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Russian River or Sonoma

Travel Forums North America Russian River or Sonoma

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1. Posted by sunicol (Full Member 93 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hello again,
Just wondering which of the above would be better. Lived in San Fran 10 years ago and did Napa to death but never really visited either of these. Will prob be doing an overnight trip from San Fran, can maybe stretch to two nights.
All opinions welcome!

2. Posted by garyrbeck (Budding Member 56 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Two good choices. I have lived in SF Bay Area since 1973 and have been to these 2 plus Napa a zillion times. I used to be a wine buyer. Both have advantages. RR is more laid back and casual with recreational emphasis more than wineries. Hop Kiln is a good one. Both have good eateries with edge toward to Sonoma. More culture there, more historic, great for a small size walking and driving around. I guess I would lean for you toward Sonoma. Do not know your dates but make a reservation for lodging in advance. I went last mid Oct. with my bro and it was almost all booked. Feb. would be slower due to rains. Ask if any certain thing I can address.

3. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 285 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

You can't lose either way. Enjoy the trip.

4. Posted by Calcruzer (Travel Guru 2003 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Just went to both of these areas yesterday.

I'd say it depends upon whether you are looking for more commercial and spending time in just one or two stops (less time in the car) or more outdoor scenery with lots of stops (and more time in the car) since the area is more stretched out. As indicated, you can see both areas in one day if you start early (although we're beat from trying to see so much in a short time--and obviously didn't get to see it all).

Sonoma is only about 40 miles to 50 miles or so from the Russian River, so it is possible to do both--one each night.

We spend time at Korbel (wife loves their brandies) and at Inspiration Vineyard in RR, and we always like going to the main square in Sonoma--visit the cheese factory, the mission and barracks right next door, and do some shopping and wine tasting on the square--and then grab a quick meal while sitting outside enjoying the warm sun and people going by. Within 5 miles of downtown Sonoma there are some very well-known wineries like Ravenwood, Gloria Ferrer, Kunde, and Kenwood--and it's close to the famous Howard Farm (where Seabiscuit became the famous racehorse he did). Also, there are good spas in town. But then, it's easy to get from the Russian River area to Calistoga at the north end of Napa, which is the most famous spa place (along with Palm Springs) in the state.

Good luck with your decision. (Maybe one day at each place?)