If you are looking to relax, breathe or simply enjoy the outdoors there are an almost infinite number of places to explore in the Wine Country. Below are 5 of my favorites including some of the best hiking in Sonoma County.
Lake Sonoma – Best Hiking in Sonoma County
A Sonoma County classic loved by millions of visitors each year who come for some of the best hiking in Sonoma County. With over 40 miles of pristine trails with incredible 360 degree views for hikers, bikers and those cruising the trails on horseback, this is family favorite. Included in this recreational area is an archery range, disc golf course and as an added bonus a fully fenced in dog park. Fishing is incredible at Lake Sonoma, with underwater trees, remnants left after the filling of the dam providing a spectacular underwater habitat for a whole range of fish species including bass, perch, sunfish, bluegill and fiesty catfish. When the lake is full excellent water skiing is also to be had, with calm water and very little wake.
The Sea Ranch – A Great Place to Relax
If someone is looking to relax and slow down, I will often send them off to the Sea Ranch. Here they will find breathtaking beaches and a rugged coastline at the northern end of the Sonoma County coast along Sate Highway 1. There are plenty of places to find accomodaton including the Sea Ranch Lodge, which guarantees an ocean view from each of its 19 rooms. There are also a large number of rented vacation homes available that also offer access to the community’s tennis courts, Scottish-style golf course, and other amenities.
If you are just planning a day visit then there a number of public access trails that offer stunning views of the Pacific, giantic rock stacks, migrating whales and incredible sunsets.It’s all about the bubbles and wigs at the JCB Lounge in Santa Rosa. These cult classic wines and champs are sure to please the palette but the tasting room is equally pleasing. A beautiful chandelier greets you welcomes you to a very intimate tasting experience. Each chair offers a leopard throw and views of the twin TVs playing loops of James Bond movies. Step up the fun and get wild with their wig collection. Makes for some memorable pictures!
Timber Cove – Did Someone Say Romantic?
Secluded and romantic, with a unique vibrancy that breathes life back into your bones this is one of Sonoma County’s not so secret, secrets. About 15 miles north of Jenner in a remote area along Highway 1, Timber Cover is where the rugged coastline takes a trip inland towards the canyon surrounding Timber Cove Creek.For the romantically inclined, check out the Timber Cove Resort, it has 50 rooms adorned with fireplaces and incredible views of the ocean, cove, or surrounding forest; you choose. There are also options within the cove to launch your own boat, fish and dive as well as a private campsite for RV’s or tents.
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Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve
For panoramic views of the entire region this hike is a Sonoma County classic that I have always quick to recommend to visiting friends and family. Taylor Mountain Regional Park is an 1,100-acre park with sweeping grassy hillsides, dense oak woodlands and peaceful winding creeks, that still the body and the mind.
Within the park there are 5.5 miles of trails for the some of the best hiking in Sonoma County extending right to the summit, opportunities for biking and horseback riding and an 18-hole disc golf course for those looking to try something new. Fun for the whole family.
The Kortum Trail
This hike is one of the hidden gems in Sonoma County, it is the perfect place to escape and breath in the fresh ocean air. Find your serenity approxmately 8 miles north of Bodega Bay on the easily accessible, inconspicuous coastal path known as the Kortum Trail. The Kortum Trail begins with a less than 50 yard walk from the Blind Beach parking area off Goat Rock Road and is clearly marked by a wooden sign. It is around a 3.8 miles of the some of the best hiking in Sonoma County with gorgeous sweeping views of the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean, highlighting offshore sea stacks and fun little climbing crags for the more agile members of your family.
A word of warning the beach is reasonably inaccessible due to steep 70-foot bluffs but there are some trails just south of the Sunset Boulders that will give you all the beach access you need. Just know your tides and be wary of the surf.