alcohol SalesNoise Regulations

Napa County regulates the acceptable amount of noise on vacation rental properties to ensure a pleasant experience for residents and guests.

  • Quiet hours must be observed between 10:00pm and 7:00am.
  • Outdoor amplified sound is not allowed at any time.
  • Continual nuisance barking from unattended pets is prohibited.

History of Sonoma

Sonoma is located in Sonoma County, in California’s most historic Wine Country. The area is rich in Native American and Spanish history.

Nearly 5,000 Pomo, Coast Miwok, and Wappo Native American people lived in the Sonoma County area before the Spanish missionaries took over in the 1800s. This reign came to an end with the Bear Flag Republic, declaring a California Republic with Sonoma as its capital. Currently Sonoma has just over 10,000 residents.

As Sonoma has evolved over the years, it has a lot to be proud of. Some of the most interesting landmarks to explore are found in Sonoma State Historic Park. Many of these have large historic importance and were built before California was even a state. Sites include the Mission San Francisco, Solana, Sonoma Barracks, Toscano Hotel, General Vallejo Home, and the Petaluma Adobe.

Grapes were originally planted by Russian colonists in 1812. In 1823, Spanish Franciscan Father Jose Altamira of the Sonoma Mission planted several thousand vines, which really set off the cultivation of vines in the area. Cuttings were transported all over the state.

In 1857, the Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy, “The Father of California Wine Industry”, founded Buena Vista winery in Sonoma County. This winery is still running today and is considered Sonoma’s flagship winery. Shortly after, in 1873, the Phylloxera epidemic swept the world. This vine disease wiped out entire vineyards and regions in the United States, France, and other places throughout Europe.

Sonoma made a quick recovery however, replanting vines and eventually surpassing previous vine counts. Prohibition from 1920-1933 did put a damper on the wine production. Only 160 of California’s previous 700 wineries remained after Prohibition ended.

After Prohibition ended, Sonoma and the rest of California got the boost they needed when French wines were no longer being imported. Production and consumption continued to boom during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The Paris Tasting of 1976 not only brought fame and fortune to Napa Valley but Sonoma Valley as well.

Today, more than 60 grape varietals are planted in Sonoma. Wine and tourism is a billion-dollar industry that continues to grow.

To learn more about Sonoma, visit these other great resources online: