Now that summer is officially here Sonoma County will see a lot of fun local events return after a two-year hiatus. From culinary festivals and concert series to local happenings that are uniquely Sonoma County, there is lots going on.
Savor Sonoma’s Culinary Offerings
No trip to Sonoma County is complete without sampling the local bounty, and what better way to taste the many food and wine offerings than a food festival? Epicurean events celebrating the region’s top farmers, growers, winemakers, and chefs include the annual North Coast Wine and Food Festival (June 18), Taste of Sonoma(June 25) and Bodega Seafood Art and Wine Festival (August 27-28). Visitors can also hone their palates at Beerfest – The Good One (June 11) offering craft brews, ciders, and more from more than 60 regional breweries.
The Musical Sounds of Sonoma
While Sonoma County is synonymous with food and wine, the region is also home to a bustling summer music scene with events of all sizes and sounds. Northern California’s biggest country music festival – Country Summer Music Festival – returns to Santa Rosa June 17-19 this year and features more than 20 performers comprised of top artists and rising stars on two stages.
Visitors can also enjoy live performances in stunning venues that are uniquely Sonoma: Festival-goers to the Huichica Music Festival (June 10-11) can enjoy intimate live performances while sitting amongst the vineyards at Gundlach Bundschu, California’s oldest family-owned winery. The Annual Old Grove Festival(July 16) is hosted amongst towering redwoods at the historic open-air Redwood Forest Theater located in Armstrong RedwoodsState Natural Reserve, and features a variety of musical productions. Rodney Strong Wine Estate is also kicking off its anticipated Summer Concert Series this July, featuring Tower of Power, Colbie Caillat, and Blues Traveler. Those looking for a more avant-garde experience can check out the Cotati Accordion Festival, a multi-generational accordion extravaganza (August 20-21), or Rivertown Revival, a music and arts festival on the banks of the Petaluma River (July 23-24).
Uniquely Sonoma Happenings
For a truly bespoke experience, travelers are encouraged to check out events unique to Sonoma County, including the fun-for-all-ages 30th Annual Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic (June 4-5) which features tethered balloon rides, food, drinks, live music, and entertainment. Also making a return this summer is Gay Wine Weekend, presented by Out in the Vineyard. The three day-weekend (July 15-17) is full of LGBTQ events celebrating world-class wine, culinary offerings, music, dancing, and more in Sonoma County.
August is peak season for Gravenstein apples, a hard-to-find delicacy that is most widely available in Sonoma County. Ripening in late July, gravs (as they are affectionately known) are one of North America’s earliest apples on the market, and often signal the beginning of each year’s harvest season. Sonoma County Farm Trails is celebrating the return of the Gravenstein Apple Fair where guests will enjoy a curated lineup of chefs, farmers, ranchers, local artisans, musicians, and more.
Travel With a Purpose
This summer, Sonoma County Tourism invites guests to travel with intention and purpose. Visitors to the destination can commit to traveling responsibly by signing the “Travel Kindly” pledge and by reviewing The Safe Travels Promise and Leave No Trace Seven Principles.
Traveler are further empowered to make a positive impact on the local community and environment through Kind Traveler, the first socially-conscious “Give and Get” hotel booking and education platform. A list of curated hotels in Sonoma County offers exclusive rates and special perks when guests donate $10 to one of three local charities: Redwood Empire Food Bank, Russian Riverkeeper, or the Sonoma Land Trust, turning the act of visiting into an act of conservation.
Those looking for an immersive experience can take advantage of voluntourism activities, as well as unique opportunities like “gleaning” with Farm to Pantry, where participants harvest local produce which will be provided to Sonoma County-area hunger-relief partners.
With so many local happenings and activities to enjoy, visitors are reminded to also make time for rest and rejuvenation. Intentional travel is critical for well-being and Sonoma County Tourism has created science-backed turnkey itineraries custom-designed to help travelers reset their minds, bodies and spirits. Details can be found at SonomaCounty.com/wellbeing.