For the visitor to Sonoma County, summertime can bring to mind visions of bright sunshine, green vineyards, and glorious breezes. And of course, they wouldn’t be wrong. But there’s so much more to Sonoma County, including beaches that are often socked in by fog, even during the height of the summer, and redwood forests, that are so dense that the mornings are downright chilly. But these things are what makes Sonoma County and its various regions so unique and such an incredible place to visit. Check out my latest list of lodgings that celebrate the great Sonoma outdoors with hiking trails, beaches and, of course, views of the vineyards.
3657 Church St
Occidental, CA 95465
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars; 346 reviews
Occidental, CA is a true example of the different microclimates that Sonoma has to offer. Nestled in the redwood forests of the Russian River Valley, the Inn at Occidental showcases the surrounding environmental beauty and their location perfectly. With cottages and rooms equipped with fireplaces, you can enjoy cool foggy mornings that give way to warm afternoons, perfect for a hike or a trip out to the coast. The grounds of this quaint B&B are lush, and the Inn finds itself in perfect proximity to both the vineyards and the beach. Let the Inn help you plan a trip out to Jenner and the Sonoma Coast beaches, complete with a picnic lunch. Or maybe a more active vacation is your preference? The Inn at Occidental can help you plan your biking, kayaking or hiking itinerary to fully enjoy the outdoor surroundings of Sonoma County.
Insider Tip: June through October, check out the Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market for a taste of local fruits and vegetables, along with live music and locally produced art.
5131 Warm Springs Rd.
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
TripAdvisor: 5 stars; 461 reviews
Tucked into the Sonoma hills and nestled in an oak grove, the Olea Hotel provides a tranquil escape with its intimate atmosphere and beautiful grounds. With a long list of included amenities, the hotel also offers an outdoor hot tub and fire pit, perfect for enjoying the cool, Sonoma summer nights. While they do offer complimentary wine tasting at the hotel, they also provide generous coupons for tasting at the various wineries in the area. Or if relaxing is more your style, choose to stay in and enjoy the views of the valley from your private porch.
Insider Tip: Check out Jack London State Historic Park for a beautiful hike and a history lesson. You’ll not only get a taste for the local landscape, but you can also see the iconic writer’s home.
13540 Arnold Dr.
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars; 512 reviews
Centrally located, but secluded enough to feel like a zen retreat, the Gaige House is an oasis in wine country. This B&B has been listed repeatedly in Condé Nast’s Traveler’s Gold List and is regularly listed in Michelin guides, but accolades aren’t what make these accommodations amazing, it’s the amenities. The B&B’s secluded setting along the Calabazas Creek, complete with a luxurious pool and hot tub, are just the tip of this proverbial iceberg. Amongst the verdant landscape, you’ll find hammocks, pagodas, and fountains, all there to provide the perfect zen-style escape for your summer. If you actually want to leave the oasis that is Gaige House, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful section of Sonoma County, complete with botanical gardens, historic parks, and a myriad of other outdoor activities.
Insider Tip: If you’re tired of walking through the vineyards on your own two feet, try four instead. The Triple Creek Horse Outfit offers horseback tours through the hills of Glen Ellen. Experience the Sonoma County hills the way Jack London did — from the back of a horse.
4350 Barnes Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars; 569 reviews
Situated on 92 acres of lush vineyards, the Vintners Inn is an elegant retreat in the middle of Sonoma County wine country. The grounds include hiking trails among the grapes, landscaped grounds, and even a bocce court. Sit court-side with a glass of wine and try your hand at a game, all while enjoying a beautiful Sonoma County summer night!
Insider Tip: Just a few miles down the road, you’ll find the iconic Kendall Jackson winery. Be sure to stop in and experience the winery’s food and wine pairing.